En EspaŅol

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
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
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

Need a deer resistant plant that will grow in clay soil in Missouri.
June 22, 2009 - I need a plant or bush that is deer resistant and that will grow in clay soil. Can you help me?
view the full question and answer

Are there plants that are resistant to axis deer?
November 07, 2013 - Greetings! I live about 10 miles south of Kerrville, Texas, toward Medina. I wish to begin planting more natives on a plot we have recently purchased. Some plants will go inside a fence that deer...
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant, shade tolerant foundation plants for Kerrville TX
March 30, 2013 - I'm looking for foundation plants for shade that are deer resistant. Tall as well as medium height.
view the full question and answer

Recommendation for variety of St. Johnswort (Hypericum spp.)
April 14, 2008 - Hi. Can you please recommend a variety of St. Johnswort for my yard in the Texas Hill Country? The planting bed is on a southern side of the house, and is shielded from afternoon sun by a tree. The ar...
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

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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center