Deer Resistant Perennials

Deer Resistant Perennials

Keep the deer away with fragrant perennials

Most deer-resistant plants are very fragrant, an attribute that is highly appealing to gardeners, but a huge turn-off to deer (rabbits, woodchucks, and other critters often feel the same). If you have high "deer pressure" in your neighborhood, the flowers listed here are a great place to start when designing a garden that will succeed without being munched on.

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  1. Blue Ajuga Black Scallop, Ajuga reptans, Bugleweed

    'Black Scallop' Ajuga is a fast-growing and attractive groundcover with burgundy-black leaves and spiky, violet-blue flowers. Growing only 4 to 6 inches tall and flowering in late sp...

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    Black Scallop Ajuga Black Scallop Bugleweed PP#15815 Ajuga reptans Black Scallop PP#15815
    As low as $10.98 Sale $5.49
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Black Scallop' Ajuga is a fast-growing and attractive groundcover with burgundy-black leaves and spiky, violet-blue flowers. Growing only 4 to 6 inches tall and flowering in late spring, 'Black Scallop' is fairly forgiving when it comes to soil and sunlight, but prefers things on the moist side. A great choice for attracting pollinators early in the season. Deer resistant. PP#15815 (Ajuga reptans)
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  2. Lamium Orchid Frost, Lamium maculatum, Dead Nettle

    Orchid Frost makes a great groundcover for shade with variegated leaves and orchid-pink bloom. Only 8 inches tall. PP#11122 (Lamium maculatum)...

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    Orchid Frost Lamium Orchid Frost Dead Nettle PP#11122 Lamium maculatum Orchid Frost PP#11122
    As low as $9.98 Sale $4.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    Orchid Frost makes a great groundcover for shade with variegated leaves and orchid-pink bloom. Only 8 inches tall. PP#11122 (Lamium maculatum)
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  3. Blue Virginia Bluebells, Mertensia virginica

    Virginia Bluebell’s gorgeous flowers start out as lovely, pastel pink buds and open up into vivid, true blue blooms. A perfect addition to part and full-shade woodland gardens, pla...

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    Virginia Bluebells Virginia Bluebells Mertensia virginica
    As low as $18.98 Sale $9.49
    Per Bag of 3
    Virginia Bluebell’s gorgeous flowers start out as lovely, pastel pink buds and open up into vivid, true blue blooms. A perfect addition to part and full-shade woodland gardens, plant Virginia Bluebells to see early spring blooms and frequent visits from pollinators. This native plant increases in size each year and will form a beautiful colony over time with almost no care from the gardener. (Mertensia virginica)
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  4. Purple Lamium Purple Dragon, Lamium maculatum, Dead Nettle

    Purple Dragon has stunning silver leaves with dark green edging and large, magenta-purple flowers. This Lamium is perfect for any shady area of the garden. PP# 15890 (Lamium maculatu...

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    Purple Dragon Lamium Purple Dragon Dead Nettle PP#15890 Lamium maculatum Purple Dragon PP#15890
    As low as $10.98 Sale $5.49
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    Purple Dragon has stunning silver leaves with dark green edging and large, magenta-purple flowers. This Lamium is perfect for any shady area of the garden. PP# 15890 (Lamium maculatum)
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  5. Lamium White Nancy, Lamium maculatum, Dead Nettle

    White Nancy is a mat forming flowering groundcover for shady areas. Use with hostas and other shade lovers. (Lamium maculatum)...

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    White Nancy Lamium White Nancy Dead Nettle Lamium maculatum White Nancy
    As low as $9.98 Sale $4.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    White Nancy is a mat forming flowering groundcover for shady areas. Use with hostas and other shade lovers. (Lamium maculatum)
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  6. Chattahoochee Woodland Phlox, Phlox divaricata Chattahoochee, growing between stones in garden

    A must-have for shade gardens, 'Chattahoochee' Woodland Phlox blooms with fragrant, star-shaped lavender flowers with maroon centers from late spring to early summer, attracting butt...

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    Chattahoochee Woodland Phlox Chattahoochee Woodland Phlox Phlox divaricata Chattahoochee
    As low as $11.98 Sale $5.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    A must-have for shade gardens, 'Chattahoochee' Woodland Phlox blooms with fragrant, star-shaped lavender flowers with maroon centers from late spring to early summer, attracting butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators. A versatile plant will spread gently, forming an attractive mid-height groundcover that fills and truly enhances a garden design. This award-winning native woodland wildflower thrives in moist, rich soils. (Phlox)
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  7. Coral Bells Caramel, Heuchera Caramel, photo courtesy of Walter's Garden

    'Caramel' Coral Bells has distinctive foliage in warm honey tones. This native hybrid unfurls in early spring in hues of deep grey-red, warming by early summer to its candy...

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    Caramel Coral Bells Caramel Coral Bells PP#16560 Heuchera Caramel PP#16560
    $23.98 Sale $11.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Caramel' Coral Bells has distinctive foliage in warm honey tones. This native hybrid unfurls in early spring in hues of deep grey-red, warming by early summer to its candy-colored hue, inviting pollinators to the garden with lovely pink flowers. 'Caramel' Coral Bells provides lasting contrast and texture throughout the growing season, holding up well to summer’s humidity and heat. (Heuchera)
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  8. Ajuga Burgundy Glow

    Burgundy Glow' Ajuga is a vibrant, spreading groundcover with multi-colored foliage and purple-blue flowers. Maroon and green leaves are edged with cream and can create a dense carpe...

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    Burgundy Glow Ajuga Burgundy Glow Bugleweed Ajuga reptans Burgundy Glow
    As low as $8.98 Sale $4.49
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    Burgundy Glow' Ajuga is a vibrant, spreading groundcover with multi-colored foliage and purple-blue flowers. Maroon and green leaves are edged with cream and can create a dense carpet over even the toughest-of-soils in full and part shade. Growing 4-6" tall and 12-18" wide, 'Burgundy Glow' is considered evergreen in warmer regions. (Ajuga reptans)
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  9. Catlin's Giant Ajuga

    'Catlin's Giant' Ajuga creates a thick, weed-smothering groundcover in almost any spot, tolerating poor soils and full shade with grace. The gorgeous, deep-indigo flower spikes attra...

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    Catlin's Giant Ajuga Catlin's Giant Bugleweed Ajuga reptans Catlin's Giant
    As low as $8.98 Sale $4.49
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Catlin's Giant' Ajuga creates a thick, weed-smothering groundcover in almost any spot, tolerating poor soils and full shade with grace. The gorgeous, deep-indigo flower spikes attract butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden in late spring and pair beautifully with the bronze-tinged leaves. Try this one under trees and in other spots where grass struggles to grow. (Ajuga reptans)
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  10. Iris cristata, Dwarf Crested Iris

    A native star of the spring season, Dwarf Crested Iris delights gardeners with vigorous lilac blooms on low growing, deer-resistant foliage. It’s perfect for both rock or woodland ...

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    Dwarf Crested Iris Dwarf Crested Iris Iris cristata
    $18.98 Sale $9.49
    Per Bag of 3
    A native star of the spring season, Dwarf Crested Iris delights gardeners with vigorous lilac blooms on low growing, deer-resistant foliage. It’s perfect for both rock or woodland gardens, as it can be grown in sun or shade and spreads over time. In classic beds or borders, this sweet little iris should be placed front and center for prime viewing. (Iris cristata)
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  11. Red Beauty Japanese Painted Fern, Athyrium

    'Red Beauty' Japanese Painted Fern is a graceful color-maker in the shade garden, with silver-tinged green fronds that sport deep-burgundy stems and veins. Making its home in moist, ...

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    Red Beauty Japanese Painted Fern Japanese Painted Fern Red Beauty Athyrium niponicum Red Beauty
    $15.98 Sale $7.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Red Beauty' Japanese Painted Fern is a graceful color-maker in the shade garden, with silver-tinged green fronds that sport deep-burgundy stems and veins. Making its home in moist, shady areas, 'Red Beauty' will grow vigourously if the plants are kept well watered, but is not an agressive spreader. Carries a slightly spicy fragrance. (Athyrium niponicum)
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  12. Red Trillium, Trillium erectum, Wake-Robin

    Native Red Trillium is a beloved woodland wildflower with stunning, three-petaled burgundy flowers that float above a whorl of bright green leaves. Also known as Purple Trillium and ...

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    Red Trillium Wake Robin, Stinking Benjamin, Purple Trillium Trillium erectum
    $19.98 Sale $9.99
    Per Bag of 3
    Native Red Trillium is a beloved woodland wildflower with stunning, three-petaled burgundy flowers that float above a whorl of bright green leaves. Also known as Purple Trillium and Wake Robin, the flowers are some of the first to appear in spring and last for just under one month before forming berries that wildlife snack on. Prefers moist shade and rich soil and will naturalize over time. (Trillium erectum)
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  13. Purple Liriope Grass Big Blue, Monkey Grass, up close

    'Big Blue' Liriope is a low-maintenance groundcover for the most challenging sites. Spikes of blue-violet blooms complement deep green arching foliage in late summer, and almost blac...

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    Big Blue Liriope Grass Big Blue Monkey Grass Liriope muscari Big Blue
    As low as $24.98 Sale $12.49
    Per Plant - 3.5" Pot
    'Big Blue' Liriope is a low-maintenance groundcover for the most challenging sites. Spikes of blue-violet blooms complement deep green arching foliage in late summer, and almost black berries in fall. Plants tolerate a range of conditions from full sun to shade, clay to sandy soils, and wet or dry sites. Liriope provides excellent erosion control, and is often used as a lawn alternative or groundcover. Evergreen foliage in warm southern climates. Plants are rabbit and deer-proof, making 'Big Blue' an easy choice for the no-fuss gardener. (Liriope muscari)
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  14. Pink Ajuga Pink Lightning, Ajuga reptans, Bugleweed

    'Pink Lightning' Ajuga is a fast-growing groundcover with a unique look. Soft, sage green leaves are trimmed with cream edges, creating a beautiful backdrop for the bubblegum-pink fl...

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    Pink Lightning Ajuga Pink Lightning Bugleweed PP#22255 Ajuga reptans Pink Lightning PP#22255
    As low as $10.98 Sale $5.49
    Per Plant - 3" Pot

    'Pink Lightning' Ajuga is a fast-growing groundcover with a unique look. Soft, sage green leaves are trimmed with cream edges, creating a beautiful backdrop for the bubblegum-pink flower spikes that appear in late spring. Attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds, 'Pink Lightning' will spread rapidly when well-watered. (Ajuga) PP#22255

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  15. Painted Trillium, Trillium undulatum, Wake-Robin

    Painted Trillium is an enchanting woodland wildflower, with delicate white petals and a magenta-red center burst. Native to the northern woods, each plant produces a single bloom tha...

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    Painted Trillium Wake Robin, Painted Lady Trillium undulatum
    $18.98 Sale $9.49
    Per Bag of 3
    Painted Trillium is an enchanting woodland wildflower, with delicate white petals and a magenta-red center burst. Native to the northern woods, each plant produces a single bloom that sits atop three whorled leaves. Painted Trillium prefers acid soils but can adapt itself to sweeter, more alkaline soils as long as it is given a good amount of shade and moisture. (Trillium undulatum)
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  16. Pink Lamium Pink Pewter, Lamium maculatum, Dead Nettle

    Pink Pewter is a great groundcover for shady areas with bright bloom from late spring into summer. (Lamium maculatum)...

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    Pink Pewter Lamium Pink Pewter Dead Nettle Lamium maculatum Pink Pewter
    As low as $9.98 Sale $4.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    Pink Pewter is a great groundcover for shady areas with bright bloom from late spring into summer. (Lamium maculatum)
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  17. Christmas Fern, Polystichum acrostichoides, Christmas Fern, Photo Credit Wasp32---Own-work, CC BY 4.0

    Christmas fern will provide your garden with four seasons of deep, evergreen beauty. A deer-resistant native of the Eastern United States, this robust, easy fern is a terrific choic...

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    Christmas Fern Christmas Fern Polystichum acrostichoides
    As low as $15.98 Sale $7.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    Christmas fern will provide your garden with four seasons of deep, evergreen beauty. A deer-resistant native of the Eastern United States, this robust, easy fern is a terrific choice for erosion control on shady and partly-shaded slopes, and is easily divisible for gardeners with large areas to cover.(Polystichum acrostichoides)
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  18. Hayscented Fern, Dennstaedtia fronds

    Have an area that needs some plant cover? Hay-Scented Fern’s lacy green fronds wave from upright plants that will thrive in shade to part-shade, and even sun if the soil is moist. ...

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    Hay Scented Fern Hay Scented Fern Dennstaedtia punctilobula
    $19.98 Sale $9.99
    Per Bag of 3
    Have an area that needs some plant cover? Hay-Scented Fern’s lacy green fronds wave from upright plants that will thrive in shade to part-shade, and even sun if the soil is moist. Growing from 18-24" tall, Hay-Scented Fern will spread quickly to form colonies that can cover a large expanse. When the fronds are disturbed, the lovely scent of summertime hay wafts through the air. (Dennstaedtia punctilobula)
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  19. Blue Geranium Johnson's Blue, Geranium, Crane's Bill

    Legendary color and flowers. Crane's Bill Johnson's Blue is the most famous blue geranium ever. Large flowers, compact plant. (Geranium)...

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    Johnson's Blue Geranium Johnson's Blue Cranesbill Geranium Johnson's Blue
    $11.98 Sale $5.99
    Per Bag of 1
    Legendary color and flowers. Crane's Bill Johnson's Blue is the most famous blue geranium ever. Large flowers, compact plant. (Geranium)
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  20. White Lily of the Valley, Convallaria majalis, Lily of the Valley

    Easy to grow from tiny roots called pips, Lily of the Valley is a much-loved, old-fashioned groundcover for shade. Enjoy the richly scented blossoms. (Convallaria majalis)...

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    Lily of the Valley Lily of the Valley, May Bells Convallaria majalis
    $23.98 Sale $11.99
    Per Bag of 15
    Easy to grow from tiny roots called pips, Lily of the Valley is a much-loved, old-fashioned groundcover for shade. Enjoy the richly scented blossoms. (Convallaria majalis)
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  21. Purple Geranium Rozanne, Geranium, Crane's Bill

    Geranium Rozanne is a beautiful Crane's Bill that produces mounds of deep green foliage with long-lasting, violet purple flowers. Rozanne blooms in the heat of the summer and continu...

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    Rozanne Geranium Rozanne Cranesbill PP#12175 Geranium Rozanne PP#12175
    $22.98 Sale $11.49
    Per Bag of 1
    Geranium Rozanne is a beautiful Crane's Bill that produces mounds of deep green foliage with long-lasting, violet purple flowers. Rozanne blooms in the heat of the summer and continues to bloom till late fall. It performs as great ground cover and is perfect for borders. PP# 12175 (Geranium)
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  22. Woodland Phlox Blue Moon

    'Blue Moon' is a lovely native Phlox groundcover featuring clouds of rich violet-blue blooms that float above green foliage. With fragrance to wake up your senses, it flowers in Apr...

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    Blue Moon Woodland Phlox Woodland Phlox Blue Moon, Wild Sweet William Phlox divaricata Blue Moon
    As low as $12.98 Sale $6.49
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Blue Moon' is a lovely native Phlox groundcover featuring clouds of rich violet-blue blooms that float above green foliage. With fragrance to wake up your senses, it flowers in April May. Its a perfect addition to a rock garden or any shady spot where it can slowly naturalize. Provides early season pollen for hummingbirds and butterflies. (Phlox divaricata)
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  23. Yellow Trillium, Trillium luteum, Wake Robin

    Yellow Trillium has stunning, rich green leaves spotted with silver. Its bright yellow blooms appear in the center of each leaf, with the petals rising upward. (Trillium luteum)...

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    Yellow Trillium Yellow Wake Robin Trillium luteum
    $18.98 Sale $9.49
    Per Bag of 3
    Yellow Trillium has stunning, rich green leaves spotted with silver. Its bright yellow blooms appear in the center of each leaf, with the petals rising upward. (Trillium luteum)
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