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

Wednesday - January 28, 2009

From: Maple City, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer-resistant shrubs for Michigan
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in deer country. I'm looking for shrubs that are attractive to birds but not to deer. Our soil is sandy. I have a part sun, part-shade situation. I live in zone 6, two miles east of Lake Michigan in Leelanau County.

ANSWER:

First, let's find shrubs that are native to Michigan.  We can do this by doing a COMBINATION SEARCH on our Native Plant Database by choosing 'Michigan' from "Select State or Province" and 'Shrub' from "Habit (general appearance)".  This will give us a list that we can then check against Landscape Plants Rated by Deer Resistance from Rutgers University in New Jersey and the Deer Resistant Species list on our webpage.  On the species page for each shrub we can also check under GROWING CONDITONS for soil type and under BENEFIT for attraction of birds.

Here are a few choices that meet your criteria of deer resistance, bird attraction and ability to grow in sandy soil in sun or part shade:

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick) rarely damaged

Cephalanthus occidentalis (common buttonbush) moderate deer resistance

Lindera benzoin (northern spicebush) seldom severely damaged

Rhus aromatica (fragrant sumac) high deer resistance

Ribes aureum (golden currant) seldom severely damaged

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (coralberry) moderate deer resistance

Viburnum dentatum (southern arrowwood) rarely damaged

Viburnum opulus var. americanum (American cranberrybush) rarely damaged

Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw) rarely damaged


Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Cephalanthus occidentalis

Lindera benzoin

Rhus aromatica

Ribes aureum

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus

Viburnum dentatum

Viburnum opulus var. americanum

Viburnum prunifolium

 



 


 

 

 

 

More Deer Resistant Questions

Deer resistant low-lying plants for Michigan
May 13, 2009 - I want to create a bed of low lying plants (under 4 ft.)in the front of my cottage. The soil is completely sandy and gets eastern sun in the AM. There are many deer in the area.
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant vines for trellis
December 07, 2009 - We would love to have a blooming vine on our trellis, but the deer devour ever attempt. Please recommend something! Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant plants for Central Texas
July 25, 2011 - I live in a community that is overrun with deer, thanks to neighbors who feed them daily. I am looking for TRUE deer resistant plants for beds...they have eaten my lantana, salvia, esperanza, jasmine...
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant plants for steep hillside erosion control
June 03, 2008 - Hello, I am looking for advice on native plants to control erosion on a steep hillside in the western cross timbers. This is a shady area under post oaks and cedar elms, in shallow sandy soil mixed w...
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant groundcovers in Georgetown, TX
May 20, 2009 - Is silver ponyfoot inviting deer into the yard? What are good alternatives, deer resistant, for large areas of groundcover, 100-200 sq. ft.?
view the full question and answer

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