The Q&A Archives: Some Deer Resistant Plants

Question: We live in a rural area in N.E. PA near the NY state border. We want to put in roses but have a deer problem with other plants and wonder if roses will be eaten by deer. If so, all roses or only certain kinds? Is there a list available of flowers that are safe to grow in deer country? Also, what would be recommended to grow on a trellis that would be safe from deer? Thank you. Sebastian Speranza Gibson, PA

Answer: Yes, deer will eat roses-- especially the more modern hybrids. Actually deer will eat anything is hungry enough! Try growing the old fashioned "crinkly" leaved varieties of roses such as Rosa Rugosa. They may not like these as much. There are many lists of plants deer won't eat, but in general they don't like fuzzy or tough leaved plants such as borage and artemsia or plants with lots of thorns such as barberry. For a vine, I'd choose something that grows quickly to get out of reach of the deersuch as wisteria. The lower branches may still get pruned though.

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