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CEG Deer Resistant Trial Garden

Program Contact: Master Gardeners
(509) 667-6540 •

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 September, 2017.


  • Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Dow Whiting’ –  false cypress
  • Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Blue Moon’ –  false cypress
  • Cryptomeria japonica ‘Golden Promise’ –  Japanese cedar
  • Juniperus scopulorum ‘Blue Arrow’ –  juniper
  • Juniperus scopulorum ‘Skyrocket’ – juniper
  • Picea abies ‘Pendula’ – weeping Norway spruce
  • Picea omorika ‘Nana’ – dwarf Siberian spruce
  • Picea pungens ‘Bakeri’ – blue spruce
  • Picea pungens ‘Iseli Fasigiate’ – columnar blue spruce
  • Picea pungens ‘Montgomery’ – blue spruce
  • Pinus cembra ‘Prairie Statesman’ – Swiss stone pine
  • Pinus leucodermis ‘Banderica’ – Bosnian pine
  • Pinus mugo ‘Columnaris’ – columnar mugo pine
  • Pinus parviflora ‘Goldilocks’ – white pine


  • Berberis japonica – large leaf barberry
  • Calluna vulgaris ‘Wickwar Flame’ – heather
  • Erica cinerea ‘Atropurpurea’ – purple bell heather
  • Erica x darleyensis ‘Mediterranean Pink Heath’ – winter heath
  • Fothergilla gardenia – dwarf fothergilla
  • Genista lydia – broom, woadwaxen
  • Juniperus procumbens ‘Green Mound’ –  dwarf groundcover juniper
  • Potentilla fruticose ‘Goldfinger’ – shrubby cinquefoil
  • Prunus laurocerasus ‘Otto Luyken’ – english laurel
  • Spiraea japonica ‘Anthony Waterer’ – Japanese spirea
  • Spiraea japonica ‘Little Princess’ –  Japanese spirea
  • Syringa pubescens subsp. patula ‘Miss Kim’ – Korean lilac
  • Viburnum opulus ‘Nanum’ – dwarf European cranberry bush
  • Weigela florida ‘Verweig’ MY MONET – weigela
  • Weigela x ‘Raspberry Lemonade’ –  weigela


  • Hemerocallis ‘Stella de Oro’ –  day lily
  • Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ – peony

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