HYG  Pest newsletterInsectsHorticulturePlant DiseasesWeedsSearch
{short description of image}

Issue Index

Past Issues

Plants Not Favored for Browsing by Deer

November 26, 1997
Deer are becoming an increasing problem in the Midwest,
especially for homeowners living near
woodlands. As open land continues to be developed, less open
space is available for the deer to live.
In the open space that remains, the deer population develops
unchecked because there are no natural
predators, such as wolf, cougar, and coyote. In good
habitats, the deer population can more than
double each year.

Deer damage plants in two ways: battering by antlers and
browsing. Battering occurs in late
summer and fall. Young trees, two to three inches in
diameter, are used for "sparring practice."
During late fall and winter, deer browse (feed) on young
succulent twigs when other foods are less
available. New buds and shoots are also browsed in spring
and early summer.

Staff members at The Morton Arboretum are frequently
asked to suggest plants that are not eaten by
deer. It is important to realize that deer will eat almost
any plant if they are under enough pressure,
such as snow cover and overcrowding. The plants in the
following lists are not favored for browse by
deer. The list was compiled based on the observations of
Pete van der Linden, Curator of Plant
Collections, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, Illinois, and
Galen Gates, Manager of Horticulture
Collections, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois. The
book Gardening in Deer Countyby
Karen J. Bernard (Croton-on-Hudson, New York. 54 pp.) was
also used as a source

Trees Not Favored by Deer

Ash (Fraxinus)

Beech (Fagus)

Birch (Betula)

Catalpa (Catalpa)

Cedar (Juniperus)

Chestnut (Castanea)

Cypress (Taxodium)

Dawn redwood (Metasequoia)

Ginkgo (Ginkgo)

Hemlock (Tsuga)

Ironwood (Ostrya)

Larch (Larix)

Locust, black (Robinia)

Locust, honey (Gleditsia)

Mimosa/silktree (Albizia)

Redbud (Cercis)

Sassafras (Sassafras)

Smoketree (Cotinus)

Trees Not Favored by Deer (cont.)

Sourwood (Oxydendrum)

Sweet gum (Liquidambar)

Spruce (Picea)

Sycamore (Platanus)

Tree lilac (Syringa reticulata)

Tuliptree (Liriodendron)

Shrubs Not Favored by Deer

Barberry (Berberis)

Boxwood (Buxus)

Coralberry (Symphoricarpos)

Forsythia (Forsythia)

Juniper (Juniperus)

Kerria (Kerria)

Lilac (Syringa)

Oregon-grape (Mahonia)

Smoke bush (Cotinus)

Snowberry (Symphoricarpos)

Spicebush (Lindera)

Spirea (Spiraea)

Sweet shrub (Calycanthus)

Witch-hazel (Hamamelis)

Groundcovers Not Favored by Deer

Ajuga (Ajuga)

Barren strawberry (Waldsteinia)

Bergenia (Bergenia)

Bunchberry (Cornus)

Catmint (Nepeta)

Epimedium (Epimedium)

Ferns (various species)

Ginger (Asarum)

Indian strawberry (Duchesnea)

Juniper (Juniperus)

Lady's mantle (Alchemilla)

Lamium (Lamium)

Lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria)

Lily turf (Liriope spicata)

Lungwort (Pulmonaria)


Pachysandra (Pachysandra)

Potentilla (Potentilla)

Sedum (Sedum)

Sempervivum (Sempervivum)

Snow-in-summer (Cerastium)

Sweet woodruff (Asperula)

Vince (Vinca)

Violet (Viola)

Wild strawberry (Fragaria)

Willow (Salix)

Perennial Vines Not Favored by Deer

Akebia (Akebia)

Bittersweet (Celastrus)

Clematis (Clematis)

Grape (Vitus)

Honeysuckle (Lonicera)

Ivy, Boston (Parthenocissus)

Silver lace vine (Polygonum)

Trumpet creeper (Campsis)

Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus)

Wisteria (Wisteria)

Deer-Resistant Hardy Bulbs

Allium (Allium)

Chionodoxa (Chionodoxa)

Colchicum (Colchicum)

Crown imperial (Fritillaria)

Crocus (Crocus)

Daffodil (Narcissus)

Eranthis (Eranthis)

Fritillary (Fritillaria)

Grape hyacinth (Muscari)

Narcissus (Narcissus)

Puschkinia (Puschkinia)

Scilla (Scilla)

Snowdrop (Galanthus)

Snowflake (Leucojum)

Deer-Resistant Annuals and Biennials

African daisy

Ageratum (Ageratum)

Alyssum (Lobularia)

Campanula (Campanula)

Candytuft (Iberis)

Forget-me-not (Myosotis)

Four o'clock (Mirabilis)

Foxglove (Digitalis)

Heliotrope (Heliotropium)

Larkspur (Delphinium)

Lobelia (Lobelia)

Marigold (Tagetes)

Mimulus (Mimulus)

Morning glory (Ipomoea)

Moonflower (Ipomoea)

Nasturtium (Tropaeolum)

Petunia (Petunia)

Poppy (Papaver)

Salvia (Salvia)

Snapdragon (Antirrhinum)

Stocks (Matthiola)

Sunflower (Helianthus)

Sweet William (Dianthus)

Thistle (Cirsium)

Tithonia (Tithonia)

Deer-Resistant Hardy Perennials

Aconite (Aconitum)

Alyssum (Lobularia)

Anemone (Anemone)

Artemisia (Artemisia lactiflora)

Astilbe (Astilbe)

Bee balm (Monarda)

Bergenia (Bergenia)

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)

Butterfly weed (Asclepias)

Columbine (Aquilegia)

Coreopsis (Coreopsis)

Crane's bill (Geranium)

Cyclamen (Cyclamen)

Daisy (Chrysanthemum)

Dame's rocket (Hesperis)

Fleabane daisy (Eirgeron)

Foam flower (Tiarella)

Gentian (Gentiana)

Geum (Geum)

Goldenrod (Solidago)

Hellebore (Helleborus)

Hibiscus (Hibiscus)

Iris (Iris)

Jacob's ladder (Polemonium)

Loosestrife (Lythrum)

Lychnis (Lychnis)

Lythrum (Lythrum)

Marsh marigold (Caltha)

Meadow rue (Thalictrum)

Meadow sweet (Filipendula hexapetala)

Peony (Paeonia)

Phlox (Phlox)

Pinks (Dianthus)

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea)

Rock cress (Arabis)

Russian sage (Perovskia)

Salvia (Salvia)

Sedum (Sedum)

Sempervivum (Sempervivum)

Snakeroot (Eupatorium)

Sneezeweed (Helenium)

Snow-in-summer (Cerastiun)

Soapwort (Saponaria)

Toadflax (Linaria)

Valerian (Valeriana)

Veronica (Veronica)

Violet (Viola)

Yarrow (Achillea)

Yucca (Yucca)

Deer-Resistant Herbs

Angelica (Angelica)

Artemisia (Artemisia)

Basil (Ocimum)

Borage (Borago)

Burnet (Sanguisorba)

Catmint (Nepeta)

Chamomile (Matricaria)

Chives (Allium)

Comfrey (Symphytum)

Dill (Anethum)

Fennel (Foeniculum)

Feverfew (Chrysanthemum)

Germander (Teucrium)

Horehound (Marrubium)

Hyssop (Hyssopus)

Lamb's ears (Stachys)

Lavender (Lavendula)

Lemon balm (Melissa)

Lovage (Levisticum)

Mint (Mentha)

Mullein (Verbascum)

Oregano (Origanum)

Parsley (Petroselinum)

Perilla (Perilla)

Rosemary (Rosmarinus)

Rue (Ruta)

Sage (Salvia)

Santolina (Santolina)

Savory (Satureja)

Tansy (Tanacetum)

Thyme (Thymus)

Author: Phil Nixon Kris r. Bachtell


College Links