Deer Resistance is Not Futile

So many people ask me for plant choices that deer despise. And it saddens me to say there are none — unless you want a plastic landscape.

On the other hand, one merely needs to look at the parks and rural lands to see what plants are deer resistant. Obviously, live oak, juniper, Texas mountain laurel, persimmon, agarita, sumac, and Turk’s cap are resistant, but are there any others? Actually, there are several.

My motto is “If it’s stinky, sticky, fuzzy or thorny, then it’s deer-resistant.” In creating our extensive SAWS Plant Data Base, we’ve combed through our 441 recommended plants and have identified 176 as being deer-resistant. That’s right, 40 percent of our plant list is deer-resistant.

Additionally, we’ve selected 27 deer resistant options for our WaterSaver Landscape Coupon program. Here’s a list of the 176 deer-resistant species.

Colorful landscapes can indeed exist with Bambi, as long as you plant stinky, sticky, fuzzy and thorny plant species.

Picture of Mark Peterson
Mark Peterson
Mark A. Peterson was a conservation project coordinator for San Antonio Water System before retiring. With over 30 years of experience as an urban forester and arborist, Mark is probably the only person you know who actually prunes trees for fun. When not expounding on the benefits of trees and limited lawns, you're likely to find him hiking San Antonio's wilderness parks or expounding on the virtues of geography and history to his friends.
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