Gardening in the Sierra Foothills with Carolyn Singer


Some deer-resistant plants for your landscape!

Many more plants are detailed and illustrated in Carolyn's books,

Deer in My Garden

The "deer-resistant" plants listed here have been grown in my garden for many years. With a herd of some 20 deer, the plants truly have been tested. I have also used many of these plants in landscapes I have designed in deer country.

When you bring a plant home from the nursery, it needs protection from deer browsing. Plants are usually grown with nitrogen fertilizers. I have done some experimenting with using both organic and non-organic forms of nitrogen on "deer-resistant" plants. The deer browse repeatedly on plants that are fertilized. My conclusion is that it's best to do good soil preparation and protect the plant until it has begun substantial growth. Use deer-repellent sprays or bird netting (my preference), until the plant establishes. Do NOT add additional nitrogen fertilizer. Instead, mulch with compost every year in fall.

Ornamental shrubs:

Buddleia alternifolia
Buddleia x pikei 'Hever Castle'
Choisya ternata (Mexican orange)
Daphne odora
Elaeagnus pungens or E. ebbingei (protect when young!)
Erica x darleyensis (heath)
Hypericum androsaemum (purple St. Johnswort)
Hypericum x moserianum (bush St. Johnswort)
Ilex aquifolium 'Variegata'
Ilex vomitoria 'Nana' or 'Stokes' (dwarf Yaupon holly)
Rhododendron (but not azaleas)
Sarcococca confusa & S. ruscifolia (sweet vanilla plant)
Viburnum davidii
Viburnum rhytidophyllum

Small trees:

Acer griseum (paperbark maple)
Acer negundo 'Variegatum' (variegated boxelder)
Acer palmatum (Japanese maple)
Chionanthus retusa (fringe tree)
Cornus florida (eastern dogwood)
Cornus kousa (Siberian dogwood)
Halesia carolina (silver bells)
Hovenia dulcis (Japanese raisin tree)
Magnolia stellata (star magnolia)
Styrax japonicus (Japanese snowdrop)

Herbaceous & evergreen perennials:
Also refer to Vol. 1 of Deer in My Garden for more choices and lots of photos!

Alchemilla mollis (lady's mantle)
Campanula species (bellflower)
Caryopteris clandonensis (blue mist)
Alchemilla mollis (lady's mantle)
Ceratostigma wilmottianum (plumbago)
Convallaria majalis (lily-of-the-valley) (most of the time!)
Dicentra species (bleeding heart)
Geranium x cantabrigiense (hardy geranium)
Helleborus species (hellebore)
Iris unguicularis (winter iris)
Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta daisies)
Liriope (lily turf)
Myosotis (forget-me-not)
Phlomis (Jerusalem sage)
Rosmarinus (rosemary)
Salvia officinalis (common sage>
Tanacetum parthenium (feverfew)

Groundcovers for shade and partial shade:
Also refer to Vol. 2 of Deer in My Garden for more deer-resistant groundcovers and lots of photos!

Aegopodium podagraria (goutweed)
Asarum caudatum (wild ginger)
Campanula poscharskyana (Serbian bellflower)
Cerastium tomentosum (snow-in-summer)
Ceratostigma plumbaginoides (dwarf plumbago)
Geranium species
Lamiastrum galeobdolen (golden archangel)
Lamium maculatum
Origanum vulgare 'Aureum' (golden oregano)
Phlox subulata (creeping phlox)
Potentilla canadensis (creeping cinquefoil)
Sarcococca hookerana humilis
Scleranthus uniflorus
Thymus species (thyme) - green-leafed varieties only in partial shade
Veronica peduncularis 'Georgia Blue'
Veronica 'Waterperry'
Viola (violets...but only those with small leaves!)

Ornamental grasses:
All ornamental grasses are deer-resistant!

©2009 by Carolyn Singer. All rights reserved.

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