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Mr. Smarty Plants - Deer-resistant plants for Maryland

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Saturday - August 23, 2008

From: Silver Spring, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer-resistant plants for Maryland
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello- I have a acre that is mostly full-sun (and no shade on the house) and part shade (edge of the yard) and not much in between. It is also overrun with hungry deer! I am having a hard time finding native plants that can tolerate the soil (lot of clay, some improved). I planted red maples which will eventually shade part of the house (because our air conditioning bills are astronomical); redbud for color (I love it); some euonymous (bushes, not creeper), having been told it's native (I hope so) as a privacy screen around our hot tub. The deer seem to love the euonymous and everything else I plant. I have started using "Deer-Off" spray but in the past I have not had much success with that. They seem to eat most everything, despite what the books say.. and a fence around our acre is not financially possible right now. At least the deer don't eat the daffodils that our predecessor planted, so we do enjoy them. I am not much for the neat and tidy look and am putting as many shade trees and "non-lawn" as I can get away with (my husband likes lawn, even though it's dead almost every August and very boring). So I am looking for ideas. And I am not very knowledgeable (clearly!). I just removed lots of canadian thistle, nut sedge, and vetch and am trying to help the natives along (virginia creeper, etc.). Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

ANSWER:

On our Recommended Species page you can find two useful links. First, by clicking on Maryland on the map you can call up a list of Maryland Recommended native species that are commercially available for landscaping. Second, you will find a link to a file of Deer Resistant native plants under the Special Collections section. If you click on the the Narrow your Search option, you can then select 'Maryland' under the "Select State or Province" option and have a list of deer resistant plants for Maryland.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has a list of Less Palatable Landscape Plants for deer. Not all of the plants on the deer resistant list are natives, but I have suggested some of those that are natives. The Maryland DNR also has information on Deer Damage Management Techniques that you might find helpful.

The list below was compiled from a combination of our deer resistant list and that of the Maryland DNR. On the list there are trees, shrubs, grasses and grass-like plants and herbaceous wildflowers. Please remember that deer resistant doesn't mean deer proof. When food is scarce, deer will often eat plants that generally aren't considered palatable to them.

Amelanchier arborea (common serviceberry)

Ageratina altissima var. altissima (white snakeroot)

Carex texensis (Texas sedge)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Gaillardia pulchella (firewheel)

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

Monarda citriodora (lemon beebalm)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Muhlenbergia capillaris (hairawn muhly)

Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)

Ptelea trifoliata (common hoptree)

Rhus aromatica (fragrant sumac)

Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan)

Salvia lyrata (lyreleaf sage)

Viburnum rufidulum (rusty blackhaw)

Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria)


Amelanchier arborea

Ageratina altissima var. altissima

Carex texensis

Elymus canadensis

Gaillardia pulchella

Juniperus virginiana

Lobelia cardinalis

Morella cerifera

Monarda citriodora

Monarda fistulosa

Muhlenbergia capillaris

Platanus occidentalis

Ptelea trifoliata

Rhus aromatica

Rudbeckia hirta

Salvia lyrata

Viburnum rufidulum

Wisteria frutescens

 


 

 

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