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Cold Hardy, Deer-Resistant Plants Thrive in Valley

April 17, 2014
By SHELLEY HANSON , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - A variety of cold-hardy plants are available for Ohio Valley residents looking to liven up their properties with color and texture.

Chad Hutkay, live nursery specialist at the Wheeling Lowe's, said in the shrub category azaleas and rhododendrons are two of the most popular because of their early spring blooms and bold hues.

"They give that first color in spring and come in a variety of colors," Hutkay said, adding the plants also have evergreen leaves that don't become woody in the fall.

Article Photos

Photo by Shelley Hanson
Lowe’s in Wheeling offers a variety of colorful flowers to liven up landscape.

People continue to look for plants that are deer resistant, he added.

"We also sell a ton of boxwoods, primarily because deer don't like them. ... They have an odor deer don't like," Hutkay said.

Gabe Hays, owner of St. Clairsville-based Hays Landscape Architecture Studio, said while he often recommends property owners use plants native to their region, there is one type of ornamental grass that is deer-resistant.

"A plant that has a nice flower and deer don't like is catmint. ... It has a pungent minty flavor," Hays said of the grass.

Hutkay said for those looking to provide some privacy on their property the yellow forsythia plant is a good alternative to pine trees.

"For people who want to build a natural screen along their property line, they get pretty big - 6 by 6 foot," Hutkay said. "They do drop leaves, but they're one of the first flowers in the spring. They're really hardy - it's almost impossible to kill them."

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