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Hi there fellow gardeners, coming to you again from the campus of Botanic to discuss tips and anecdotes for successful gardening.

This week we begin part two of our three-part series on frequently asked questions.  We will explore plants that have shown to exhibit some deer resistant qualities to begin our gardening journey this week.


“What can I do about the deer, they are eating all my plants!!!”

All over the fast-growing South, deer habitat is shrinking, especially in cities experiencing urban sprawl.  This is consolidating the herbivorous deer herds into these new neighborhoods adding additional pressure on our desired herbaceous Annuals, Perennials, and Evergreens.  It must be said and remembered that there are really no plants that are completely deer proof.  If it’s a dry summer or an area heavily populated with deer, and/or the deer herd gets hungry enough they will eventually eat everything. This unfortunately is the case for many of our gardening friends in the Lake Martin, AL area.  There are a couple of ways to help curb the effect of deer.

Some homeowners have resorted to setting up deer feeders in a part of their yard.  The theory is that providing a deer feeder full of corn all the time keeps the deer bellies full and less likely to want to graze on our ornamentals.  I’ve actually seen this approach be successful, but it’s very controversial, especially with neighbors.  Another more conventional tactic is to concentrate on planting deer resistant plants.  Luckily for us Southern gardeners, there is no shortage of beautiful plants to choose from for our landscapes.  Listed below are a few that come to mind.

King’s List of a few Deer Resistant plants that can make a landscape beautiful.

Shrubs: Fothergilla, Inkberry Holly, Butterfly Bush, Japanese Anise, Nandina, Loropetalum, Spirea, Gardenia, Junipers, and Forsythia to name a few.

: Christmas Fern, Autumn Fern, Holly Fern, Mexican Sage, Rosemary, Salvia, Lavender, Russian Sage, Daffodils, Bee Balm, Lambs Ear, Butterfly Weed, Coreopsis, Daffodils, and Coneflower.  Folks, this just tips the iceberg of good deer resistant perennials

Annuals: Foxglove, Zinnia, Marigolds, Cosmos, Coleus, Wax Begonia, Lantana, Cleome, Verbena, Angelonia, Caladiums, Wishbone Flower, Persian Shield, and Gomphrena.  Anyone can make their landscape spectacular with these kinds of choices.

All of the plants listed above can help create a beautiful well-coordinated and cohesive landscape.  Spring is nearing so stop by Botanic for further discussions or to ask any questions regarding deer resistant plants.


“How can I make my Hydrangeas Blue or Pink?”

Gardeners are a very diverse group of people with the common goal of creating beauty and in doing so feeding our collective souls.  Mowing the grass, spreading mulch, planting a flower bed gives most gardeners great satisfaction and is often a form of meditation.  Lots of choices and decisions ensue when gardening.  One of these choices, preferences, decisions is often brought up to me as a question.  I wanted a Pink Hydrangea but its blue or vice versa.  Hydrangea grandiflora A.K.A Big Bloom or Mop Head Hydrangeas adapts to its soil type which ultimately determines flower color.  Blue to purple bloom colors means the soil the plant is growing in is more acidic.  If the bloom is in the pink range, it means that the soil pH is more alkaline.  White blooming varieties of Mop Heads are typically bred to be soil pH neutral and maintain a white bloom color in the landscape.  The best and fastest way to lower the pH is to drench the soil with Aluminum Sulphate.  The best and fastest way to raise the pH is to add Agricultural Lime.  Botanic has both products in stock.  Application is very simple and can be accomplished by even the most novice of gardeners.  Our garden associates can help each of you accomplish the flower color of your dreams.

Well fellow friends and gardeners, it’s time to sign off again.  It’s been a busy week at Botanic.  Fresh beautiful plants are arriving daily.  It’s going to be just an incredible adventure for all of us here at Botanic as we celebrate and embrace our first spring.  In closing, I’m so grateful to see so many new and familiar faces. Your support of our efforts here makes it possible for each of our team members to chase their dreams and that definitely includes me.  Thanks to all of you and we will chat again next week.

Good Gardening,


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