Deer Say “Yuck”: Easy-To-Grow Deer Resistant Plants
Deer Say “Yuck”: Easy-To-Grow Deer Resistant Plants
By David Salman, Chief Horticulturist
As deer populations have been exploding in many parts of the country, especially in the eastern US, the damage they inflicting on gardens and lanscapes follows. Gardeners have a few different options to protect their landscapes - and for best results, use a combination of different techniques to gain the upper hand
3 Strategies To Deter Deer
The first and most effective way to protect your yard is to install fencing, but it needs to be at 7 to 8 ft tall to thwart the deer who can easily clear lower heights. (Special low-visibility fencing mesh helps to minimize its visual impact.)
Second is the use of a rotating menu of deer repellants. Spray deer repellent on new transplants and established plants that are vulnerable to browsing, especially during the fall, winter and early spring months.
A third and essential deterrent is choosing plants that are unpalatable to hungry deer. Using deer resistant plants as companion plants to more vulverable varieties is another strategy. Fortunately, we offer a wide variety of deer resistant plants, so you can plant a garden that's both beautiful and worry free.
Deer Resistant Aromatic Plants
There are many plants that deer don't favor when they're out looking for a meal. In general, plants with strongly aromatic foliage are not on the deer dessert list, since the aromatic oils contained in the plants are bitter and generally unpalatable.
Companion planting of deer resistant plants with other non-resistant plants is also a good strategy. Deer smell the aromatic plants and leave the whole planting alone. Planting Lavender alongside and around roses or Clematis vines for example, is an effective and aesthetically pleasing strategy. Russian Sage (Perovskia) planted in among and on the outer edge of a xeric planting will keep the deer away as well.
Some Of Our Favorite Deer Resistant Plants
Look for the no deer symbol throughout the website plant descriptions to easily spot deer resistant plants.
Be sure and apply deer repellent to new transplants. Nursery grown plants don't realize their deer repellent properties until they have been growing in the soil of their new home for a few months to establish and accumulate the bitter tasting oils that make the plants unpalatable.
It may help to use multiple repellents so that deer do not get accustomed to them.
Be sure to reapply as needed, to prevent deer from getting a taste of your plants and ocming back for more -- especially after rain.
It's also important to remember that the plants deer don't like to eat will vary somewhat from region to region. So I always recommend checking in with local Agricultural Extension offices and Master Gardener organizations to verify that the plants on your deer resistant "want list" are not being eaten in your area.
Our Bee Bonanza Bonanza Ornamental Oregano Collection will fill your garden with easy-care, fragrant, pollinator-favorite flowers. Our bee-friendly collection features three of our favorite varieties, ranging from draping to upright, with flower clusters large and small in rose, pink, and magenta. Blooms in gardens or containers all summer and well into fall. Collection of 9 plants.
'Blue Spruce' Creeping Sedum (Sedum reflexum) is a standout among low-maintenance Sedums. This easy-to-grow and eye-catching features succulent blue-green foliage, much like little spruce needles! A pollinator favorite, it is covered with small star-shaped yellow flowers in summer for over a month. A great evergreen groundcover where low maintenance, drought-tolerant, deer-and-rabbit-resistant plantings are desired.
'Cape Blanco' Creeping Sedum (Sedum spathulifolium 'Cape Blanco') is sheer elegance with unusual pewter, powder-blue succulent foliage in a well-behaved groundcover. Clusters of tiny yellow flowers cover the plant in summer. Cape Blanco is an award-winning standout. Easy-to-grow and pollinator-friendly this North American native is a must-have!
Li'l Bang™ 'Starstruck' Coreopsis hits a home run for easy-to-grow, colorful, pollinator-friendly flowers. Blooming with rosy-red-to-pink cheerful blossoms with bright yellow eyes, it will keep you in color from mid-summer to mid-fall. Great for containers too, and deer resistant.
Blanca Peak™ White Penstemon (Penstemon strictus) is an award-winning white-flowered selection of our native Rocky Mountain Penstemon. Large, tubular flowers are a favorite nectar source for bumblebees. Plant this easy-to-grow beardtongue for a sturdy, long-lived late-spring bloomer in your xeriscape. This beauty thrives in most well-drained soil with full sun exposure. A 2021 Plant Select® Winner. A High Country Gardens Introduction.
An easy-to-grow groundcover, 'Purple Beauty' Creeping Phlox (Phlox subulata) carpets the mid-to-late spring garden with starry lavender-purple flowers. Whether you are looking for a water-thrifty addition to flow through a rock garden, or a beautiful way to highlight a spring-blooming bulb collection, 'Purple Beauty' will add pollinator-friendly, drought-tolerant spring beauty to your garden.
'Rose Marvel' Salvia (Salvia nemorosa) adds stunning spikes of large magenta-pink flowers to the summer garden. It’s a garden workhorse, reblooming without needing to be cut back, and a pollinator favorite, attracting bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The lovely herbaceous-scented foliage is deer and rabbit resistant. Drought tolerant once established. Nice cut flowers too!
SunSparkler® 'Wildfire' Sedum blazes with ruby red petals edged in hot pink. Late summer brings clusters of long-blooming pink flowers. It’s an attention-worthy groundcover that will naturalize to fill a sunny, dry area. In fact, the more sun, the brighter the color. A perfect easy-to-grow addition to a rock garden, container, or any sunny spot that needs a water-thrifty color boost. Deer and rabbit resistant.