Are you tired of providing an All-You-Can-Eat Garden Buffet for the local deer population? We are. After gardening in our yard, we’ve noticed within minutes of going inside, the deer stroll by searching for the next delicacies that we added to the garden. They are there to munch, not admire your hard toiling in the garden.
Imagine this: last fall, you remember planting some pansies by the mailbox, some hostas underneath the maple tree, and tulips in the front garden. But when Spring emerges the pansies, hostas, and tulips can’t be found. Then you wonder if maybe you moved the hostas to another area of the yard or if you lost the pansies over the long, harsh winter. Then you realize your gardens are just one long continuous All-You-Can-Eat Garden Buffet for the deer!
We’ve lost too many carefully planted perennials and at Halloween time, large pumpkins have mysteriously disappeared. One of our neighbors, an avid gardener biweekly sprays her garden to deter deer from nibbling away at her garden plants. Since we are unable to maintain an organic spraying schedule of any kind, we will begin transitioning away from plants that are not deer-resistant. Although, we do realize that during the long winter period, hungry deer may eat whatever is available to them.
We’ve compiled our list below of deer resistant garden perennial plants that deer tend to avoid. A word of caution – while these perennials are found to be ‘deer resistant’ they are not guaranteed to be ‘deer proof.’ Again, when we have long, cold hard winters our landscaping tends to suffer more as the deer become less choosy. But give your gardens a fighting chance by picking your perennials wisely! The first 18 plants prefer sun while the remaining plants 6 plants prefer a shady to partial shade garden environment. Take a look. Maybe you already have a few of these in your garden?
Sun-loving perennials that are deer resistant follow:
The Geranium Rozanne is a prolific blue-flowered Geranium that spreads and loves the sun. Beautiful blue flowers that are striking.
The Dianthus Early Bird Frosty is a hardy, sun loving perennial growing up to 8 inches tall. Blooms are lovely and fragrant.
The Coreopsis Verticillata Moonbeam, a tickseed perennial, blooms from June until October. The Coreopsis can reach up to two feet and thrives in full sun.
The Monarda Didyma Pink Lace has dark red stems that reach up to 16 inches tall. The upright Monarda perennial attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. The leaves when touched release a minty pungent scent. Monarda prefers a sunny to partial shade area with blooms from July until August.
The Liatris Spicata Kobold, Blazing Star perennial blooms from July to August. The Liatris reaches up to 30 inches tall and is considered a dwarf plant. This Liatris should be planted closer to the front of the garden bed.
The Anemone Sylvestris has white, fragrant blooms in May with repeat blooms in the cool days of early fall. The Anemone reaches 18 inches tall and is a vigorous spreader. The perennial does well in a sunny to partial shade area.
The Asclepias Tuberosa, also named Butterfly weed, brings bright orange to a Summer garden. The Butterfly weed perennial blooms from July to September and draws butterflies to its blooms. The sun loving Butterfly weed can reach up to 24 inches tall.
The Echinacea Purpurea PowWow Wild Berry coneflower continuously blooms all Summer long with 3 to 4 inches blooms. The blooms are brilliant rose-purple petals. The sun loving PowWow Wild Berry can reach up to 24 inches tall.
The Echinops Ritro Platinum Blue or Globe Thistle has bright lavender-blue spheres as flowers on silvery white, branched stems above with white and woolly foliage below. Globe Thistle can grow to 36 inches tall in a sunny to part shade garden area.
10. Lemon Thyme
Lemon Thyme has a lovely lemon scent with bright golden edged leaves. It is a nicely scented low-growing perennial herb with delicate leaves that loves the sun. Lemon Thyme grows up to 12 inches tall and is deer resistant.
11. Rosemary Arp
Rosemary Arp has gray-green, lemony scented leaves that are great for cooking. Blue blooms appear in May and June. Rosemary Arp can reach between 3 to 4 feet tall and is deer resistant.
The Phlox Subulata Scarlet Flame is a stunning creeping Phlox that blooms a bold magenta color. The Scarlet Flame blooms in Spring and has tough durable low growing, green foliage. Deer resistant and a sun loving creeping Phlox.
The Delphinium Magic Fountains Strain is a dwarf Delphinium that blooms in a range of colors including lilac, pink, sky blue, pure white, white with a black bee and dark blue flower. The sun loving Delphinium can reach up to 30 inches tall and blooms in June and September. Best of all the Delphinium is deer resistant!
The Lavender Munstead is a deep heliotrope color that can reach up to 12 inches tall. One of the lowest growing Lavenders is excellent garden selection for a border or garden path. The fragrant Munstead has green-gray foliage with slender flowering stems and is resistant to heat, drought, and deer!
The Anchusa Azurea Dropmore have brilliant blue flowers all summer on 3 to 5 feet spikes. The sun loving Anchusa Azurea leaves are covered with coarse hairs and blooms in June and July.
The Iris Sibirica Shirley Pope has large velvety dark blue flowers. The Shirley Pop Iris like a sunny to partial shade garden area, blooms in June and grows up to 34 inches tall. The Iris was a recipient of the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit.
The Stachys Byzantina Fuzzy Wuzzy or sometimes called Lamb’s Ear has silvery white leaves and is great as a garden bed edging plant. The Stachys prefers full sun but will tolerate a part shade garden area. Blooms appear in May through July and can reach up to 18 inches tall.
The Artemisia Parfum d’Ethiopa is a silvery upright Artemisia with a sweet fragrance. The Artemisia is grown for its beautiful airy, silvery foliage. The Deer resistant Artemisia grows up to 24 inches tall.
Shade-loving perennials that are deer resistant follow below:
The old-fashioned Bleeding Heart is a garden favorite with racemes or flower clusters of heart-shaped pink flowers. The Bleeding Heart bloom begins in May and lasts until June. The shade loving perennial can reach up to 30 inches tall and best of all is deer resistant.
The Pulmonaria Moonshine has shimmering silver leaves with dark green edges. The plants grow in dense clumps that prevent weeds from growing. The Moonshine Pulmonaria or Lungwort produces dainty, ice-blue flowers in April through May. The shade loving, deer resistant perennial can reach up to 15 inches tall.
21. Asarum Splendens
The Asarum Splendens or Chinese Wild Ginger has beautiful long, narrow heart-shaped leaves marked with bands of silver that lighten the woodland garden. A great foliage shade plant with rich green colors love a little acidic soil with moisture. The Chinese Wild Ginger can form a ground cover that reaches 12 to 15 inches tall. It prefers a part shade to shade garden area.
The Bergenia Cordifolia Winter Glow can be used as a groundcover that can resist both deer and rabbits because of its tough, leathery leaves. The Bergenia produces magenta pink flowers in April through May that can reach up to 18 inches tall. The perennial does well in part shade to shade garden area.
The Helleborus Winter Magic Snow Love is a vigorous shade loving perennial that produces creamy green blooms in March and April. The Hellebore or Lenten Rose has thick, leathery foliage and prefers a part shade to shade garden area. The Lenten Rose reaches 15 inches tall and is Deer Resistant.
The x Heucherella Honey Rose has leaves that are salmon rose in the Spring and turn dark rosy-red in Summer. The Honey Rose or Foamy Bells perennial grows to 8 inches tall and produces creamy white flowers. The x Heucherella grows in a part shade garden.
These are 24 deer resistant plants that do not create an All You Can Eat Garden Buffet for the local deer population. Some of these deer resistant perennials can also be grown from seed to save money. This is especially helpful if you have a large lawn to landscape or live on a homestead. Although there are annuals that are also deer resistant, we decide to select only perennials that will return year after year rather than devote money and time to growing annuals which in may areas of the country last only one year.
Another way to save money is to check with your family or neighbors, maybe they have some deer resistant perennials they are willing to exchange with you. If you try any of these Deer Resistant perennials let us know how you make out.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us in the comments below. We always are ready to help you out.