Positively Deer Proof Plants - Part II

Time for part 2 of positively deer proof plants!  
As I mentioned in the last edition, what works in one part of the continent may not work elsewhere.  Hungry deer will eat almost anything and white tail deer have different tastes from mule deer.  
What to do???  I'm sharing what has worked in my gardens over the last 15 years.  I've dealt with both white tail and mule deer in my community and landscaped two homes.
Hopefully these selections will provide you with some plants that you can enjoy with or without a deer issue!

Bee Balm  (modeled by our own version of Vanna White)
You may wonder why Max is so interested in hanging out around this plant.  He is fascinated by humming birds which are drawn to bee balm in droves.

Allium (the purple ball flower shown above).  The above combination of alliums, bugleweed and poppies makes a nice deer resistant combination. 

More bee balm. 

Cranesbill geraniums


Don't plant hosta if you're trying to avoid deer.  You'll wind up with a situation like this:

 Mule deer are not nearly as pretty as white tail deer.

Lily of the Valley:  
This plant is poisonous, so avoid it if you have pets or young children.

Maltese Cross (a butterfly magnet!)

 Marigolds and Zinnias

 Columbine is supposed to be deer resistant but that hasn't always worked around here.

Perennial Sage

Flowering Tobacco Plant (nicotiana) and Spider flower (cleome)


The one shown here is perennial, it flowers every year and spreads easily.  The pink ones we're all used to are biennials.  They self-seed and flower in the second year.  Both types are poisonous, so once again be careful planting these around pets and kids.

By the way, if you've planted any of these and found the deer in your part of the world eating them please share which plants and where you live in the comments.

Hopefully we can all be out enjoying our gardens soon.  Have a wonderful week!!

If you missed Part 1 of this series, click on the photo below:


  1. Anne,
    Ahhhhhhhh I just sank into all your pics. Beautiful blooms!

  2. Thankfully we don't have a problem with deer.....just the other critters. Your flowers are beautiful :o)

  3. Love your deer proof plant posts!....the deer in our neck of the woods (NC) will eat day lilies...I love them but the first time I planted them after having many species in Florida, I was devastated as they were mowed down by the deer...and sometimes they try a flower, bite it off and spit it out!...ugh....Your garden is always beautiful Anne and love your "Vanna"....

  4. I have a deer and rabbit problem. I've never had them bother the day lilies or the azaleas. Maybe I can plant some of these beauties. Love your garden area!

  5. We don't have deer problems here but we do have rabbits and, even worse, voles...which I am sorry to say I hate with a passion. They eat the roots off things and the die from the bottom up. UGH.
    Your plants are beautiful. xo Diana

  6. A very interesting post that i might be soon returning too! I have seen some deer at the bottom of the road but not yet in our garden but I am sure it is only a matter of time! We have just finished planting a rose border and I know from friends and one of our previous homes that deer love roses! Oh well if you don't try you will never know! Sarah x

  7. Thanks Anne for all this valuable information. Our deer seem to eat almost everything, so I have just given up on having a pretty flower garden. Maybe I will check on some to the flowers you have planted to test them on our deer.

  8. I didn't know that bee balm flavored earl grey tea, and don't thinkf I've ever seen or even heard of mule deer, but I can see the relation. They're still cute, though. And then, there's Max, the little star of the show. Beautiful garden and great info, Anne!

  9. Just looking at all of your pictures is making me long for spring, which is just about here.

  10. They are all beautiful. We don't have a deer issue but I am going to try and plant some of these beauties this year.

  11. Anne,

    You don't know how much I needed this post today! We are in the middle of a deer commune here.

    Thanks for the amazing post!

  12. Beautiful plant suggestions Anne. Where those Mule Deer right outside the window as the shot suggests? That looks like a whole family of deer. You definitely speak from experience!

  13. So many wonderful plants that the deer will leave alone. I know we don't have to worry about deer where we live but my in-laws are constantly fighting them. They have now fully enclosed their garden to keep some berries and other plants they grow from being eating by the deer. Thanks for sharing at the Tuesday Garden Party!

    1. Thanks for popping over Shelly! I'm happy your in-laws found a solution!

  14. Loved all your photos..I'm always searching for great plants...you shared so many, enjoyed your post!
    Miss Bloomers

    1. I'm so glad! Thanks for visiting Sonia!

    2. In Ohio our deer eat shasta daisies, day lilies and veronica. Some that deer ignore that didn't make your list include: nasturtium (great fun for kids to plant and the seeds are very large.) hellebores (lenten roses), and butterfly bushes.

    3. Funny! the deer here love nasturtiums! but they don't eat butterfly bush and I had forgotten all about that one. I'll have to give hellebores a try, too. Thanks Mary!

  15. Thanks for your help. We have a new build on the Sunshine Coast and are putting in gardens for the first time. I had a veggie garden last year which was fenced off with a 6.5’ tall fence. They jumped right over it and mowed down all the growth - except for kale and parley. Even deer don’t eat kale.

  16. Enjoyed this. We are adjacent to 6,000 acres of gamelands in central PA. My most untouchable plant is catmint. It isnt invasive, but grows rapidly so that I can divide and replant. Bees love it, and its beautiful. I have all types, but Walkers Low has the best flowers. Spirea is a wonderful colorful plant for us, and deer wont touch it. Our deer love to eat carpet types of sedum, so i finally gave up sedum and daylilies. Got tired of spraying.

    1. The deer around here eat spirea to the ground :( I had such high hopes for it!! I also have 2 cats who turn into monsters around catmint but you're right, the deer avoid it like the plague. Thanks for your comment!


Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. Have a fabulous day!