Asked on Jul 12, 2014

Suggestion

Debbie/Dragonfly TreasureAnne FitzpatrickBonny McDaniel
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Answered

So I am looking to plant deer resistant garden. I want perennials. But I'm totally lost of where to start. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
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40 answers
  • Douglas Hunt
    Douglas Hunt
    on Jul 13, 2014

    Here is a list from a professor at Cornell University of plants that deer do not like to eat. Many of them are perennials. Do note that it says "do not like" to eat, not "won't eat." Deer will eat basically anything if they are hungry and have access. http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/factsheets/deerdef/bridgen_list.pdf

  • Barb Rosen
    Barb Rosen
    on Jul 13, 2014

    Here's a list I liked from Fine Gardening. Hope it helps! http://www.finegardening.com/15-deer-resistant-plants

  • Barbara Aubrey
    Barbara Aubrey
    on Jul 13, 2014

    My experience is that one group of deer one year will leave alone plants that in another year they will nibble to a nub - once you find your magic basics then you can experiment with additional plants - for us here in Austin Rosemary is prolific and is a year round bush - any plant, when it is first established needs wire or other protection for at least 2 years - some years they will even strip the Nandina and definitely they will strip the leaves from any bush that is less then 2 years old - Deer are less likely to graze on aromatic foliage, tough leathery and/or hairy or prickly leaves or plants with milky latex or sap - however, they ate my pines and butterfly bush - upsetting, yes, but then I let food go in my frig that when thrown out is often as many dollars as the lost trial garden plants. With deer it's a constant trial - I look to native plants that grow wild, deer leave those plants alone.

  • Nancy
    Nancy
    on Jul 14, 2014

    Plants with grey foliage are usually safe. Peonies, iris, coleus,allium yarrows , cannas, daffodils are worry free. Boxwood are avoided. Also Plankskyd is a good product for repelling deer. If you want a homemade mixture, put 2 eggs and a cup of water in a quart jar and leave at room temperature for tree days. Mix 1cup of milk, 2 T. Hot sauce and 2 T mined garlic with the aged egg and water. Fill the jar with water. When thoroughly mixed strain with a sieve and use a good hand sprayer. The sprays lasts at least 3 weeks. Spray new buds as they emerge of things like roses and day lilies.

    • Nancy
      Nancy
      on Jul 14, 2014

      Yes you can let it set for a longer time, but restain. The milk may curdle. Derek don't like the smell of egg. The milk and egg form a weather resistant mixture. Last year I enjoyed all the great Flores without disappointment. This year I should have sprayed some lily buds agin when they developed. This is cheap and harmless. Plankskyd is a great product, but costly for a large yard and gardens. It would be well suited in the autumn concentrating on bark and evergreen foliage before winter.

  • Sharon Kavanagh
    Sharon Kavanagh
    on Jul 14, 2014

    I fight deer constantly in my woodland garden. Daylily, Coneflower,Asters,Hardy Geranium and Japanese Forest Grass have so far been not bothered by deer. I am wondering if you also would want to plant some small evergreens? If so I would suggest a Golden Mop False Cypress or Firepower Nandina. If you want a carefree ground cover, I would suggest Creeping Jenny, it would look great cascading over the wall. Have fun and keep us posted.

  • Amy Wexler
    Amy Wexler
    on Jul 14, 2014

    Grasses, coreopsis, Russian sage, hyacinths, daffodils, hydrangia, foxglove. Avoid lillies, tulips, etc.

  • Ruth Newquist
    Ruth Newquist
    on Jul 14, 2014

    I live in the country with lots of deer. I spray with a variety of things. One will work for 30 days then you have to change. Cayenne pepper tea, dish soap, etc. but they all must be reapplied after a rain.

  • Delores Snellen
    Delores Snellen
    on Jul 14, 2014

    I have a flower bed in front and the only thing the deer do is sleep in it lol. It has daylilies, iris, daffodils, hostas, Asian lilies, and I can not remember everything I have planted but they don't seem to bother them. I have peonies, diathus ?, roses around the house and they don't seem to bother them either.

  • Sally
    Sally
    on Jul 14, 2014

    We rural folk do have to adapt. Gardeners.com has a spray deer repellent which works with smell rather than taste. The $15 qt lasts a month and is unaffected by rain.

  • Jan Drake
    Jan Drake
    on Jul 14, 2014

    Deer fawns don't know what not to eat, so they will eat everything. At a golf course where I used to work, they call deer "long legged Rats". Roses are like candy to a deer. You basically have to build a fence that is 12' tall to keep deer out. They can jump a 6' fence with ease.

  • Marjorie Fritz
    Marjorie Fritz
    on Jul 14, 2014

    I've seen a "quick zap" sprinkler system - motion detector placed throughout flower areas. Those flowers are always beautiful?!?

  • DORLIS
    DORLIS
    on Jul 14, 2014

    I am also having trouble with ground hogs, rabbits, mice and screws, any suggestions? Also raccoons, juveniles who are clumsy, knock things over andit seems they must say, "What is in this one? I don't know, lets dig it up." Nothing is eaten, just dug up. I spend more time replanting than planting.

  • Margaret
    Margaret
    on Jul 14, 2014

    My neighborhood deer, who are mulies as opposed to whitetailed, don't eat "Silver King" artemesia, yarrow (I wish they did!), mugwort, mallow, malva, and tansy. Sometimes they eat lovage, sometimes they don't. All of those die back in fall. Someone is eating the tops off my valerian, and it pretty much has to be the deer; rabbits can't reach that high, and the elk have never come into that particular flowerbed.

  • Debbie Moore
    Debbie Moore
    on Jul 14, 2014

    You can find at Lowe's a book for your area that gives you more choices than your pocket book can afford. I had one and loved it left it with ex because if was for CA. The are well worth the money and it gives you every plant and tree for your state.

  • Lynda DoughertyKelly
    Lynda DoughertyKelly
    on Jul 14, 2014

    I plant lavender, rudbeckia, coreopsis, salvia, mums, and snapDragons. The dear leave it alone and even mostly ignore my mini roses

  • Slgibbs1
    Slgibbs1
    on Jul 14, 2014

    You can buy coyote urine from an organic place. Scares the deer away!

  • Bonny McDaniel
    Bonny McDaniel
    on Jul 14, 2014

    We have a doe that comes into the yard frequently...doesn't bother the iris, rock rose, and ice plant but she kept nibbling on my canna plants until I stuck a garden flag next to them...she doesn't like anything that flutters, apparently. I don't use anything else and she has stopped chewing on the canna plants.

  • Ann
    Ann
    on Jul 14, 2014

    I live in town, but the deer come past our home to go to the river. They would stop and eat our shrubs. I cut and wrapped with florist wire Irish Spring bath soap. Deer don't like the way it smells, it worked! For three years they haven't touched the shrubs and I haven't changed the soap.

    • Ann
      Ann
      on Jul 15, 2014

      I cut the soap bar into quarters, then wrapped some florist wire around it and then made a loop of the end of the wire & hung it on the shrub near the front. I suppose you could you a stick and pit a nail into the stick and hang it from there. Or if you have Ny type of fencing even those little wire ones would work. Just somewhere close to the stuff you want the deer to stay away from.

  • Twila Lockwood
    Twila Lockwood
    on Jul 14, 2014

    I hear that human urine works great.

  • Mary
    Mary
    on Jul 14, 2014

    Bleeding heart, anything from the mint family, or plants with furry scratchy leaves.

    • Anne Fitzpatrick
      Anne Fitzpatrick
      on Jul 28, 2014

      @DORLIS I also live in the woods, our town won't do anything about the deer, along with their munching our flowers, they damaged our car too! My husband had Lymm disease, no end to this.

  • Anna Beth Williams-Detloff
    Anna Beth Williams-Detloff
    on Jul 15, 2014

    Deer do not like the scent of human urine. Tin cans of urine placed in the ground and freshened after a rain, do work nicely. Also plastic forks spaced around your plants and dogs don't want to get stuck by the prongs!

  • Vikke Bernich Mathys
    Vikke Bernich Mathys
    on Jul 15, 2014

    Thanks everyone.

  • Morena Hockley
    Morena Hockley
    on Jul 15, 2014

    When there is drought, the deer will eat even the deer resistant stuff. Also, they strip the bark off young trees and the bucks rub their antlers on them. I have had to replace my front garden countless times. I've learned that the deer spray works, but you have to respray it on a strict schedule. The motion sensor sprinkler works great, too. Some of my neighbors have electric fences. I learned the hard way to plant larger versions of deer resistant plants...they will eat the young ones. For example, they won't touch mature lantana or salvia, but they will destroy fresh ones or new growth in the spring. They have left my mountain laurel alone, and my rosemary.

    • DORLIS
      DORLIS
      on Jul 20, 2014

      @Morena Hockley We have not had a drought, in fact, too much rain and cool weather. It is still like spring in north central Missouri

  • Deb Fleming
    Deb Fleming
    on Jul 15, 2014

    http://www.amazon.com/Deerproofing-Your-Garden-Rhonda-Massingham/dp/1580175856/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1405401220&sr=1-1&keywords=deer+proofing+your+yard I found this book to be helpful in understanding deer habits and instincts as well as it gives plant lists for various regions.

  • Liliana Wells
    Liliana Wells
    on Jul 15, 2014

    Try Googling "deer resistant plants for your area. I did a quick search and came up with http://www.deerresistantplants.com/. Good luck.

  • Anne Fitzpatrick
    Anne Fitzpatrick
    on Jul 15, 2014

    The deer love Hostas, they ate the top off of mine, it's like deer candy.

  • Deborah Lafountaine
    Deborah Lafountaine
    on Jul 18, 2014

    My house is surrounded by woods with a deer that frequent. I even had a neighbor that stopped by one day to tell me a deer was trying to eat my front door wreath! Anyway here is what I plant: coneflowers, catmint and phlox would drape nicely over your wall as well as homestead purple verbena( aphids like them tho), Stella d'or daylily, Russian sage, butterfly bush, balloon flowers, dianthas, Shasta daisy, sunflowers, yarrow are a few plants I have around. Lantana, zinnias, begonias aren't perrenials but deer don't bother them. Google deer resistant plants for a big list.

  • Carol
    Carol
    on Jul 19, 2014

    Pest Ridder Natural used kitty litter can be used as a deterrent for some of the larger garden pests, supposedly even deer, but especially rabbits. I don't have a problem with deer. It apparently works at least for some weeks, or several rains, and if you've still got some determined pests, alternate with other strong smelling deterrents like crushed lavender stems, garlic spray or oil, or chilli/pepper. Spread or trickle a layer of kitty litter around the garden edge, or plants you want to protect. Remember with kitty litter to remove solid matter and always wash hands thoroughly. If possible remove when usefulness is over and put in compost to degrade safely.

    • DORLIS
      DORLIS
      on Jul 20, 2014

      @Carol I have a cougar that crosses about 100 yards from my house but I have not figured how to talk him into spraying around my yard to keep the critters away. When I see him, we talk for a minute or 2 and then he saunters across the road. He is on a deer trail.

  • Bonny McDaniel
    Bonny McDaniel
    on Jul 19, 2014

    I know used kitty litter is recommended to rid your yard of voles, which I have in abundance. However, I don't have a cat so I don't have access to that means. I have to buy Mole Maxx which does work very well but has to be reapplied every six weeks. Those little critters really destroy many of my flowers except for the native species (except poppies) and calandulas. They destroyed an iris bed and most of my Shasta daisies and mums.

  • Sandy Pudoff
    Sandy Pudoff
    on Jul 26, 2014

    Michaels has a sale running now on the only plants that deer won't eat. They are called plastic plants!!! Unless the deer is really hungry or myopic, in which case, all bets are off! Sorry, it's the truth...there is no such thing as a deer proof plant!!

    • Lori Jackson
      Lori Jackson
      on Jul 28, 2014

      @Sandy Pudoff You make me laugh out loud. My sis owns and operates a resort property in the mountains. After battling deer for years--all matter of plants touted as resistant, fences, cages--and has resorted to plastic. However, she texted me a photo of a ravaged plastic flower arrangement. Some dear deer had obviously been willing to give it a try.

  • DORLIS
    DORLIS
    on Jul 27, 2014

    Over the years, I have learned that sad fact. You just have to keep spraying with Liquid Fence or buy coyote urine to scatter around the yard. At least rain does not dillute it, makes it moe potent.

  • Margaret
    Margaret
    on Jul 28, 2014

    Also, deer in different areas will eat different plants, which doesn't help matters. Still my deer, who are mulies, don't eat mugwort, malva, marshmallow, or tansy. Or hops, come to think of it.

  • Inga H
    Inga H
    on Jul 29, 2014

    I've found out that my deer don't it Lantana, Dahlia and Black-eyed-Susan. Daffodils in spring remained untouched as well.

  • Amber Thach
    Amber Thach
    on Sep 4, 2014

    Advice from our local Menards flower center man told my husband to urinate inside a pop bottle and put that around the flowers or trees, deer will go the other way!

  • SueZD
    SueZD
    on Apr 12, 2015

    Liquid Fence - and it's all natural. Smells bad when you first put it out - like rotten eggs, but the the smell goes away and only the animals can smell it. It's not cheap, but I've not found anything else that works as good as this does. I had a deer path going through my back yard and I always planted whatever flowers I wanted. I always had numerous wave petunias and once I sprayed them, they never touched them. I bought it at a nursery, but I have just recently seen it at TSC (Tractor Supply Co.)

  • Barbara Demotts
    Barbara Demotts
    on Apr 12, 2015

    I am from northern MN, my home is surrounded by forest with lots of deer. I have used Milorganite for the last 3 yrs. I just sprinkle it in and around my plants and gardens every 3 weeks to a month depending on rainfall. Every once in awhile will give them a shot of liquid fence because deer will get past a same smell after a bit.

  • Anne Fitzpatrick
    Anne Fitzpatrick
    on Apr 13, 2015

    Barbara, I'm sure it works, but I have a keen sense of smell & that would keep me a way too! Isn't there anything that smells good to keep the deer away?

  • Bonny McDaniel
    Bonny McDaniel
    on Apr 13, 2015

    I had a very pesky doe that kept coming in the yard. Even though I planted deer resistant plants she would, at the least, pull them up or take a leaf and taste it. Without realizing it, I put out a large garden flag at the end of the flower bed and, behold, she stopped eating and investigating that area. I don't know if the flapping spooked her off or what but when I could see her, she would look at the flag 'like a deer caught in the headlights' and then lope off to another part of the yard. We now have our big American flag on the house and she doesn't come anywhere near that area. It might work for you and you might have to keep changing the location of the flag(s) but it might work. Try something with Mylar or shiny strips attached to the flag...the reflection and movement in the wind works for a lot of birds that are pesky like woodpeckers.

  • Anne Fitzpatrick
    Anne Fitzpatrick
    on Apr 15, 2015

    Bonny, thanks, I'll give it a try!

  • Debbie/Dragonfly Treasure
    Debbie/Dragonfly Treasure
    on Jul 15, 2018

    Deer turn their noses up at fragrant plants with strong scents. Sages, ornamental salvias, and lavender, daffodils, garlic, annual vinca, marigolds, coneflowers


    Use a vegetable peeler on the bar of Irish Spring soap and scatter shavings around plants and bushes. There's a product called Bobbex that works really well if you have something you want to protect though!


    I read this from Gma Kirk: A farmer gave me a gross recipe for repellent...but it works. cup or two of urine, tablespoons of crushed garlic, and cayenne pepper, two eggs in a gallon jug, shake well, fill rest of the way with water. Cap and let age a week. Then you drizzle small stream around the perimeter of whatever you want to keep them from eating

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