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Gardening Tips

Deer are adorable...except when they are devouring your garden plants that you have invested so much time and money into creating your gorgeous yard.

There are no absolutely deer proof plants, if food is scarce, they will try to eat anything to survive. That being said, there are many plants that are less palatable for reasons of taste and texture.

Many deer resistant plants have fuzzy or scratchy leaves, strongly scented foliage or a foul taste, in some cases poisonous. These plants are sometimes sampled and then spit out by deer. Spiny or thorny plants and shrubs are also not attractive to deer. If your garden has several of these less attractive plants the deer will hopefully move on to tastier gardens.

If you have a lot of tasty plants or garden vegetables, fencing is an option. The fence would have to be 6 – 7 feet high or more, or two lower fences close together, so the deer are worried about getting trapped between fences. The fence would have to be secured at ground level to prevent deer from wriggling underneath.

We have come up with a list of perennials that are generally quite hardy in our climate and that we grow at our greenhouse. This is not an all-inclusive list, as there are numerous perennials available and some may be hardy in a zone 4 sheltered yard. There are also new hybrids within the genus, so read the tags to determine the hardiness in our zone (anything zone 1,2,3 is generally a good choice). This list will hopefully give you a starting point as you plan your garden.


Deer Resistant Perennials

For Full to Partial Sun

Genus Common Name
Achillea millefolium Yarrow
Ajuga reptans Bugleweed
Alchemilla mollis Lady's Mantle
Allium Wild onion
Anenome Windflower
Aquilegia vulgaris Columbine
Artemesia schmid. Silver Mound
Asclepias incarnata Butterfly Weed
Baptisia australis Blue False Indigo
Campanula carpatica & glomer Bellflower
Centaura montana Corn Flower
Chelone obliqua Turtlehead
Coreopsis Tickseed
Delosperma Hardy Ice Plant
Delphinium Larkspur
Dianthus Pink
Dictamnus Gas Plant
Echinacea purpurea Cone Flower
Echinops ritro Globe Thistle
Eryngium alpinum Sea Holly
Eupatropium mac. Joe Pye Weed
Filipendula Meadowsweet
Gaillardia Blanket Flower
Geranium cinereum & himalay Cranesbill
Grasses varieties: Andropogon, Calamagrostis,Carex,Festuca,Phalaris
Iberis sempervirens Candytuft
Iris germanica Bearded Iris
Iris pallida Dalmation Iris
Iris pumila Dwarf Bearded Iris
Iris pseudacorus Flag Iris
Iris siberica Siberian Iris
Lupinus Lupin
Monarda Bee Balm
Paeonia Peony
Papaver nudicaule Iceland Poppy
Papaver orientale Oriental Poppy
Rudbeckia fulgida Cone Flower
Salvia nemerosa Sage
Tradescantia  Spiderwort
Veronica spicata Speedwell

For Shade to Partial Shade

Genus Common Name
Aconitum Monkshood
Actaea Bugbane
Agopodium Goutweed
Aralia cordata Japanese Spikenard
Aruncus Goat's Beard
Asarum Hardy Ginger
Astilbe Garden Astilbe
Astrantia major Masterwort
Bergenia Heartleaf, Cabbage Leaf
Brunnera macrophylla Siberian Bugloss
Convallaria majalis Lily of the Valley
Dicentra spectabilis Common Bleeding Heart
Dicentra formosa Fern Leaf Bleeding Heart
Fern Adiantum pedatum Maidenhair Fern
Fern Atyrium filix-femina Lady Fern
Fern Atyrium niponium Japanese Painted Fern
Fern Dryopteris marginalis Leather Wood Fern
Fern Matteuccia struthiopteris Ostrich Feather Fern
Fern Osmunda cinnamomea Cinnamon Fern
Fern Osmunda regalis Royal Fern
Fern Phylllitis scolopendrium Hart's Tongue Fern
Heuchera (some varieties) Coral Bells
Ligularia dentata Golden Groundsel
Ligularia przewalskii Golden Ray
Polemonium Jacob's Ladder
Polygonatum multiflorum Solomon's Seal