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Deer Resistant Plants For The Garden

Our Favorite Deer Resistant Plants


By: Ann Meisoll

Snack food for deer? We don’t think so!

If deer are an issue where you live, deer resistant plants are the things to use in your yard. While no plant is 100% deer resistant, there are many that will give you a fighting chance at having an attractive landscape. This is a shortlist of some of our favorites for Richmond gardens. For the full list, rated by resistance to deer damage, check out this list from Rutgers University:  Landscape Plants Rated By Deer Resistance.Lavender field

  • Snapdragons
  • Annual Vinca
  • Dusty Miller
  • Heliotrope
  • Daffodils
  • Allium
  • Ajuga
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Pachysandra
  • Liriope
  • Maidens Grass
  • Fountain Grass
  • Perennial Ferns
  • Iris
  • Lavender
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Baptisia
  • Monarda
  • Anemone
  • Bayberry
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Juniper
  • Mahonia

Vinca Flower

There are many, many more plants that deer don’t like. Most ornamental grasses are deer resistant and have the added bonus of being both beautiful and drought-resistant. Bulbs are great for seasonal color and deer don’t like the taste of them (except for tulips—those are like candy!). Deer seem to avoid most plants that have hard, thick leaves, those with thorns and plants that have fuzzy leaves. If they get hungry enough, they will eat almost anything, including roses.

Gain additional protection against deer by using deer fencing, repellents, or mixing deer friendly plants with deer resistant ones. Deer fencing runs the gamut from plastic netting to electric fences.

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