The following is a list of landscape plants rated according to their resistance to deer damage. The list was compiled with input from nursery and landscape professionals, Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) Cooperative Extension personnel, and Rutgers Master Gardeners in northern New Jersey.
Realizing that no plant is deer proof, plants in the Rarely Damaged, and Seldom Severely Damaged categories would be best for landscapes prone to deer damage. Plants Occasionally Severely Damaged and Frequently Severely Damaged are often preferred by deer and should only be planted with additional protection such as the use of fencing, repellents, etc. Success of any of these plants in the landscape will depend on local deer populations and weather conditions.
= Seldom Severely Damaged
= Occasionally Severely Damaged
= Frequently Severely Damaged
|Common Name||Latin Name||Type||Rating|
|American Holly||Ilex opaca||Trees||A|
|John T. Morris Holly||Ilex x 'John T. Morris'||Shrubs||A|
|Lydia Morris Holly||Ilex x 'Lydia Morris'||Shrubs||A|
|Chinese Holly||Ilex cornuta||Shrubs||B|
|Dragon Lady, San Jose Holly||Ilex x aquipernyi||Trees||B|
|English Holly View photo of English Holly||Ilex aquifolium||Shrubs||B|
|Winterberry Holly View photo of Winterberry Holly||Ilex verticillata||Shrubs||B|
|Blue Holly||Ilex x meserveae||Shrubs||C|
|Japanese Holly View photo of Japanese Holly||Ilex crenata||Shrubs||C|
|Nellie Stevens Holly||Ilex x 'Nellie R. Stevens'||Trees||C|
|Pernyi Holly||Ilex pernyi||Trees||C|
1 Check other rating categories to find additional species or cultivars of this genus.
2 May eat buds.
Content: Pete Nitzsche, Pedro Perdomo, and David Drake
Photos: Pete Nitzsche
Database Design: Kathy Robinson and Phil Wisneski
Website Design: Phil Wisneski
Special thanks to our cooperators on this project: Helen Heinrich, Certified Landscape Architect; James Messina, Certified Landscape Architect, Landscape Plus; Valerie Sudal, Garden Writer, The Newark Star-Ledger; and numerous landscapers, Master Gardeners, and nurserymen who provided ratings.