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

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 Damage to Pencil Holly in Michigan
March 15, 2011 - I have 5 sky pencil holly bushes that are about 3 feet tall each..they don't grow very fast. I was looking forward to them reaching the 7 feet mark one day, as they are going to serve as a screen be...
view the full question and answer

Deer and rabbit resistant plants for Virginia
April 22, 2009 - I am trying to find deer and rabbit resistant plants/ornamental grasses and flowers to create a year round garden (garden with interest all year) in two large and one small flowerbed in the front of o...
view the full question and answer

Keeping deer away from non-native plants in Lansing MI
June 22, 2011 - What is the real - best way to keep deer from eating my Hostas, Garden phlox and lilies? Ive tried the stinky spray and the fertilizer granules that deter, to no avail.
view the full question and answer

Is it deer or ducks eating plants in Granbury, TX?
May 18, 2009 - I have some salvia and coreopsis that were recently beheaded along with some blooms on Knockout roses. I had just recently put out some Deerscram, but we've had some ducks visiting recently. Could ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center