The Q&A Archives: Deer Resistant Plants

Question: What is the best way (are the best ways) to keep deer out of one's shrubs and flower beds? They love my roses, camelia, gladiolas, day lillies -- just about everything we've tried to grow! Are there some plants that deer just don't like? What about herbs such as lavender? Also, we have read that narine lillies and agapanthus are shunned by the deer. Is this true? Do you have information on these particular varieties?

Answer: Deer are a real problem on many plants. Lists of deer-resistant plants exist but I must warn you...if they are really hungry they'll open your front door, walk across the room, jump over you stretched out in the recliner watching TV, open the refrigerator and grab the lettuce in the crisper drawer! In other words, hunger expands their palate and increases their bravery.

Sprays of egg solids, hot pepper oil and other such ingredients are available and may help some, especially when the deer "pressure" is not too high. Human hair (from the local barber shop) in bags made of hosery and perfumed soaps have worked for me when they had other options to feed upon. Finally, here are some sites that may help you find those plants they prefer to avoid. Keep in mind that plants recommended for another part of the country may not do well in your area:

Thanks for the question and good luck!

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