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Deer Resistant Plants

Q: Are there any plants that are deer resistant?

A. When hungry enough, deer will eat almost anything. However, if other choices are available, deer generally will not select plants that are sticky, have rough, fuzzy, or fragrant leaves, or grasses with sharp edges. Some examples of deer resistant trees are birch (Betula spp.), beech (Fagus spp.), and ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), and dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides).

Examples of deer resistant shrubs include butterfly bush (Buddleia spp.), boxwood (Buxus spp.), smoke bush (Cotinus spp.), forsythia (Forsythia spp.), and Japanese Pieris (Pieris japonica). Perennial plants rarely favored by deer are artemisia (Artemisia spp.), coreopsis (Coreopsis spp.), Lenten or Christmas rose (Helleborus spp.), lavender (Lavandula spp.), peony (Paeonia spp.), Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia), and lamb's ear (Stachys byzantina). Deer almost always avoid all types of daffodils (Narcissus spp.) and ornamental onion (Allium spp.).