En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - March 02, 2009

From: Toronto, ON
Region: Canada
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer resistant plants for Toronto, Ontario
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What are the native trees and shrubs that are resistant to deer browsing and rubbing?

ANSWER:

We can sympathize with your problem. In Texas, we also have deer who seem to be willing to walk up and eat your hat if you don't run. Very likely, they are foraging for different plants here than they are in Canada, but that doesn't change the seriousness of the situation. Although we have lists of deer-resistant species, again, that probably isn't going to apply specifically to your situation. However, we did a little net-surfing, and found some websites that might at least give you some leads. First, here is a GardenWise from Canada Wide Media Limited site Container Displays: Deer Resistant Plants.

A company called Plantskydd Repellants is featured on a Tree World site with two articles from the Billings, Montana Gazette by Rita M. Brehm on Deer Resistant Plants and Deterrents Minimize Damage.  Okay, even in Texas we know that Montana is not in Canada, but it's close, right? 

That was about all we could find that was specifically about northern North America.  However, in our Special Collections, we have a list of Deer Resistant Species. It is noted that deer do not like aromatic plants, nor plants with spines or prickles. They would probably really have to be hungry to attack a Texas Prickly Pear! However, for virtually every entry on that list, someone can tell you that they planted that plant and the deer levelled it. We should note that all the plants on this list are native to North America, which does include Canada. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is focused on the use, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. So, some of the plants on this list are probably quite unpalatable to deer, but you would be challenged to grow Agave havardiana (Havard's century plant) in Ontario. See pictures below to see why we don't think the deer would care for it.


Agave havardiana

Agave havardiana

Agave havardiana

Agave havardiana

 

 

 

More Deer Resistant Questions

Help! The deer are eating my landscape.
March 14, 2004 - Help! The deer are eating my landscape. Is there anything I can plant that they won’t eat?
view the full question and answer

Critter-Proof Native Plants for Virginia Lawn
April 02, 2015 - We live in a gated community that was part of the Wilderness Battlefield during the Civil War. Our home is on a narrow lot, fully treed except for a postage stamp-sized lawn at lake side. We have de...
view the full question and answer

Privacy Fence to Exclude Deer
February 13, 2015 - This is not a plant question but I hope you will answer it. I have a huge backyard and a low picket fence. Over the years the deer have fallen in love with this area and have eaten much of my native...
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant native plants for Michigan
June 06, 2008 - I am looking for a deer-resistant ground cover for a mid-to-northern Michigan (lower peninsula), which can grow in completely sandy soil. Thanks for any advice.
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant plants for a steep hillside in Allison Park PA
July 30, 2010 - What do you recommend for a steep hillside, mostly shade and acidic? The deer have eaten everything except the weeds.
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center