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
1 rating

Monday - August 16, 2010

From: Great Falls, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer--resistant plants for Great Falls, VA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have just moved to a house with a rural garden enjoyed by us and the deer. Can you recommend any deer resistant plants for ths location ? ( We have full sun and shade - zip code 22066. Thanks,

ANSWER:

We have a list of deer resistant species that cover all of North America. By using the sidebar on the page with the list we selected for Virginia and got this List of 108 possibilities, which include shrubs, trees, herbaceous blooming plants and grasses. We will go through that list and find some of each type of plant that should work for you. Since you didn't mention whether you have sun or shade, soil moisture or some of the other things we would ordinarily check on, you will need to follow each plant link to our webpage on that plant to learn what growing conditions it requires. Using the same method of searching on the deer resistant list you can select according to light available, soil moisture and so forth. Note this paragraph which heads the 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. Try using some of the plants listed here to minimize deer damage to your landscape." 

In particular, consider grasses; there are many ornamental grasses native to Virginia and deer seldom bother grass. 

Deer Resistant Plants for Virginia:

Herbaceous Blooming Plants:

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Coreopsis tinctoria (golden tickseed)

Iris virginica (Virginia iris)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Shrubs:

Aesculus pavia (red buckeye)

Desmanthus illinoensis (Illinois bundleflower)

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

Cephalanthus occidentalis (common buttonbush)

Trees:

Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud)

Crataegus viridis (green hawthorn)

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar)

Taxodium distichum (bald cypress)

Grasses:

Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem)

Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss)

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Muhlenbergia capillaris (hairawn muhly)

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Asclepias tuberosa

Coreopsis tinctoria

Iris virginica

Lobelia cardinalis

Aesculus pavia

Desmanthus illinoensis

Morella cerifera

Cephalanthus occidentalis

Cercis canadensis

Crataegus viridis

Juniperus virginiana

Taxodium distichum

Andropogon gerardii

Bouteloua dactyloides

Chasmanthium latifolium

Muhlenbergia capillaris

 

 

 

 

More Deer Resistant Questions

Evergreen Privacy Screen for Maryland
November 19, 2012 - I am looking for an evergreen that will suffice to be planted as a privacy screen between my property and my neighbors. Looking to plant a row at the property line. The lot is shaded most of the d...
view the full question and answer

Non-native mimosa as deer food in Colerain, NC
June 20, 2009 - I was wondering if deer eat any part of the mimosa tree? I have three good sized trees in my yard with seedlings popping up everywhere. Would it be profitable to transplant for deer habitat?
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant plants for Pittsburgh PA
January 30, 2012 - What shrubs can I plant on a wet slope that gets partial sun that will help control erosion? They need to be something the deer won't eat! We have lots of deer.
view the full question and answer

Deer Resistant, Fast Growing Groundcover Suggestions for Georgia
April 20, 2013 - Our driveway is 1/4 mile in length and is steep on both sides (one side up one side down). It currently has grass that our contractor planted using seed when we built our house. We are unable to cut t...
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant ground covers
November 29, 2007 - Are there any deer resistant ground covers? Our asiatic jasmine has been eaten up by the deer.
view the full question and answer

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