Picking Deer Resistent Plants

Many of us spend a lot of time working in our gardens and improving our landscaping. We spend hours on end planting, trimming and watering. We take pride in our effort. We actually enjoy the fruits (and flowers) of our labor. Getting up one morning to discover that hungry deer have actually ravaged our plants makes us madder than a damp hen http://www.shedsfirst.co.uk/ .

There are things we can utilize to discourage deer from eating our plants. Elephant garlic, Deer-Off, Liquid Fence, child formula, hot sauce, and (my personal favorite) predator urine do alright for dissuading them, however instead of chase after deer far from plants they enjoy we can save ourselves a lot of aggravation by planting things that they do not especially like to eat.

Now, you might have heard that there is no such thing as a deer proof plant. All plants go through being mowed down by deer if they are starving enough. There are, however, plants (great looking ones) that are normally avoided by deer.

Here's what we understand about deer dining practices:

As much as 90 % of their water requirements are satisfied by chomping on lavish environment-friendlies and tender young, plant development.

Deer choose high protein crops such as peas, soybeans, turnips, alfalfa and corn.

They like path mix. Fruit, nuts and seeds are especially essential when the green plants begin to dwindle.

There are few animals that can withstand the sweet door of apples. Deer are among them.

They will happily swindle the bark of maples, aspens and dogwoods. They get water from their bark and it sits greatly in their four-chambered stomachs, keeping them full longer.

Okay, we understand exactly what they like. Now what do they avoid?

Deer are delicate to smells and most strong fragrances can drive them away (unless that odor is apples!).

Like children, deer do not like odd appearances in their food. They choose not to eat things that are fuzzy, irritable or thorny. (They do like roses. I think in their case, the thorns are worth the taste of the delicious flower.).

Deer prevent plants with milky sap and other plants that will upset their stomachs or offer them heartburn.

Deer choose not to walk through sharp ornamental grasses or thorny brush to obtain to food.

Zinnias - Deer prevent the irritable center of zinnia flowers.

Okay, now for the great stuff!

There are a range of gorgeous flowers, shrubs and trees that we can plant in our backyard that deer are not likely to do much damage to. I have actually assembled this list based on info I have actually collected from browsing educational websites, retail and wholesale providers' recommendations, public online forums and my own personal experience.

In honor of the Winter Olympics, I will divide them up into 2 classifications: SILVER (plants that deer generally do not like consuming) and GOLD (plants that deer actually dislike consuming).

The SILVER medal winners:

  • Beebalm
  • Buckthorn (Rhamnus)
  • Calla Lily
  • Columbine
  • Coral Bells (Heuchera)
  • Echinacea (Coneflower)
  • English Lavender
  • Evening Primrose
  • Gladiolus
  • Lily Turf
  • Asian Poppy
  • Parsley
  • Rose of Sharon
  • Rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susan)
  • Sage (Salvia)
  • Smokebush
  • Speedwell
  • Weigela
  • Yarrow
  • Zinnia


... And for the GOLD:

  • American Holly
  • Arrowwood Viburnum
  • Barberry
  • Bayberry
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Bluebell
  • Blue Fescue
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Catmint
  • Typical Boxwood
  • Dwarf Alberta Spruce
  • Foxglove
  • Germander
  • Hummingbird Mint
  • Iris
  • Japanese Blood Grass
  • Lamb's Ear
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Lungwort
  • Maiden Grass
  • Oregano
  • Poppy (note: Oriental Poppy scored a silver)
  • Purple Moor Grass
  • Red Hot Poker
  • Riverbirch
  • Rosemary
  • Russian Olive
  • Russian Sage
  • Snap Dragon
  • Switchgrass
  • Thyme
  • Yucca


Obviously there are always exceptions. Time of year and scarcity of food will eventually figure out the consuming habits of deer.