I was transplanting some perennial Perovskia or Russian Sage in the greenhouse today and the minty scent was strong and delicious. As nice as the odor seemed to me, it is just that tenacious aroma of the plant that keeps the deer away. The scent will cling to you and they just can’t stand it. Luckily there are many fragrant plants to choose from that we enjoy but these deer don’t like. Monarda or Bee Balm is another perennial in the mint family that the deer don’t like. The flowers are like a fireworks display on the fourth of July which is about when they bloom. The mint properties while they repel the deer, can brew a lovely cup of tea for us humans. The most delightfully scented perennial that we all know is the Lavender. It’s used in soaps and perfumes the world over. The deer will not eat lavender and their loss is our gain. The deer just don’t know what they are missing. They are adorned with spikes of blue flowers that are easy to dry for year-round fragrance. There are even more deer resistant perennials here.
There are some deer resistant annuals as well that repel the deer because of their fragrance. Probably the annual with the most fragrant perfume and few have heard of is the Heliotrope. This is a plant that loves the heat and once in the right conditions blooms profusely emitting a heavenly scent. And it’s truly a deer resistant plant. Cleome is another annual with a strong smell. I use the word smell rather than something more pleasant because it’s not exactly my favorite odor. On the other hand some people say they like the smell. I guess it’s like how we feel about eating some vegetables! In either case the odor of this easy to grow and prolific annual makes it quite a deer resistant plant. It doesn’t get any easier than growing marigolds and I think we all know the spicy fragrance that they have. It’s rich aroma keep deer away along with rabbits and other pests. You can find plenty of other deer resistant annuals here.