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Deer Resistant Plants

Deer Resistant Plants


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Deer can do serious damage in the landscape. We're not so bold as to declare these plants "deer proof," for in extreme circumstances deer will eat almost anything. It's very hard to pinpoint what deer will eat. Just correlate to humans: you wouldn't think pigs' feet and snails' eggs would be targets, but some people will eat them. Deer may not be culinary connoisseurs, but they do have favorite foods and tend to avoid others. Sharp foliage, thorns, hairy leaves, or a peculiar taste keep some plants off the normal menu. Here is a list of deer resisatnt plants for southereastern Pennsylvania.





Achillea spp. (Yarrow)

Ajuga reptans (Bugleweed)

Agastache spp. (Hyssop)

Artemisia spp. (Wormwood)

Bergenia cordifolia (Saxifraga)

Boltonia asteroids (False Chamomile)

Brunnera macrophylla (Heartleaf Brunnera)

Buddleia spp(Butterfly Bush)

Calamagrostis spp. (Feather Reed Grass)

Ceratostigma plumbaginoides (Leadwort)

Convallaria majalis (Lily of the Valley)

Coreopsis verticillata (Threadleaf Tickseed)

Dicentra spp. (Bleeding Heart)

Eupatorium spp. (Joe Pye Weed)

Iris germanica (Iris)

Kniphofia spp. (Red Hot Poker)

Lavandula spp. (Lavender)

Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower)

Miscanthus sinensis (Miscanthus Grass)

Monarda spp. (Bee Balm)

Nepeta spp. (Catmint)

Pennisetum alopecuroides (Fountain Grass)

Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)

Salvia spp. (Sage)

Stachys spp. (Lamb's Ear)

Tiarella cordifolia (Foamflower)

Trees and Shrubs


Aronia spp. (Chokeberry)

Berberis spp. (Barberry)

Buxus spp. (Boxwood)

Callicarpa spp. (Beautyberry)

Caryopteris clandonensis (Blue Mist Shrub)

Cephalotaxus spp. (Plum Yew)

Clethra spp. (Sweet Pepperbush)

Cornus spp(Dogwood)

Cotoneaster spp. (Cotoneaster)

Deutzia spp. (Deutzia)

Ilex spp. (Holly)

Itea virginica Sweetspire)

Juniperus spp. (Juniper)

Leucothoe spp. (Leucothoe)

Magnolia spp(Magnolia)

Mahonia spp. (Mahonia)

Microbiota decussate (Russian Cypress)

Picea spp. (Spruce)

Pieris japonica (Andromeda)

Potentilla fruticosa (Bush Cinquefoil)

Sarcococca hookeriana (Sweetbox)

Spiraea spp. (Spirea)

Thuja x 'Green Giant' (Green Giant Arborvitae)

Viburnum spp. (Viburnum)

Vitex spp. (Chastetree)

Weigela florida(Weigela)



Deer Deterrents


To protect plants from deer we recommend a combination of repellants. Spray-on repellants—such as Liquid Fence, Deer-Off, and Deer-Away—are best if used in rotation to avoid familiarity. Human hair or bars of scented soap also make nice complimentary repellants. If odor or taste is not enough, a barrier may be needed. In areas frequented by deer it is wise to use trunk protectors on young trees until they have become established.




Sources: Compiled from experience and information from the Rutgers Cooperative Extension. For more information visit us on the web at