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Deer Resistant Plants

If you garden, and if you share your garden with deer, chances are that you have learned a bit about what plants they love to eat, and what they often leave alone. This list is designed to help you add variety to your garden without putting the “Buffet Open” sign out for those doe-eyed darlings.

Some plant characteristics that deer-resistant plants commonly share:
  • Bitter taste
  • Leaf texture (hairy, leathery, spiky)
  • Color (deer often avoid gray/silver foliage)
  • Pungent aroma (interferes with their sense of smell, which is their primary method of detecting danger)
Some plant characteristics that attract deer:
  • Lush, tender leaves with high water content (deer satisfy one third of their water needs from plants)
  • Plants high in protein, carbohydrates, minerals and salts (this generally equals plants that are frequently fertilized)
Some things to consider when you garden in area where deer have access:
  • Deer will be more apt to browse in your garden in early spring and late summer/fall, when their natural food sources are not as abundant.
  • New growth and flower buds are the most vulnerable to deer browsing, and can be damaged on otherwise deer-resistant plants.
  • Unlike horses, cows, and sheep, deer browse instead of grazing, so they will often skip from plant to plant, nibbling here and there as opposed to munching in one area. Also, they prefer broadleaf plants, not grasses and grass-like plants.
  • Plants that are deer-resistant are often rabbit-resistant as well.

Plants on this list are divided into three sections:
Annuals, Biennials/Perennials, and Vegetables.

All plants are rated by their level of deer resistance:


RARELY DAMAGED
According to sources in many regions, deer seldom browse these plants.

OCCASIONALLY BROWSED
Deer tend to stay away, but they may browse these plants if alternate food sources are scarce.

Deer Resistant Biennials and Perennials:
Click here for Annuals; Click here for Vegetables
Acanthus mollis Agapanthus africanus Agastache spp. Anchusa azurea Anemone spp. Armeria spp.
Acanthus
Acanthus mollis
Rarely Damaged
Agapanthus
Agapanthus africanus
Occasionally Browsed
Agastache
Agastache spp.
Rarely Damaged
Anchusa
Anchusa azurea
Occasionally Browsed
Anemone
Anemone spp.
Rarely Damaged
Armeria
Armeria spp.
Rarely Damaged
Centaurea macrocephala Artemisia lactiflora Asparagus sprengeri Aster spp. Astilbe spp. Gypsophylla spp.
Armenian Basket Flower
Centaurea macrocephala
Rarely Damaged
Artemisia
Artemisia lactiflora
Rarely Damaged
Asparagus Fern
Asparagus aethiopicus 'Sprengeri'
Rarely Damaged
Aster
Aster spp.
Occasionaly Damaged
Astilbe
Astilbe spp.
Occasionaly Damaged
Baby's Breath
Gypsophylla spp.
Occasionally Browsed
Platycladon grandiflorus Aurinia saxatilis Monarda spp. Bergenia cordifolia Iris domestica Buddleia davidii
Balloon Flowers
Platycladon grandiflorus
Occasionally Browsed
Basket-of-Gold
Aurinia saxatilis
Rarely Damaged
Bee Balm
Monarda spp.
Occasionaly Damaged
Bergenia
Bergenia cordifolia
Rarely Damaged
Blackberry Lily
Iris domestica
Rarely Damaged
Butterfly Bush
Buddleia davidii
Rarely Damaged
Asclepias spp. Campanula spp. Iberis sempervirens Phygelius spp. Lobelia spp. Ajuga reptens
Butterfly Weed Flowers
Asclepias spp.
Rarely Damaged
Campanula
Campanula spp.
Occasionally Browsed
Candytuft
Iberis sempervirens
Rarely Damaged
Cape Fuchsia
Phygelius spp.
Rarely Damaged
Cardinal Flower
Lobelia spp.
Occasionally Browsed
Carpet Bugle
Ajuga reptens
Rarely Damaged
Caryopteris incana Nepeta cataria Chaenorrhinum origanifolium Physalis a. Allium schoenoprasum Clematis spp.
Caryopteris
Caryopteris incana
Rarely Damaged
Catnip
Nepeta cataria
Rarely Damaged
Chaenorrhinum
Chaenorrhinum origanifolium
Occasionally Browsed
Chinese Lantern Plant
Physalis a.
Occasionally Browsed
Chives
Allium schoenoprasum
Rarely Damaged
Clematis
Clematis spp.
Occasionally Browsed
Aquilegia spp. Heuchera spp. Coreopsis spp. Crocosmia paniculata-hybrid Hesperis matronalis Delphinium spp.
Columbine
Aquilegia spp.
Rarely Damaged
Coral Bells
Heuchera spp.
Rarely Damaged
Coreopsis
Coreopsis spp.
Occasionally Browsed
Crocosmia
Crocosmia paniculata-hybrid
Rarely Damaged
Dame's Rocket
Hesperis matronalis
Rarely Damaged
Delphinium
Delphinium spp.
Rarely Damaged
Dianthus spp. Gunnera spp. Echinacea spp. Eupatorium coelestinum Oenothera spp. Dierama pulcherrimum
Dianthus
Dianthus spp.
Occasionally Browsed
Dinosaur Food
Gunnera spp.
Rarely Damaged
Echinacea
Echinacea spp.
Occasionally Browsed
Eupatorium
Eupatorium coelestinum
Occasionally Browsed
Evening Primrose
Oenothera spp.
Rarely Damaged
Fairy Wand
Dierama pulcherrimum
Rarely Damaged
Tanacetum parthenium Linum spp. Myosotis spp. Mirabilis jalapa Digitalis spp. Gaillardia aristata, G. grandiflora
Feverfew
Tanacetum parthenium
Rarely Damaged
Flax
Linum spp.
Occasionally Browsed
Forge-Me-Not
Myosotis spp.
Rarely Damaged
Four O'Clock
Mirabilis jalapa
Occasionally Browsed
Foxglove
Digitalis spp.
Rarely Damaged
Gaillardia
Gaillardia aristata, G. grandiflora
Occasionally Browsed
Gaura lindheimeri Liatris spicata Geranium sanguineum Echinops bannaticus Assorted spp. Solidago canadensis
Gaura
Gaura lindheimeri
Rarely Damaged
Gayfeather
Liatris spicata
Rarely Damaged
Geranium
Geranium sanguineum
Occasionally Browsed
Globe Thistle
Echinops bannaticus
Rarely Damaged
Grasses
Assorted spp.
Rarely Damaged
Goldenrod
Solidago canadensis
Rarely Damaged
Helenium autumnale Hyssopus officinalis Delospermum spp. Poleminium caeruleum Eupatorium fistulosum Centranthus ruber
Helenium
Helenium autumnale
Occasionally Browsed
Hyssop
Hyssopus officinalis
Rarely Damaged
Ice Plant
Delospermum spp.
Rarely Damaged
Jacob's Ladder
Poleminium caeruleum
Rarely Damaged
Joe Pye Weed
Eupatorium fistulosum
Occasionally Browsed
Jupiter's Beard
Centranthus ruber
Rarely Damaged
Alchemilla mollis Lavandula spp. Melissa officinalis Cymbopogon flexuosus Levisticum officinale Lupinus polyphyllus
Lady's Mantle
Alchemilla mollis
Rarely Damaged
Lavender
Lavandula spp.
Rarely Damaged
Lemon Balm
Melissa officinalis
Rarely Damaged
Lemon Grass
Cymbopogon flexuosus
Rarely Damaged
Lovage
Levisticum officinale
Rarely Damaged
Lupine
Lupinus polyphyllus
Rarely Damaged
Lychnis spp. Origanum marjorana Meconopsis spp. Lunaria annua Sagina subulata Leonurus cardiaca
Maltese Cross
Rose Campion
Silene chalcedonica, Lychnis spp.
Rarely Damaged
Marjoram
Origanum marjorana
Rarely Damaged
Meconopsis Poppy
Meconopsis spp.
Rarely Damaged
Money Plant
Lunaria annua
Rarely Damaged
Irish Moss
Sagina subulata
Rarely Damaged
Motherwort
Leonurus cardiaca
Rarely Damaged
Nepeta spp. Physostegia virginia Origanum vulgare hirtum Penstemon spp. Phlomis russeliana Phormium tenax
Nepeta
Nepeta spp.
Rarely Damaged
Obedience Plant
Physostegia virginia
Occasionally Browsed
Oregano
Origanum vulgare hirtum
Rarely Damaged
Penstemon Flowers
Penstemon spp.
Rarely Damaged
Phlomis
Phlomis russeliana
Rarely Damaged
Phormium
Phormium tenax
Rarely Damaged
Plumbago auriculata Polygonum capitatum Papaver alpinum Papaver bracteatum Papaver nudicaule Papaver orientale
Plumbago
Plumbago auriculata
Rarely Damaged
Polygonum
Polygonum capitatum
Occasionally Browsed
Alpine Poppies
Papaver alpinum
Rarely Damaged
Great Red Poppy
Papaver bracteatum
Rarely Damaged
Iceland Poppies
Papaver nudicaule
Rarely Damaged
Oriental Poppy
Papaver orientale
Rarely Damaged
Primula spp. Prunella grandiflora Kniphofia uvaria Aubrieta x cultorum Rosmarinus officinalis Perovskia atriplicifolia
Primrose
Primula spp.
Occasionally Browsed
Prunella
Prunella grandiflora
Occasionally Browsed
Red Hot Poker
Kniphofia uvaria
Rarely Damaged
Rock Cress
Aubrieta x cultorum
Rarely Damaged
Rosemary
Rosmarinus officinalis
Rarely Damaged
Russian Sage
Perovskia atriplicifolia
Rarely Damaged
Salvia nemerosa (S. x superba) Salvia officinalis Saponaria ocymoides Sempervivum spp. Scabiosa spp. Scutellaria baicalensis
Salvia
Salvia nemerosa
(S. x superba)
Occasionally Browsed
Sage
Salvia officinalis
Rarely Damaged
Soapwort
Saponaria ocymoides
Rarely Damaged
Sempervivum
Sempervivum spp.
Rarely Damaged
Scabiosa
Scabiosa spp.
Occasionally Browsed
Skullcap
Scutellaria baicalensis
Occasionally Browsed
Sisyrinchium angustifolium Cerastium tomentosum Tradescantia x andersoniana Hypericum perforatum Stachys spp. Limonium spp.
Sisyrinchium
Sisyrinchium angustifolium
Rarely Damaged
Snow-in-Summer
Cerastium tomentosum
Rarely Damaged
Spiderwort
Tradescantia x andersoniana
Occasionally Browsed
St. John's Wort
Hypericum perforatum
Rarely Damaged
Stachys
Stachys spp.
Rarely Damaged
Statice
Limonium spp.
Rarely Damaged
Stokesia laevis Viola odorata Tecoma stans Thymus spp. Verbascum spp. Verbena spp.
Stokesia
Stokesia laevis
Occasionally Browsed
Sweet Violet
Viola odorata
Rarely Damaged
Tacoma
Tecoma stans
Occasionally Browsed
Thyme
Thymus spp.
Rarely Damaged
Verbascum
Verbascum spp.
Rarely Damaged
Verbena
Verbena spp.
Occasionally Browsed
Veronica spicata Arabis spp. Artemisia absinthium Achillea spp.
Veronica
Veronica spicata
Rarely Damaged
Wall Rockcress
Arabis spp.
Rarely Damaged
Wormwood
Artemisia absinthium
Rarely Damaged
Yarrow
Achillea spp.
Rarely Damaged

Deer Resistant Annuals:
Click here for Biennials/Perennials; Click here for Vegetables
Ageratum houstonianum Lobularia maritima Anchusa Angelonia Datura spp. Pimpinella anisum
Ageratum
Ageratum houstonianum
Rarely Damaged
Alyssum
Lobularia maritima
Occasionally Browsed
Anchusa
Anchusa
Occasionally Browsed
Angelonia
Angelonia angustifolia
Rarely Damaged
Angel's Trumpet
Datura spp.
Rarely Damaged
Anise
Pimpinella anisum
Rarely Damaged
Gypsophylla muralis Cyanus segetum Sutera cordata Ocimum basillicum Begonia semperflorens Moluccella laevis
Baby's Breath
Gypsophylla muralis
Rarely Damaged
Bachelor's Button
Cyanus segetum
Occasionally Browsed
Bacopa
Sutera cordata
Occasionally Browsed
Basil
Ocimum basillicum
Occasionally Browsed
Begonia, Waxleaf
Begonia semperflorens
Occasionally Browsed
Bells Of Ireland
Moluccella laevis
Rarely Damaged
Gilia capitata Borago officinalis Brachycome iberidifolia Browallia speciosa Asclepias curassavica Calendula officinalis
Blue Thimble Flower
Gilia capitata
Occasionally Browsed
Borage
Borago officinalis
Occasionally Browsed
Brachycome
Brachycome iberidifolia
Rarely Damaged
Browallia
Browallia speciosa
Occasionally Browsed
Butterfly Weed
Asclepias curassavica
Rarely Damaged
Calendula
Calendula officinalis
Rarely Damaged
Ipomoea x multifida Canna generalis Matricaria recutita Collinsia heterophylla Coriandrum sativum Clarkia spp.
Cardinal Climber
Ipomoea x multifida
Rarely Damaged
Canna
Canna generalis
Rarely Damaged
Chamomile, German
Matricaria recutita
Rarely Damaged
Chinese Houses
Collinsia heterophylla
Occasionally Browsed
Cilantro
Coriandrum sativum
Occasionally Browsed
Clarkia
Clarkia spp.
Occasionaly Damaged
Cleome spinosa Ipomoea quamoclit Dahlia variabilis Dichondra argentea Anethum graveolens Chenopodium ambrosiodes
Cleome
Cleome spinosa
Rarely Damaged
Cypress Vine
Ipomoea quamoclit
Rarely Damaged
Dahlia
Dahlia variabilis
Occasionally Browsed
Dichondra, Silver Falls
Dichondra argentea
Occasionally Browsed
Dill
Anethum graveolens
Rarely Damaged
Epazote
Chenopodium ambrosiodes
Rarely Damaged
Foeniculum vulgare Ipomoea lobata (Mina lobata) Gaillardia pulchella Gazania spp Heliotropium arborescens Cerinthe major
Fennel
Foeniculum vulgare
Rarely Damaged
Firecracker Vine
Ipomoea lobata (Mina lobata)
Rarely Damaged
Gaillardia
Gaillardia pulchella
Rarely Damaged
Gazania
Gazania spp
Occasionally Browsed
Heliotrope
Heliotropium arborescens
Rarely Damaged
Honeywort
Cerinthe major
Rarely Damaged
Consolida ajacis Dorotheanthus bellidiformis Lobelia erinus Nigella damascena Reseda odorata Silybum marianum
Larkspur
Consolida ajacis
Rarely Damaged
Livingstone Daisy
Dorotheanthus bellidiformis
Occasionally Browsed
Lobelia
Lobelia erinus
Rarely Damaged
Love-in-a-Mist
Nigella damascena
Rarely Damaged
Mignonette
Reseda odorata
Occasionally Browsed
Milk Thistle
Silybum marianum
Rarely Damaged
Mimulus x hybridus Tropaeolum majus Nicotiana spp Osteospermum ecklonis Helipterum roseum Petroselinum crispum
Mimulus
Mimulus x hybridus
Rarely Damaged
Nasturtium
Tropaeolum majus
Rarely Damaged
Nicotiana
Nicotiana spp
Rarely Damaged
Osteospermum
Osteospermum ecklonis
Occasionally Browsed
Paper Daisy
Helipterum roseum
Occasionally Browsed
Parsley
Petroselinum crispum
Occasionally Browsed
Perilla frutescens Papaver somniferum Eschscholzia californica Papaver paeoniflorum Papaver rhoeas Portulaca spp.
Perilla
Perilla frutescens
Rarely Damaged
Breadseed Poppy
Papaver somniferum
Rarely Damaged
California Poppy
Eschscholzia californica
Occasionally Browsed
Peony Poppy
Papaver paeoniflorum
Rarely Damaged
Shirley Poppy
Papaver rhoeas
Rarely Damaged
Portulaca
Portulaca spp.
Occasionally Browsed
Ptilotus exaltatus Rudbeckia hirta Salvia spp. Satureja hortensis Linum grandiflorum Antirrhinum majus
Ptilotus
Ptilotus exaltatus
Rarely Damaged
Rudbeckia
Rudbeckia hirta
Occasionally Browsed
Salvia
Salvia spp.
Occasionally Browsed
Summer Savory
Satureja hortensis
Rarely Damaged
Scarlet Flax
Linum grandiflorum
Occasionally Browsed
Snapdragon
Antirrhinum majus
Rarely Damaged
Xerochrysum bracteatum Verbena x hybrida Catharanthus roseus Torenia fournieri Xeranthemum annuum Zinnia spp.
Strawflower
Xerochrysum bracteatum
Occasionally Browsed
Verbena
Verbena x hybrida
Rarely Damaged
Vinca
Catharanthus roseus
Rarely Damaged
Wishbone Flower
Torenia fournieri
Occasionally Browsed
Xeranthemum
Xeranthemum annuum
Occasionally Browsed
Zinnia
Zinnia spp.
Occasionally Browsed
Deer Resistant Vegetables:
Click here for Annuals; Click here for Biennials/Perennials
Cynara scolymus Cucumis sativus Solanum melongena Capsicum annuum Solanum lycopersicum, Lycopersicon esculentum
Artichokes
Cynara scolymus
Occasionally Browsed
Cucumbers
Cucumis sativus
Occasionally Browsed
Eggplants
Solanum melongena
Occasionally Browsed
Peppers
Capsicum annuum
Occasionally Browsed
Tomatoes
Solanum lycopersicum, L. esculentum
Occasionally Browsed