Deer Resistant Plants: How to Keep Your Garden Safe

Deer can be a real nuisance in the garden, with their penchant for eating everything in sight and trampling plants. If you’re looking for plants that are deer resistant, you’ve come to the right place.

In this guide, we will discuss some of the best plants to grow in your garden that will keep the deer away. So, keep reading to find out which plants will work best in your deer-resistant garden.

Top Deer Resistant Plants

Plants that are deer-proof can be difficult to find. But luckily, we’ve put together a list of the top 15 best plants that will keep the deer away from your garden.

1. Salvia

Also known as sage, salvia is a deer-resistant plant that can grow up to three feet tall. It blooms in a variety of colors, including pink, purple, and white.

Salvia is a great choice for the garden because it’s not only deer resistant, it’s also drought tolerant. Sage can be used in cooking and is a great herb to have on hand.

2. Angel’s Trumpet

This beautiful flowering plant is a great addition to any garden, but it’s important to keep in mind that it is poisonous to humans and animals if ingested.

Angel’s trumpet is deer resistant, however, so you can rest assured that your garden is safe from these pesky critters. The flowers of this plant are large and beautiful, and come in a variety of colors, including white, yellow, pink, and purple.

3. Vinca

Vinca is an annual plant that typically grows to about six inches. It has dark green, glossy leaves and blooms in shades of blue, white, pink, or purple from late spring throughout the summer.

Vinca is very tolerant of heat and drought, and is a good choice for hot, dry areas. Most importantly, it’s also deer resistant. Garden plants can be used in bouquets, or as ground cover.

4. Dusty miller

When growing dusty millers, you’ll have to take care not to overwater it. This plant does best in sandy or gravelly soil that drains well. It also needs full sun to partial shade, and is considered drought-tolerant once it’s established.

Dusty millers grow 12 to 18 inches tall and wide, making it a perfect border plant. It has pretty, silvery-gray leaves that make it a great addition to any garden. If you live in an area with an abundance of deer, this is a plant you’ll want to consider adding to your garden.

5. Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans)

This groundcover is a fast-spreader, so it’s great for filling in large areas quickly. It also does well in shady spots, and can tolerate some foot traffic.

Bugleweed blooms in the spring with blue or purple flowers. This plant is deer resistant and drought tolerant. It’s also a good choice for slopes or other areas where you need to control erosion.

6. Yellow loosestrife (Lysimachia punctata)

This plant is a great addition to any garden, not just because it’s deer resistant, but also because it’s beautiful. It has bright yellow flowers that bloom in the summer, and is also known to attract bees and butterflies.

It’s perennial, so it will come back year after year. Yellow loosestrife prefers full sun, but will tolerate partial shade. It’s a moisture-loving plant as well, so make sure to keep it well-watered.

7. Calendula

Calendula is a delicate and beautiful annual that blooms in shades of yellow, orange, and red. It’s also one of the best plants for deterring deer.

Calendula grows to be about two feet tall, and does best in full sun. If you’re looking for a plant that will add some color to your garden and keep the deer away, calendula is a great option.

8. Dianthus

Dianthus is a genus of about 300 species of flowering plants in the family Caryophyllaceae, native mainly to Europe and Asia. Many members of the genus are traditionally cultivated as garden flowers, and some are used as cut flowers. The species include herbaceous perennials, subshrubs, and annuals.

Dianthus plants usually have pink or white flowers with notched petals, and they are lovely in cottage gardens. They dislike having wet feet, so make sure to plant them in well-drained soil.

9. Lantana

Lantana is a beautiful flowering plant that comes in a variety of colors, including yellow, orange, pink, and purple. The flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies, but not so much to deer.

This makes lantana a great choice if you’re looking for something that will add color and interest to your garden, without attracting unwanted visitors. The strong smell of the leaves is also off-putting to deer, so they’ll usually steer clear of this plant.

10.Snapdragon  (Antirrhinum majus)

This plant is not only deer resistant, it’s also a great addition to any butterfly garden. The snapdragon is a member of the figwort family, and is native to Europe. It grows best in full sun and well-drained soil.

This plant can reach up to three feet in height, and produces beautiful blooms in a variety of colors, making it a perfect choice for adding color and texture to your garden.

11. Dwarf Alberta spruce

Dwarf Alberta spruce is a small evergreen tree that’s perfect for planting in front of houses or as part of a foundation planting.

This little tree is only about four to six feet tall, but it’s covered in dense, green needles that deer will avoid. If you’re looking for an evergreen that’s both deer resistant and low maintenance, the dwarf Alberta spruce is a great choice.

12. Verbena

Verbena is a genus of about 250 species of annual and perennial plants in the family Verbenaceae, native to temperate and tropical regions throughout the world.

Verbena plants are usually quite colorful, making them a great addition to any garden. They’re also deer resistant and drought tolerant, so they’re perfect for hot, dry areas. Verbena plants prefer full sun, but will tolerate partial shade.

13. Heuchera

Heuchera is a genus of perennial plants in the family Saxifragaceae, native to North America. The genus includes about 50 species of evergreen or deciduous herbs and subshrubs.

Heucheras are grown for their ornamental leaves, which are often variegated or brightly colored. They produce panicles of small, bell-shaped flowers in summer. This North American native is deer resistant, and can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions.

14. Yarrow

Yarrow is a beautiful addition to any garden, and it’s also deer resistant. This herbaceous perennial has fern-like leaves and produces clusters of small, white flowers.

Yarrow is easy to grow, and can tolerate a variety of soil conditions. Deer tend to avoid this plant because of its strong aroma. Yarrow plants can reach up to three feet in height, and also tend to spread quickly, making it a great choice for groundcover.

15. Peony

This herbaceous perennial is a classic favorite in cottage gardens. Peonies are well known for their large, fragrant flowers that bloom in early summer. The double blooms of the ‘Bowl of Cream’ cultivar are especially beautiful.

Because peonies have such strong roots, they’re very difficult for deer to dig up. They’re also not particularly fond of the taste of peony leaves, so this is a great plant to add to your garden if you live in an area with a large deer population.

These are just a few of the many deer-resistant plants that you can choose from to create a beautiful, safe garden.

What to Do if Deer Are Eating Your Plants?

If you have a deer problem in your garden, there are a few things you can do to deter them. Here are a few tips:

  • Install a fence around your garden – Deers are good jumpers, so make sure the fence is at least eight feet tall.
  • Use deer repellents – There are a variety of commercial deer repellents available, or you can make your own using ingredients like eggs, garlic, and hot pepper sauce.
  • Plant deer-resistant plants – As we’ve seen, there are a number of plants that deer are not fond of. By planting these in your garden, you can discourage deer from coming in.

With a little bit of effort, you can keep your garden safe from deer damage. Try out some of these tips, and see what works best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do hungry deers eat vegetable gardens?

Yes, deer will eat just about anything if they’re hungry enough. If you have a problem with deer eating your vegetables, there are a few things you can do to deter them. Try installing a fence around your garden, using commercial deer repellent, or planting deer-resistant plants.

Are ornamental grasses deer resistant?

Ornamental grasses are generally deer resistant, but there may be some exceptions. If you’re not sure whether or not a particular type of grass is deer resistant, it’s best to check with your local extension office.

Do deer repellent sprays work?

Deer repellent sprays work by emitting a strong odor that deer find unpleasant. These products are available commercially, or you can make your own using ingredients like eggs, garlic, and hot pepper sauce.


So, there you have it. These are just a few of the many deer-resistant plants that you can choose from to keep your garden safe. With a little bit of research, you can find the perfect plants to deter deer from your property.