Selecting plants that are deer-resistant has long-term benefits.
University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator Andrew Holsinger said if plant selection is done properly, it should be possible to reduce undesired deer damage.
Deer find some plant species more palatable than others, he said. Often, some ornamental plants used in landscaping are preferred because they are fertilized and irrigated, making them nutrient-rich and moist.
Fertilized plants, such as those adorning backyard landscapes, provide protein, energy-rich carbohydrates, minerals and salts.
Nuisance deer that frequent the home garden can damage young trees. Damage that is caused by deer browsing or rubbing with their antlers can be permanent.
Visit http://m.extension.illinois.edu/wildlife/files/plants_deer_avoid.pdf for The Morton Arboretum’s advice on selecting deer-resistant plants ance when selecting plants
Basic options to discourage deer are exclusion, repellents and habitat modification.
For a list of deer-resistant perennials found in Illinois, visit http://urbanext.illinois.edu/perennials/specific.cfm?NodeID=3884 which is the Gardening with Perennials website.
Another website. Extension’s http://web.extension.illinois.edu/deer may be helpful.
Master Gardeners at Extension offices can help with answering questions or post questions on http://www.facebook.com/northwestillinoishorticulture which is the University of Illinois Extension Horticulture-Northwest Illinois Facebook page.
Local Extension horticulture educator Candice Miller can be contacted through the Facebook page or at firstname.lastname@example.org by email.