The Q&A Archives: Deer Resistant Plants

Question: I am in search of a recommendation for a hedge/privacy screening plant that has high deer resistant capabilities. We have been considering dragon lady and blue prince/princes holly, as well as Festive Red Holly. I would appreciate your insight about these plants. I would also appreciate your recommendations for any other plants for screening/privacy that would have high deer resistant capabilities. Directing me to a nursery in the 20854 zip code zone that carries these plants would also be appreciated. Thank you very much. Mrs. Olson

Answer: While the hollies you named are terrific plants, hollies would not be considered deer resistant. (Dragon Lady is a possible exception, with caveats.) Unfortunately, most evergreens are very attractive to deer. If you have a deer problem in your area you may want to consider installing a tall fence as that is the best long term defense against deer damage. While there are some plants that are considered deer resistant, in most cases that does not mean deer proof. When browse pressure is severe, the deer will damage a wider and wider spectrum of plants and even learn to eat new ones over time. You may find the following information helpful. You may need to cut and paste the complete urls into your browser to make them work correctly.

Between the above lists and consulting with your neighbors and local nursery staff to see what seems to be most likely to be left alone by the local deer population, you'll have a "best guess" list of safer plants for your local area.

There is a zip code based dealer locator at the Monrovia web site to help with contact information for local retailers.

Good luck with your planting!

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