Woody Ornamental Plants Rarely Damaged by Deer and Elk

American hollyCommon boxwoodColorado blue spruce
Drooping leucothoeJapanese pierisJuniper
Paper birch

Herbaceous Plants Rarely Damaged by Deer and Elk

Annuals and biennials:
AgeratumBlanket flowerBlue salvia
CleomeDahliaDusty miller
Edging lobeliaForget-me-notFour O’clock
FoxgloveHeliotropeMarigold
Morning gloryParsleyPolka-dot plant
PoppySnapdragonSweet alyssum
Sweet basilThorn appleVerbena
Wax begoniaZonal geranium
Perennials
American bittersweetAmsoniaAnemones
AngelicaAstilbeAvens
Baby’s breathBalloon flowerBarrenwort
Basket of goldBishop’s weedBittersweet
BeebalmBergeniaBishop’s weed
Bleeding heartBoltoniaBugbane
BugleweedButtercupButterfly bush
CandytuftCatmintChristmas fern
Cinnamon fernCinquefoilClematis
ColumbineCoreopsisCrown imperial
DaffodilDead nettleEvening primrose
False indigoFeverfewForget-me-not
Garlic chivesGas plantGlobe thistle
GoatsbeardGoldenrodHay-scented fern
HeathHeatherHellebore
Hungarian speedwellInterrupted fernJack-in-the-pulpit
Jacob’s ladderJapanese pachysandraJoe-pye weed
KnapweedKirengeshomaLabrador violet
Lamb’s earLavenderLily-of-the-valley
LupineLungwortMint
MulleinNew York fernOregano
Ornamental onionOstrich fernOriental poppy
Painted daisyPartridgeberryPennyroyal
Perennial blue flaxPlumbagoPrimrose
Purple coneflowerQueen-of-the-prairieRhubarb
Ribbon grassRosemaryRoyal fern
SageScillaSensitive fern
Shasta daisySoapwortSpike gayfeather
StaticeSundropsSweet Cicely
Sweet WilliamSweet WoodruffTansy
Tiger lilyToadflaxTurtlehead
Tussock bellflowerWisteriaWormwood
YarrowYucca

Woody Ornamental Plants Seldom Severely Damaged by Deer and Elk

American bittersweetAmerican sweet gumArborvitae
Australian fuchsiaAustrian pineAloe
BarberryBeautybushBigleaf maple
Bitter cherryBlack locustBottlebrush
BoxwoodBridal veil broomBroom Brush
CherryBusy LizzieButcher’s broom
California fuchsiaCape honeysuckleCarolina jassamine
Century PlantChinese hollyChinese junipers
ChokecherryClematisColeonema
Common lilacCommon sassafrasCorkscrew willow
CotoneasterCurrantGooseberry
CypressDaphneDusty miller
ElderberryEnglish hawthornEnglish Ivy
EscalloniaEucalyptus, gumEuropean beech
European white birchEuropean larchEuryops
Evergreen eunomymusFatcherderaFerns
Firs (Abies species)Flowering MapleForsythia
Guinea gold vineGrape IvyGrevillea
GriseliniaGunneraHalimium
HawthornHazelnutHeath
HollyhockHoney locustHoney Bush
Hop BushInkberryIncense cedarIochroma
Japanese flowering cherryJapanese mapleJapanese rose
Japanese wisteriaLavenderLilac, common
Lion’s tailLodgepole pineLoropetalum
LupineKinnikinnikKousa dogwood
MagnoliaMaidenhair treeMattress vine
Mayten treeMountain laurelMonkey flower
Mugo pineMyoporumNorway spruce
OleanderOregon GrapePitch pine
RaouliaRed osier dogwoodRed pine
Redvein enkianthusRedwood sorrelRockrose
RosemarySalalSantolina
Scots pineShrubby CinquefoilStar jasmine
Sugar bushSilk treeSilverberry
Smoke treeSnowberry , commonSpurge
Sweet hakeaTanbark oakTrailing African daisy
Trailing latanaTrue myrtleVine Maple
Wax MyrtleWestern hazlenutWestern Red Cedar
Wild LilacWhite pineWhitebark pine
White spruce

Woody Ornamental Plants Occasionally Severely Damaged by Deer and Elk

Allegheny serviceberryAnthony water spireaBasswood
Border forsythiaBradford callery pearBridalwreath spirea
Bush cinquefoilCarolina hemlockCarolina rhododendron
Chestnut oakChina girl/boy hollyClimbing hydrangea
Common horsechestnutCommon pearCommon witchhazel
Cranberry cotoneasterDawn redwoodDeciduous azaleas
Doublefile viburnumDouglas firDowny serviceberry
Eastern hemlockEastern red cedarEastern white pine
European larchFirethornGreenspire littleleaf linden
Japanese cedarJapanese flowering quinceJapanese holly
Japanese tree lilacJudd viburnumKorean spice viburnum
Late lilacLeatherleaf viburnumNorthern red oak
Old fashion weigeliaPanicled dogwoodPanicled hydrangea
Paperbark maplePersian lilacPrivet
Red mapleRhododendronRockspray cotoneaster
Rosebay rhododendronRose of SharonRugosa rose
Saucer magnoliaSilver mapleSmokebush
Smooth hydrangeaStaghorn sumacSugar maple
Sweet cherrySweet mock orangeTrumpet creeper
Virginia creeperWhite firWhite oak
Willows

Herbaceous Plants Occasionally Damaged by Deer and Elk

Annuals and biennials

Pansy
Sunflower

Perennials
ConeflowerCranesbill geraniumEnglish ivy
IrisMeadow ruePeony
SedumWood hyacinth

Woody Ornamental Plants Frequently Severely Damaged by Deer and Elk

American arborvitaeAtlantic white cedarApples
Balsam firCatawba rhododendronCherries
ClematisCornelian dogwoodEmerald Cedar
English ivyEnglish yewEnglish/Japanese hybrid yew
European mountain ashEvergreen azaleasFrazer fir
Hybrid tea roseJapanese yewNorway maple
Pinxterbloom azaleaPlumsPyramid Cedar
RhododendronsWintercreeper

Herbaceous Plants Frequently Damaged by Deer and Elk

Annuals and biennials
HollyhocksImpatiensMexican sunflower
Perennials
Cardinal flowerCrocusDay lily
HostaRoseTulips
Vegetables???

 

Trees and Shrubs

Although deer may not eat your tree, its young trunk or stem may need protection from damage caused when deer rub their antlers and break new stems or strip off protective bark in the fall.

Note: (spp. = species)
Abelia
Abies (true firs)
Acer (maples)
Deer safe varieties include big leaf,
vine and Japanese but not the expensive
hybrid forms
Acer negundo (box elder)
Araucaria araucana (monkey puzzle tree)
Bamboos spp.
Most varieties are safe from deer
Berberis
Betula (birches)
Boxwood
Buddleja (butterfly bush)
Usually not eaten by deer
Catalpa bignonioides (common catalpa)
Choisya ternata (Mexican mock orange)
Cistus
Cornus kousa (Kousa dogwood)
Coptinus coggygria (smoke tree)
Crataegus (English hawthorn)
Cryptomeria (plume cedar)
Cupressus, Chamaecyparis (cypress)
Cytisus (broom)
Daphne
Epimedium (barrenwort)
Eucalyptus
Fremontodendron
Genista monosperma (broom)
Hypericum
Safe from deer in its shrub form
Ilex (American holly)
Deer will eat the variegated forms
Juniperus spp. (junipers)
Kerria japonica
Laburnum
Liquidambar spp. (sweet gums)
Mahonia (Oregon grape)
Magnolia
Manzanita
Nandina domestica (heavenly bamboo)
Deer will eat the hybrid forms
Picea (spruce)
Pieris japonica (lily-of-the-valley-bush)
Pinus (pine)
Robina pseudoacacia
Rhododendrons
Stems need protection in fall
Sequoia sempervirens (redwood)
Spartium junceum (Spanish broom)
Symphoricarpos albus (snowberry)
Taxus (yew)
Thuja (cedar)
Sometimes deer will eat them in winter
Trachycarpus (windmill palm)
Walnut
Wisteria
Weigela

Perennials

Achillea (yarrow)
Aconitum (Monkshood)
Very poisonous but occasionally eaten
Ageratum spp. (flossflower)
Agapanthus (lily of the Nile)
Ajuga reptans (carpet bugle)
Alliums (flowering onions)
Alcea rosea (hollyhock)
Anemone
Anthemis tinctoria (perennial marguerite)
Antirrhinum majus (snapdragon)
Deer will eat them at the end of
the season when water is in
short supply
Aquilegia (columbine)
Sometimes left alone by deer
Arctotis stoechadifolia (African daisy)
Artemisia spp. (wormwood, tarragon)
Armeria maritima (sea pink)
Asters
Some fall species are safe from deer
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Bellis (English daisy)
Bergenia
Blackberries
Borage
Cactacese spp. (cactus)
Calendula officinalis (pot marigold)
Callistemon spp. (bottlebrushes)
Calycanthus occidentalis (sweet shrub)
Ceanothus sanguineus (wild lilac)
Deer eat the hybrid cultivars
Centaurea
(mountain bluet or perennial cornflower)
Cerastium (snow-in-summer)
Chives
Chrysanthemum maximum (shasta daisy)
Cordyline australis
Cortaderia spp. (Pampas grasses)
Daffodils
Daphne spp. (daphnes)
Dicentra spectabilis (bleeding heart)
Digitalis spp. (foxglove)
Doronicum (leopard’s bane daisy)
Dryopteris spp. (wood ferns)
Epimedium (barrenwort)
Eschscholzia (California poppy)
Euphorbia (spurge)
Festuca spp. (fescues/grasses)
Fritillaria spp.
Galanthus (snowdrops)
Galium (sweet woodruff)
Gaultheria (salal and wintergreen)
Geranium sanguinium and
G. macrorrhizum
Grasses (including Panicum, Miscanthus,
Calamagrostis, Festuca, Pennisetum)
Helianthus spp. (sunflower)
Helleborus spp. (hellebore)
Herbs
Deer will avoid all strong smelling herbs
and those with gray/silver leaves
Humulus (hops)
Hypericum calycinum (Aaron’s beard or
creeping St. John’s wort)
Impatiens
Deer will only avoid them if lots of
food and water are available
Iris spp. (iris)
Jasminum officinale (jasmine)
Juglans regia (English or Persian walnut)
Juncus tenuis (wire grass)
Kniphofia uvaria (red hot poker)
Lamium (dead nettle)
Lantana montevidensis (trailing lantana)
Laurentia fluviatilis (blue star creeper)
Lavandula spp. (lavender)
Lupinus spp. (lupine)
Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort)
Mimulus spp. (monkey flower)
Mints
Myosotis spp. (forget-me-not)
Narcissus spp. (daffodil)
Nepeta (catmint)
Oenothera (evening primrose)
Oregano
Osteospermum (African daisy)
Sometimes safe from deer
Oxalis oregana (redwood sorrel)
Pachysandra procumbens
Papaver nudicaule (Welsh, Icelandic,
Shirley poppies)
Papaver orientale (Oriental poppy)
Papaver somniforum
(opium or peony poppy)
Parsley
Pelargoniums (scented geraniums)
Peony
Deer eat the foliage in late summer
Perovskia atriplicifolia
(Russian sage)
Phormium (New Zealand flax)
Polystichum spp. (sword ferns)
Potentilla fruticosa (shrubby cinquefoil)
Primula
Rheum spp. (rhubarb, pie plant)
Romneya coulteri
Rosemary
Ruta graveolens (rue)
May irritate sensitive skin
Rudbeckia (gloriosa daisy)
Sambucus racemosa (red elderberry)
Santolina spp.
Senecio cineraria (dusty miller)
Solanum spp. (nightshade)
Stachys byzantina (lamb’s ear)
Tagetes (marigolds)
Teucrium fructicans (germander)
Trillium spp.
Thyme
Umbellularia californica
(Californian bay or Oregon myrtle)
Valeriana spp. (Valerian)
Vinca major, V. minor
(vinca, myrtle or periwinkle)
Deer eat variegated varieties
Woodwardia spp. (chain ferns)
Yucca spp. (yucca, Spanish bayonet)
Zantedeschia spp. (calla lily)

 

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