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Wednesday - May 13, 2009

From: Kewadin, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer resistant low-lying plants for Michigan
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I want to create a bed of low lying plants (under 4 ft.)in the front of my cottage. The soil is completely sandy and gets eastern sun in the AM. There are many deer in the area.


First of all, please visit our Recommended Species page and select Michigan from the map or pull-down menu.  This will give you a list of more than 150 commercially available native plants for landscaping in your state.  You can modify that list to include only plants that suit your needs by using the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option.  For instance, you might want to pick "Herb" or "Fern" under Habit (general appearance) and/or "Part shade - 2 to 6 hours of sun per day" under Light requirement.  Next, you need to check to see that the plants you choose are deer resistant.  There is a Deer Resistant Species list on the Wildflower Center webpage.  For a list more geared to your area there is Easywildflowers (self-described as a site "for and about wildflower seeds and wildflower potted plants native to the Midwest and Eastern USA" with a Deer Resistant Native Plants list.  Also, there is a list of Deer-resistant Plants from the Deer-Resistant Landscape Nursery in Clare, Michigan, but you need to be aware that not all the plants listed there are native to Michigan.

Here are a few recommendations from these lists:

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Asarum canadense (Canadian wildginger)

Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed)

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Liatris aspera (tall blazing star)

Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan)

Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)

Deer generally avoid ferns, so you could also use ferns (e.g.,  Athyrium filix-femina (common ladyfern)

and Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)).

Aquilegia canadensis

Asarum canadense

Asclepias incarnata

Asclepias tuberosa

Coreopsis lanceolata

Liatris aspera

Lobelia siphilitica

Monarda fistulosa

Rudbeckia hirta

Sanguinaria canadensis

Athyrium filix-femina

Polystichum acrostichoides




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