Deer Resistant Plants

Deer have an innate sense of determining what foods are good for them and what is not.  They know the poisonous plants to avoid but like humans, there are some plants they just don't like.  Some key points when considering plants:
  • if a plant makes them sick or is associated with a bad experience they will avoid it
  • how hungry they are ... plants they don't like may become much tastier than before
  • some individual deer may like plants that most do not
  • deer often avoid plants with a strong fragrance, fuzzy or prickly texture or bitter taste ~ often but not always
This Deer Resistant Plant list is composed from the personal observations of several Haliburtonians

Allium (Allium)                                                    Lily of the Valley (Converaria majalis)
Angel's Trumpet (Datura)                                      Lupins (Lupinus)
Brown/black eyed Susans (Rudbeckia)                    Lilacs (Syringa vulgarism)
Butterfly weed (Asclepias)                                     Lavender (Lavendula)
Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis)                      Daphne (Papyricea)
Cleome (Cleome)                                                  Blazing Star (Liatris)
Cosmos (Cosmos)                                                   Marigolds (Tagetas)
Daffodils (Narcissus)                                               Monkshood (Aconite)
Delphinium (Delphinium)                                        Nicotiana (Nicotiana)
Foxglove (Digitalis)                                                 Peonies (Paeonia Lactiflora)
Globeflowers (Trollius)                                           Rhubarb (Rhubarb)
Goldenrod (Solidago vigaurea)                                 Shasta Daisy (Laucanthemum)
Iris (Iris)                                                                 Valeriun (Valeriana officinalis)
Juniper (Juniperas)                                                 Pines (Pinus)
Spruce (Picea)

It has been suggested that Deer don't like fuzzy leaves but they will on occasion eat lambs ears.  They also don't like aromatic plants but have been known to eat Artemesia.  Often deer won't eat prickly plants although they seem to like rosebushes.  Stinging Nettle and thistles might be good to grow and certainly they tend to leave ferns and various grasses alone in the wild which suggests they are good to grow.  


dinah wilson,
Feb 19, 2010, 8:39 AM