Deer Resistance

A wise gardener once told me that in order to determine whether a plant will survive in one’s garden, you need to “know your deer.”  Just as we have our own regional cultures and habits, deer communities can vary widely on what they will and will not eat.    In general, deer are unlikely to find appetizing things that are pungent, fuzzy, or prickly. Below is a list of some plants that have so far evaded them in my zone 7 gardens.

Our nursery is completely fenced in with a driveway gate but deer still occasionally get in. To protect our most precious plants during the growing season, we sometimes spray them with Deer Out, an all-natural concoction that smells of garlic and peppermint. We sell the gallon-sized containers for $35 and the 40 oz spray bottle for $16.

For a more comprehensive list of plants rated for deer resistance, check out this list from Rutgers University.

 

Achillea (Yarrow)

Aconitum (Monk’s Hood)

Ageratum (Flossflower)

Ajuga (Bugleweed)

Alchemilla (Lady’s Mantle)

Amsonia (Blue Star)

Anise hyssop

Artemisia (Wormwood)

Asclepias (Milkweed)

Astilbe (False Goat’s Beard)

Athyrium (Ladyfern)

Baptisia (False indigo)

Begonias (Tuberous)

Brunnera (Siberian Bugloss)

Buddleia (Butterfly Bush)

Calamarostis (Feathergrass)

Campanula (Bellflower)

Carex (Sedge)

Caryopteris (Blue Mist)

Cephalanthus occidentalis (Buttonbush)

Clematis

Cleome

Colocasia/Alocasia (Elephant Ears)

Convalaria (Lily of the Valley)

Cornus florida/kousa (Dogwood)

Dicentra (Bleeding heart)

Digitalis (Foxglove)

Dryopteris (Wood fern)

Echinacea (Coneflower)

Epimedium (Barrenwort)

Eupatorium (Joe Pye Weed/boneset)

Euphorbia (spurge)

Festuca (Fescue)

Forsythia

Geranium

Helleborus (Hellebore)

Heliotrope

Hibiscus

Ilex (Holly family)

Iris

Hydrangea

Lamium (Nettle)

Lavendula (Lavender)

Leucothoe (Hobblebush)

Miscanthus

Menta (Mint)

Narcissus (daffodils)

Nepeta (Catmint)

Nicotiana (flowering tobacco)

Osmunda (fern)

Papaver (Poppy)

Perovskia (Russian sage)

Peony

Pieris japonica (Andromeda)

Polystichum

Rosa carolina

Salix  (Willow family)

Sambucus (Elderberry)

Sempervivum (Hens & chicks)

Solidago (Goldenrod)

Spirea

Stachys (Lamb’s ear)

Thymus (thyme)

Verbena bonariensis (purple vervain)

Veronica

Viburnum, leatherleaf, arrowood

Viola

Wisteria

Yucca