En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Wednesday - January 28, 2009

From: Maple City, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer-resistant shrubs for Michigan
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in deer country. I'm looking for shrubs that are attractive to birds but not to deer. Our soil is sandy. I have a part sun, part-shade situation. I live in zone 6, two miles east of Lake Michigan in Leelanau County.

ANSWER:

First, let's find shrubs that are native to Michigan.  We can do this by doing a COMBINATION SEARCH on our Native Plant Database by choosing 'Michigan' from "Select State or Province" and 'Shrub' from "Habit (general appearance)".  This will give us a list that we can then check against Landscape Plants Rated by Deer Resistance from Rutgers University in New Jersey and the Deer Resistant Species list on our webpage.  On the species page for each shrub we can also check under GROWING CONDITONS for soil type and under BENEFIT for attraction of birds.

Here are a few choices that meet your criteria of deer resistance, bird attraction and ability to grow in sandy soil in sun or part shade:

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick) rarely damaged

Cephalanthus occidentalis (common buttonbush) moderate deer resistance

Lindera benzoin (northern spicebush) seldom severely damaged

Rhus aromatica (fragrant sumac) high deer resistance

Ribes aureum (golden currant) seldom severely damaged

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (coralberry) moderate deer resistance

Viburnum dentatum (southern arrowwood) rarely damaged

Viburnum opulus var. americanum (American cranberrybush) rarely damaged

Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw) rarely damaged


Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Cephalanthus occidentalis

Lindera benzoin

Rhus aromatica

Ribes aureum

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus

Viburnum dentatum

Viburnum opulus var. americanum

Viburnum prunifolium

 



 


 

 

 

 

More Deer Resistant Questions

Does deer repellant really work from Hope NJ
November 10, 2009 - Does Deer Stopper by Messina Wildlife really work as an organic pest repellent?
view the full question and answer

Screening Planter Recommendations for Lakeway TX
May 16, 2012 - I live in Lakeway in a townhome. The parking lot is directly in front of my unit so I always see headlights and cars. The HOA has agreed to build a planter about 4 feet high to help hide the cars. W...
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant groundcovers for erosion control
September 26, 2012 - I need a ground cover (vine??) that will help me with erosion on a sloped front yard. It gets about 6-8 hours of sun and my main need is for something that the rats in our neighborhood will not destro...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Texas cherry tomato
April 24, 2005 - We just bought 2 Texas cherry tomato plants at the plant sale. We have to container garden in a walled courtyard due to deer. (Would deer be attracted to the plants in a garden with herbs and high de...
view the full question and answer

Plants that animals won't eat from Ione WA
April 19, 2013 - In Ione Washington and need to know what types of plants and flowers I can plant that animals in that area wont eat?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center