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Deer-Resistant Plants

Landscape protection options are limited to fencing or other physical barriers, chemical repellents and resistant plants. Fencing is expensive, and it's unsightly for most landscape situations. It's most practical as cage protection for small trees, until the trees grow taller than the deer can reach.

Deer-resistant plants are the ideal solution, but, unfortunately, few plants are fully deer-proof. Many species that are unattractive to deer become deer candy when food is in short supply. The combination of heat and summer droughts almost invariably make late summer and fall a particularly trying time for deer-plagued areas.

Homeowners that feed deer often make the problem worse for themselves and their neighbors. Feeding deer tends to attract more deer than can be fed. Feeding deer coupled with the resulting reduced fear of man usually adds to the potential for landscape damage.

Variability in browsing pressure plus variable taste preferences by individual deer makes it impossible to compile a fool-proof list of resistant plants. The following list is not guaranteed, but these plants have been shown to work in many gardens.

 

Recommended Plants

 

Annuals

Ageratum

Alyssum

Begonia

Coleus

Cosmos

Dianthus

Dusty Miller

Marigold

Verbena

Zinnia

Dahlia

Gazania

Salvia

Snapdragons

Zinnia

Perennials

Anise Hyssop (Agatache)

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)

Blanket Flower (Gallardia)

Blue Fescue Grass (Festuca)

Bluebells (Campanula)

Calla Lily

Carpet Bugle (Ajuga)

Chrysanthemum (might eat flowers)

Coral Bells (Heuchera)

Tickseed (Coreopsis)

Delphinium — Poisonous!

English Ivy (Hedera)

Foxglove (Digitalis) —Poisonous

Lavender

Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum)

Lupine

More Perennials

Mullein (Verbascum)

Myrtle (Vinca)

Purple Cone Flower (Echinacea)

Russian Sage (Perovskia)

Salvia (Meadow Sage)

Sweet Woodruff (Galium)

(Lavender Cotton) Santolina

Thyme

Yarrow (Achillea)

 

Herbs

Chamomile

Thyme

Sweet Woodruff (Galium)

Mint

Oregano

Winter Savory

 

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