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Our Favorite Deer Resistant Plants


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 very short list 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. Our favorite deer repellent is I Must Garden’s Deer Repellent. This product should produce good results for you when you use it consistently (usually once a month).  Deer Ban capsules are also effective and very easy to use. Deer Ban is a small gelatin capsule filled with granular coyote urine. Drop the capsules around the perimeter of your garden and they last for up to 90 days.

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