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Does Bambi Like Bamboo?

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

When it comes to our furry forest friends, deer, who might be visiting some peoples yards in search for some fresh yummy plants, there's often a lot of curiosity about their food preferences. One question that sometimes pops up is, "Do deer like bamboo?" Let's explore this and find out if Bambi is a fan of bamboo.

deer standing by the bamboo thicket

First things first, what exactly is bamboo? Bamboo is not your typical tree or shrub; it's actually a type of grass! Yes, you read that right, bamboo belongs to the grass family. It's known for its rapid growth and sturdy, woody stems. You might have seen bamboo used for various purposes, from making furniture to panda snacks!

Now, back to our question - do deer like to munch on bamboo? Well, the answer is a bit of a mixed bag. Deer are known to have a diverse palate, and they do enjoy some fresh bamboo shoots that sprout from the ground during the spring. These tender, young shoots can be quite a tasty treat for them. In fact, even us humans can cook and eat them and some people do.

But when it comes to mature bamboo plants with tougher leaves and stems, deer generally give them the cold shoulder. They seem to prefer other plants over bamboo because it can be a bit challenging to chew and digest. So, if you're worried about deer munching down your bamboo garden, you can breathe a sigh of relief. They typically won't be too interested in the mature plants, unless there's hardly anything else available in the vicinity.

In fact, if you live in an area with a deer population, planting bamboo can be a smart choice. Its resistance to deer browsing can make it a low-maintenance addition to your garden or landscape. Just keep in mind that bamboo has a habit of spreading, so it's a good idea to contain it or plant it in an area where it won't take over your entire yard, or 'leak' into your neighbour's property.

3 deer sitting near the bamboo

Our deer use bamboo a lot - as a shelter. It's great at stopping wind, it also can provide a bit of cover from the rain. So we often see them sitting by bamboo thickets. Or, when they're fawns - in them! Like this Charcoal here, of which we've told you about https://wondeerful.farm/story/baby-deer-fawn

newborn baby deer hiding alone in bamboo

In theory, you should be able to use that as a deer fence. They're not fans of trying to squeeze through thick vegetation that's touching their bodies, so it might help you keep deer off your property.

In summary, while Bambi might enjoy some fresh bamboo shoots in the spring and an occasional nibble on the leaves, deer generally don't have a strong liking for mature bamboo plants. So, if you're considering growing bamboo in an area with deer, it's a safe bet that your bamboo won't turn into their favorite snack. Enjoy your bamboo garden without worrying about these graceful creatures making it their buffet!

Last modified 18 September 2023 at 12:28

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Plants alphabetically
Aagapanthus [bulbs]anemone [bulbs]armeria [perennials]arugula [annuals]aster [annuals]
Bbamboo [perennials]
Ccalla lilly [bulbs]coneflower [perennials]courgette [annuals]cyclamen [bulbs]
Ffoxglove [perennials]freesia [bulbs]
Hheuchera [perennials]hyacinth [bulbs]hydrangea [shrubs]
Iiris [perennials]
Jjasmine [vines]
Llobularia [annuals]
Mmarigold [annuals]mint [perennials]
Nnasturtium [perennials]
Ppea [vines]purple toadflax [perennials]
Ssalvia splendens [perennials]snowflake [bulbs]sweet potato [annuals]
Ttomato [perennials]

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