Deer Resistant Plants, Flowers, Shrubs & Herbs

A list of deer resistant plants and flowers. Protect your garden from destruction by planting deer repellant annuals and perennials. About deer proof plants, shrubs and herbs these adorable pests will not eat.

Deer scultpture in a woodland.This is the only kind of deer you want visiting your garden.

About Deer Proof Plants

Unfortunately, no such plant exists. Deer proof plants are simply plants deer do not like to eat. A hungry deer will scarf down any plant material available to it.

But deer have taste buds like everyone else.

They prefer certain plants and dislike others.

Characteristics of a Deer
Resistant Plant

When shopping for deer resistant flowers and plants, look for plants with rough, coarse, or hairy foliage. Deer do not like to chew on rough leaves.

Also, plants whose leaves emit a strong odor when crushed (like marigolds) will most likely repel deer.

Deer Resistant Annuals

Click the bright blue headline above to go to a whole page about annual plants deer do not enjoy eating.

Perennial Coneflowers

Coneflowers. Growing perennial coneflower plants. Purple, green and prairie coneflower. Coneflower seeds.

Coneflowers (Rudbeckia and Echinacea species) are some of the easiest to grow deer resistant landscape plants. Use them as deer proof shade plants at the edge of a woodland garden.

Rudbeckia Goldsturm

Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' is the most popular black eyed Susan perennial growing in the U.S. today.

All the Rudbeckias, not just this variety, are deer resistant plants.

The links below lead to pages of growing info for the various types:

Double Coneflowers

Green Coneflowers

Orange Varieties

E. 'Ruby Star'

Rudbeckia 'Prairie Sun'

E. 'Harvest Moon'

Echinacea purpurea

Clematis Vines

The links below will take you to pages of growing information about the best native, small-flowered Clematis plants and large-flowered Clematis hybrids for ornamental gardening.


'Jackmanii' - Purple

'Nelly Moser' - Pink stripes

'Ernest Markham' - Red

'Niobe' - Red


Clematis vitalba - White

Clematis armandii - White

'Sweet Autumn' -White, fragrant


Wisteria, Black Dragon

Wisteria Tree, Cascading

Chinese Wisteria

All species of Wisteria repel deer.  That they do so while also attracting butterflies and hummingbirds is an added bonus.  If you can bear to cut them, their fragrant flower clusters will add a touch of romance to your indoor arrangements.

Cranesbill Geraniums

Hardy blue Geranium

Geranium, Hardy Blue, 1¢ Sale

Hardy Pink Geranium

Geranium, Hardy Pink

The Cranesbill Geranium is a true Geranium unlike most of the plants which are called by this name but are actually of the genus Pelargonium.

Hardy Geraniums are deer resistant perennial plants for sunny or shady gardens.

Dianthus Flowers

Annual and perennial Dianthus flowers will add fragrance and beauty to your garden. Pinks and Sweet Williams are all deer resistant shade plants.

Growing instructions for Pinks:

Growing Carnations

Annual China Pinks

Cheddar Pinks

Maiden Pinks


These are long-lived deer resistant plants that will produce plate-sized, fragrant blooms for you each summer for years to come. The flowers also hold up beautifully in arrangements.

The fern peony or double fern leaf peony, Paeonia tenuifolia 'Rubra Plena', is a perennial Japanese peony with thin, bright green foliage and lipstick red spring blooms.

Deer Resistant Perennials

Digitalis and Buddleia are tall deer resistant plants you can use to illuminate the back of your flower borders. Both will attract beneficial insects.

The elegant flowers of Campanula persicifolia 'La Belle' look fantastic in arrangements and last for ages when cut.

Other deer resistant plants for the perennial garden:

Lily of the Nile


Bishop's Weed


Hens and Chicks

Lady's Mantle

Pampas Grass


Sensitive Fern



Bleeding Heart

Ajuga reptans

California Poppy

Holly Fern


Ostrich Fern

Red Hot Poker

Stoke's Aster

Jasminum nudiflorum

Cinnamon fern


Colocasia esculenta


Japanese Painted Fern

Royal Fern


Threadleaf Coreopsis

Fountain Grass

Yucca Plants

Adam's Needle Yucca
Low Price on Adam's Needle Yucca Plants
'Color Guard' Yucca

Yucca - Color Guard
from: Nature Hills Nursery, Inc.

Yucca rostrata in bloom.
Beaked Yucca - Medium Palm Tree
from: Real Palm Trees

Is it a palm or a cactus?

Some Yucca plants are trunk-forming and, as they age, can reach palm-like heights. Their foliage is also more similar to a palm frond than a leaf.

Like cacti--which,by the way, is another group of plants deer do not like to munch on--Yuccas are water thrifty and rugged. The leaf tips of most species are sharp as cactus needles. In fact, the tough, pointy leaves are what protect them from predation by deer and lots of other critters.

Despite these similarities to palm trees and cacti, most Yuccas are perennial plants.

Yucca brevifolia is the Joshua Tree native to the Mojave Desert. This species requires specific growing conditions in order to thrive.

Yucca rostrata, the Blue Beaked Yucca, is much more adaptable. Its glaucous foliage makes it especially garden worthy.

The Yucca fillamentosa species contains several ornamental plants including the variegated cultivars 'Color Guard' and 'Bright Edge'.

Beautiful Deer Repellant Shrubs

A low hedge of red bayberry.

Best Price on Barberry, Red

Bridal White Spirea

Spirea, Bridal Wreath

Beautyberry Bush

Cheap Beautyberry Bushes

Here are three shrubs which will bring welcome color to the garden.

The thorny stems of barberries will discourage your furry friends from pruning them for you.

The double white flowers of Spirea 'Bridal Wreath' turn the lax branches into a 6 foot white waterfall each spring.

Callicarpa americana is an upright-growing, vase-shaped shrub which produces delicate pink blossoms in the spring and brilliant purple berries in fall. Yes, they are the exact shade you see in the image above. I have three bushes of American Beautyberry in my front yard.


Hardy box shaped into decorative globes.

Buy Hardy Boxwood Plants

Boxwood, Wedding Ring

Boxwood,Green Mountain

For clipped hedges or topiaries, small-leaved, slow-growing box can't be beat. Plant one of the larger varieties and shear it into a deer topiary just for fun.


'Sky Pencil' Holly

Sky Pencil Holly

Red Beauty Holly Tree

Order Holly, Red Beauty

'China Doll' Holly

Holly, Berry Heavy

The Ilex family is large and varied. There are at least 400 species and many more hybrids. These range in size from tiny dwarfs to stately trees.

Not all are equally deer proof.

In addition to the types for sale above, the most resistant types are: Ilex verticillata, the 'Lydia Morris' Holly, 'John T. Morris' Holly,
Ilex glabra, Ilex aquifolium, Ilex x aquipernyi, Ilex cornuta, and the American Holly.

Other Deer Resistant Shrubs:

Rose of Sharon



Butterfly Bushes


Cornus alba






Gold Dust Bush


Hollywood Juniper

Deer Resistant Plants to Use as Groundcovers

Cotoneasters deck themselves with tiny, white blossoms (the flowers of 'Tom Thumb' are pinkish) each spring and festive, red berries each winter.

The varieties offered here are low-growing, spreading types useful for covering bare earth in foliage or for filling gaps in your beds and borders.

Deer Resistant Plants
for the Herb Garden

Sweet Basil is one of those rare herbs that looses much of its mojo when dried. If you love the aroma and summery flavor of basil as I do, you've got to keep a plant growing year round.

Dill is as easy to raise from seed as basil and is a must have for fish lovers.

Now, I will admit that 'Paprika' is not the type of yarrow that is most often used medicinally. The medincinal form bears white flowers. The plant offered here is a hybrid. This does not mean you can't use it in the same ways you would Achillea millefolium, just that it may not be as potent.

In my own garden, I will often substitute an ornamental form for the medicinal form of a plant just because the ornamental cultivars are so much prettier.

The ornamental form of an herb will be just as safe to use as the medicinal form as long as it is indeed the same species.

Other deer resistant plants for the herb garden:



Scented Geraniums














Lemon Balm





Deer Proof Your Garden!

If you live in deer territory, it is inevitable that you will fall in love with a plant that is not deer resistant.

Such is the way of the gardening world.

Those of us who dwell in the temperate zone, want to grow tropical plants. Tropical gardeners long to raise fruits and flowers which require a lengthy cold spell. We're a contrary lot.

When this happens, you will need a way to keep the furry fiends away from your new baby.

 Bobbex is my pick for best deer repellant.

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Your plant guides,

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Deer Resistant  Plants

Heuchera Tricolor Collection
Hellebore, Kingston Cardinal
Cherries Jubilee Achillea
Origami Red & White Columbine
Lilac, Bloomerang Dark Purple
Aster, Raydon's Favorite
Hellebore, Onyx Odyssey