According to the Texas AgriLife Extension Series, deer often avoid the flowers of marigolds, zinnias, periwinkles, mealy cup sage, indigo spires, larkspurs and spider flower. Additionally, according to About.com, deer tend to reject the leaves and flowers of bugleweed, astilbe, bellflower, tickseed and coneflower.
Other plants that deer reject include balloon flower, Russian sage, catmint and lavender. While goldenrod is not often grown as an ornamental and often turns up in gardens unexpectedly, deer seem to avoid it. Better Homes and Gardens explains that deer avoid daffodils, crown imperials, Siberian squill, allium and fritillaria. Additionally, rabbits avoid these plants as well. Other plants that are resistant to both of these suburban herbivores include grape hyacinth, bluebells, dog-tooth violent and checkered lily. While it does not apply specifically to flowers, About.com explains that deer often avoid leaves that are fuzzy, scented or gray in color. Accordingly, deer often avoid plants such as lamb’s ear and yarrow for these reasons.
In addition to eating flowers, deer cause damage to gardens by rubbing their antlers on small trees and plants and depositing their droppings along walkways. As they can jump over 6-foot-tall fences with ease, it is very difficult to exclude deer from a garden. Accordingly, many gardeners elect to plant species that do not appeal to the deer.