Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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 - April 20, 2009

From: Greenfield Center, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer resistant evergreen shrubs for Saratoga Springs, NY
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Deer resistant, evergreen shrubs for Saratoga Springs, NY.

ANSWER:

Unfortunately, that leaves very few choices in New York, wanting both deer-resistant plants and evergreen. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the use and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. Since you are in USDA Hardiness Zone 4a, which has average annual minimum temperatures of -30 to -25, there is not much that can withstand that, with the exception of some conifers, all of which get way too big to be treated as a shrub. You do know, we're sure, that deer will eat just about anything when their natural forage has been eliminated or disturbed by urban development. They don't like spiky, thorny, aromatic foliage, but it doesn't seem likely than an agave would survive more than 20 minutes in January in New York. We're going to suggest that you contact Cornell University Extension Services, Saratoga County NY Gardening Resources for some possible ideas they have that we don't.

We have a Special Collections list of Deer Resistant Species. We searched it specifying New York and shrubs, and came up with six shrubs, of which only one is evergreen. There is also one we threw in because it's evergreen, a small shrub and attractive, but we can't find any information on its deer resistance: Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick), which probably means it isn't.

Deer resistant shrubs in New York

Amorpha fruticosa (desert false indigo) - highly resistant, deciduous

Ceanothus herbaceus (Jersey tea) - highly resistant,deciduous

Cephalanthus occidentalis (common buttonbush) - moderately resistant, evergreen

Rhus aromatica (fragrant sumac) - highly resistant, deciduous

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (coralberry) - moderately resistant, deciduous

Ptelea trifoliata (common hoptree) - highly resistant, deciduous


Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Amorpha fruticosa

Ceanothus herbaceus

Cephalanthus occidentalis

Rhus aromatica

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus

Ptelea trifoliata

 

 

 

More Deer Resistant Questions

Deer resistant plants for MD
March 26, 2012 - My home backs to the Muddy Branch Creek parkland,which is suffering greatly from a large deer population. Many of the plants that existed in the woods when we purchased our home (1986), such as mayap...
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

Native grasses for New York to feed deer
January 02, 2010 - What native grasses do you recommend to encourage deer forage in feed plots?
view the full question and answer

Overwintering possumhaw seedlings indoors in Pflugerville, TX.
September 30, 2009 - Can possumhaw (Ilex decidua) seedlings be kept indoors over the winter? The goal is to protect them from deer and there is no other good option (i.e., no protected outdoor porch, etc.), unless you ca...
view the full question and answer

Deer and Drought Resistant Natives for San Marcus, Texas
February 15, 2012 - Hi there, Do you have a list of plants and ground covers (deer/drought resistant) for the San Marcos area? Much as I love grass, it's impossible with this drought. I'd love to have lots of flowers ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.