Deer Control – Resistant Plants

Judging from the messages I’ve received from gardeners in Big Canoe, Lake Oconee, Eagles Landing and other naturalistic residential settings, one wild creature deserves the anima non grata landscape sign: whitetail deer.

When they can’t find food in the woods, deer venture out to dine on landscape plants. But just as children prefer to eat cake over carrots, deer browse some plants first and others only when they are very hungry.

If deer are a problem in your neighborhood, you may as well consider choosing plants that are less palatable to them. Keep in mind, though, A DEER WILL EAT ANYTHING IF (S)HE IS HUNGRY ENOUGH. Here’s a list of plants that will survive all but the worst conditions around these ravenous varmints.

Trees
Bald Cypress
Cherry Laurel
Crape Myrtle
Deodar Cedar
False Cypress (Chamaecyparis)
Fir
Ginkgo
Leyland Cypress
Pines
Red Maple
River Birch
Southern Magnolia
Spruce
Sweetgum

Shrubs
Barberry
Boxwood
Butterfly Bush
Daphne
Heather

Most Hollies
Juniper
Lantana
Leucothoe
Mimosa
Mountain Laurel
Oleander
Pieris
Rugosa rose
Scotch Broom
Spirea
Spruce
St. John’s Wort
Viburnum
Vitex
Wisteria
Witch Hazel
Yucca

Bulbs and Herbaceous Plants

Allium (Ornamental onion)
Artemesia
Camassia
Chionodoxa (Glory of the Snow)
Colchicum (Autumn crocus)
Daffodil
Fritillaria
Geranium
Hellebore
Hyacinth
Leucojum
Lungwort
Marigold
Monkshood
Muscari (grape hyacinth)
Myrtle
Narcissus
Ornithogalum
Oxalis
Petunia
Purple Coneflower
Scilla
Snapdragon
Snowdrop
Society garlic
Bluebells
Yarrow

Woody and Herbaceous Plants PREFERRED by Deer
(Avoid planting these unless you protect them.)

Arborvitae
Asiatic Lilies
Aucuba
Burning bush
Camellia
Candytuft
Crabapple
Crocus
Daylilies (flowers preferred)
English Ivy
Fatsia
Flowering almond
Grape Hyacinth
Hemlock
Hibiscus
Hosta
Hydrangea
Impatiens
Indian Hawthorn
Lady slipper orchid
Mountain Ash
Pansy
Phlox
Rose
Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed Susan)
Sedum ‘AutumnJoy’
Staghorn sumac
Sunflower
Tulip
Viola
White Cedar
White pine
Wintergreen
Yew

MORE INFORMATION

Deer-Tolerant Plants – Georgia

Deer Repellent Plants – Texas

Deer Repellent Evaluations – Alabama

Rutgers Rating for Deer Resistance

Cincinnati Zoo List of Best Deer-Resistant Plants

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