Selecting Deer Resistant Plants for the Landscape



There is no guarantee of a plant’s deer resistance, as deer preference for certain plants tends to vary region to region and change over time, but the following list can be used as a guide for selecting plants that are generally avoided by deer. Plants that are highly favored by deer are listed at the end of this guide. These plants should not be used in areas with high deer presence.

A general rule is that deer avoid:

-plants with strong scent, such as herbs and geranium

-plants with thorns or fuzzy foliage

-ornamental grasses

 

PLANTS RARELY DAMAGED BY DEER

Trees

Dwarf Alberta Spruce (Picea glauca ‘Alberta Blue)

Blue Spruce (Picea pungens glauca)

Japanese Black Pine (Pinus thunbergii)

Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperis virginiana)

Deodor Cedar (Cedrus deodora)

Globosa Nana Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica ‘Globosa Nana’)

Yoshino Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica ‘Yoshino’)

Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)

American Holly (Ilex opaca)

Blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica)

Serviceberry (Amelanchier)

Buckeye (Aesculus)

Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)

Bald Cypress (Taxodium dictichum)

River Birch (Betula nigra)

 

Shrubs

Abelia (Abelia x grandiflora cvs.)

Boxwood (Buxus spp.)

Juniper (Juniperus chinensis)

Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster spp.)

Ebbinge’s Silverberry (Eleagnus x ebbingei)

Oregon Grape (Mahonia)

Wax Myrtle (Myrica cerifera)

Fragrant Tea Olive (Osmanthus fragrans)

False Holly (Osmanthus heterophyllus)

Dog hobble (Leucothoe fontansiana)

Lily of the Valley Bush (Pieris japonica)

Chinese Holly (Ilex cornuta)

Japanese Holly (Ilex crenata)

Inkberry Holly (Ilex glauca)

Plum Yew (Cephalotaxus harringtonii)

Dwarf Sweet Box (Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis)

Yucca (Yucca filamentosa)

Barberry (Berberis)

Deutzia (Deutzia spp.)

Gold Mound Spirea (Spiraea japonica ‘Gold Mound’)

Spirea (Spiraea japonica spp.)

Viburnum (most deciduous, Viburnum spp.)

Beautyberry (Callicarpa)

Sweetshrub/Sweet Betsy (Calycanthus floridus)

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)

Honeysuckle (Lonicera)

 

Perennials

Buglewood (Ajuga reptens)`

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Hyssop (Agastache spp.)

Bluestar (Amsonia spp.)

Butterfly Weed (Asclepsias spp.)

Artemisia (Artemsia spp.)

Astilbe (Astilbe spp.)

Baptisia (Baptisia spp.)

Canna Lilly (Canna spp.)

Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spp.)

Lenten Rose (Helleborus spp.)

Hypericum (Hypericum spp.)

Sibirian Iris (Iris sibirica)

Bee Balm (Monarda spp.)

Columbine (Aquilegia)

Foxglove (Digitalis) – toxic to deer

Dead Nettle (Lamium spp.)

Russian Sage (Perovskia)

Peony (Paeonia spp.)

Salvias (Salvia spp.)

Lamb’s Ears (Stachys byzantina)

Joe-Pye-Weed (Eupatorium spp.)

Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum)

Speedwell (Veronica)

Blazing Star (Liatris)

Garden Verbena/Vervain (Verbena)

Beardtongue (Penstemon)

Poppies (Papaver spp.) – toxic to deer

Red Valerian (Centranthus ruber)

Ice Plant (Delosperma cooperii)

Hardy Geranium (Geranium spp.)

Lavender (Lavandula spp.)

Catmint (Nepeta faasennii)

Daffodils (Narcissus spp.) – toxic to deer

 

Ornamental Grasses and Sedges

Maiden Grass (Miscanthus)

Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris)

Mexican Feather Grass (Nasella tenuissima)

Sedges (Carex spp.)

Blue Fescue (Festuca glauca)

Fountain Grass (Pennisetum)

Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum)

 

Herbs

all

 

 

PLANTS FREQUENTLY DAMAGED BY DEER

Trees:

False Cypress (Chamaecyperis)

Arborvitae (Thuja spp.)

Apple (Malus spp.)

Cherry and Plum (Prunus spp.)

Pear (Pyrus spp.)

 

Shrubs:

Hydrangea macrophylla (Bigleaf Hydrangea)

Rhododendron (Rhododendron spp.)

Azalea (Rhododendron spp.)

Roses (Rosa hybrids)

Yew (Taxus spp.)

Perennials

Daylily (Hemerocallis spp.)

Hosta/Plantain Lily (Hosta spp.)

Phlox (Phlox spp.)

Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea)

Tulips (Tulipa)

Lobelia