15 Plants For Your Garden To Make It Deer Friendly

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Deers are lovely, but they can also be a nuisance in gardens. However, many plants can help make your garden deer-friendly, so both you and deers are happy to take a stroll. Here are the top 15 plants to protect your garden.

Bee Balm

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This Native American plant is known for its environmentally friendly nature, which makes it low-maintenance in gardens. However, it requires direct sunlight for optimal growth, and its slender tube-shaped flowers come in various colors. Its nectar attracts bees, but deers do not like its strong scent, which helps you keep them away from your garden.


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It comes from the family of verbena and its attractive colors make it a fantastic addition to your garden. It is tough, handling heat and drought well, and not bothered by serious pests. The showy flower clusters come in various colors like red, orange, yellow, and more, attracting hummingbirds and butterflies while keeping deer a few steps away.


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It is famous for its burst of vibrant hues during spring and summer. Besides being excellent cut flowers, cauterizing the stem ends with flame enhances their longevity in water. Potted poppies are available any season, but if you wait until fall, scattering poppy seeds on moist soil promises a delightful spring bed of seedlings.


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It is a Japanese shrub. Its potent fragrance makes it an excellent choice for a beautiful garden. These versatile evergreens are drought-tolerant, needing extra watering only in dry spells, but aware of their toxic alkaloid that harms pets and humans. Their lance-shaped leaves, ranging from dark blue-green to pale green, feature yellow-green spring flowers. 


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These are a culinary gem for your kitchen and an effective deer deterrent. Their robust aroma keeps deer away and fends off smaller pests like aphids and Japanese beetles. Onions, leeks, dill, mint, and fennel are culinary herbs that also ward off deer. Save basil and parsley for the grocery store, as deer have a penchant for those.

Sweet Alyssum

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It excels as a border plant with its trailing growth, reaching six to 12 inches in height and showcasing honey-scented white, pink, or purple blooms. While it blooms from spring to fall, the flowering might decrease in midsummer. Prune it by half during this period to stimulate fresh growth and blossoms. 


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It is mainly found in Europe, the Canary Islands and the Mediterranean. It is adorned with tall stems, and vividly speckled trumpet-shaped flowers keep deer at bay due to its poisonous nature. However, it self-seeds, potentially becoming invasive if not dead-headed after flowering. This perennial blossoms from late spring to mid-summer.

Globe Amaranth 

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Its rounded, clover-like flower heads top plants range from 6 to 24 inches in height and come in various colors, such as purple, red, orange, pink, and white. Potted plants require minimal watering and are rarely bothered by pests. The cut flowers are effortlessly dried and perfect for arrangements in your garden.

Spider Flower

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Known as grandfather’s whiskers, the spider flower earns its name from lengthy stamens extending from open flowers. Available in shades of pink, rose, white, or purple, some varieties maintain a single color, while others transition from purple, rose, or pink to white the following day, presenting dual hues on one plant. 


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They are recognized by three outer drooping petals encircling three inner upright ones. For optimal growth, ensure good air circulation by spacing them 16 to 18 inches apart and maintaining a weed-free zone around them. Plant them at a proper depth, allowing the rhizome to be slightly exposed at the top.


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With their striking blooms, coneflowers are a great choice for a deer-resistant garden. In summer, they bloom cone-shaped and daisy-like and come in various colors, including purple, pink, red, yellow, orange, and white. These enduring perennials thrive in gardens and border spaces. Deadhead spent blooms to promote a second flower display.


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Ideal for cottage gardens, peonies’ fragrant, voluminous flowers span shades of white, yellow, coral, pink, and red. Their potent scent deters deer and rabbits. Peonies offer diverse scents, from spicy to citrusy or sweet, and they come in tree or bush varieties. They require at least 6 -8 hours of sunlight to grow properly.


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With its aromatic foliage, catmint is a reliable deer deterrent that flourishes with minimal care. It belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae) and produces blue, pink, purple, yellow, and white blooms. Exceptionally pest-resistant, catmint brings beauty to your garden effortlessly, requiring little attention for a vibrant and low-maintenance addition to your outdoor space.

Russian Sage

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Russian sage adds a touch of lavender elegance to your landscape with bluish-purple blooms on tall spikes reaching up to 4 feet. The fragrant flowers deter deer while attracting bees and hummingbirds. Thriving in a dry environment, it is an ideal addition to a xeriscape, blending beauty with water conservation in your garden.

Red Hot Poker

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In mid-to-late summer, red hot poker blooms proudly on sturdy stems, reaching a minimum of two and a maximum of 3 feet.  Attracting butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees, it remains unbothered by deer and rabbits. This perennial stands out with its bright-colored, spiky flowers and distinctive lance-shaped foliage, contributing vibrant hues to your garden.


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