5 Deer Resistant Plants

image of mule deer

If your garden ends up in pieces due to deer in your area, this is the list for you. Of course, deer resistant plants may still be nibbled on, but they’re a lot less appealing than your neighbor’s hostas or tulips. Deer (and rabbits) generally dislike highly fragrant plants, so if none of the plants on this list appeal to you, keep that in mind when shopping for your flower beds. Disclaimer aside, here’s five plants for your flower beds that deer will steer clear from:

  1. Coreopsis

Coreopsis flowers are a great option, not only because deer don’t like them, but because they’re so easy to take care of. They are tolerant of droughts, which is important in Colorado, and they have many variations of colors to choose from. It is often said that Coreopsis “thrive on neglect”, so even the worst gardener can keep them alive. Another great thing? They bloom for months, so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy them.

Lambs Ear
  1. Lamb’s Ear

Another drought friendly plant, this velvety plant can grow almost anywhere. They’re perfect for ground cover, and filling in space in your flower beds. You only need to water them if the soil is incredibly dry, and spreading mulch under the leaves makes them almost indestructible no matter the conditions. Deer dislike these plants due to their texture and flavor.

  1. Allium

Don’t let these cute floral lollipops fool you, they don’t taste sweet. Alliums are a member of the onion family so they don’t taste good to deer. Alliums thrive in the sun, so consider this before planting. They also prefer a little bit of moisture, but their bulbs can rot if too wet. Another thing to consider is wind: Alliums stalks are generally strong, but consistent strong bursts of wind may require your Alliums to be staked. Although they are more work than the previous options, they are incredibly unique looking plants that can add character to an otherwise plain planter.

  1. Echinacea

Not only are these daisy family plants aesthetically pleasing, they have many health benefits. In fact, Echinacea vitamin supplements are sold to improve immunity, blood sugar, anxiety and inflammation. It can also be used to shorten the common cold and flu and reduce symptoms. It’s fairly easy to grow, enjoying partial shade and drier soil, only really needing watering as young plants. Echinacea are a three in one: they add beauty to your flower beds, are deer resistant, and can be used as holistic treatment.

  1. Penstemon

Nicknamed “Beardtongues”, these flowers have an interesting appearance. Their blooms are funnel or trumpet-shaped and are available in many colors. They are incredibly drought tolerant, and can even grow in soil that is mostly sand or gravel. They have the best color when grown in full sunlight but can survive in partial sun as well. If you’re looking for another unique addition, consider Penstemons.

Deer-Free! But what about weeds?

Now that your flower beds are no longer torn apart by passer-by grazers, you might notice weeds popping up. Read about the 8 Most Common Weeds in Colorado, or Leave it to the professionals and try out our Bed Weed Control Program.