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UC Cooperative Extension Ventura County
669 County Square Dr. Suite 100
Ventura CA 93003
Phone: 805.645.1451
Fax: 805.645.1474

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Deer Resistant-Tolerant Plants

 
The following list of deer resistant/tolerant plants and comments was provided by Las Pilitas Nursery and Bert Wilson:
  • Acacia greggii. A well-armed shrub-tree. Deer will only eat new growth.
  • Amorpha california. Deciduous shrub. Deer have never touched. Difficult to grow and hard to find.
  • Baccharis pilularis ‘Pigeon Point.’ Cover for first year with chicken wire so deer cannot pull out of the ground. Plant 1-gallon size, 8 feet apart, and in 2 to 3 years you will have a fine groundcover.
  • Ceanothus ‘Blue Jeans.’ Has been deer proof at all but one site to date. If heavily watered or in rich soils, deer will eat in late summer/fall.
  • Ceanothus ‘Mills Glory.’ Have been deer proof at all known sites.
  • Ceanothus ‘Snowball.’ Deer proof on all sites, but is only happy at coast.
  • Cupressus species. Deer do not like these at all. Drive 3 T-posts next to these after they get 4-5 feet tall. Bucks love to clean the dead skin off their antlers on the posts. They will use the tree if the posts are not present.
  • Diplacus species. Monkey flowers have not been enjoyed by deer yet.
  • Erigeron glaucus. ‘Wayne Roderick’ seems to be most deer proof in most instances. Other varieties go from untouched to nothing left.
  • Ferns. California native ferns seem to be safe.
  • Iris species. Deer have not eaten these even if bedding in the vicinity. Unknown if safe on sites where they are not native.
  • Monardella species. Untouched.
  • Satureja douglasii. Will be deer proof if you stop watering in summer and allow it to go dormant.  
  • Sequoia sempervirens. Same as Cupressus.
  • Sequoiadendron giganteum. Same as Cupressus.