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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


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,


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)


Aesculus pavia (red buckeye)

Desmanthus illinoensis (Illinois bundleflower)

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

Cephalanthus occidentalis (common buttonbush)


Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud)

Crataegus viridis (green hawthorn)

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar)

Taxodium distichum (bald cypress)


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





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