The Q&A Archives: Deer resistant perennials

Question: Can you suggest some deer resistant perennials for the Western Washington area? Want a garden with interest throughout spring and summer and need some advice as to what the deer won't eat readily. I understand that they will eat anything when driven to but what are some suggestions for plants that they tend to stay away from?

Answer: First, the disclaimer - a hungry deer will eat most anything! With that said, Buxus is generally not bothered by deer, but a hungry deer may well munch on it. Buxus 'Green Velvet' is my favorite. It grows thick and dense, with a rich green color. It has a rounded shape if unsheared and grows 3'-4' tall and wide, making it perfect for a low hedge. Other perennials for you to consider include Yarrow, Aquilegia formosa (western columbine), Asarum (wild ginger), Heuchera (coral bells), Lilium humboldtii (Humbolt lily), Mimulus (monkey flower), Romney coulteri (Matillija poppy), and Hosta. Deer won't bother heather, heavenly bamboo or Vinca - at least the deer population in my Seattle garden don't touch them. Best wishes with your landscape!

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