Oh, Deer!

If you live in an area with foraging deer, you know all too well that your favorite plants can disappear overnight.  By using the right plant choices (see below), you can begin to make your landscape less attractive to deer browsing.  But, it is important to remember that deer will eat anything if they are hungry enough.

However, they do have their favorites and not-so-favorites.

Some of their favorite plants to nibble on are plants with lush foliage with a high water content such as Hostas plus other perennials such as Daylilies, Pansies, Violas, Sedum and Clematis.  They are also quite fond of early spring bloomers such as tulips and crocus.

As far as trees and shrubs, they prefer Arborvitae, Knockout Roses, Blueberry Plants, Apple and Cherry trees, Yews, Hydragneas and fruit/berry producing plants, including your veggie garden!

Deer are less attracted to plants with fuzzy or heavily-scented foliage. Those include ferns, grasses and Western Red Cedars and the plants listed below.

The best website we have found that rates plants by deer resistance is from Rutgers University.

Deer Repellent

To protect your valuable plants, we suggest using a deer repellent such as Deer Stopper.   It discourages deer from devastating plants (including gardens, shrubs, fowers and trees), bedding down and rubbing against tree trunks.  It creates a sensory barrier that works by smell and taste and can be applied every 30 days regardless of weather or watering.  Odor free.

Irish Spring Soap TIP

Deer do not like the pungent smell of Irish Spring Soap.   To use this soap as a deer repellent, cut your bar of soap into thirds then drill a hole wide enough for a piece of string then hang it in and around your valuable plants.  It’s that easy! This method has worked wonders here at the nursery.

Deer Resistant Trees & Shrubs

Abelia grandiflora, Glossy Abelia
Abies, Fir
Acer palmatum, Japanese Maple
Berberis, Barberry
Buddleia, Butterfly Bush
Buxus, Boxwood
Calluna vulgaris, Scotch Heather
Chaenomeles, Flowering Quince
Chamaecyparis, False Cypress
Crataegus, Hawthorn
Cuppressus, Cypress
Fraxinus, Ash
Ginkgo biloba, Maidenhair Tree
Ilex, Holly
Juniperus, Juniper
Picea, Spruce
Pinus, Pine
Potentilla, Cinquefoil
Quercus, Oak
Rhododendron (not Azaleas)
Ribes, Currant & Gooseberry
Syringa, Lilac
Thuja plicata, Western Red Cedar
Viburnum, Viburnum

Deer Resistant Perennials, Ground Covers & Vines

Achillea, Yarrow
Ajuga, Carpet Bugle
Allium, Ornamental Onion
Aquilegia, Columbine
Armeria, Thrift
Artemisia, Wormwood
Aster, Aster
Astilbe, False Spirea
Buddleia, Butterfly Bush
Carex, Sedge
Centaurea. Bachelor Button
Centranthus ruber, Red Valerian
Cerastium tomentosum, Snow-In-Summer
Coreopsis, Tickseed
Crocosmia, Montbrietia
Dicentra, Bleeding Heart
Digitalis, Foxglove
Echinacea purpurea, Purple Coneflower
Erodium reichardii, Cranesbill
Euphorbia, Cushion Spurge
Festuca ovina ‘Glauca’, Blue Fescue Grass
Gaillardia grandiflora, Blanket Flower
Geranium, Cranesbill
Hedera helix, English Ivy
Helichrysum, Sunflower
Helleborus, Lenten Rose
Hemerocallis, Daylily
Herbs (except Basil)
Iberis, Candytuft
Kniphofia, Red Hot Poker
Lamium maculatum, Dead Nettle
Limonium, Sea Lavender
Liriope, Lily Turf
Lupinus, Lupines
Miscanthus sinensis, Maiden Grass
Monarda, Bee Balm
Pachysandra terminalis, Japanese Spurge
Papaver orientale, Oriental Poppy
Penstemon, Beard Tongue
Phlox subulata, Creeping Phlox
Rudbeckia hirta, Black-Eyed Susan
Saxifraga, Saxifrage
Scabiosa (some), Pincushion Flower
Thymus, Thyme
Vinca, Periwinkle
Viola odorata, Sweet Violet
Wisteria, Wisteria

Deer Resistant Bulbs

Allium, Ornamental Onion
Begonia (tuberous)
Fritilaria, Crown Imperial
Muscari, Grape Hyacinth
Narcissus, Daffodil
Scilla siberica, Siberian Squill
Zantedeschia, Calla Lily

Deer Resistant Annuals

Dusty Miller
Sweet Alyssum