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. 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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    Ceratostigma plumbaginoides Hardy Plumbago Ceratostigma plumbaginoides
    As low as $8.79 Sale $7.91
    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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  2. Red and Orange Agastache Coronado Red, Agastache Coronado Red, Coronado Red Hummingbird Mint

    Coronado Red® Hyssop (Agastache Pstessene Coronado® Red) is a distinctive selection of Hummingbird Mint with silver-green foliage and spikes of orange-red flowers. This Agastache p...

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    Agastache Coronado Red Coronado Red® Hummingbird Mint (Hyssop) Agastache Coronado Red
    As low as $10.99 Sale $9.89
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Coronado Red® Hyssop (Agastache Pstessene Coronado® Red) is a distinctive selection of Hummingbird Mint with silver-green foliage and spikes of orange-red flowers. This Agastache plant has a very vertical habit and blooms beginning in mid-summer. A 2009 Plant Select winner. Drought resistant perennial plant (xeric).
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  3. 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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    Salvia sylvestris May Night May Night Meadow Sage Salvia sylvestris May Night
    As low as $9.49 Sale $8.07
    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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  4. Jumbo Waterwise Pre-Planned Garden

    A High Country Gardens Exclusive, our drought resistant jumbo Waterwise pre-planned garden will allow you to grow more flowers while using less water with this arresting combination ...

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    Jumbo Waterwise Pre-Planned Garden Jumbo Waterwise Pre-Planned Garden
    As low as $169.32 Sale $152.39
    Per Collection of 18

    A High Country Gardens Exclusive, our drought resistant jumbo Waterwise pre-planned garden will allow you to grow more flowers while using less water with this arresting combination of long-blooming, easy-care perennials. Their bright, clear colors are a delight to your eye, but their inedible foliage will keep the rabbits and deer at bay. Perfect for that hot, sunny spot in your yard. Available in two sizes, 18 or 27 plants. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric). Save $20 off the single plant price!

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

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