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 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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  2. 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
    $14.98 Sale $7.49
    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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  3. 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
    $17.98 Sale $8.99
    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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  4. White Astilbe japonica Deutschland, Astilbe japonica, False Spirea, Photo Credit Walters Gardens Inc

    'Deutschland' Astilbe's pure white plumes are lovely in the moonlight and can brighten the shade garden with grace. Soft and feathery flowerheads play beautifully against the glossy ...

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    Deutschland Astilbe Deutschland False Spirea Astilbe japonica Deutschland
    $16.98 Sale $8.49
    Per Bag of 3
    'Deutschland' Astilbe's pure white plumes are lovely in the moonlight and can brighten the shade garden with grace. Soft and feathery flowerheads play beautifully against the glossy green, mounding foliage. Very showy and very easy to care for, like most astilbes, this one is resistant to both deer and rabbits. Try pairing with any fern for a gorgeous, contrasting look. (Astilbe japonica)
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  5. 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 $11.98 Sale $5.99
    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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  6. Blue Cardinal Flower with two monarch butterflies, Lobelia siphilitica, Cardinal Flower

    Great Blue Lobelia (also called Blue Cardinal Flower) is a tough, hardy perennial with large leaves and gorgeous, light blue blooms. An easy to grow native that will thrive in a part...

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    Great Blue Lobelia Blue Cardinal Flower Lobelia siphilitica Great Blue
    As low as $17.98 Sale $8.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    Great Blue Lobelia (also called Blue Cardinal Flower) is a tough, hardy perennial with large leaves and gorgeous, light blue blooms. An easy to grow native that will thrive in a partly sunny, moist spot in your garden, this Lobelia will spread and multiply when given the chance. Blooms appear late in the season and provide important nectar to bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Deer and rabbit resistant. (Lobelia siphilitica)
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  7. Jack In The Pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum

    Jack in the Pulpit boasts unusual, hooded green blooms with burgundy-striped interiors that surround an upright spadix, known as the “Jack” inside each flower. Blooms evolve to ...

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    Jack in the Pulpit Jack in the Pulpit, Cobra Lily Arisaema triphyllum
    $19.98 Sale $9.99
    Per Bag of 3
    Jack in the Pulpit boasts unusual, hooded green blooms with burgundy-striped interiors that surround an upright spadix, known as the “Jack” inside each flower. Blooms evolve to produce brilliantly-red berries. A truly stunning, unique plant for the shade garden, Jack in the Pulpit can reproduce and spread over time in moist soils. (Ariseama triphyllum)
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  8. Ostrich Fern, Matteuccia struthiopteris, Ostrich Fern

    The Ostrich Fern is a grand, native plant from the Eastern American woodlands. Unfurling in a fiddlehead shape, it gets its name from the open plumes that resemble ostrich feathers. ...

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    Ostrich Fern Ostrich Fern Matteuccia struthiopteris
    As low as $17.98 Sale $8.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    The Ostrich Fern is a grand, native plant from the Eastern American woodlands. Unfurling in a fiddlehead shape, it gets its name from the open plumes that resemble ostrich feathers. Like most ferns, this one prefers a cool, moist spot and will spread and thrive in any wet, shady area of the garden. A notably graceful plant. (Matteuccia struthiopteris)
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  9. 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
    $17.98 Sale $8.99
    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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  10. Pennsylvania Sedge Grass, Carex

    Pennsylvania Sedge provides lush texture for dry shade gardens. Fine low-growing foliage arches gently, giving the appearance of soft, rolling waves. Makes a lovely groundcover or la...

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    Pennsylvania Sedge Grass Pennsylvania Sedge Grass Carex pensylvanica
    As low as $16.98 Sale $8.49
    Per Plant - 3.5" Pot
    Pennsylvania Sedge provides lush texture for dry shade gardens. Fine low-growing foliage arches gently, giving the appearance of soft, rolling waves. Makes a lovely groundcover or lawn alternative that requires little to no mowing. Mass planting will create a cool, glossy green carpet that is tough and versatile. Semi-evergreen foliage is deer resistant and low maintenance. (Carex pennsylvanica)
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  11. 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
    $17.98 Sale $8.99
    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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  12. White Dutchman's Breeches, Dicentra cucullaria

    One of America's most famous wildflowers, Dutchman's Breeches is a small, wild version of Bleeding Heart, with creamy white flowers so named for their resemble to a pair of upside-do...

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    Dutchman's Breeches Dutchman's Breeches Dicentra cucullaria
    $17.98 Sale $8.99
    Per Bag of 3
    One of America's most famous wildflowers, Dutchman's Breeches is a small, wild version of Bleeding Heart, with creamy white flowers so named for their resemble to a pair of upside-down, hung-to-dry pants. Blooming in early spring, the delicate fern-like foliage lasts on, changing from a gray-green to pale yellow. A simple yet striking addition to the shade or woodland garden. (Dicentra cucullaria)
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  13. 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 $17.98 Sale $8.99
    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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  14. Maidenhair Fern

    Airy, lacy, and graceful, the native Maidenhair Fern is known for its grassy green foliage and jet-black stems. Delicate fronds form in a circular pattern on tough, cold hardy plants...

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    Northern Maidenhair Fern Northern Maidenhair Fern Adiantum pedatum
    $19.98 Sale $9.99
    Per Bag of 3
    Airy, lacy, and graceful, the native Maidenhair Fern is known for its grassy green foliage and jet-black stems. Delicate fronds form in a circular pattern on tough, cold hardy plants. Choose a shady locale for this woodland beauty, or be sure to give extra water when siting in sunnier spots. Naturalizes with ease in moist soils. (Adiantum pedatum)
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  15. Red Astilbe japonica Montgomery, Astilbe, False Spirea

    'Montgomery' Astilbe produces feathery, magenta-crimson blooms that stand tall over its deep green foliage. A standout addition to the shade garden, 'Montgomery' delivers loads of co...

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    Montgomery Astilbe False Spirea Montgomery Astilbe japonica Montgomery
    $18.98 Sale $9.49
    Per Bag of 3
    'Montgomery' Astilbe produces feathery, magenta-crimson blooms that stand tall over its deep green foliage. A standout addition to the shade garden, 'Montgomery' delivers loads of color and is a perfect choice for mass plantings. Leaves emerge bronze-red in spring and turn green over the course of the season. Prefers moist soil. (Astilbe japonica)
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  16. Astilbe Mix, Astilbe, False Spirea

    Add bold, bright color to a shady spot in your garden with our Astilbe Mix. 'Deutschland' Astilbe's pure white plumes are lovely in the moonlight, 'Montgomery' Astilbe has feathery, ...

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    Astilbe Mix False Spirea Mix Astilbe Mix
    $24.98 Sale $12.49
    Per Bag of 5
    Add bold, bright color to a shady spot in your garden with our Astilbe Mix. 'Deutschland' Astilbe's pure white plumes are lovely in the moonlight, 'Montgomery' Astilbe has feathery, magenta-crimson blooms and 'Rheinland' Astilbe adds graceful pink plumes to illuminate the shade garden. Also known as False Spirea, our Astilbe Mixture is deer resistant and amazingly easy to grow. Make sure to plant extra, as these blooms make for gorgeous summer bouquets and last all year long if dried. Astilbe makes a bold statement on their own or paired with other shade-loving perennials, such as Hostas and Columbines.
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  17. Astilbe chinensis Maggie Daley

    For lavender-pink blooms in shady gardens, ‘Maggie Daley’ astilbe is at the top of the list. Slightly more tolerant of dry soils than other astilbes, it’s still at its best in ...

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    Maggie Daley Astilbe Chinese Astilbe Maggie Daley Astilbe chinensis Maggie Daley
    As low as $17.98 Sale $8.99
    Per Bag of 3
    For lavender-pink blooms in shady gardens, ‘Maggie Daley’ astilbe is at the top of the list. Slightly more tolerant of dry soils than other astilbes, it’s still at its best in a moist location. Mid-summer blooms are held in dense panicles and will dry in place for fall interest. Pinnate, deep green foliage. Clump forming. (Astilbe chinensis)
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  18. 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
    $17.98 Sale $8.99
    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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