30 Top Deer-Resistant Flowers
Whether you need an annual, perennial or shrub, here are our favorite flowers deer won't eat.
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Light up your summer garden with these brightly colored flowers in yellow, pink, white or peach. Yarrow is an easy perennial to grow and a good choice for beginners. Its finely textured foliage gives off an herbal scent which helps to repel deer.
Hardy in zones 3-8, full sun, 2'8" - 3' tall and 2'4" - 2'8" wide
2. ORNAMENTAL ONION
Not everyone enjoys eating onions, and that includes deer and rabbits too. They'll avoid 'Serendipity', an ornamental onion with playful purple, ball-shaped flowers that bloom from mid to late summer. Bees gather pollen from the flowers on sunny afternoons and butterflies frequently visit them too. Unlike bulb-type alliums, this perennial produces many flowers per plant and becomes denser with more blooms each year.
Hardy in zones 4-8, full sun to part sun, 15 - 20" tall and 10 - 15" wide
3. ANISE HYSSOP
Anise hyssop has fragrant leaves that release a pleasant scent when touched. You'll love the smell, but deer won't! Its scent and soft peach flowers make it a great addition to any deer-resistant garden.
Hardy in zones 5-9, full sun, 2'6" - 3' tall and 2'8" - 3' wide
4. BEE BALM
These colorful perennials attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. But deer will steer clear once they catch a whiff of their minty foliage. These varieties have vibrant blossoms each summer, form clumps, return reliably, and are highly resistant to powdery mildew. Plant Leading Lady bee balm for earlier color, then Pardon My and Upscale varieties to extend the bloom season through midsummer.
Hardy in zones 4-8, full sun to part sun, 10" - 2'8" tall and 10" - 3' wide
5. FERN-LEAVED BLEEDING HEART
Unlike most bleeding hearts which do best in shade, this alpine variety thrives in full sun and very well-drained soil. Because of its toxic qualities deer usually avoid it, but bees and hummingbirds enjoy its blooms. 'Pink Diamonds' is a long-blooming perennial, beginning the show in late spring and continuing all the way into early fall.
Hardy in zones 3-9, full sun to part sun, 12 - 16" tall and 16 - 18" wide
Deer dislike the fuzzy, fragrant foliage of catmint. You'll enjoy bundles of bright lavender-purple blossoms starting in early summer. Use a dwarf type like ‘Cat’s Pajamas’ to edge veggie gardens, rose beds or sunny walkways. For something bigger, try 'Cat's Meow'. It thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. No extra water or plant food is needed.
Hardy in zones 3-8, full sun, 12 - 20" tall and 18" - 3' wide
Add stunning color to your garden with this compact coneflower that blooms most of the summer. Coneflowers have spiny cones, which may be why deer leave them alone. Keep the spent blooms on the plants to provide winter food for birds as well as architectural interest. Looking for more colors? Check out our Color Coded® series.
Hardy in zones 4-8, full sun to part sun, 12 - 16" tall and 16 - 18" wide
The finely textured, fragrant, fuzzy leaves of Sweet Romance lavender aren't usually on the menu for deer and other critters. You'll love its heady sweet fragrance, so be sure to pick some stems and bring them inside. This variety has rich violet-purple flower wands that bloom non-stop from early summer into fall. It is very drought tolerant once established.
Hardy in zones 5-9, full sun, 12 - 18" tall and wide
9. ENGLISH MARIGOLD
Also known as pot marigolds, these deer-resistant plants have large yellow flowers that will cheer up any border or container. This short-lived perennial is commonly grown as an annual. Its edible petals can be added to salads and other dishes.
Hardy in zones 7-11, part sun to sun, 10-16” tall
10. RUSSIAN SAGE
By now you’re sensing a theme—plants that deer don't like often have fragrant foliage. Russian sage is no exception. Its clean, herbal scent makes it highly deer resistant. While its bright amethyst-blue flowers are enjoyed by bees and hummingbirds. Proven Winners varieties have tidy habits that make good neighbors in the garden. Lots of sun and dry, unfertile soil will keep them happy for many years.
Hardy in zones 4-9, full sun, 2'4" - 3' tall and 2'4" - 3'2" wide
If you want pollinators, plant salvia. Its strong scent is unappealing to deer, but bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds are drawn to its blooms starting in early summer. Color Spires and Profusion salvias are super easy to grow and are drought tolerant once established.
Hardy in zones 3-8, full sun, 14" - 2' tall and 16" - 2'2" wide
Deer would have to be very hungry to eat verbena since they have coarse leaves and a bitter flavor. Superbena Royale verbenas are vigorous and mounded, but trail nicely over the sides of containers. Use them as both spillers and fillers in combination planters or planted at the front of landscape beds. They bloom earlier in the season than other types of Superbena.
Annual, full sun to part sun, 6 - 12" tall and 18" - 2'6"
13. WISHBONE FLOWER
This wishbone flower is a fabulous addition to any deer-resistant garden, boasting heat and shade tolerance while requiring little maintenance. Its snapdragon-like flowers bloom all season. This versatile flower fills hanging baskets and containers with masses of color and is a wonderful groundcover in shady spots.
Annual, sun or shade, 8 - 16" tall and 8 - 10" wide
14. SUMMER SNAPDRAGON
You won't need to worry about deer bothering your Angelonia as long as there's other food for them to eat. This stunning variety has a long bloom season, is heat and drought tolerant, and doesn't require deadheading. Its pristine white blossoms offer a bold contrast to its rich green foliage, making it ideal for modern or traditional landscapes.
Annual, full sun, 18" - 2' tall and 12 - 18" wide
Bring an ethereal touch to your garden with this tough, low-maintenance plant. Renowned for its heat and drought tolerance, this euphorbia offers a delicate cloud of airy white flowers throughout the season. Diamond Frost® is a reliable choice for a deer-resistant garden, thriving in containers and landscapes on its own or alongside companions. Individuals with sensitive skin or latex allergies should be cautious, as contact may cause irritation.
Annual, full sun to part sun, 12 - 18" tall and wide
16. ROSE OF SHARON
The exotic flowers of hardy hibiscus are an impressive sight in the summer landscape. Use this deciduous shrub in foundation plantings, mixed borders and as hedging. Blue Chiffon® produces distinctive double blue flowers in late summer to fall when most other shrubs are done blooming.
Hardy in zones 5-9, full sun, 8-12’ tall and 4-6’ wide
Is it the name "lungwort" that keeps deer and rabbits away from this shade perennial? Don't let it deter you! This critter-resistant plant is much more attractive than its name suggests and it's easy to grow. Pulmonaria is one of the first perennials to bloom in spring with bright pink and blue flowers that attract bumblebees. The silver-speckled leaves add interest throughout the season.
Hardy in zones 3-9, part shade to shade, 14 - 18" tall and 18" - 2' wide
You may be used to growing Astilbe in the shade, but you'll love this selection that grows and blooms best in full sun to part sun. It combines rich chocolate-colored foliage with rosy purple flower plumes for a colorful garden show in mid to late summer. Though they are easy to grow, Astilbes have one critical requirement—lots of water. Do not let this perennial dry out.
Hardy in zones 4-9, sun or shade, 20 - 22" tall and 2' - 2'4" wide
19. LILY OF THE VALLEY SHRUB
Distinctive, rich color makes Interstella lily of the valley shrub out of this world! It is an early bloomer, with beautiful, bell-like, ruby-colored flowers appearing before the calendar (and the weather!) even says it's spring. And there are hundreds of them that persist for a very long time—two months or more. But there's more: this is possibly the most shade-tolerant flowering shrub, blooming well even in very low light conditions, and it's deer resistant, too.
Hardy in zones 5-8, sun or shade, 3 -4' tall and wide
20. BUTTERFLY BUSH
Deer don't usually munch on butterfly bush, but if they do, it grows quickly and soon you won't even notice! While butterfly bush can be invasive in some regions, ‘Miss Molly’ is a sterile variety that won’t self-sow. The deep pink flowers bloom from mid-summer into fall and are highly attractive to butterflies, bees and other insect pollinators. Plant this compact deciduous shrub in a butterfly border, container or mass in the landscape.
Hardy in zones 5-9, full sun, 4-5’ tall and wide
This Heliotrope pairs classic beauty with unexpected toughness. It is extremely heat and humidity tolerant, which means both the deep south and far north can be successful with this plant. It will create mounds when planted in the landscape and it will flower over the pot edge when planted in containers. Note: like many heliotropes, this plant is toxic if ingested.
Annual, full sun to part sun, 12" - 2' tall and 2' - 3' wide
Lilac shrubs have delicate clusters of star-shaped flowers, that fill the garden with sweet fragrance in spring. Use this hardy deciduous bush in foundation plantings, mixed borders, or as hedging. It is also suitable for containers and small spaces. Bloomerang® Dark Purple reblooms from mid-summer until frost. Lilacs are generally deer-resistant, but they may need protection in their first few weeks after planting or during winter or times of scarce food.
Hardy in zones 3-7, full sun, 4-6’ tall and wide
One of the earliest shrubs to flower in spring, forsythia has sunny yellow bell-like blooms covering the stems. This tough deciduous shrub adapts to a variety of conditions and is hardy in most regions. Show Off® requires little pruning to retain a tidy appearance. Use as hedging, in foundation plantings or mixed borders.
Hardy in zones 5-8, full sun to part sun, 5-6’ tall and wide
This heat-tolerant plant has small, fluffy, white button-like flowers that add color all season. The old blooms are buried under new growth so no deadheading is needed. Ageratum gets an A-rating from Rutgers, which means it is rarely damaged by deer.
Annual, full sun to part sun, 8-12" tall and 6-10" wide
Brighten any garden with this charming shrub featuring cheerful yellow blooms and lush green foliage. It blooms like crazy from spring to frost, is very durable, doesn't need much maintenance and is highly deer resistant. Grow it in mixed borders, foundation plantings, or mass plantings.
Hardy in zones 2-7, part sun to sun, 2-3' tall and wide
26. SPIDER FLOWER
This heat and drought-tolerant plant adds dramatic height to landscape beds with showy, pure white blooms all season. Unlike other cleome, Senorita Blanca will not self-seed, doesn't get bare knees, she isn't sticky and doesn't have thorns. Use in landscape beds or large containers.
Annual, full sun, 2-4' tall and 18-24" wide
27. SCOTCH BROOM
Scotch broom is a drought-tolerant deciduous shrub with pea-like blooms and an upright broom-like structure. The flowers of Sister Disco® are red and yellow bicolored adding a stunning highlight to the landscape. Use in mass plantings as erosion control along a slope. Note: not recommended for areas where Scotch broom has naturalized and become invasive.
Hardy in zones 5-8, full sun, 1-3’ tall and wide
28. Hardy Baby's Breath
Bring a sense of lightness and beauty to your outdoor space. From May through October, this plant produces an abundance of small white flowers that seem to float on densely branched stems. Not only a visual treat, but this deer-resistant plant is also good for cut flower arrangements or dried floral crafts. It's an excellent choice for either small or large gardens seeking a touch of whimsy.
Hardy in zones 3-9, full sun, 12-18" tall and 16-24" wide
This resilient annual plant has eye-catching tufted yellow flowers that beautifully contrast with its silvery foliage. Because it withstands heat and drought exceptionally well it makes a perfect full-sun garden plant in containers or the landscape.
Annual, full sun, 8-14" tall and 8-12" wide
30. Sweet Alyssum
Give your garden a fairy tale feeling with the prolific and highly fragrant blooms of sweet alyssum. Snow Princess® is a vigorous plant that creates a carpet of snow-like flowers throughout the season. It adapts easily to both hot and cold climates and is a stellar choice for containers or landscapes.
Annual, full sun to part sun, 10-16" tall and 2-4' wide
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