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

Friday - February 24, 2006

From: Pittsburgh, PA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer resistant plants for campground in West Virginia
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We spend the summers at a campground as permanent campers. We fix up our sites to be a pleasure to spend our time smelling and see the wild life come and perch around the area. We would like to know what plants to use so that we can draw the small wildlife and the deer but we have a problem finding plants that the deer will not destroy. We can plant those types away from our sites and still enjoy the deer population. We live in the Grafton area of West Virginia which is about 25 miles south of Morgantown and the W. Va. University. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

ANSWER:

First of all, there are no plants that are absolutely deer proof. When food is scarce they eat many things that they wouldn't touch in times of plenty. With that caveat, here is a short list of plants that are attractive to insects, birds and other mammals but that deer tend to avoid:

1. Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) with flowers that attract butterflies and other insects.
2. Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata) with flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
3. American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) with berries for birds and small mammals.
4. American holly (Ilex opaca) with berries for birds and small mammals.

Here are a few plants that deer don't usually eat and are attractive, but may or may not attract other small wildlife:
5. Yarrow, or milfoil, (Achillea millefolium)
6. Any of the Genus Iris, such as Virginia iris (Iris virginica)
7. Any of the Family Lamiaceae (Mint Family) such as Lyre-leaf sage (Salvia lyrata) or Hedge nettle (Stachys tenuifolia)

You can find a list of deer-resistant Texas native plants (some of which are also native to West Virginia) on the Native Plant Society of Texas web site. The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden also publishes a list of deer resistant plants; however, please be aware that not all the plants on the Cincinnati list are native plants. You might also like to check out two articles, "Creating a Wildlife Garden" and "Wildlife Gardening Bibliography", in our Native Plant Library.
 

More Deer Resistant Questions

Deer Resistant and Drought Tolerant Pink-Flowering Shrub for Austin, TX
April 15, 2013 - Is there a pink-flowering bush that is deer resistant and drought tolerant that would do well in Austin, TX? If not pink flowering, any color of a flowering bush is fine.
view the full question and answer

Flowering, deer resistant plants for South Carolina
March 21, 2010 - Can you tell me which flowering plants are deer resistant and will grow in South Carolina?
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant native plants for Oregon
May 06, 2007 - I have 21 acres of timber property in Oregon. We are converting part of that property to residential and I would like to plant wild flowers. I want to make sure I only plants native to Oregon and wo...
view the full question and answer

Specifications for a property in Corning CA
March 29, 2012 - Drought resistant, deer resistant, low growing (ground cover), and shade tolerant request: I am looking for a variety of species that not only fit the above preferences, but also a few other things. ...
view the full question and answer

Is old fashioned Hollyhock deer resitant?
April 12, 2009 - Is Old Fashioned Hollyhock deer resistant?
view the full question and answer

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