The Voice of Mother Blossom
Cultivating Wisdom, Beauty, and Joy Through Gardening

Oh, Deer!

Deer proof your yard

We love to see them at a distance…. but when the deer are up close in our flower beds, munching away… well that’s just not okay!! The more they eat, the more of a nuisance they become.  The remedy: deer-proof your yard with plants that won’t be found on the deer buffet table. A partial list follows:

Yellow flowers on bush
Deer Resistant Plants
  • Native Grasses
  • Aloe
  • Coreopsis
  • Angels Trumpet
  • Viburnum
  • Black-Eyed Susan
  • Ligustrum
  • Century Plant
  • Croton
  • Coneflower
  • Crown of Thorns
  • Ginger Lily
  • Gardenia
  • Peace Lily
  • Plumbago
  • Periwinkle
  • Hawaiian Snow Bush
  • Turks Cap
  • Palms*
  • *coconut, queen and royal, sabal, European Fan Palms
Tall purple flowers

Deer Resistant Trees & Shrubs

  • Magnolia
  • Orchid tree
  • Yaupon Holly
  • Bottlebrush
  • Crape myrtle
  • Allemanda
  • Yucca
  • Azalea
  • Oleander
  • Panicle Hydrangea
  • Osmanthus
  • Lavender
  • Ninebark
  • Buddleia
pomegranate bush

Deer Resistant Fruit Trees

  • Edible fig
  • Pomegranate
  • Loquat
  • Pineapple Guava

Deer Resistant Groundcovers

  • Lantana
  • Ferns
  • Society Garlic
  • Agapanthus
  • Iris

Deer Resistant Annuals

  • Zinnia
  • Cosmos
  • Four-O-Clock
  • Dusty Miller
  • Snapdragon
  • Sunflower
  • Salvia
  • Verbena
  • Petunia
  • Marigolds
  • Lupine (native species)
  • Periwinkle
Pink and white flowers
Green leaves

Deer Resistant Herbs

  • Chives
  • Marjoram
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Mint
  • Rosemary

“Deer Candy” Plants

  • Impatiens
  • Hibiscus flowers
  • Indian Hawthorn
  • Arboricola
  • Roses
  • Arborvitae
  • Ivy
Yellow flowers on bush
Original sketch by Linda Worle

Chemical repellents:  There are numerous chemicals that will act to repel nuisance wildlife.  Many of these ingredients have other functions in the yard or garden.  Look for the list of compounds in the list of active ingredients on any repellant you may be considering.  Some suggestions follow.  IT IS A VIOLATION OF THE FEDERAL INSECTICIDE, FUNGICIDE AND RODENTICIDE ACT TO USE ANY PESTICIDE FOR ANY PURPOSE NOT LISTED ON THE LABEL!!

Additional Repellents: 

Capsaicin is a highly concentrated extract derived from hot peppers.

Putrefied whole egg solids – place at the ground level.  

Ro-Pel (Benzyldiethyl)… is an extremely bitter substance that is a very effective feeding deterrent.  IT IS NOT FOR USE ON HUMAN FOOD PLANTS.

ZIRAM (a fungicide)

Exclusion is a great solution to preventing deer traffic.  Propylene Mesh can be installed around your flower beds.  Also, Deer don’t like to have anything at their feet.  One could string fishing line outside the flower beds to keep the intruders at bay.

If deer get hungry enough they will munch on just about anything…

This document represents a partial list of deer-proof plant recommendations.

Further reading is encouraged!

For further information:

Ornamental Plant Susceptibility to damage by deer in Florida –  University of Florida extension WEC138


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