How to Keep Deer From Eating Your Plants

Designing Your Garden with Deer Resistant Plants

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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.



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.

Text by Wendy Hatoum; Customer photo by S. Solomon.

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