by High Country Gardens

     How-to-keep-deer-from-eating-plants--blog-720x400     
Deer passing through customer's garden planted with Phlox plants, which include some deer resistant varieties. Drummond's Pink Creeping Phlox is one variety that is deer resistant and attracts butterflies.

Designing Your Garden with Deer Resistant Plants

While no plant is 100% deer proof, there are many varieties that deer are highly unlikely to browse in your garden. You’ll want to select deer resistant plants carefully. Aromatic plants, meaning those with oils in their stems and leaves, will release scent when bent or crushed. These scents, while often pleasant for the gardener, are distasteful to deer, so they are less likely to choose those plants as a snack.

Deer Resistant Perennials and Bulbs

Culinary herbs, such as Sage, Thyme, Rosemary and Lavender, are great choices in offering deer resistance because they have the added bonus of using the harvested herbs for cooking. Other plants well adapted to deter deer with a strong scent include Achillea (Yarrow), Echinacea (Purple Coneflower), Agastache (Hummingbird Mint), and Monarda (Bee Balm).

Don’t overlook spring bulbs when choosing plants for deer resistance. Daffodils, Bearded Iris, Hyacinths, and Muscari offer bright color and delightful fragrance, but are rarely browsed by deer.

Deer Repellants

Tulips are often favored by deer, and unfortunately, once the deer eat the blooms, the tulips won't bloom again until the next spring. If they are a “must have” for your spring garden, you may be able to keep the deer at bay as long as they are planted amid other deer resistant plants. Be sure to treat tulips regularly with a deer repellent, such as our all natural Deer Off, which comes in a spray or concentrated liquid.

Some gardeners have also had success by hanging shiny objects from trees or other garden ornaments. But note that deer can become accustomed to these objects over time.

If you want to make sure deer steer clear of your garden, we have hundreds of deer resistant plants and bulbs to choose from.

  1. Delosperma Lavender Ice

    'Lavender Ice' Ice Plant has large, gorgeous lavender-pink flowers and a tidy mat of evergreen foliage that turns purplish in winter. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric)...

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    Lavender Ice Ice Plant Lavender Ice Ice Plant Delosperma Lavender Ice
    As low as $7.99 Sale $7.59
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
    'Lavender Ice' Ice Plant has large, gorgeous lavender-pink flowers and a tidy mat of evergreen foliage that turns purplish in winter. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).
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  2. Pink and Purple Delosperma ashtonii Blut, Delosperma ashtonii Blut, Blut Ice Plant

    'Blut' is one of the very best cold hardy Ice Plants. With its vigorous growth habit, durable evergreen foliage and summer-long display of deep magenta-red flowers, it is an invaluab...

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    Blut Ice Plant Blut Ice Plant Delosperma ashtonii Blut
    As low as $7.99 Sale $7.19
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
    'Blut' is one of the very best cold hardy Ice Plants. With its vigorous growth habit, durable evergreen foliage and summer-long display of deep magenta-red flowers, it is an invaluable groundcover. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).
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  3. Red and White Callirhoe involucrata, Callirhoe involucrata, Poppy Mallow, Winecups

    Commonly known as Poppy Mallow or Wine Cups, Callirhoe involucrata is a native wildflower that decorates the garden with a summer-long display of bright magenta-pink flowers. A spraw...

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    Purple Poppy Mallow (Callirhoe) Poppy Mallow, Winecups Callirhoe involucrata
    Sale Price I Save 5%
    $8.99 Sale $8.54
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
    Commonly known as Poppy Mallow or Wine Cups, Callirhoe involucrata is a native wildflower that decorates the garden with a summer-long display of bright magenta-pink flowers. A sprawling grower, Callirhoe involucrata's long branches spread out across the ground to create a colorful mat of flowers and foliage. Drought resistant perennial plant (xeric).
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  4. Hesperaloe parviflora Yellow Texas Yucca flower

    Yellow Flowering Texas Yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora 'Yellow') is a beautiful, uncommon yellow-flowered form of Texas Red Yucca, a low-water garden favorite. Plant it with other Hespe...

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    Yellow Flowering Texas Yucca (Hesperaloe) Yellow Flowering Texas Yucca Hesperaloe parviflora Yellow
    Sale Price I Save 10%
    $12.99 Sale $11.69
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Yellow Flowering Texas Yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora 'Yellow') is a beautiful, uncommon yellow-flowered form of Texas Red Yucca, a low-water garden favorite. Plant it with other Hesperaloes to create superb bi-colored combinations that are sure to draw hummingbirds to your garden.
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  5. Silver Artemisia Powis Castle, Artemisia Powis Castle, Silver Sage close up by customer Mike D.

    Powis Castle is a superb foliage plant with finely textured silver-gray foliage and an attractive mounding habit. Use this plant to accentuate ornamental grasses and other perennials...

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    Powis Castle Artemisia Powis Castle Silver Sage Artemisia Powis Castle
    As low as $9.99 Sale $9.49
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Powis Castle is a superb foliage plant with finely textured silver-gray foliage and an attractive mounding habit. Use this plant to accentuate ornamental grasses and other perennials with differently colored foliage. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).
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  6. Perovskia atriplicifolia Blue Spires

    Perovskia atriplicifolia Blue Spires (Blue Spires Russian Sage) is the best large growing Russian Sage selection blooming with dark blue flower spikes appearing in mid-summer. Though...

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    Blue Spires Russian Sage Blue Spires Russian Sage Perovskia atriplicifolia Blue Spires
    Sale Price I Save 5%
    $10.99 Sale $10.44
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Perovskia atriplicifolia Blue Spires (Blue Spires Russian Sage) is the best large growing Russian Sage selection blooming with dark blue flower spikes appearing in mid-summer. Thought to be a hybrid of two species, this plant has amazing vigor and blooms for many months.
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  7. Salvia sylvestris May Night, May Night Meadow Sage, Purple Salvia sylvestris May Night

    Salvia sylvestris ‘May Night’ (May Night Sage) blooms prolifically with deep purple-blue flowers. It is an outstanding perennial with excellent cold hardiness, vigor, and toleran...

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    May Night Salvia May Night Meadow Sage Salvia sylvestris May Night
    As low as $9.49 Sale $9.02
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Salvia sylvestris ‘May Night’ (May Night Sage) blooms prolifically with deep purple-blue flowers. It is an outstanding perennial with excellent cold hardiness, vigor, and tolerance of heavy clay soils. Blooming in late spring with a profusion of flower spikes, it reblooms later in the summer when deadheaded.
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  8. Achillea Moonshine Yarrow Photo Courtesy of Walter's Gardens Inc.

    Moonshine Yarrow (Achillea Moonshine) is an outstanding perennial plant with silver-gray foliage and lemon-yellow flat-topped flowers that cover the plant all summer. This is a well-...

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    Moonshine Yarrow Moonshine Yarrow Achillea Moonshine
    As low as $8.99 Sale $8.09
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Moonshine Yarrow (Achillea Moonshine) is an outstanding perennial plant with silver-gray foliage and lemon-yellow flat-topped flowers that cover the plant all summer. This is a well-behaved variety, meaning it won't reseed and spread.
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Text by Wendy Hatoum; Customer photo by S. Solomon.

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