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

Thursday - November 03, 2011

From: Sturgis, SD
Region: Midwest
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer Resistant plants in South Dakota
Answered by: Anne Ruggles

QUESTION:

Plants and flowers that deer wont eat and will grow in Black Hills, SD

ANSWER:

No plant can be guaranteed to be "deer-proof," however; some are less tasty than others. Generally, select plants within the following guidelines:

  • Native plants growing in their native habitats may be less appealing to deer than highly fertilized and highly watered Garden plants.
  • Deer tend to avoid foliage that is sticky, hairy, feathery, or omits an odor they do not like.
  • A hungry deer will find almost any plant palatable.
  • Rutting males may also cause problems. They tend to seek out younger trees to rub their antlers on as they come into rut in the early fall. This can damage the bark or deform the tree. Rubbing can be thwarted by placing 4 sturdy stakes on each side of the tree. The deer will move on to a more favorable place to rub.
  • Netting can reduce deer damage to small trees.
  • Adequate fencing to exclude deer is the only sure way to control deer damage.

The Wildflower Center has a page where you can search for deer-resistant plants by location and characteristic. Make sure to narrow your search (using the parameters on the right side of the page) by location, type of plant, soil moisture, etc.

The South Dakota County Extension Agent for your area may be able to provide you with recommendations for your specific site characteristics.

Colorado Statue University has a several sources available including a paper by C.E. Swift and M.K. Gross. Preventing Deer Damage. This paper includes information on repellants and fencing as well as about deer resistant species.

The Jolly Lane Greenhouses in Rapid City has a good listing of plants that includes characteristics including required light-level, deer resistance, moisture requirement, etc.

 

 

More Deer Resistant Questions

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 plants for wildlife in Margaretville NY
April 18, 2010 - We have a 60 degree bank behind a recently completed retaining wall that is mostly rocky with a light topsoil. We are going to put down grass just to keep the topsoil in place, but someone suggested ...
view the full question and answer

Bur oak bark damage done by deer
February 03, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: Just noticed that deer have been rubbing the bark on good sized, but young, bur oaks planted last spring. Mostly in one spot on one side of the trunk. Will this kill the ...
view the full question and answer

Perennial ground cover for hillside in Holmdel NJ
April 25, 2014 - I live in NJ. I would like to use a perennial ground cover for my landscaping bed on a hill with full sun and deer resistant. It's a good size landscaping bed that is facing east (southeast). What...
view the full question and answer

Deer Resistance and Erosion Control for St. Louis County MO
January 03, 2014 - I am looking for deer and rabbit resistant native plants for erosion control on a steep ravine slope with part sun and part shade in St. Louis County MO.
view the full question and answer

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