Landscaping & Yard CarePest ControlPlant Care Instructions

A List of the Best Deer Resistant Plants

After all the hard work that goes into making a beautiful garden, nothing makes a gardener’s blood boil more than finding that hungry deer have decimated several prized plants. There are various methods to deter deer from destroying your garden, and one way is to choose and plant deer resistant plants.

There really is no such thing as a deer proof plant. When deer are hungry enough, they will eat anything, even a plant they would normally consider to be a second-rate meal. Deer resistant plants are generally avoided by deer, although there are always going to be some deer who didn’t read the rules.

Deer tend to be like some children; they don’t like to feel odd textures in their mouths. Plants that are prickly or fuzzy can be considered as deer resistant plants because in many cases the deer will avoid eating them. Aromatic plants are also avoided by deer, along with plants that have a milky sap and those that give deer an upset stomach.

If you have plants in your garden that seem to be particularly desirable to deer, consider protecting those plants by surrounding them with deer resistant plants.

When planning or adding to a garden in an area with a lot of deer traffic, keep in mind that deer like a diet of bland, juicy plants. If the plant is smelly, spiky, fuzzy, or sappy, chances are the deer won’t like it nearly as much as you do. It is possible to have a beautiful garden, despite the deer, so long as you work with deer resistant plants.

These plants are considered deer resistant, which means the deer will avoid them if they have access to plants that they like better.

Botanical NameCommon Name
Achillea filipendulinaYarrow
Aconitum sp.Monkshood
Ageratum houstonianumAgeratum
Allium sp.Onion
Amelanchier laevisAllegheny Serviceberry
Antirrhinum majusSnapdragon
Artemisia dracunculusTarragon
Artemisia sp.Silver Mound
Arisaema triphylumJack-in-the-pulpit
Asarum canadenseWild Ginger
Aster sp.Aster
Astilbe sp.Astilbe
Berberis sp.Barberry
Borage officinalisBorage
Buddleia sp.Butterfly Bush
Buxus sempervirensCommon Boxwood
Helleborus sp.Lenten or Christmas Rose
Cactaceae sp.Cactus
Calendula sp.Pot Marigold
Caryopteris clandonensisBlue Mist Shrub
Centaurea cinerariaDusty Miller
Centaurea cyanusBachelor’s Buttons
Cleome sp.Spider Flower
Colchicum sp.Autumn Crocus
Consolida ambiguaLarkspur
Convallaris majalisLily of the Valley
Coreopsis verticillataThreadleaf Coreopsis
Corydalis sp.Corydalis
Cytisus sp.Broom
Daphne sp.Daphne
Dicentra spectabilis 
now classified as Lamprocapnos spectabilis
Bleeding Heart
Digitalis purpureaCommon Foxglove
Dryopteris marginalisWood Fern
Echinacea purpureaPurple Coneflower
Echinops ritroSmall Globe Thistle
Endymion sp.Bluebell
Eranthus hyemalisWiner Aconite
Euphorbia marginataSnow-on-the-Mountain
Euphorbia sp. (except ‘Chameleon’)Spurge
Festuca glaucaBlue Fescue
Fritilaria imperialisCrown Imperial, Fritilia
Galanthus nivalisSnowdrops
Gypsophila sp.Baby’s Breath
Heliorope arborescensHeliotrope
Hyssopus officinalisHyssop
Ilex opacaAmerican Holly
Ilex verticillataWinterberry Holly
Iris sp.Iris
Lantana sp.Lantana
Lavandula sp.Lavender
Limonium latifoliumStatice
Lobularia maritimaSweet Alyssum
Marrubium vulgareHorehound
Melissa officinalisLemon Balm
Mentha sp.Mint
Monarda didymaBee Balm
Myosotis sp.Forget-Me-Not
Myrica pensylvanicaBayberry
Narcissus sp.Daffodil
Nepeta sp.Catmint
Ocimum basilicumBasil
Pachysandra terminalisPachysandra
Paeonia sp.Peony
Perovskio atriplicifoliaRussian Sage
Picea glauca ‘Conica’Dwarf Alberta Spruce
Pimpinalla anisumAnise
Ranunculus sp.Buttercup
Rhus aromaticaFragrant Sumac
Rosmarinus officinalisRosemary
Rudbeckia sp.Black-Eyed Susan
Ruta sp.Rue
Stachys byzantinaLamb’s Ear
Syringa vulgarisCommon Lilac
Tanacetum vulgareCommon Tansy
Teucrium chamaedrysGermander
Viburnum dentatumArrowwood Viburnum

Mike McGroarty is the owner of McGroarty Enterprises and the author of several books. You can visit his website at and read his blog at

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