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Attracting Wildlife to Your Back Yard

A Guide to Increasing Wildlife Diversity and Aesthetic Value Around Your Home

Appendix D. Gardening Around Deer


When deer are very hungry they will eat almost anything, but during the growing season they usually have lots of options. That being the case, they often eat what they like best. Following is a list of trees, shrubs, perennial flowers, and annual flowers used by North Dakota gardeners. They are grouped according to the relative palatability of these plants to deer.

TREES AND SHRUBS
Deer generally prefer to eat: Deer sometimes eat: Deer generally dislike:
Apple Amur maple Barberry
(Fruit trees in general) Azalea Buffaloberry
Basswood (Linden) Black cherry Currant (Gooseberry)
Birch Boxelder Honeysuckle
Bur oak Bush honeysuckle Juniper
Chokecherry Cottonwood Lilac
Cotoneaster Elm Mt. Laurel
Dogwood Forsythia Nanking cherry
English Ivy hazelnut Nannyberry
Green ash Highbush cranberry Ponderosa pine
Hackberry Ironwood Potentilla
Hydrangea Mountain ash Raspberry
Larch Oak Russian olive
Maple Rose St. John's wort
Rhodedendron Scotch pine Spruce
Sandberry Spirea Western yellow pine
Serviceberry Sumac Western red cedar
Siberian crab White pine Wormwood (Artemisia)
Viburnum Wild plum  
Weigla Fir  
White cedar (Arborvitae)    
White pine    
Willows    
Yews    

PERENNIALS
Deer generally prefer to eat: Deer generally dislike:  
Crocus Achillea (Yarrow) Goldenrod
Daylily Ajuga Joe-Pye weed
Hawkweed Allium Lamb's ear
Hosta Anemone Lavender
Hyacinth Bittersweet Lily-of-the-valley
Iris Bleeding heart Lupine
Lily Buttercup Monkshood
Meadow rue Clematis Pachysandra
Phlox Columbine Penstemon
Rose Cinquefoil Pennyroyal
Sedum Coneflower Peony
Strawberry Coral bell Poppy
Tulip Coreopsis Primrose
  Cransbill Ribbongrass
  Daffodil Rosemary
  Daisy Sage
  Ferns Snow-on-the-Mountain
  Feverfew Speedwell
  Flax Tansy
  Forget-me-not Thistle
  Gayfeather Toadflax
  Goatsbeard Yucca

ANNUALS AND BIENNIALS
Deer generally prefer to eat: Deer generally dislike:    
Hollyhock Alyssum Geranium Periwinkle
Impatiens Begonia Heliotrope Polygonum
Pansy Dahlia Lobelia Primula
Sunflower Dusty miller Marigold Salvia
Violet Flax Mint Snapdragon
  Forget-me-not Morning glory Verbena
  Four-o'clock Mullein Zinnia
  Foxglove Parsley  

NOTE: The information provided above was gleaned from browse survey reports conducted by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, a recent article published in Minnesota Horticulturist (Oh, Deer! Suggestions for coping with Deer in the Home Landscape, B.R. Jarvis and D.F. Bravero), public information bulletins produced by the states of Illinois and New Jersey, New York, and conversations with local nursery owners.


Previous Section -- Appendix C. Native Plant Seed Sources and Information for the Northern Great Plains
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