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 steep hillside erosion control
June 03, 2008 - Hello, I am looking for advice on native plants to control erosion on a steep hillside in the western cross timbers. This is a shady area under post oaks and cedar elms, in shallow sandy soil mixed w...
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant plants for South Carolina
December 09, 2005 - I have purchased a home in SC in an area that is overun with deer. What flowering plants for that area do deer not eat.
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant plants for area under grand fir (Abies grandis) in Idaho
July 08, 2010 - What can I plant on a slope under Grand Fir trees in North Idaho, zone 4 - anything deer resistant?
view the full question and answer

Deer Resistant Evergreens for Pennsylvania Woods
March 12, 2015 - We are looking for evergreens that will grow in a partially shaded/wooded area and are ideally deer resistant. Hemlocks are out because of a parasite infestation in our area of Pennsylvania.
view the full question and answer

Why is Rhus aromatica more deer resistant from Seattle
December 07, 2009 - I have a large area that I would like to cover with Rhus aromatica. My landscaper says that in his experience, Rhus typhina and glabra in this area are heavily browsed by deer. I noticed in your dat...
view the full question and answer

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