When it comes to identifying a deer’s palate, it’s less about “what will it eat” and more “what won’t it eat?” That list is far shorter, experts say.
Mark Bridgen, director of Cornell’s Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center in Riverhead, compiled a list of nearly 100 plants that do not appeal to the woodland creatures—76 percent of which they will not touch 95 percent of the time. Here is a selection:
Purple fountain grass
Common, creeping, Japanese and skyrocket juniper
Norway-, white and Colorado blue spruce
Many grasses, including switch grass, golden variegated hakonechloa, Chinese silver grass, perennial fountain grass and ribbon grass
Garlic chives—but not regular chives
Lenten rose—but not many others
Prickly pear cactus
It is important to note that, in desperate times, nearly all plants are fair game for hungry deer.