Deer are beautiful and graceful creatures. But, unfortunately, they can also do devastating damage to your garden. That’s why planting deer-resistant flowers in your garden is so important. These flowers ensure that your garden is full of colorful blooms that won’t soon become deer food.
To help you out, we put together a list of 25 deer-resistant flowers in six different color categories. You’re sure to want to add at least one variety to your garden. So, without further ado, let’s check them out.
Coreopsis, commonly known as tickseed, is a small delicate yellow flower often found growing in bright clumps. Many varieties are perennials and fairly easy to care for once they get established. This little flower is also hardy in all zones above 4 and enjoys the warm weather so much that it is the state flower of Florida.
Marigolds, Tagetes, are a family of bright gold-colored flowers perfect for your flower garden and deterring deer. Some people also believe marigolds have various health benefits. From time to time, the vibrant flowers are also used to make natural food colorings.
If you are looking for a variety best for deterring pests, try Mexican Marigold, or Tagetes erecta. This variety keeps pests, from whiteflies to deer, at bay.
4. Black-eyed Susans
Black-eyed Susans, or Rudbeckia hirta, are sunny yellow flowers. Their name comes from the large black or dark brown “eye” in the center that makes this plant pop. This colorful flower can range from the red-orange Cherokee Sunset varieties to other daisy-like varieties such as Goldsturm. Regardless of the variety, they should deter not only deer but other pests like mosquitos.
Snapdragons, Antirrhinum majus, are versatile and get their name from the unique shape of the flowers. While often found in yellow, these fun flowers come in a dizzying array of colors from bright pink to bicolor. With so many choices, you are sure to find a color that suits your flower garden.
Daffodils, which come from the Narcissus family, are very distinctive bell-shaped flowers. While most often found in yellow, you can occasionally find them in hues of white. Their bitter taste makes them both deer and rabbit resistant. However, these plants can also be toxic to pets, so keep them out of reach.
1. Shasta Daisy
Shasta daisy, or Leucanthemum × superbum, is a hybrid flower that combines the look of a daisy with deer resistance. These hardy little flowers have white petals with a bright yellow middle. They are a must-have for perennial flower gardens because of their pest-resistance and their lovely pop as a cut flower.
Achillea millefolium, Yarrow, are fun little white flowers that often grow like weeds. These little pops of white not only deter deer but also attract pollinators like butterflies. Yarrow is also an herb and potentially has medical benefits. Some tribes of Native Americans even used this flower to cure stomach ailments.
3. Snow On The Mountain
Snow on the mountain’s (Euphorbia marginata) foliage is what really makes this plant stand out. Not only are the flowers themselves white, but the foliage is white with a green streak running down the middle of the leaves in most varieties. This bi-colored pattern makes this plant an outstanding statement piece for any flower garden. To top it off, it is poisonous to animals, so the deer will stay far away from it.
Common snowdrops, or Galanthus nivalis, are petite white flowers that, in many areas, are a signal that spring is coming. You can often see small bunches of them peeking through the snow. Deer do not like their powerful scent and often do not mess with these little flowers. Some say their bulbs also irritate the skin so be sure to wear gloves when planting them.
5. Sweet Alyssum
Lobularia maritima, sweet alyssum, is a prolific white flower that is often very easy to grow. Do research on how sweet alyssum does in your specific area. In some states, like California, this flower is considered an invasive plant. Likewise, if you are going to plant this, consider putting it in a pot or a contained area.
4. Lily Of The Valley
Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis) comes from the same family as asparagus. However, unlike asparagus, they are not edible. All parts of the lily of the valley, from root to flower, are poisonous to most animals and humans. Including, of course, deer. Despite popular belief though, it is safe to touch and smell these flowers.
True hyacinths (Hyacinthus) and grape hyacinths (Muscari) are often mixed up. While they are not technically the same, they have similar appearances and needs. Likewise, both of these popular flowers make an impressive addition to gardens for more than just their looks. They have a beautiful smell as well, which the deer do not like.
2. Bachelors Buttons
Centaurea cyanus is also called bachelors buttons or cornflower. They grow wild in cornfields, which is where their common name comes from. These flowers are so radiant and colorful that they are often used in floral arrangements, including for weddings. It also comes in a variety of colors including white and pink, but they are very popular in blue or purple.
Irises are a popular flower that often gets a bad rap for being hard to take care of. However, despite popular belief, these bright flowers can be fairly easy to care for. There are around 300 species of irises, so the first step of growing them successfully is picking a variety that is well-suited to your area. Bearded irises are the most popular and a good place to start.
Most varieties of asters (Symphyotrichum) are native to America, making them very hardy. If you like daisies, but wish they had more color, asters range from purple to orange and everything in between. Common varieties include New England, Aromatic, and Chinese aster. Wild or “wild type” asters are another great option but are hard to control.
Lavandula, better known as lavender, is a fantastic and practical garden flower. Lavenders’ strong smell makes them very deer resistant! Their strong scent is also great for making fragrant oils and other practical items. This diverse little flower is also a great addition to live or dry flower arrangements. With such a range of possibilities, lavender is a must-have for your deer-resistant garden.
6. Bee Balm
Bee balm, Monarda, is actually related to mint, so it has a strong smell which deer and other pests hate. However, as the name suggests, pollinators really love it, so it is great for attracting pollinators to your flower garden. Like mint, bee balm also has a variety of uses, including tea and as a seasoning.
1. Bleeding Heart
Bleeding heart is also known as Lamprocapnos spectabilis or Asian bleeding heart. The name of this flower says it all because it looks just like a heart. These lovely perennials like damp, almost swampy conditions, and partial shade. While it is okay with full sun, these special requirements may make it hard to find a spot for it in your normal perennial flower garden.
Peonies (Paeonia) are believed to represent prosperity, good fortune, and compassion. They enjoy moist, well-draining soil, so they are great for containers. Peonies also need a fair bit of extra care, like deadheading, so having them in a pot where you can keep an eye on them is ideal.
Zinnias (Zinnia elegans) are an amazing plant for flower gardens in warm areas. Zinnias are a great low-maintenance flower that, once sown, usually grows with minimal effort. While the young plants need some water after they have been established, only occasional supplemental watering is needed. Zinnias are hardy to both pests and heat.
Poppies (Papaver) are the state flower of California for good reason. In the right conditions, they spread like wildfire. Plus, they have an enchanting and simple beauty to them. In addition to being great in your garden beds and deer-resistant, short varieties of poppies do well in containers. California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) are especially wonderful.
Nasturtiums, or Tropaeolum, is actually a genus of plants that contains around 50 varieties. These bright blooms enjoy having plenty of sun but are fine with partial shade. A big perk of nasturtium is that they are easy going and do not mind poor soils.
You can tell a lot about Bluebells (Hyacinthoides) from their name; they are blue with bell-shaped flowers. These gorgeous blooms are so hardy that they grow wild in Texas and in a few other states. The Texas bluebells are so beautiful and iconic that they inspired the name of the infamous Bluebell Creameries. If you are looking for a pop of blue that the deer will not mess with, bluebells are a great flower for you!
Are you having deer or other pest problems? Check out these interesting articles for more information on preventing pests from destroying your garden.