5 Plants That Keep Deer Away

Close Up of White-tailed Doe Munching on GrassDeer love to forage.

Unfortunately, when deer are displaced from their natural habitats, they find their way into our gardens. Some of their favorite foods include azalea, daylilies, redbud, hosta, petunias, impatiens and even roses!

Even if you have a fence, that’s not guaranteed to keep deer out. A hungry deer can easily hop over a 6 ft. fence for a tasty treat.

You can deter deer by incorporating plants into your garden that aren’t appetizing to them. Here are some of my favorite deer-resistant plantings:

1. Lantana. Lantana attracts lots of butterflies, but deer hate it! Lantana have small clusters of flowers in various shades depending on the species. It has a distinct scent that is almost citrus-like. My favorite is Lantana camara ‘Miss Huff,’ which has multicolored clusters with orange, peach and yellow flowers. It produces nonstop blooms starting in May and continuously blooms through the summer season.

2. Foxglove. This flowering shrub has a nutty aroma and produces beautiful trumpet-like flowers. It is beloved by hummingbirds. However, it’s very poisonous to deer (and people, dogs, and cats). I like Digitalis ‘Waldigone’ which has peach colored flowers.

3. Crepe myrtle. Deer don’t tend to eat crepe myrtle, which are a versatile addition to any Triangle landscape. They are fast growers and tend to do well in just about any type of soil. There are many different species of crepe myrtle with blooms in various colors, including white, pink, purple and red.

4. Gardenia. In the landscape, gardenias are effective as a hedge or screen that deters deer. It’s very fragrant. I like Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty.’ The evergreen shrub grows to about 5 ft. tall and has dense foliage and waxy white flowers blooming in summertime.

5. Fragrant herbs. Generally, deer dislike plants that have a strong scent. You can deter deer by planting fragrant herbs such as lavender, rosemary, sage and thyme. They also dislike garlic and chives!

How about you? Do you have deer-resistant plants in your garden? I would like to hear from you! Please comment or shoot me an email: bryson@gardenninjas.net.

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