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Grow a deer-proof garden

By: Garden Gate staff
Here are some plants that deer won’t usually eat.

Deer won’t usually eat plants whose foliage is sticky, prickly, thorny, hairy, bleeds thick sap or has a pungent scent. For years Rutgers University Cooperative Extension has been testing and rating plants on how palatable they are to deer. Here’s a short list of plants that deer usually avoid. See the complete list of results here.

Deer-resistant annuals

  • Flowering tobacco Nicotiana sylvestris
  • Purple fountain grass Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’
  • Snapdragon Antirrhinum majus (in photo)
  • Sweet alyssum Lobularia maritima

Deer-resistant perennials

  • Butterfly weed Asclepias tuberosa
  • Hellebore Helleborus spp. and hybrids
  • Lamb’s ear Stachys byzantina
  • Lavender Lavandula spp. and hybrids

Deer-resistant shrubs

  • Butterfly bush Buddleja spp. and hybrids
  • Peony Paeonia spp. and hybrids
  • Potentilla Potentilla fruticosa
  • Skimmia Skimmia japonica

Check out our deer-resistant garden plan

Published: April 30, 2018
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