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 $7.19
    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
    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. 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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  4. 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 - 2.5" 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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  5. Bouteloua gracilis Blonde Ambition, Blonde Ambition Blue Grama Grass

    Blonde Ambition Blue Grama Grass (Bouteloua gracilis Blonde Ambition PP#22,048) is a native ornamental grass with a completely new look. The horizontal eyelash-like chartreuse flower...

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    Blonde Ambition Blue Grama Grass Blonde Ambition Blue Grama Grass Bouteloua gracilis Blonde Ambition PP#22,048
    As low as $11.99 Sale $11.39
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot

    Blonde Ambition Blue Grama Grass (Bouteloua gracilis Blonde Ambition PP#22,048) is a native ornamental grass with a completely new look. The horizontal eyelash-like chartreuse flowers appear in mid-summer and age to blonde seed heads by fall. They are held on the plant right through the winter to provide many months of interest. 2011 Plant of The Year

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  6. Pink Thymus praecox ssp. arcticus Coccineus, Thymus praecox ssp. arcticus Coccineus, Pink Creeping Thyme

    Pink Creeping Thyme is an outstanding selection with glossy, dark green leaves covered with light pink flowers pushing form rose-pink buds in early summer. This variety is impressive...

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    Pink Creeping Thyme Pink Creeping Thyme Thymus praecox ssp. arcticus Coccineus
    As low as $7.99 Sale $7.59
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
    Pink Creeping Thyme is an outstanding selection with glossy, dark green leaves covered with light pink flowers pushing form rose-pink buds in early summer. This variety is impressively xeric, with tough woody stems. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).
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  7. Butterfly Paradise Pre-Planned Cottage Garden

    This Butterfly Paradise Pre-Planned Cottage Garden creates a high impact cottage-garden look with masses of beautiful flowering plants. The bold groupings please with color, flower f...

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    Butterfly Paradise Pre-Planned Cottage Garden Butterfly Paradise Pre-Planned Cottage Garden
    As low as $158.84 Sale $142.96
    Per Garden of 16 Plants

    This Butterfly Paradise Pre-Planned Cottage Garden creates a high impact cottage-garden look with masses of beautiful flowering plants. The bold groupings please with color, flower form, and foliage. Late spring to late summer bloom times.

    This Cottage Garden is available in two sizes. The large size includes a total of 30 plants, covering an area of 8 ft. x 12 ft. (90 sq. ft); the small size includes 16 plants, covering an area of 8 ft. x 5 ft. (40 sq. ft). Includes premium plants, planting map and care guide.

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  8. Blue Ceratostigma plumbaginoides, Ceratostigma plumbaginoides, Hardy Plumbago

    Hardy Plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides) is one of the most versatile groundcovers for cold climates growing in both sun and shade and most soil types. Plumbago blooms in late su...

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    Hardy Plumbago (Ceratostigma) Hardy Plumbago, Leadwort Ceratostigma plumbaginoides
    As low as $8.79 Sale $8.35
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
    Hardy Plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides) is one of the most versatile groundcovers for cold climates growing in both sun and shade and most soil types. Plumbago blooms in late summer with deep blue flowers followed by the foliage that turns burgundy red in fall.
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Text by Wendy Hatoum; Customer photo by S. Solomon.

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