The Q&A Archives: Deer Resistant Plants

Question: We just purchased a new house and need to plan our garden. We have seen deer in our back yard and
would like to plant things that they will not eat. Please help.

Answer: Unfortunately, that can be quite a challenge. Many favorite garden plants from azaleas to roses are deer favorites, too. Deer are also creatures of habit, and if they usually cross your property to browse, it is very hard to redirect them. There are lists of plants deer may not eat, but deer in different areas will eat different things and also may learn to eat new plants as they are introduced.

Your best bet would be to talk to neighbors and find out what the local deer population has learned to eat, and avoid those. Your local county extension (349-1247) might also be able to make some suggestions. In my own (sad) experience, if the deer pressure is severe, the most reliable way to avoid deer damage is to build a very tall fence.

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