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Regional Picks: Deer-Resistant Plants – Midwest

Fine Gardening - Issue 169

1. ‘Purple Smoke’ Baptisia

‘Purple Smoke’ Baptisia

Name: Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’

USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 to 9

Size: 3 to 4 feet tall and wide

Conditions: Full sun; well-drained soil

Early in spring, this plant’s deep purple spears (resembling asparagus) wriggle out of the warming soil. They quickly become a sturdy rounded shrub with gray-green, cloverlike foliage. The late-spring flower spikes remind me of lupines (Lupinus spp. and cvs., Zones 4 to 8)—deep purple in bud, opening to a soft, purply-pink. The blooms attract butterflies, and if not deadheaded, they produce seeds resembling peppercorns and are eye-catching well into fall. If grown in full sun, staking is unnecessary. ‘Purple Smoke’ baptisia is tolerant of dry, low-fertility soils but resents transplanting.


2. ‘Silveredge’ Japanese Pachysandra

‘Silveredge’ Japanese Pachysandra

Name: Pachysandra terminalis* ‘Silveredge’

Zones: 5 to 8

Size: 6 to 8 inches tall and 2 feet wide

Condition: Partial to full shade; moist, well-drained soil

I admit that pachysandra is even more ubiquitous in gardens than deer. But…

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