Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Monday - March 02, 2009

From: Toronto, ON
Region: Canada
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer resistant plants for Toronto, Ontario
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What are the native trees and shrubs that are resistant to deer browsing and rubbing?

ANSWER:

We can sympathize with your problem. In Texas, we also have deer who seem to be willing to walk up and eat your hat if you don't run. Very likely, they are foraging for different plants here than they are in Canada, but that doesn't change the seriousness of the situation. Although we have lists of deer-resistant species, again, that probably isn't going to apply specifically to your situation. However, we did a little net-surfing, and found some websites that might at least give you some leads. First, here is a GardenWise from Canada Wide Media Limited site Container Displays: Deer Resistant Plants.

A company called Plantskydd Repellants is featured on a Tree World site with two articles from the Billings, Montana Gazette by Rita M. Brehm on Deer Resistant Plants and Deterrents Minimize Damage.  Okay, even in Texas we know that Montana is not in Canada, but it's close, right? 

That was about all we could find that was specifically about northern North America.  However, in our Special Collections, we have a list of Deer Resistant Species. It is noted that deer do not like aromatic plants, nor plants with spines or prickles. They would probably really have to be hungry to attack a Texas Prickly Pear! However, for virtually every entry on that list, someone can tell you that they planted that plant and the deer levelled it. We should note that all the plants on this list are native to North America, which does include Canada. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is focused on the use, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. So, some of the plants on this list are probably quite unpalatable to deer, but you would be challenged to grow Agave havardiana (Havard's century plant) in Ontario. See pictures below to see why we don't think the deer would care for it.


Agave havardiana

Agave havardiana

Agave havardiana

Agave havardiana

 

 

 

More Deer Resistant Questions

Deer-resistant groundcover for sunny hillside in California
November 17, 2009 - we are looking for a deer resistant, drought resistant ground cover that we can grow from seed. we have a large,partial sunny hillside, well drained,that is cover with oak leaves and pine needles..and...
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant trees and shrubs for PA
May 05, 2011 - My yard backs up to woods, and we have a herd of 12 deer who peruse the neighborhood. This winter, the deer went after bushes and trees that they previously have not touched: euonomous and leyland cyp...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover and Butterfly attractants for LaRue Texas
May 02, 2012 - LaRue, TX - Would like a native low growing plant as a groundcover. I would like it for six+ hours of sun, drought tolerant, and ones that butterflies might enjoy, while deer won't. Some winter int...
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant native plants for Idaho
March 22, 2008 - I live in Pocatello, Idaho. Everything we plant the deer eat. Are there trees, bushes, flowers that they won't eat? Is there any barriers or natural repugnant fragrances that will deter the deer f...
view the full question and answer

Looking for evergreen deer proof plants for full sun
October 17, 2007 - Which plants would be DEER PROOF, will be with almost full sun and will not die completely during winter? besides some plastic ones =) It doesn't matter the size, flowers or not.
view the full question and answer

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