Problems / Solution Advice...

 

Deer Tips

Deer Control & Deer Resistant Plants Damage to ornamental plants in the St. Louis area by white-tailed deer has increased significantly during the past ten years. This increase is attributed to a rising deer population, the loss of deer habitat to development, plus landowner and local municipalities decisions to prevent deer hunting.In the short run, damage to ornamental plants is largely irreversible. Damage, particularly in suburban areas with good-quality deer habitat, probably will increase. However, by planting ornamentals not favored by deer, homeowners can attempt to preserve vulnerable landscapes.

Deer Feeding Habits

Costly browsing damage may be reduced or eliminated by planting less-preferred species or by establishing susceptible plants only in protected areas. A few strategies to consider include planting susceptible plants close to the house or in a fenced yard, or planting preferred species inside a protective ring of less-preferred species. Under most circumstances, landscaping based on a knowledge of deer feeding preferences provides an alternative to expensive chemical repellents.Whether deer will target a particular plant species or variety depends on their previous habits and nutritional needs, plant palatability, seasonal factors, weather conditions, and availability of alternative foods. Deer are creatures of habit, and previous movement patterns or foraging experiences can determine where damage will occur. Therefore, caution must be taken when using plant preference lists.In general, damage from browsing is most severe when snow cover or extreme cold has reduced food availability. Another problem time is early spring when young succulent growth of ornamentals provides attractive browse before other spring growth is available. When food is in short supply, deer will browse even the most undesirable plants. Under such conditions, homeowners should combine damage control measures with careful plant selection. Damage control measures may also include deer repellent solutions.

Plant Damage List

The following list contains many ornamental plants adaptable to St. Louis landscapes. This information is to select plants that are unlikely to be damaged by deer. Please note that deer-browsing resistance of a plant species changes according to fluctuations in deer populations, alternative food availability, and environmental factors. No plant is safe under all conditions.

Rarely Damaged

Botanical Name

Common Name

Trees

Aesculus parviflora

Bottlebrush Buckeye

Amelanchier arborea

Downy Serviceberry

Betula nigra 'Heritage'

Heritage Birch

Betula papyrifera

Paper Birch

Chamaecyparis pisifera

Japanese Falsecypress

Picea pungens glauca

Colorado Blue Spruce

Pinus sylvestris

Scotch Pine

 

 

Shrubs and Climbers

Asimina triloba

Pawpaw

Berberis spp.

Barberry

Buxus spp.

Boxwood

Caryopteris x clandonensis

Caryopteria

Cornus sericea

Red Osier Dogwood

Elaeagnus angustifolia

Russian Olive

Gaultheria procumbens

Creeping Wintergreen

Hibiscus syriacus

Rose of Sharon

 

Hollies

Leucothoe spp.

Leucothoe

 

 

Pieris japonica

Japanese Andromeda

 

Annuals, Perennials, and Bulbs

Achillea spp.

Yarrow

Aconitum spp.

Monkshood

Ageratum houstonianum

Ageratum

Allium neapolitanum

Daffodil Garlic

Anemone x hybrida

Japanese Anemone

Anethum graveolens

Common Dill

Aquilegia spp.

Columbine

Antirrhinum majus

Snapdragon

Arabis spp.

Rock-cress

Aubrietia deltoidea

Rock Cress

Bergenia spp.

Berginia

Ceratostigma plumbaginoides

Plumbago

Consolida ambigua

Larkspur

Convallaria majalis

Lily-of-the-valley

Coreopsis verticillata 'Moonbeam'

Threadleaf Coreopsis

 

 

Dicentra spectabilis

Bleeding Heart

Digitalis spp.

Foxglove

Dryopteris marginalis

Wood Fern

Ecinacea purpurea

Purple Coneflower

Euphorbia spp.

Euphorbia

Galium odoratuim

Sweet Woodruff

Hemmerocallis 'Stella de Oro'

Stella de Oro Daylily

Hesperis matronalis

Dame's Rocket

Hyacinthus orientalis

Hyacinth

Lamium maculatum

Deadnettle

Lavandula spp.

Lavender

Lobularia maritima

Sweet Alyssum

Matteuccia struthiopteris

Ostrich Fern

Narcissus spp.

Daffodil

Nicotiana spp.

Flowering Tobacco

Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis

Royal Fern

Pachysandra terminalis

Japanese Spurge

Papaver orientale

Oriental Poppy

Pelargonium spp.

Scented Geranium

Pervoshia atriplicifolia

Russian Sage

Ranunculus spp.

Buttercup

Rheum rhabarbarum

Rhubarb

Rudbeckia spp.

Coneflower

Salvia spp.

Sage

Stachys byzantina

Lamb's Ears

Tagetes spp.

Marigold

Thymus spp.

Thyme

Tiarella cordifolia

Foam Flower

Yucca spp.

Yucca