Best Deer Resistant Plants

Perovskia Russian Sage

What Are Some Deer Resistant Plants

If you have a deer problem there is plenty of hope. Many plants contain substances, textures, or fragrances that deer don’t like. You can find a complete list of them on my Deer Repellant page here. But, there are some deer resistant plants that do an amazing job and do so in a variety of ways.

Deer do not eat plants that have a bitter taste 

One of the easiest to grow, worse tasting and a strongly scented deer resistant plant is Achillea or Yarrow. Their bright pink blooms are lovely scattered around the garden and make a great deer deterrent. They also create an aroma that helps discourage deer. The Lobelia Red Cardinal Flower contains a bitter taste that will make the deer think twice before eating that one again!

Deer will not eat fragrant plants

Lavender is one of the most enjoyable and fragrant flowers in the garden but also a flower that the deer hate. The Lavender plant is filled with aromatic oils that the deer will not eat. Lucky for us! Mint family plants also have a smell that keeps the deer away. Monarda and Perovskia or Russian Sage work very well and survives the grazing of the deer.

Deer avoid toxic plants

I would never suspect that such a happy and inviting flower as the Poppy could be a deer resistant plant but thankfully it is. Poppies contain alkaloids that make it poisonous to deer. Once a deer learns what makes them sick they won’t be back. Other toxic plants include my favorites Delphiniums and Datura,

Create a natural deer resistant fence with plants

You can make a natural garden fence with vigorous growing deer resistant plants  Perovskia or Russian Sage as a border is perfect for the job. Russian Sage can grow 3’ tall and form a hedge to discourage deer from hurting your plants by scent and forms a barrier. There are other plants that have the potential to make excellent garden natural fences to repel deer. Cleome is a reseeding tall annual with thorny stems. On top of that, it's strongly scented. Some find it pleasant, others skunky. Don’t worry; you have to get your nose up close to notice! It's tall, branching and free flowering. Monarda also works. It spreads easily, is strongly scented and has a long bloom season. Of course, all these can be mixed in the garden as well to discourage the deer.

When spring comes, deer are extra hungry and they may try anything. Young fawns are also just learning the ropes so may still nibble and check the plants out. There is nothing foolproof but there are a lot of other plants the deer would rather eat.

Next: Other Ways of Keeping Deer Out of the Garden


Achillea yarrowLavender Deer ResistantPoppy Deer Resistant PlantCleome Deer Resistant PlantMonarda Bee Balm Deer Resistant Plant