The Q&A Archives: Deer Proof Flowers and Shrubs

Question: What are the best deer proof perennials, bushes, flowers etc. I can plant? They have eaten my roses, hydrangeas, and the tips of my lilacs. Is there anything I can do to keep them out of my yard? Thank you.

Answer: A 8-foot tall fence MIGHT keep them out!

A large population of hungry deer will eat almost any plant available. Some plants may be sampled but not destroyed. However, the plants below are generally thought of as being plants deer do not prefer to eat unless they are starving! Perennials: Achillea, Artemisia, Astilbe, Campanula, Coreopsis, Dicentra, Digitalis, Erigeron,Gaillardia, Helleborus, Malva, Monarda, Stachys, Trollius, Verbena, and Tricyrtis. Some annuals include: Ageratum, Alyssum, Zinnia, Snapdragon and Lobelia.

There are quite a few shrubs that deer appear to avoid. Deciduous choices include Berberis thunbergii atropurpurea
(Japanese barberry), Cotoneaster apiculata (cranberry cotoneaster), Cotoneaster horizontalis (rockspray cotoneaster), Euonymus alatus compactus (burning bush), Lindera benzoin (spice bush), Picea glauca conica (dwarf Alberta spruce), Spiraea x bumalda 'Anthony Waterer', and Spiraea x vanhouttei. Evergreens include Berberis julianae (wintergreen barberry), Ilex crenata (Japanese holly), Ilex glabra (Inkberry), Juniperis procumbens nana (Japanese garden juniper), Picea abies (bird's nest spruce), and Pinus mugo (mugo pine).

Good luck!

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