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The Surprising Reason Deer Don’t Like Cyclamen Plants

The Surprising Reason Deer Don’t Like Cyclamen Plants

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Picture this: an aesthetically pleasing yard decorated by vibrant blooms and elegant deer. This scene transforms your garden into a scene from a Disney movie.

The only problem? These magical creatures view your yard as a buffet, nibbling on your precious plants.

Fear not, though. Fragrant plants like cyclamen can help you overcome this issue. But are cyclamens completely deer-resistant? That’s what I’ll uncover in this article. So, stick around!

Are Cyclamen Deer-Resistant?

Generally, cyclamen can help deter deer. That’s because these plants contain cyclamen aldehyde, a highly fragrant molecule.

This extract has a floral scent, similar to lilies, and is used in many products. These include detergents, soaps, and perfumes.

Why does that matter? Well, because deer aren’t fans of powerful odors.

As you might have guessed, these animals use scents to detect predators and food sources. Pungent odors mask other smells, putting deer in danger.

Do Deer Eat Cyclamen?

The short answer is that is depends. Aside from fragrance, cyclamen have a bitter taste. They also contain terpenoid saponins, chemical compounds that can be toxic to animals.

As a result, cyclamen can cause digestive issues, among other problems. Ingesting these plants produces symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea—all of which deter these beautiful animals.

That said, the plant isn’t 100% deer-resistant. While they don’t prefer cyclamen, if they have no other option, deer can eat those plants.

Tips to Care for Cyclamen

While cyclamen doesn’t repel deer completely, adding these plants to your garden can help you fight off these animals.

Here are a few tips to help you with this process:

1 – Plant in Rich Soil

Generally, cyclamen plants aren’t picky; they do well in different soil types. Still, they prefer well-drained soil with rich organic matter. If the garden is soggy, cyclamen will rot.

To test if the soil is suitable, dig a hole around one foot by one foot. Then, fill it with water. If it soaks the ground within 10 minutes, you’ve got well-draining soil.

If not, you need to improve the texture. Simply add organic matter, like compost or peat moss, to the soil.

Aside from that, these plants love a slightly acidic mix with a pH range of 6-7.

To raise the acidity, add sulfur or peat moss. In contrast, to increase the pH and reduce acidity, add garden limestone.

2 – Choose the Right Spot

Interestingly, cyclamen blooms in the winter. So, the best time to plant the corms and young plants is in the early fall.

As for the seeds, make sure to propagate them indoors before transplanting the sprouts into garden soil.

Avoid planting cyclamens too early, though. They may get summer heat damage.

Since they prefer indirect, bright light, choose an area that’s partially shaded in the summer. Additionally, the weather should be moist during the autumn and early spring.

Typically, north-facing walls are a perfect spot for cyclamen. You can also place them under large trees or near shrubs.

Once you find the perfect spot in your garden, space the plants six inches apart.

These plants are small, reaching around 6-9 inches once they mature. So they don’t need a lot of space.

3 – Water the Plants Regularly

Cyclamens prefer moisture. However, excessive water can be too much of a good thing.

Over time, the soil will get soggy, causing root rot.

To avoid the hassle, water cyclamen regularly from fall to spring, when they’re active and blooming. Of course, test the soil before hydrating it.

Simply put your finger in the ground, remove it, and examine. If it comes out with a muddy-like texture, don’t water until the soil dries.

Make sure to only feed the base and not the crown, as that can cause diseases like rot.

Once the plants enter their dormant stage in the early summer, water infrequently to prevent the soil from completely drying out.

4 – Check for Aphids

Like most plants, cyclamens aren’t disease-resistant. Once established, these flowering plants can continue to grow for up to a century.

Still, some pests can find their way to the plants and infect them. Among these insects are aphids and mites.

Typically, these pests inject toxins into the plants and feed on their nutrients. As a result, they reduce photosynthesis and growth.

Not only that, but these insects can weaken cyclamens, inviting fungi and other pathogens to infect the plants.

Luckily, you can resolve the issue early on by pruning. Simply cut any infected plant foliage or other parts.

In the case of troublesome infections, isolate the plants and treat them with an insecticide.

Final Thoughts

So, are cyclamen deer-resistant?

Several reasons can make deer shy away from cyclamens. These include their fragrance, bitter taste, and toxic chemicals.

Still, these plants aren’t completely foolproof against hungry deer. Adding them to your garden, among other deer-resistant plants, can help you fight away those animals.

To care for cyclamens, plant them in a well-drained, rich soil. Additionally, choose a spot with indirect, bright light and water them regularly during their blooming seasons.

In the case of infestations, cut down the infected parts to keep the insects in check. By following these tips, you can enjoy cyclamens’ beauty while keeping unwanted guests away from your garden!

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