Your Success is Guaranteed.
We're here to help! Contact Us |

Questions? Try Live Chat


| Catalog Quick Order | View Order View Cart
Send me a
catalog!

Shop All Online
Catalogs:
Fall 2014   

Fall 2014   

Join Our Email:   

You'll enjoy gardening advice, email offers & more

The Perfect Gift:
A White Flower Farm
Gift Certificate
Search our Products:
 

Home

Deer-resistant perennials and Bulbs


First: the caveat. With the possible exception of spiny Barberries (Berberis) there are no absolutely deer-proof plants. If the herd is large enough, and food is scarce enough, deer have been known to eat almost anything.

That said, there are some plants that are much less palatable to deer. If you have a problem in your neighborhood, it's probably a good idea to draw heavily from this list of perennials that are rarely browsed. If you can't live without certain plants that are candy to deer, you can plant them in an enclosed area, or use repellents in that bed, to try to minimize the damage.

Although it's the curse of gardeners that we crave what we can't grow (folks in Florida long for Lilacs, New Englanders for Agapanthus), it is possible to create a lovely garden using deer resistant plants. It's a challenge, but not an impossibility.

Deer-resistant plants tend to share certain characteristics: fuzzy or wooly leaves; pungent-scented foliage (Catmints, Mints, Lavenders, Agastache, Salvias, etc) and/or foul taste (even poisonous). Spines, thorns, and prickles protect some plants, such as Barberry, but we've heard from customers who've lost even Rugosa Roses to browsing—hard to believe for anyone who's ever tried to prune a Rugosa without drawing blood, but true.

If the deer herd is large, the youngsters can do some damage sampling plants and then spitting them out—we've heard of deer tearing up and then leaving Narcissus (Daffodils) and Digitalis (Foxgloves), both quite poisonous. That's how the young learn what's good—or not good—to eat.

Deer also tend to have regional tastes, so we've found the same plants on lists of both "rarely eaten" and "sometimes eaten." It's always a good idea to consult your local cooperative extension office and other gardeners in your neighborhood or town for advice. Deer also seem to have an uncanny ability to find (and eat) fertilized plants, so go easy on the nitrogen if you feed your plants.

Many serious gardeners resist the idea for a long time, but finally enclose at least some areas of the garden in tall deer fencing. It works. If the deer population is large, and the depredation severe, fencing becomes the best long-term solution, if you want to grow plants that deer love. Because deer are just as happy to wiggle under a fence as to leap over it, be sure the fence is secure at ground level. A six- to seven-foot tall fence is needed; gardeners in California developed the idea of using two shorter fences, about 4 feet apart, because deer are usually cautious about getting into any situation where they might be trapped.

We've compiled the following list of deer-resistant bulbs and perennials from research published by several cooperative extension offices in the northeast.

Deer resistant perennials for full to part sun
Achillea (Yarrow)
Agastache
Ajuga reptans
Amsonia tabernaemontana (Bluestar)
Anemone sp.
Aquilegia (Columbine)
Artemesia
Asarum europaeum
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed)
Baptisia australis
Boltonia asteroides
Buddleia davidii (Butterfly Bush)
Calamintha
Calluna (Heather)
Campanula carpatica (Bellflower)
Centaurea sp.
Ceratostigma plumbaginoides
Chrysanthemum x superbum (sometimes nipped)
Cimicifuga racemosa
Coreopsis sp.
Delphinium
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Echinops
Erica (Heath)
Eupatorium (Joe-Pye Weed)
Euphorbia (Spurge)
Geranium (especially G. macrorrhizum)
Grasses, Ornamental (Calamagrostis, Miscanthus, Pennisetum, Festuca, Hakonechloa)
Gypsophila paniculata (Baby's Breath)
Helenium
Iberis sempervirens
Iris sibirica
Lavandula (Lavender)
Liatris spicata (Gayfeather)
Linum perenne

Lupinus
Monarda (Bee Balm)
Nepeta (Catmint)
Oenothera (Evening Primrose)
Paeonia (Peony)
Perovskia (Russian Sage)
Platycodon grandiflorus (Balloon Flower)
Potentilla sp.
Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary)
Salvia sp.
Solidago (Goldenrod)
Stachys byzantinus (Lamb's Ears)
Thymus (Thyme)
Verbascum sp (Mullein)
Veronica latifolia
Wisteria
Yucca

Deer resistant perennials for full or part shade
Asarum (Ginger)
Bergenia
Convallaria (Lily of the Valley)
Dicentra (Bleeding Heart)
Digitalis sp (Foxglove)
Ferns
Adiantum pedatum - Maidenhair Fern
Athyrium 'Ghost'
Athyrium niponicum 'Pictum' - Japanese Painted Fern
Dennstaedtia punctilobula - Hay-scented Fern
Matteuccia struthiopteris - Ostrich Fern
Onoclea sensibilis
Osmunda cinnamomea - Cinnamon Fern
Osmunda claytoniana
Osmunda regalis
Polystichum acrostichoides - Christmas Fern
Geranium (especially G. macrorrhizum)
Helleborus (Hellebore)
Kirengeshoma palmata (Waxbells)
Lamium sp
Primula sp (Primrose)
Pulmonaria sp (Lungwort)

Flower Bulbs rarely damaged by deer
Allium
Chionodoxa
Colchicum
Fritillaria imperialis (Crown Imperial)
Galanthus (Snowdrop)
Hyacinthus
Narcissus (Daffodil, Jonquil)
Scilla (Squill)

 

 
 
About Us:
Our Story
Our Guarantee
Store
Events
Videos
Media Room
Down On The Farm
Testimonials
Sitemap
Ordering Info:
Shipping Info
Customer Service
GARDENING HELP

Zone Map
Contact Us
Privacy Policy
Indoor Favorites:
Amaryllis
Forced Bulbs
Houseplants
Jasmine
Lavender
Paperwhites
Perennial Favorites:
Clematis
Coneflowers
Daylilies
Hostas
Hydrangea
Lilies
Peonies
Roses
Product Ideas
Fall Favorites:
Allium
Bearded Iris
Crocus
Daffodils
Hyacinth
Oriental Poppy
Tulips
Our Partners:
Botanic Gardens/Hort Societies
Better Homes and Gardens
Midwest Living
Family Circle
Traditional Home®
Garden Center Partners
 


Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover
SSL

White Flower Farm Home Better Homes and Gardens Ladies Home Journal Midwest Living Family Circle Traditional Hpme