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Sweet Alyssum a Deer Proof Groundcover?

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gardener notes Gardeners Notes
Plant type: annuals
Deer resistant: yes
Our plant hardiness zone:
New Zealand: subtropical
U.S. Zone 10b

Sweet Alyssum, or Lobularia maritima, is a low-growing annual plant that spreads like a delightful carpet of blossoms. 

sweet alyssum purple blossoms

Image by May_hokkaido from Pixabay

Sweet Alyssum is a petite plant, usually growing no more than 6 to 8 inches tall. It features clusters of dainty, four-petaled flowers that come in shades of white, pink, lavender, and even yellow. These adorable blooms create a beautiful carpet of color, giving your garden a whimsical and romantic feel. Plus, their delicate texture adds a softness that can really tie your outdoor space together.

On top of all that you'll notice that Sweet Alyssum has a lovely, honey-like scent. 

Regarding functionality, Alyssum is great for pollinators, slug and snail resistant AND - deer resistant, they say. To be fair, they say that about a lot of plants, which later turn out to be false, so we’re putting alyssum to the test.

fawn sniffing sweet alyssum

So, what do our deer think about Alyssum?

We’ve just purchased this basket of white Alyssum and decided to see if it’s deer proof. Because if it's not, then all our efforts of carefully planting it in strategic places will come to naught.

Luckily, there were several deer near the house at that time so a few got to ‘cast their vote’ on whether Lobularia maritima was a desirable addition to their already quite versatile diet.

Video of deer encountering Sweet Alyssum

In this following video, you can see deers' lack of enthusiasm for this plant. Babushka was the only one to give it a little lick, just to make sure, but then she moved away to munch on some grass instead. To tell you the truth, this is our second test, it's always best to make sure the results stay the same and no influence of deers 'mood', weather, satiation level etc skews the end result. 

This is all pretty encouraging. We'll be planting this lot and are already starting some alyssum from seed. It has germinated in just 24 hours! This plant should naturalize easily. Our deepest hope is that it will compete with weeds and withstand our voracious slugs pressure. Living in humid climate, the struggle is real. So the perfectly deer proof hyacinth we've planted is all being devoured by the slimy pests, one by one. 

There, alyssum planted:

alyssum planted near rock

And here are some germinated seeds:

germinated alyssum seeds

Are you growing or planning to grow alyssum?

Last modified 2023-07-06 at 00:35

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