Consider Deer Resistant Plants

Many people have been asking me what they should do about the deer damage in their garden.  I wish I had a magic solution, but sadly I do not. The truth is, if they are really hungry, especially after a tough winter, they will eat everything and anything. However, there are some plants that they love, and some that they seem to dislike, except for babies who just don’t know any better, and try everything.


In general, deer dislike any plant that is thorny, fuzzy or smelly. So try adding some of those to your garden. Consider the path the deer enter and exit your yard. You can place resistant plants there to help move them along, instead of giving them an appetizer and encouraging them to linger for a full course meal.

I’m sure you’ve heard of deer fences as a barrier but they are often an eyesore and impractical for many, me included.  However, let’s be honest, there are just some plants that you just have to have. For those, you can try spraying them with Liquid Fence. I have had some luck with this although you do need to re-spray from time to time especially after the rain. If you are lucky the deer will be trained to stay away from the sprayed area.

Below I have listed my experience with deer and my garden. How about you? Which plants do you grow that the deer avoid or which ones to they devour?

Daylilies are a great hardy, drought tolerant perennial that blooms all summer long and comes in a variety of colors and styles.

Plants deer devour:

  • Daylilies
  • Hosta
  • Tulips
  • Hydrangea
  • Sedums

Bleeding Heart ~ Deer Resistant Plants ~

Plants deer avoid:

  • Alliums
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Hellebore
  • Pulmonaria
  • Lavender
  • Ferns
  • Beauty Berry
  • Beebalm
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Catmint
  • Daffodils
  • Lady’s Mantle
  • Primrose
  • Rose Campion
  • Abelia
  • Caryopteris
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Chives
  • Oregano
  • Barberry
  • Russian Sage
  • Sages
  • Forget Me Not
  • Sweet Woodruff
  • Yucca

Learn how to deter deer by planting deer resistant plants in your garden and other deterrents that will help your garden grow big and lush.

About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Hearth and Vine, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

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  1. Great solution Patti and I love your bleeding heart picture. I normally just tell folks when I get asked this question to put up a fence. My mom who lives in Deer country in Eastern WA had to finally do that with her garden area. It looks really nice, they even left open space so the deer can come to the front of the yard and to the door for them to feed. I’m imagining a deer eating a hydrangea bush, I bet it’s kind of cute.. Fantastic information – Will share this with my readers on Facebook later this week.

  2. Add Pansies to the list! Deer in my neighborhood have devoured mine. I agree, the repellent spray works very well when you remember to reapply often.

  3. Rhonda Templeton says:

    I live in North Eastern Oregon and the deer that come in my yard, do eat all my chives and garlic chives. They even eat all the leaves on my rhubarb plants, that are supposed to be poisonous. I have tried a recipe of mint, garlic and cayenne, making a sort of tea out of it. But as anything, when it rains you have to reapply.

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