Deer Damage

Protect Your Landscape

White-tailed deer sightings in Martin County are common this time of year, especially after dark. When a deer sighting includes a herd using your landscape as a buffet, you need solutions.

The population of deer in Florida is in decline. And even though we love to see them run free and live their own version of the “Florida-lifestyle” it’s discouraging when deer damage our landscape.

Image credit: Tyler Mosteller (UF/IFAS Extension)

Fences and natural barriers are not always dependable options to prevent deer from nibbling on your flowers, bushes, trees, and ornamentals, but there are deer resistant and poisonous plants that encourage the herd to seek an alternative buffet. 

Plants that are Highly Fragrant

Deer rely on smell to avoid predators. If highly fragrant flowers and plants are consumed, these plants then play havoc with the deer’s sense of smell. Deer want to smell their predators, so they avoid confusing their sense of smell by avoiding landscapes with highly fragrant plants. 

Plants that are Deer Resistant

Deer can be picky eaters. They prefer sweet smelling flowers and sweet tasting plants like fruits, berries, nuts, corn and crops. Their ‘browse line’ is 5″ inches from the ground, so flowers are easy pickin’s! However, they aren’t fond of these:

Bearded Iris, Bear’s Breeches, Butterfly Weed, Caryopteris, Chrysanthemum, Crocosmia, Dianthus, Epimedium, Goldenrod, Hens and Chicks, Joe Pyx Weed, Lavender, Marigolds, Mint, Ornamental Salvias, Peonies, Red-Hot Poker, Rosemary, Russian Sage, Spices like oregano, thyme, sage, & rosemary

Plants that are Poisonous to Deer 

Deer instinctively avoid these plants, so adding them as a deterrent should not harm the deer population.

Crown of Thorns, Daffodils, Foxglove, Milkweed, Oleander, Poinsettia, Poppy

Fun Facts About White-tailed Deer

  • Dinner time for deer is dawn and dusk; if you drive during those hours, be on the lookout.
  • Have you ever noticed how quickly a deer will sense your presence? Deer have amazing eyesight and hearing.
  • Only male deer grow antlers, and these are shed every year. 
  • Deer are good swimmers, so installing a moat around your landscape won’t keep them out.
  • The average adult male weighs in at around 115 lbs; the smaller female around 90 lbs.
  • If your tree trunk has deer marks, it’s the male deer rubbing off the early-season velvety covering. Manly deer want shiny, smooth antlers.
  • Deer habitats are primarily those with low-growing vegetation —and escape routes.
  • In 2018 a 23-point buck was placed into the evidence freezer at the Martin County Sheriff’s Office. Read why.

For additional information on deer resistant plants in Florida, visit UF/IFAS Gardening with Wildlife. If deer are causing extreme damage to your landscape, contact FWC regional office in West Palm Beach to request a deer depredation permit. (561) 625-5122. To report a potential wildlife law violation on private land (hunting by gun or bow-and-arrow) call (888) 404-3922.

6 Ways Landscapes Increase Your Home’s Value

Our area’s housing market is surging month-after-month, breaking new records!
What was first seen as a post-pandemic rebound is still on fire.
Some homes in our area are on the market mere minutes.
For sellers, it can be a big payday!

Realtors help sellers get top dollar with tips on decluttering and investing in minor repairs, but landscaping accounts for 85% of what buyers first see when they pull up in front of a home.

According to the American Society of Landscape Architects, investing 8-10% of your home’s value in soft and hard landscaping can fetch 15-20% more at closing. Here are a few of our favorite ways:

  1. Spruce up a plain yard with shrubs and flowering plants.
  2. Line driveways, walkways, and patios with liriope, annuals, or dianella.
  3. Water, mow, and fertilize regularly to maintain daily curb appeal.
  4. Add a water feature to increase backyard ambience or decrease street noise. 
  5. Create a sense of privacy with vines, climbing flowers, and evergreens. 
  6. Upgrade your landscape design to complement your home’s architecture.

In these uncertain yet opportunistic times, using a professional team of landscapers (like us) has never been a better investment.

Call us now (772) 546-2861 to speak to one of our certified and licensed landscape contractors.

How Florida-Friendly Landscaping Works

We are big fans of Florida-friendly landscaping.
That why we support each of its 9 principles and
incorporate them into our landscape designs and practices.

1. Right Plant, Right Place. There are over 330 annuals, ferns, ground covers, grasses, palms, perennials, shrubs, trees and vines that all thrive along the Treasure Coast. 

2. Water Efficiently.  Our article on “smart irrigation” shows how technology can monitor weather, soil moisture, evaporation rates and plant water use then automatically adjust sprinkler schedules to actually save both water and money.

3. Fertilize Appropriately.  Nitrogen in fertilizer is health food for plant-life, but too much can hurt plants, birds and animals—and pollute our aquifers. Watch this video and use only a licensed applicator.

4. Mulch.  Great for giving your landscape that “finished” appearance, mulch is also good for the soil. It reduces the spread of weeds and it moderates soil temperatures. Caution! Don’t use cypress mulch. Lumbering has decimated our cypress trees!

5. Attract Wildlife. Birds and critters love plants with seeds, fruit, flowers, and berries, and they love a cool splash in a rain garden or bird bath. Learn how to attract butterflies with wildflowers.

6. Manage Yard Pests. Think ahead! Choose pest-resistant varieties or practice integrated pest management. Learn how. Identify those pests with the IFAS/UFL tool.

7. Recycle Yard Waste. Our crews always remove major yard waste, but on request will leave some onsite for a client’s compost pile/bin. Compost is a sustainable way to create organic fertilizer for use in plant beds and gardens. Read Trash Talk from UF/IFAS.

8. Reduce Stormwater Runoff. Water that is clean and chemical free can be strategically diverted to run through berms and swales to give it time to soak into the ground. Permeable walkways, patios and driveways also reduce stormwater runoff.

9. Protect the Waterfront. If your home is on a lake, next to a spring, or overlooking a beach, a ten-foot “low-maintenance zone” that is not mowed, fertilized, or sprayed with pesticides protects native water plants and may attract interesting animal life. 

Image from UF/IFAS