CEG Deer Resistant Garden

Program Contact: Master Gardeners
(509) 667-6540 • chelanmastergardeners@gmail.com

The Deer Resistant Garden in the Community Education Garden tests plants to identify those less affected by winter deer browsing. Deer are in this area in the winter, not the summer, so the garden focuses on evergreens. The garden was started in May, 2013.  This list of plants is current as of April, 2017.

Plant Estimated Size at Maturity
berberis japonica – large leaf barberry 5 x 5 ft
chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Dow Whiting’ Soft Serve 6-10 ft x 5-6 ft
chamaecyparis pisifera  ‘Blue Moon’ 4 ft x 4 ft
cryptomeria japonica ‘Golden Promise’ 4 ft x 4 ft
erica x darleyensis ‘Mediterranean’ 1 ft x 2 ft
fothergilla gardenii 5 ft x 5 ft
genista lydia 2 ft x 3 ft
Juniperus scopulorum  ‘Blue Arrow’ – juniper 12-15 ft x 2-3 ft,  or 12ft x 4ft
juniperus scopulorum  ‘Skyrocket’ – juniper 12-15 ft x 2 ft – or 15-20ft x 2-3’
paeonia ‘Sara Bernhardt’ – peony 4 ft x4 ft
picea abies ‘Pendula’ – weeping Norway spruce  staked to desired height
picea pungens glauca ‘Bakeri’ – blue spruce 12 ft by 6 ft or 20 ft x 10 ft
Picea pungens ‘Iseli Fastigiata’ – blue spruce 15 ft x 4 ft
picea pungens ‘Montgomery’ – blue spruce 3-4 ft x 3 ft
pinus leucodermis ‘Banderica’ – Bosnian pine 4 ft x 3 ft
pinus mugo ‘Carsten’s Wintergold’ – mugo pine 1 ft x 2.5 ft
pinus mugo ‘Columnaris’ – columnar mugo pine 8 ft x 4 ft
pinus parviflora ‘Goldilocks’ – Japanese white pine 8 ft x 6 ft
prunus laurocerasus ‘Otto Luyken’ – laurel 3-4 ft x 6-7 ft
spiraea japonica ‘Little Princess’ 3 ft x 4 ft
spiraea x bumalda ‘Anthony Waterer’ 4 ft x 6 ft
hemerocallis ‘Stella de Oro’ – daylily 2 ft
vibrurnum ‘Nanum’ 2 ft x 2 ft
weigela ‘My Monet’ 1.5 ft X 2 ft
weigela x ‘Raspberry Lemonade’ 6 ft x 5 ft

What we have learned

2017- In early March, with about 10 inches of snow on the ground, evidence of light deer browsing on the the portion of the ‘Otto Luyken’ laurel above the snow line. In the adjacent Entrance Garden, the deer browsed the holly shrubs.  In mid-March, deer rubbed the bark off a section of sumac shrub in the Natives and More garden.

2016- In mid-January, with about a foot of snow on the ground, evidence of heavy deer browsing on the ‘Otto Luyken’ laurels.  In the adjacent Entrance Garden, the deer browsed several holly shrubs.

In mid-May, fresh growth on the laurels shows the plants are recovering well after winter deer browsing. In the adjacent Entrance Garden, the hollies are recovering with fresh growth.

2015 – No evidence of deer browsing until April, when a few nibbles are evident on the 2 smaller of the 3 ‘Otto Luyken’ laurels. These 2 shrubs were planted in 2014 and are about 18″ tall.  Not related to deer browse, a pieris ‘Fire N Ice’ and a hinoki died, both likely due to a warm October, then cold snap in November and the plants were not yet dormant. Both were planted in 2014 and removed in 2015.

2014 – No evidence of deer browsing


Deer Resistant Plants– WSU Extension, Spokane County
Living with Deer– Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

Washington State University