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Plants that can survive without fencing off from roos etc

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    I have a 12m x 12m fenced garden area but wondered if there are any plants that will survive unfenced with lots of wildlife (roos, possums, bandicoots and the odd cow). I read one blog where pigeon peas went well for a year then the wallabies learnt to eat them and demolished them. I’ve planted out some arrowroot, taro and jerasulem artichoke, so far so good. Sweet potato – one plant got chomped though its growing back. I’m near Grafton NSW but get some frosts.

    Anyone had success with veges/trees unprotected?


    In one answer: NOPE. Not vege plants or fruit trees.

    You could try putting chicken wire around the trees, our neighbours have done that. But I have too many trees to even attempt that. We have put our orchard in a fenced area and I am in the process of making smaller groves within that.

    The Eastern Greys just rub against the trees or like in the case of a couple of young ones having a bit of a biff last night they nearly bowled over my liquid amber :angry: . It’s the wallabies that eat everything in sight. I lost my entire rose garden before we fenced everything edible off.

    The only edible plants I have that they don’t go after are taro, arrowroot and midyim berries. You could plant some native food plants and see if they survive a bit better :shrug: I have also surrounded my gardens with agapanthus as they don’t like them due to the oxylates in the leaves. Gives a small measure of protection from them eating them but they still jump through the gardens if they find a short cut.

    Lady Bee

    We have wallabies around here and a tame deer. You can see what plants they like as they’re all ‘trimmed’ up to a certain height. Roses, and in particular the flowers and young shoots are a favourite food. Most of the soft leafed deciduous trees get nibbled.

    Camellias don’t seem to be touched. Not much good as a food plant for humans though. Conifers are the same.

    Our veg garden is fenced off (primarily because the best soil was in the middle of a cow field) but we throw leaves, stalks etc over the fence. The brassicas (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower) don’t seem to get eaten by anything.


    When I started here I had roo problems, mostly the roses and fruit trees. Now I still have roos, nothing is fenced away from them, but seem to be no problems. If I knew what I did right I could market it, lol. Ours are very wild, not used to cultivated plants, and I did hear they dont like strange smells/tastes. I have lots of scented geraniums, strange smelling herbs, maybe the mix makes them careful. But in the early days, they ate true wormwood down to the ground, once, never touched it again.


    Thanks Misty for your NOPE but you did say three things, two of which I have already planted out, so fingers crossed for those two. I should get some agapathus for around the house. Thanks LadyB I did have rugosa rose on the list for the road edge (north side so not too tall) because I get wandering cattle but guess that’s out now.


    clarecc post=335841 wrote: Thanks Misty for your NOPE but you did say three things, two of which I have already planted out, so fingers crossed for those two. I should get some agapathus for around the house. Thanks LadyB I did have rugosa rose on the list for the road edge (north side so not too tall) because I get wandering cattle but guess that’s out now.

    :laugh: 😛 I did didn’t I! :laugh:


    I never even thought of my scented geraniums Greth. That’s something else they haven’t touched. Birds don’t either :shrug:

    Guess that makes 4 :laugh:

    Forest Raven

    We have wallabies, rabbits and possums. It would seem elderflower bushes are safe, even young plants, but I will check again when I get home. I had pots of herbs which were safe sitting on tree stumps for a couple of months, and then the peppermint was nibbled. I brought that to the inside yard. Then the lemon and lime balms were destroyed, so they were brought in. Then the stevias… The pyrethrum and hyssop have thus far remained untouched.

    The lemon leaves have been nibbled through it’s wire, not sure about the mulberry, pomegranite, chestnuts and olives. We’ll see as they grow up and have more branches exposed within reach of those hungry critters!

    I’d live to post a pic of our agapanthus! Was safe for years… then over the past winter a little wallaby-sized archway emerged. One plant has been eaten almost to theground. :jawdrop: Hydrangeas still seem safe. The neighbour seems to have old rose bushes that were safe (now seriously neglected and dieing). Daffodils are safe, and it seems irises. Dahlias are not safe, and whatever ‘corm’ species I have. And there’s a really cool flowering plant I’ve seen around that I need the name of that seems safe judging by neighbours properties. Looking at the local bush, foxgloves look safe. And tuft-like native grasses.

    I think my strategy is to offer up a sacrificial plant (or part thereof) and see how it goes. There might be local tastes to deal with as well! And from our agapanthus experience, I think you have to be aware that some things may ony be safe for a time, so don’t get upset if one year something that was safe finally disappears! If it’s valuable, build a fence!


    I did a quick goggle search (details below) and the list so far is (noting that roos can suddenly start eating things they have ignored for years, especially in late summer):



    Midyim berries

    Gum trees

    Lavender (mixed reports)


    Wormwood (one report it was eaten once and never again)

    Birds of paradise



    Agapanthus (report of it being eaten after years)





    Prickly moses Acacia pulchella

    Red boronia

    Emu bush

    Salt bush


    Swan River myrtle

    Native daphne

    Geraldton wax

    Possibly brassicas


    Possible deterrent:


    Dog poo

    Regular spraying with chilli/garlic/tabasco

    Results of google search:


    “Kangaroos are fussy eaters. They won’t eat gum leaves or anything that grows near them because they don’t like the smell, Australian research has found.

    So conservationists could plant gum trees near rare plants to give them a better chance of surviving, the researchers say.”

    “The essential oils this family produces, such as eucalyptus oils from gum trees, are toxic to bacteria in the kangaroos’ guts. These are the bacteria that help the animals digest their food, said one of the researchers Professor Byron Lamont.”


    “the only plant I haven’t had to fence in from kangaroos is lavender, specifically lavendula x intermedia and L. dentata (French lavender) and grevillia. I also put guards around young trees untill they are big enough to cope with kangaroo nibbles. Every other type of garden plant that I grow they will chew on, I had to make the garden fence higher last summer as one big roo decided he loved daylilies and jumped the fence every night to munch them into the ground!!”

    “Unfortunately wallabies aren’t kangaroos, or Cathy wouldn’t have so much of a problem. Wallabies enjoy much more roughage in their diet, including fruit tree bark, siberian iris leaves, rose branches, but they also like the nice nibbly things like rose tips, azalea tips, fruit tree new growth. They are particularly indelicate about how they go about obtaining such food. For such cute, cuddly looking creatures they are monsters in the garden. One can do more damage in a night than 1/2 dozen grey kangaroos.”

    “I was having trouble with wallabies eating my pansies etc, what I did was collect all my dry dog droppings in a bucket and scrunched them up and scattered it all over my garden, it works the wallabies don’t come near my garden anymore”

    “Daffodils!! That’s about all i have found so far!! I have tried other bulb plants such as tulips, etc, but with no luck!! They have eaten my valerian and poppies”

    “I have found so far the the roo’s don’t seem very interested in passionfruit vines or star jasmin. We are planting well established shrubs and trees, they seem to love to eat new shoots and very young plants, roses and new growth on roses disappear over night. wisteria also seem to be a favourite, bougainvillea is still thriving hope this helps”

    Summary of

    They love roses, fruit trees and bedding plants. “Although aromatic and prickly plants may be left till last, they will be tackled in late summer when dry conditions have reduced the amount of green feed available.” “A border of prickly plants such as Grevillea dielsiana or prickly moses (Acacia pulchella) will prevent access to soft-leaved perennials. However roos don’t stick to paths and walkways and barriers need to be planted quite thickly if you are to deter all roos.”

    “they don’t seem to like prickly or sharp-leaved plants such as the following natives: prickly moses (acacia pulchella), grevillea ‘Boongala Spinebill’ or ‘Robyn Gordon’, fuchsia grevillea (Grevillia bipinnatifida), melaleuca bracteata, devil’s pins (Hovea pungens), hakea ‘Burrendong Beauty’, and snake bush (Hemiandra pungens). Other grevilleas which are left alone are Grevillea hookeriana, G.aquilfolia and G. curviloba.

    Kangaroos rarely eat aromatic or fragrant plants such as red boronia (Boronia heterophylla), emu bush, crowea exalata, Swan River myrtle (Hypocalymma robustum), native mint bush (Prostantherea ovalifolia), native daphne (Philootheca myoporiodes) and Geraldton wax (Chamelaucium uncinatum).”

    “avoid aromatic plants such as lavender, rosemary and wormwood.”

    Jackie French on sharing your garden

    “it took the wallabies twenty years to realise corn was good stuff and scoff the lot every year”

    “I struck some beautiful lavenders and planted them all out as a huge border ( about 20mt long!!!) and they ate the whole lot!! The only plants they don’t seem to be eating are the diosmas and the penstemons!!”

    “get some of the real real hot tabasco sauce add enough water to be able to spray it and them spray your plants with it, they say it sends them running. They don’t seem to like Rosmary bushes, Bird of Paradise, bouganvillias, I also have big philadendroms (spelt wrong) and they don’t touch them either”

    “Kangaroos don’t like Saltbush, I don’t think, or Arums and Arum type plants(poisonous). They LOVE Geraniums.”

    List of natives from WA


    Lavender has never been a problem here

    Wattles, juniper, eremophila, snapdragons, english box, elder, citrus, costmary.

    But, they seem to eat what they know, around here very few gardens so they wary of strange plants. In more populated areas they learn to be a bit more adventurous, heard of them eating all sorts of things.


    Hey Everyone, just reading through all your comments for HELP!
    I have had a peskie family of kangaroos causing havoc in my garden for months but handled it by trimming back things they have damaged and persevering.
    But, today I am in tears! This morning they have totally destroyed and broken off at the graft all my flowers plum trees. It is like they were fighting over them as they are all completely broken down to the base. It is not drought at all, we have had months of rain here in the Blue Mountains – these plum trees are bordered by agapanthas so that did not deter them either. Our place is fenced but they just jump it and nothing stops them. In desperation we left a radio on blaring and lights on too but this only worked to keep them away for one night and then they came back and completely finished the trees all off! …………….has anyone had any luck at all with any other deterrents since these last posts?


    My wallabies are well behaved so far I have noticed no damage.
    They love new shoots from mowed grass after rain best


    The little “darlings” even ate my agapanthus also the tree dahlias. The only way we have found to keep them out is a 7 foot fence. Found this out the hard way when we lost 30 fruit trees over night, as we only had a 4 foot fence around the orchard. Now trees we plant outside the orchard have a 2 foot chicken wire guard around then to stop the rabbits and then a 5 foot  chicken wire guard with star posts about 2 foot out from that to stop the roos. This is so they can’t jump in or over. It seems to be working.

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