Deer resistant plants

Tue. Jul. 21, 2020

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Deer resistant plants

First, take note, I said deer RESISTANT!

According to social media, deer have seemingly decided that the Hosta Cafe is open to them. No social distancing required.

hosta garden Lakeville woods

Those graceful marauders are lovely to watch in winter but once you feed them, they expect the buffet to stay open.

hosta garden Lakeville
double trouble

What WON’T a deer eat? A hungry one will eat whatever, but there are deer resistant plants. 

Some plants that come immediately to mind include coneflowers and columbine, yarrow and sage.

Coneflowers 2020
Native columbine

For shady areas, the old fashioned Bleeding Heart seems to be left alone while the deer graze consistently on the Hosta.

Bleeding heart

Lily of the Valley are not a favorite dish and Lenten Rose, one of the earliest flowers in the shaded garden also looks to be left alone. They can bloom for a couple of months and usually at the time we could really use something pretty to look at.

Lenten Rose ‘Fluffy Ruffles’

For those sunny areas, foxglove and heliopsis don’t appear to be bothered by the deer.  Beebalm, boxwood and barberry aren’t bothered by the big Bucks either or the Does but I was on a b roll. 

barberry and hosta 2020. That hosta is protected by the barberry!

Think plants that are prickly like the juniper, hairy, sticky or thorny like barberries…also poisonous, such as foxlglove.

Grecian Foxglove plant photo by MDA

The same kind of plants that tell us to stay away, tell the deer to back off too.

The exception would be something in the mint family.  The smell appears to be a little too much for them. I love spearmint even as it insinuates itself wherever, I just pick it off and sniff! The deer will turn up it’s nose.