What Are Some Examples of Deer-Resistant Plants for Landscaping?


Quick Answer

Some deer-resistant landscaping plants include lamb's ear, barberries, evergreen hollies and yarrow. The former has a strong sense of smell that deer find offensive, while the latter has a bitter, unsavory taste. The evergreen hollies and barberries have thorny limbs that prick the animals.

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Full Answer

Plants that deer avoid vary depending on the season. For example, deer are far less picky in the early spring and fall when food is scarce than in the summer when plants are more numerous. As a general rule of thumb, deer avoid plants with thorns or prickles, such has moss roses, Harison's yellow rose and rugosa hybrid roses. Some plants are poisonous, such as daffodils and foxglove, so the deer avoid them.

Some good trees for landscaping that are deer resistant include conifers such as spruce and pine trees, river birch, buckeyes and honey locust, the latter of which has thorns. Good landscaping shrubs include forsythia, junipers, lilacs, evergreen hollies, viburnum and blue mist. For smaller plants, a landscaper can use bleeding heart, ferns, monkshood, peony and primrose, as well as a range of ornamental grasses.

While deer enjoy tulip leaves, some bulb plants such as Dutch iris, hyacinths, daffodils and alliums repel deer. In fact, planting these bulbs alongside tulips can teach deer to avoid all of them.

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