Deer Resistant Plants

in Helpful Tips, Plants

Many of our rural customers have trouble with deer and rabbits eating their flowers.  Fortunately, that doesn't mean you can't have a flower garden.  You just have to select varieties that these animals will not eat.  At Thompson Greenhouse we can help you make those selections. 

The Topic of the Week at Thompson Greenhouse is "Planting for Wildlife". Not only will we be featuring plants that are wildlife resistant, we will also be featuring plants that are favorites for butterflies and birds.  In this post we will talk specifically about selecting flowers and ornamentals that are resistant to deer and rabbits.  Come in the store and see this week's featured display where we put together several deer-resistant arrangements, just to show you how easy it is to get a beautiful flower garden - and keep it!

Deer resistant varieties at Thompson Greenhouse include:

  • Ageratum
  • Alyssum/Lobularia Snow Princess
  • Angelonia
  • Bee Balm (perennial)
  • Cleome
  • Columbine (perennial)
  • Dahlia
  • Dead Nettle
  • Dianthus
  • Dusty Miller
  • Euphorbia
  • Gaillardia
  • Geraniums
  • Ipomoea (Sweet Potato Vine)
  • Lantana
  • Lavendar
  • Marigold
  • Pansies
  • Papavar (Poppy) (perennial and annual)
  • Petunias - Mounding
  • Petunias - Trailing/Wave
  • Salvia/Russian Sage (annual and perennial)
  • Shasta Daisy (perennial)
  • Snapdragon
  • Thyme
  • Torenia
  • Verbena

An extensive list of deer resistant plants, shrubs, and trees has been developed by the University of West Virginia.  While it may not be all-inclusive, it provides a comprehensive list of plants rarely damaged and those frequently damaged by deer.

If your need for deer control goes beyond simple plant selection, KSU Extension and Research has created an extensive guide for Deer Damage Control Options.  One easy tip they recommend for protecting young trees and the area surrounding: Ordinary bars of soap suspended from tree branches can reduce deer damage. Drill a hole in each bar and suspend with a twist tie or string. My mother-in-law put them in toes of old pantyhose and ties those around branches, and has seen results. Each bar appears to protect a radius of about 1 yard. Any inexpensive brand of bar soap will work.