Choosing Deer Resistant Plants

Choosing Deer Resistant Plants
How to discourage deer from eating your wildflowers, bulbs and perennials.


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Deer in Perennial GardenDeer in Perennial Garden

By Ray Allen, founder of

In recent years, the great increases of deer entering residential neighborhoods in the US has sounded an alarm with many gardeners. While most people love deer, and enjoy seeing them, they are not amused when "Bambi" walks in and strips a newly-planted vegetable garden, wildflower planting, or display of beautiful spring tulips.

The obvious solutions are sometimes difficult. A homeowner can fence a vegetable plot, but that's not usually possible when people are trying to landscape a larger area. Also, the whole idea of flower gardens, wild or not-so-wild, is to create a beautiful landscape. A secure fence is not usually part of the plan. So more and more of our customers are asking, "What flowers are deer proof?" Well, read on.

What to do? We work with gardeners across the country, and we've found that gardeners have the most success using deer use repellent. Deer repellants such as "Deer Off", which is widely available at garden center stores across the country, are much more effective than choosing certain flowers to plant. Here are 5 Strategies For Preventing Deer Damage In The Garden.

Deer eat "everything." This is not really true, of course. Deer are a "grazing" species, which means they generally feed on whatever vegetation is available. As most gardeners know, they usually favor tender "new growth" - new spring twigs on trees and shrubs, and of course, tempting food crops that we plant in our vegetable gardens. Read on for our recommendations for deer resistant -- and even a few deer-proof -- wildflowers, plants, and flower bulbs that you can plant!

Deer Resistant Wildflowers

Some wildflower experts have made up lists of "deer-resistant" wildflower species to inform homeowners. It's important to know that these lists are just that: deer resistant, not deer proof. It's important to protect young seedlings. Here are the wildflower species we recommend as "resistant" to grazing from deer:

Our Deer-Resistant Wildflower Seed Mix is formulated with wildflowers that deter deer and other critters

  1. Achillea millefolium (White Yarrow)
  2. Coreopsis tinctoria (Plains Coreopsis)
  3. Digitalis purpurea (Foxglove)
  4. Eschscholzia californica (California Poppy)
  5. Gaillardia aristata (Blanket Flower)
  6. Lobularia maritima (Sweet Alyssum)
  7. Lupinus perennis (Perennial Lupine)
  8. Lupinus succulentus (Arroyo Lupine)
  9. Lupinus densiflorus (Golden Lupine)
  10. Papaver rhoeas (Red Poppy)
  11. Rudbeckia hirta (Gloriosa Daisy)
  12. Salvia coccinea (Scarlet Sage)
  13. Salvia farinacea (Blue Sage)
  14. Zinnia
Deer Resistant Wildflower Seed MixtureDeer Resistant Wildflower Seed Mixture
Containing 17 wildflowers that deter deer and other critters, the Deer Resistant Wildflower Mix brings loads of colorful blooms to the landscape.

Deer Resistant Flower Bulbs

There are some bulbs that are actually deer-proof, because they have compounds that are toxic to eat. Deer simply won't eat them. The most famous is the Daffodil, and that's great, since many gardeners like to plant daffodils in their natural areas. Dutch bulb experts tell us that all colors and types of daffodils qualify as "deer-proof." Alliums, or Ornamental Onions, are the same. 

Deer Resistant Bulbs for Fall Planting


Deer Resistant Spring Planted Bulbs

Deer Resistant Perennials

When it comes to the perennial garden, many plants are deer-resistant.

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