Deer Resistant Plants


Deer prefer to feed on the flowers, stems and leafy green foliage of tall plants (although they'll eat wilted vegetation in a pinch), which is why well-tended home gardens are so tempting during the dry summer and frozen winter months. They're adaptive feeders, but they particularly enjoy:

- Tender green plants and shrubs, including geraniums, tulips, roses, azaleas, clover, holly and elderberry.
- Nuts, including acorns (from oak trees), hickory nuts and pecans.
- Fruits, including apples, strawberries, cherries and persimmons.
- Garden crops, including potato plants, lettuce, beans, broccoli and wheat

During a difficult winter, large herds of deer will eat just about any vegetation.  There is no such thing as a deer-proof plant.  You may minimize damage, however, by growing plants least favored by deer, and by avoiding such deer favorites as azalea, rhododendron, yew, rose, daylily, pansy, hosta, tulip and phlox paniculata.  The following is a list of plants, which are considered to be “deer-resistant”.


Amelanchier canadensis – Shadbush serviceberry
Amelanchier laevis – Allegheny serviceberry
Arctostaphyllos uva-ursi – Bearberry
Berberis – Barberry
Buxus – Boxwood
Caryopteris x clandonensis – Caryopteris
Cephalotaxus harringtonia – Japanese plum yew
Cephalotaxus var. koreana – Japanese plum yew
Chamaecyparis pisifera – Japanese false cypress
Cryptomeria japonica – Japanese cedar
Daphne – Daphne
Eleagnus angustifolia – Russian olive
Gaultheria procumbens – Creeping wintergreen
Gaultheria shallon – Shallon
Hibiscus syriacus – Rose for Sharon
Ilex x aquip. ‘San Jose’ – San Jose holly
Ilex opaca – American holly
Juniperus – Junipers
Leucothoe – Leucothoe
Ligustrum vulgare – European privet
Picea pungens glauca – Colorado blue spruce
Pieris japonica – Japanese andromeda
Sambucus canadensis - Blueberry elder
Sarcococca hookeriana – Himalayan sweetbox
Nandina – Heavenly bamboo


Ageratum houstonianum – Ageratum
Anethum graveolens – Common dill
Antirrhunum majus – Snapdragon
Euphorbia – Spurge
Lavandula – Lavender
Lobularia maritime – Sweet alyssum
Nicotiana – Flowering tobacco
Pelargonium – Scented geranium
Salvia – Sage
Santolina chamaecyparissus – Lavender cotton
Tagetes – Marigold
Tanacetum vulgare – Common Tansy
Thymus – Thyme
Tropaeolum majus – Nasturtium


Achillea – Yarrow
Aconitum – Monkshood
Anemone x hybrida – Japanese anemone
Aquilegia – Columbine
Arabis – Rock cress
Arisaema triphyollum – Jack-in-the-pulpit
Ceratostigma plumbagnoides – Plumbago
Convallaria majalis – Lily of the Valley
Coreopsis vert. ‘Moonbeam’ – Threadleaf tickseed
Dicentra spectabilis – Bleeding heart
Digitalis – Foxglove
Echinacea purpurea – Purple Coneflower
Epimedium – Barrenwort
Euphorbia – Spurge
Fritillaria – Fritillaria
Helleborus – Lenten rose
Hesperis – Dame’s rocket
Lamium maculatum – Deadnettle
Lavandula – Lavender
Linaria vulgaris – Toadflax
Lychnis coronaria – Rose campion

Papaver orientale – Oriental poppy
Perovskia atriplicifolia – Russian sage
Pulmonaria – Lungwort
Rheum rhabarbarum – Rhubarb
Rudbeckia – Black-eyed susan
Salvia – Sage
Santolina chamaecyparissus – Lavender cotton
Stachys byzantina – Lamb’s ear
Tiarella cordifolia – Foam flower
Thymus – Thyme