Deer in the Garden

Do you recognize the animal in this picture?


If you do...... then you need our DEER LISTS!

Nothing is more frustrating for the gardener than to see their hard work and money gobbled up by free loading deer. A little planning and understanding can help to reduce losses.

Almost any plant may be sampled by deer! They enjoy variety and frequently try new plants, especially when they are young. When food is scarce they will also expand their regular menu to include more unusual items. Deer use their sense of smell to warn them of danger. If this sense is impaired by other smells they will become nervous and leave the area.

Repellents: Plantskydd - does not need reapplication after rain and Bobbex all natural deer repellent will also help protect your plants. Both need reapplication after new growth. Blood Meal sprinkled around the plant or hung in sachets, fragrant soaps with a hole in the middle hung around the plant are also helpful.

Fencing is the ultimate solution, but can be expensive and unsightly. Low fences may change their paths, but if they know food is behind the fence, they can jump quite high or crawl under low wires. The construction does not have to be strong, as they will not push their way through a fence. Temporary fences can be put up using black plastic netting that is not very visible and held up with garden stakes.

The best solution is to select plants that are not favoured by the deer. They avoid plants with unusual characteristics such as strong flower or foliage fragrance or fuzzy/spiny leaf textures. Below is a list of plants that we feel deer will leave alone, but with the caveat that a deer will have the final say. Using these lists will help to give you a higher degree of success in having your garden coexist with deer.

We list the botanical genus name which will cover all plants starting with that name. e.g. Pinus is the Pine genus and means that all the hundreds of Pine varieties are resistant.

Disclaimer: These lists are subject to "approval" by your local deer! Use these lists to improve your chances of success in a garden shared with deer.

Hedging and Evergreen Trees

Botanical Name Common Name Botanical Name Common Name
Abies Fir Juniperus Junipers
Araucaria araucana Monkey Puzzle Picea Spruce
Cedrus True Cedars Pinus Pine
Chamaecyparis Cypress Pseudotsuga menziesii Douglas Fir
Cupressocyparis leylandii Leyland Cypress Prunus lusitanica Portuguese Laurel
Cryptomeria Japanese Cedar Taxus Yew
Eucalyptus   Thuja plicata Western Red Cedar
    Trachycarpus Windmill Palm

Flowering and Shade Trees

Deer will browse up to about shoulder height (6 ft.). Most flowering and shade trees begin to branch above that height and can avoid deer damage. Trees should be pruned to keep all branches out of reach of deer.

Fruit Trees

Fruit trees are also subject to browsing damage on the tips of their branches. They should be trained to branch high, out of reach of the deer. If the tree is not tall enough, it should be fenced until it grows beyond the reach of the deer.

Deer Resistant Shrubs

This Green Colour - indicates "Some Browsing possible"

Botanical Name Common Name Botanical Name Common Name
Abelia Abelia Ilex Holly
Andromeda Bog Rosemary Jasminum nudiflorum Winter Jasmine
Azalea (deciduous) Juniperus Junipers - all
Bamboo   Kalmia Mountain Laurel
Berberis Barberry Kerria japonica  
Buddleia Butterfly Bush Kolkwitzia Beauty Bush
Buxus Boxwood Lavatera Tree Mallow
Calluna Summer Heather Mahonia Oregon Grape
Ceanothus California Lilac Nandina Heavenly Bamboo
Cephalotaxus Japanese Plum Yew Osmanthus False Holly
Chamaecyparis Cypress Pachysandra terminalis Japanese Spurge
Choisya ternata Mexican Orange Phormium New Zealand Flax
Cistus Rock Rose Picea Spruce
Cortaderia selloana Pampas Grass Pieris Lily-of-the-Valley Shrub
Cotinus Smoke Bush Pinus Pine
Cotoneaster   Potentilla  
Cryptomeria Japanese Cedar Rhododendron
Daphne   Rhus typhina Staghorn Sumac
Eleagnus Silverberry Ribes Flowering Currant
Erica Heather Rosmarinus Rosemary
Eucalyptus   Sambucus racemosa Red Elderberry
Euonymus alatus Burning Bush Sarcococca Himalayan Sweetbox
Ferns   Senecio  
Forsythia   Skimmia  
Gaultheria shallon Salal Syringa Lilac
Genista pilosa Vancouver Gold Broom Viburnum x bodnantnse 'Dawn'
Gunnera Chilean Rhubarb Yucca  
Hamamelis Witch Hazel    
Hypericum St. John's Wort    

Deer Resistant Vines

Botanical Name Common Name
Akebia Akebia
Celastrus Bittersweet
Lonicera Honeysuckle
Parthenocissus Virginia Creeper, Boston Ivy
Polygonum Silver Lace Vine

Deer Resistant Perennials

Botanical Name Common Name Botanical Name Common Name
Acanthus mollis Bears Breech Galium Sweet Woodruff
Achillea Yarrow Geranium var. Hardy Geranium
Aconitum Monkshood Gunnera  
Agapanthus African Lily Helenium Sneezeweed
Agastache Hyssop Helianthemum Sun Rose
Ajuga Bugleweed Heliopsis False Sunflower
Alchemilla Lady's Mantle Helleborus Christmas & Lenten Rose
Amsonia Blue Star Hemerocallis Day Lily
Anemone Windflower Iberis Candytuft
Aquilegia Columbine Iris  
Arabis Rock Cress Kniphofia Red Hot Poker
Armeria Sea Thrift Lavandula Lavender
Artemesia Wormwood Leptinella Brass Buttons
Aruncus Goat's Beard Leucathemum Shasta Daisy
Asarum Wild Ginger Liatris Blazing Star
Aster   Lithodora  
Astilbe   Lobelia-Perennial Red Cardinal Flower
Aubretia   Lupinus Lupine
Baptisia False Indigo Lychnis coronaria Rose Campion
Brunnera   Monarda Bee Balm
Campanula   Nepeta Catmint
Catananche Cupid's Dart Oenothera Evening Primrose
Centranthus Red Valerian Oxalis  
Cerastium Snow in Summer Paeonia Peony
Ceratostigma Leadwort/Plumbago Papaver Poppies
Convallaria Lily of the Valley Penstemon  
Coreopsis Tickseed Perovskia Russian Sage
Corsican Mint   Phlox  
Crocosmia Montbretia Polemonium Jacob's Ladder
Cyclamen   Pulmonaria Lungwort
Delphinium   Rudbeckie Black-eyed Susan
Dianthus Carnations Sagina Scotch & Irish Moss
Dicentra Bleeding Hearts Salvia Sage
Digitalis Foxgloves Santolina Lavender Cotton
Doronicum Leopard's Bane Saponaria Soap Wort
Echinacea Coneflowers Sedum  
Echinops Globe Thistle Stachys Lamb's Ears
Epimedium Barrenwort Thymus Thyme
Eryngium Sea Holly Tiarella Foam Flowers
Euphorbia Wood Spurge Verbascum  
Ferns   Veronica Speedwell
Gallardia Blanket Flower Zantedeschia Calla

Deer Resistant Annuals

Botanical Name Common Name Comments
Ageratum Floss Flower Good for borders
Argyranthemum Marguerite Daisy  
Anthirrhinum Snapdragon  
Artemisia Silver Mound Basket stuffer
Aster   Cut flower
Begonia – Fibrous   Easy to grow, sun or shade
Begonia – Tuberous   May browse
Brachycome Swan River Daisy Basket stuffer
Calendula Pot Marigold Very easy, self seeds
Campanula Bell Flower  
Catharanthus Madagascar Periwinkle  
Clarkia amoena Godetia  
Cleome Spider Flower  
Cosmos   Easy to grow, bushy
Cynarea Artichoke Also a vegetable
Dahlia   Colourful, Some brousing
Dianthus Pinks  
Dusty Miller   Can over-winter
Eschscholzia californica California Poppy  
Euryops   Needs sun
Felicia amelloides Blue Marguerite  
Gaillardia Blanket Flower  
Gazania   Needs full sun
Geranium – Scented    
Helianthus Sunflower  
Herbs   Most culinary types
Ipomea Moonflower  
Limonium Statice  
Lobularia martima Alyssum  
Marigolds   Some browsing
Matthiola incana Stocks  
Mimulus Monkey Flower  
Myosotis Forget-Me-Not  
Nepeta Creeping Charlie Basket stuffer
Nicotiana Flowering Tobacco  
Osteospermum African Daisy  
Papaver rhoeas Shirley Poppy  
Ricinus Castor Oil Plant Seeds are very poisonous
Rudbeckia Black Eyed Susan Some browsing
Salvia Victoria Blue  
Scaevola Blue Fan Basket stuffer
Senecio Dusty Miller  
Solanum jasminoides Potato Vine  
Statice Statice  
Verbena Verbena Basket stuffer
Zinnia Zinnia Needs heat, cut flower

Deer Resistant Bulbs – Summer Blooming

Botanical Name Common Name Comments
Agapanthus Lily-of-the-Nile  
Amaryllis belladonna Naked Lady May be tender outdoors
Begonia – Tuberous    
Anenome   May browse
Brodiaea Grass Nut, Queen Fabiola  
Ixia African Corn Flower  
Oxalis Shamrock  

Deer Resistant Bulbs – Spring Blooming

Botanical Name Common Name Comments
Allium Ornamental Onion  
Brodiaea Grass Nut, Queen Fabiola  
Chiondoxa Glory-of-the-Snow  
Colchicum Autumn Crocus  
Eranthis Winter aconite  
Galanthus Snowdrops  
Ixia African Corn Flower  
Leucojum Snowflake  
Muscari Grape Hyacinth  
Narcissus Daffodil Must have in any “Deer Garden”
Ornithogalum Star of Bethlehem  
Oxalis Shamrock  
Puschkina Russian Snowdrop  
Scilla Bluebell  
Triteleia uniflora Spring Star Flower Also called Ipheion uniflorum

Deer Favourites

Plants that should not be considered in a deer garden are Roses, Japanese Azaleas, Tulips, Pansies, Primroses.

Waterfall outside Dinter Nursery