50 Deer Resistant Plants

50 Deer Resistant Plants

50 Deer Resistant Plants
50 Deer Resistant Plants

Crops that deer hate

As mentioned earlier, a deer’s appetite changes with season. They will mostly feed on green twigs of plants. However, there are plants that these animals would hate to taste. They include;

  • Plants with a strong scent or pungent smell. For instance, roses and onions
  • Plants with fur
  • poisonous plants
  • Plants with thorns

Also, note that deer love highly watered and fertilized plants. They normally take advantage of a plant especially when it is young. As you plant, ensure that the plants grow to be taller. This makes it difficult for the deer to reach the leaves.

Quick facts

Here are five deer resistant plants that most people would look for:

  • Shade: Hellebores
  • Full sun: Kniphofia
  • Fruit: Gooseberry
  • Shrub: Choisya ternata
  • Climber: Honeysuckle

Summary of deer resistant plants and flowers

There is large number of plants you can use to keep off these annoying deer from your landscape. We have just selected a few that you can choose from.

1. Landscape Trees

When planting trees on your land, plant trees that grow to be taller with high branches. The deer will not reach to the leaves easily. However, ensure that you protect the trunk from deer damage when it is still premature. Use some type of fence around it. Examples of such trees include, Hawthorn, honey locust, Pines and live oaks

2. Ferns

Deer rarely find time to search for ferns. Therefore, plant the ferns together with plants that are highly susceptible to deer. These plants prefer shade and are good for ground cover.

3. Herbs

Deer normally do not admire herbs as they contain some scent and generally taste bitter as well. Therefore, you can use these plants as ground cover when planting. None of the deer will come near the herbs again. Ensure full exposure to sun and fertile soil for maximum growth. Best herbs to use include, Basil, fennel, southernwood, perilla, and parsley.

4. Bulbs such as alliums

These plants perform at their best to ensure that the deer never comes close to your plants again. They contain a pungent smell that keeps the deer away. Examples of such crops, onions, garlic, daffodils and summer snowflakes. However, bulbs such as tulips should not act as deer resistant crops. This is because it is a severely damaged plant.

5. Ornamental grass

They offer a good ground cover for crops. Most of them are attractive and maintaining them is not difficult. They can survive longer to keep deer away from your terrain. Some of these types of grass include reed grass, river oats, pampas grass, panic grass, and Indian grass.

pampas grass
pampas grass
6. Choking plants

These plants have pricks that keep predators away from them. Therefore, your deer will not dare touch any plant near it. They are attractive to bees. Deer rarely have any time bothering with this plant hence perfectly stands as a rarely damaged crop.

7. Mint

This perennial herb is different. It grows best in pots compared to when it grows from the ground. The plant has a strong pungent smell that keeps the deer away from any plant near it. It can protect plants for a longer time because it takes time to grow well. However while planting it, ensure that the ground offers a larger surface area for perfect growth.

8. Roses

Roses carry along a strong scent as they grow. You can use different types of roses to keep these animals from your crop. Different roses grow differently. Examples are foxglove, dianthus, bleeding hearts and cushion spurge.

9. Yucca

The Yucca can easily irritate the deer. It contains spiky leaves that prevent the animal from enjoying a good meal

If you do not want to have any of the 9 plants above you could try any one of these.

Some plants to try where deer are problematic include;

  • Agapanthus
  • Aquilegia
  • Bamboos
  • Berberis (not purple-leaved types)
  • Buddleja davidii (butterfly bush)
  • Buxus (box)
  • Chaenomeles (Japanese quince)
  • Choisya ternata
  • Clematis
  • Cornus sanguinea (dogwood)
  • Cortaderia selloana (pampas grass)
  • Cotinus coggygria (not purple-leaved forms)
  • Daphne
  • Delphinium
  • Digitalis (foxglove)
  • Echinops (globe thistles)
  • Euphorbia (spurges)
  • Forsythia
  • Gaultheria shallon
  • Gooseberry
  • Helleborus (hellebores)
  • Hippophae rhamnoides
  • Hydrangea
  • Jasminum (jasmine – winter & summer types)
  • Kerria japonica
  • Kniphofia (red hot pokers)
  • Laurus nobilis (sweet bay)
  • Lavandula (lavender)
  • Leucanthemum x superbum
  • Lonicera spp. (honeysuckles)
  • Lonicera nitida
  • Lupinus (lupins)
  • Magnolia
  • Mahonia
  • Monarda didyma (bergamot)
  • Narcissus (daffodils)
  • Nepeta × faassenii (catmint)
  • Nerine
  • Philadelphus (mock orange)
  • Phormium tenax (New Zealand flax)
  • Potentilla fruticosa
  • Rhododendron (deciduous azaleas)
  • Rhubarb
  • Ribes (currants)
  • Robinia pseudoacacia (false acacia)
  • Romneya coulteri (Californian poppy)
  • Rosa rugosa, R. spinosissima
  • Spiraea japonica
  • Viburnum (deciduous types)
  • Vinca major, V. minor
  • Weigela
  • Yucca
  • Zinnia


While picking the right deer resistant plant, ensure that it can last longer through most of the seasons. This will keep the deer from your terrain for longer. Also, remember that using deer resistant plants does not mean that you have kept the animals away from your farm. If the season ends, these plants might end being food for the animals. You can build a fence around your farm just to keep the deer away.

Repellents act as good resistant agents but can be ineffective if applied inappropriately. Therefore, ensure that you keep spraying your crops regularly.

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