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Floridat Martin B. Main, Joe Schaefer and Ginger M. Allen2 1. This document is WEC138, one of a series of the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date October 1999. Reviewed April 2003 and July 2010. Visit the EDIS Web Site at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu. 2. Martin B. Main, Assistant Professor and Extension Wildlife specialist; and Ginger M. Allen, Wildlife Biological Scientist; both of University of Florida, Southwest Florida REC, Immokalee, FL 34142; and Joe Schaefer, Professor and Extension Wildlife Specialist; Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Department Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Insitute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville 32611. Deer have many qualities we admire and value. Deer also may become a nuisance when their feeding behaviors damage ornamental plants and gardens and cause aggravation, inconvenience, and financial costs to property owners. As human dwellings continue to increase in rural areas where deer occur, the incidence of deer-human conflicts also will increase. This is particularly true where human developments replace native habitats and reduce the availability of natural foods preferred by deer. In these instances, deer may quickly become accustomed to feeding upon gardens, ornamental plantings, groves, and nurseries. Damage from deer may be reduced by fencing and the use of chemical repellents (see Main, Schaefer, and Allen, 1999), but a simpler, less expensive, and generally more effective alternative is to landscape with plants that deer do not like to eat. Deer will feed upon a variety of vegetation including weeds and flowers, grasses, trees, shrubs, vines, and fruits and vegetables. Deer do not eat all plants, however, and diet is influenced by plant qualities such as taste and digestibility, and individual preferences among animals. Where deer densities are high, even plants that are normally avoided may be eaten. This IFAS extension fact sheet identifies some of the ornamental plants commonly planted in Florida and their susceptibility to damage from deer. This information may be used to guide planting decisions in areas where damage from deer is likely to be a problem. Development of this document was facilitated by a survey regarding susceptibility of commonly planted trees, shrubs, and perennials to browsing damage by deer of 71 Florida county extension agents with horticultural expertise. Thirteen counties responded to the survey, five of which provided plant species lists and eight of which reported that damage from deer was not a problem in their area. The information provided is organized by plant growth form and is designed to assist in making decisions when landscaping in areas where damage from deer is likely to be a problem. All species listed are known to grow in Florida. In some cases, multiple species and varieties exist for a common name, such as Juniper (Juniperus spp.). In these instances, some species may be more susceptible than others and
Ornamental plant susceptibility to damage by deer in Floridat 2 susceptibility may differ geographically. For example, the northern Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) may be severely damaged by deer in northern states. Main, M., J.M. Schaefer and G.M. Allen. 1999. Coping With Deer Damage in Florida. Extension sheet WEC-135, Dep. of Wildlife Ecology & Conservation, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, 32611. Horton, J.L., and W.D. Edge. 1994. Deer-resistant Ornamental Plants. Extension sheet 1440, Oregon State University Extension Service, Administrative Services A422, Corvalis, OR, 97331-2119. Schaefer, J.M. and M.B. Main. Florida's White-Tailed Deer. Extension sheet SS-WEC-11, Dep. of Wildlife Ecology & Conservation, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, 32611. Collier County, FL Master Gardener Extension Specialists. Survey participants, Horticultural Extension Specialists.
Ornamental plant susceptibility to damage by deer in Floridat 3 Trees listed by susceptibility to damange from deer in Florida. Botanical Name Black cherry Prunus serotina North & central Florida Carolina laurel cherry Prunus carolina Large quantities fatal to livestock Crabapple Malus spp. Sapling and fruit removal Flatwoods plum Prunus umbellata Edible fruit Pear Pyrus spp. Sapling and fruit removal Citrus Citrus spp. Young trees Red maple Acer rubrum Occasionally severe damage Schefflera Schefflera actinophylla Not resistant White oak Quercus alba North Florida Willow Salix spp. New growth preferred by deer American beech Fagus grandiflora Resistant Australian pine Casusrina equisetifolia Resistant Bottlebrush Melaleuca quinquenervia Resistant Butterfly/cabada palms Chrysalidocarpus spp. Resistant Cabbage/palmettos Sabal spp. Resistant Christmas palms Veitchia spp. Resistant Coconut palm Cocos nucifera Resistant Crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica Resistant Date palms Phoenix spp. Resistant Edible fig Ficus carica Resistant Eucalyptus Eucalyptus cinerea Resistant Fishtail palms Caryota spp. Resistant Flowering dogwood Cornus florida Resistant Ligustrum Ligustrum spp. Resistant Live oak Quercus virginiana Resistant Loquat Eriobotrya japonica Resistant Magnolia Magnolia spp. Resistant Orchid tree Bauhinia variegata Resistant Paurotis palm Acoelorrhaphe wrightii Resistant
Ornamental plant susceptibility to damage by deer in Floridat 4 Trees listed by susceptibility to damange from deer in Florida. Persimmon Diospyros spp. Resistant Pineapple guava Feijoa spp. Resistant Podocarpus Podocarpus spp. Resistant Pomegranate Punica granatum Resistant Ponytail, Bottle palm Beaucarnea recurvata Resistant Queen palm Arecastrum romanzoffianum Resistant Royal palm Roystonea spp. Resistant Thatch palm Thrinax spp. Resistant Yaupon Ilex vomitoria Resistant Shrubs listed by susceptibility to damage from deer in Florida. Botanical Name Bouganvillea Bouganvillea spp. Not resistant Evergreen Azaleas Rhododendron spp. Frequently damaged Hibiscus Hibiscus spp. Not resistant, favorite Hog plum Prunus umbellata North Florida species Mexican firebush Hamelia patens Not resistant Pittosporum Pittosporum tobira Not resistant, favorite Rhododendrons Rhododendron spp. Frequently damaged Roses Rosa spp. Regular spraying will reduce damage Banana shrub Magnolia fuscata Resistant Bird of Paradise Strelitzia reginae Resistant Blackberry Rubus spp. Only thorny species resistant Bottlebrush Callistemon spp. Resistant Camellia Camellia spp. Resistant Carissa Carissa spp. Resistant Chinese holly Ilex cornuta Somewhat resistant Croton Croton linearis Resistant Gardenia Gardenia spp. Resistant
Ornamental plant susceptibility to damage by deer in Floridat 5 Shrubs listed by susceptibility to damage from deer in Florida. Heavenly bamboo Nandina spp. Resistant Ixora Ixora spp. Resistant Japanese boxwood Buxus microphylla Resistant Juniper Juniperus spp. Resistant Lantana Lantana camara Natives resistant, hybrids not Mahonia Mahonia spp. Resistant Myrtle-leaf holly Ilex myrtifolia Resistant Needle palm Rhopidophyllum hystrix Resistant Oleander Nerium oleander Resistant, poisonous Philodendron Philodendron spp. Resistant, bugs won't eat either Plumbago Plumbago auriculata Resistant Rutty Ruttya Ruspolia Resistant Silver thorn Elaeagnus spp. Resistant Southern Indian Azaleas Rhododendron spp. Resistant Sweet/tea olive Osmanthus fragrans Resistant Viburnum Viburnum spp. Resistant Wax myrtle Myrica cerifera Resistant Vines & Ground Cover listed by susceptibility to damage from deer in Florida. Botanical Name Clematis Clematis spp. Poisonous to humans Trumpet vine Campis radicans Central to north Florida Allamanda Allamanda cathartica R Resistant Asparagus fern Asparagus densiflorus Resistant Aztec grass Ophiopogon japonicus Resistant Boston fern Nephrolepis spp. Resistant English ivy Hedera helix Resistant, poisonous to humans Holly fern Lomariopsis kunzeana Resistant Pampas grass Cortaderia spp. Resistant Shield fern Dryopteris spp. Resistant Society garlic Tulbaghia violacea Resistant Star jasmine Trachelospermum jasminoides Will eat when under pressure Wandering Jew Tradescantia zebrina R Resistant Yellow jessamine Gelsemium sempervirens Resistant, poisonous to humans
Ornamental plant susceptibility to damage by deer in Floridat 6 Annuals/Perennials & Bulbs listed by susceptibility to damage from deer in Florida. Botanical Name Celosia Celosis argenta Not resistant Corn Zea mays Not resistant Dahlias Dahlia spp. Not resistant Day lilly Liliaceae spp. Not resistant Impatiens Impatiens spp. Not resistant, favorite Peas Pisum sativum Not resistant Phlox Phlox spp. Not resistant Partulaca Portulaca spp. Not resistant, favorite Shrimp plant Beloperone guttata Not resistant Star flower Trientalis borealis Not resistant Tomatoes Lypersicon esculentum Not resistant Aster Aster spp. Will eat when under pressure Begonia Begonia spp. Will eat when under pressure Iris Iris spp. Somewhat resistant Zinnia Zinnia spp. Will eat when under pressure Ageratum Ageratum spp. Resistant Aloe Aloe spp. Resistant Angel flower Angelonia angelonia Resistant Angles trumpet Datura spp. Resistant Anise Pimpinella anisum Resistant Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta Resistant Bush daisy Gamolepis chrysanthemoides Resistant Century plant Agave americana Resistant, poisonous to humans Cone flower Echinacea spp. Resistant Coreopsis/Tickseed Coreopsis spp. Resistant Crown of thorns Euphorbia milii Resistant Devil's trumpet Datura spp. Resistant Dusty Miller Senecio cineraria Resistant Ginger lilly Liliaceae spp. Resistant Heliconia Heliconia spp. Resistant Lilly family Dracaena spp. Resistant
Ornamental plant susceptibility to damage by deer in Floridat 7 Annuals/Perennials & Bulbs listed by susceptibility to damage from deer in Florida. Lily of the Nile Agapanthus spp. Resistant Lupine Lupine spp. Resistant, poisonous to humans Marigolds Dimorphotheca spp. Resistant Peace lilly Spathiphyllum spp. Resistant Periwinkle Vinca rosea Resistant Petunia Ruellia spp. Resistant Rotunda Kaempferia spp. Resistant Sage Salvia spp. Resistant Shasta daisy Chrysanthemum superbum Flowers may be eaten Ti tree Cordyline terminalis Resistant Trillium, wake robin Trillium maculatum Resistant, north Florida Turks cap Malavaviscus arboreus Resistant Verbena Verbena spp. Resistant Yucca Yucca spp. Resistant