Deer Resistant Plants

Buddleia ‘Grand Cascade’ Butterfly Bush

Deer: How to Browse-Proof Your Gardens

          Wildlife in your backyard is something we all strive for, but when deer start to graze on your prized specimens, you reach your limit! What to do?

          There are generally three types of barriers: chemical, visual and physical. Keep in mind, however, that if deer are starving they will eat even toxic material.

         Plant quick growing plants that deer love at a distance from your plants you want to protect. This is known as distractive feeding. Deer are lazy and will eat the closest, most nutritious food they can find.

          Deer are creatures of habit. They take the easiest and safest path to the food source and use it constantly. Hanging colored flags along the path on strings of wire at different heights will help to scare them off. Another option is installing a deer fence. This fence must be at least 8’ high and anchored to the ground (check your zoning laws first!). Fishing line is also a good deterrent: tie several lines across the area you want protected. The line is nearly invisible and is harmless to the deer, while still being effective.

         The use of scent is another method of protection. There are several over the counter products that are effective. Antifeedent sprays that contain combinations of egg yolks, garlic, peppermint oil and cinnamon have proven to be the most effective. Be sure to spray when there is a dry spell and reapply after rain, snow or hot weather. Also take caution that these products have an unpleasant odor. A popular choice the past couple years that has been proven very effective is the PlantSkydd product, it is rainproof and long lasting,

          There are some deer resistant plants that you can use to distract deer with, or at least leave as a last resort if they are starving. Attached is a list of deer deterrent and resistant plants to help keep your garden deer-free.

Deer Resistant Perennials and Shrubs


  Botanical         Common

*Achillea         Yarrow  

Acontium        Monkshood

Ajuga              Bugleweed

Aquilegia        Columbine

Artemisia        Artemisia

Asclepias         Butterfly Weed

Astilbe            Astilbe

Baptisia           False Indigo

Cerastium       Snow in Summer


Clematis          Clematis

Dicentra          Bleeding Heart

Digitalis          Foxglove

Echinops         Globe Thistle

Epimedium     Barrenwort

Eupatorium     Joe Pye Weed

Ferns              Ferns

Gaillardia        Blanket Flower

Lamium          Deadnettle

*Lavendula     Lavender

Lupinus          Lupine

Mentha           Mint

Monarda         Bee Balm

*Nepeta          Cat Mint

Pachysandra    Spurge

Papaver          Poppy

Rudbeckia       Black Eyed Susan

*Salvia            Sage

Veronica         Speedwell

Vinca              Vinca

Trees and Shrubs:

 Botanical         Common

Andromeda     Andromeda

Aronia             Chokeberry

Betula             Birch

Buddleia          Butterfly Bush

Buxus                       Boxwood

Cercis                       Redbud

Cornus florida     Flowering Dogwood

Cotinus           Smokebush

Cotoneaster     Cotoneaster

Forsythia        Forsythia

Hydrangea anomala Climbing Hydrangea

Kerria             Kerria

Ligistrum       Privet

Lindera           Spicebush

Magnolia         Magnolia

Myrica            Bayberry

Picea abies      Birdsnest Spruce

Picea glauca     Alberta Spruce

Pinus mugo     Mugo Pine

Potentilla        Potentilla

Quince            Chaenomeles

Rhododendron Yaku

Rosa rugosa            Beach Rose

Salix                Willow

Spiraea            Spirea

Syringa           Lilac

Thuja              Giant Arborvitae

Weigela          Weigela

Aunt Dee Wisteria