As anyone who has deer in their neighborhood has witnessed, the animals are unpredictable about what plants they eat. Deer in some neighborhoods eat plants that deer in other neighborhoods don’t. Deer are also curious and prone to tasting newly placed plants. But tasting is the result of more than curiosity.
Plants that have come straight from the nursery to your landscape are not as strong chemically as plants that have been in the garden longer. The new plants have recently received heavy fertilization and watering, so they have more nitrogen and water in their foliage and stems, and fewer chemicals that deter deer from eating them.