En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Deer resistance of peonies in Virginia

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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - May 02, 2009

From: Fredericksburg, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer resistance of peonies in Virginia
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Are peony's deer resistant - I'm in Virginia

ANSWER:

There are 2 members of the Paeonia genus native to North America. Neither of them appear on our Deer Resistant Species list. Also, neither Paeonia brownii (Brown's peony) nor Paeonia californica (California peony) are native to Virginia. So, we're thinking you are asking about Paeonia lactiflora, which is native to Siberia, China and Japan. It is the large, showy flower you usually think of when you consider peonies.  At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are focused on the care, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. We are asked many, many questions about deer resistant plants, and our simple answer is there aren't many.

In trying to find some more information for you, since we have none in our Native Plant Database, of course, we found a site from a Deer Resistant Landscape Nursery that made some positive comments about the deer resistance of peonies. Another site from Northern Gardening.com with positive comments was Got a Deer Problem?

On the other hand, quoting from our own Deer Resistant Species list:

"Few plants are completely deer resistant. Several factors influence deer browsing including the density of the deer population, environmental conditions such as drought, and plant palatability. Deer tend to avoid plants with aromatic foliage, tough, leathery and/or hairy or prickly leaves or plants with milky latex or sap."

Final answer: Who knows?


Paeonia brownii

Paeonia californica

 

 

More Deer Resistant Questions

Use of Gaura by deer as a food source
March 05, 2006 - I live in North Central Texas and am considering planting some Gaura plants in my backyard. However, we have a large deer population in the area. Are deer generally drawn to Gaura as a food source?
view the full question and answer

Deer resistance of non-native Loropetalum
April 01, 2008 - I love Loropetalum (Plum Delight). Is it Deer Resistant?
view the full question and answer

Deer Resistant Vine for California
July 24, 2013 - What can I plant to cover a retaining wall in Redwood City, CA that will grow down on it (no dirt below) that deer will not eat? I have just about given up. I have tried jasmine and Gelsemium and regu...
view the full question and answer

Do Deer Eat Orchid Trees?
March 08, 2013 - I have planted three anacacho orchid trees, however we have a lot of deer around us. Is this a tree they will want to eat? Do you have any ideas to keep deer away?
view the full question and answer

Native, deer-resistant evergreen trees for Rhode Island
March 17, 2008 - What deer proof evergreens can I plant in RI that may make nice xmas trees in a few years?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center