Graf Growers

Deer Resistant Plant Guide

When choosing plants, ask “What is candy to deer?”

What plants do deer enjoy eating? Deer love narrow-leaf evergreens and show a preference for hostas, daylilies, and English ivy.

What do deer dislike? They will stay away from poisonous and prickly plants as well as fragrant plants with strong odors. Keep in mind that the first rule in deer proofing is that are really no deer-proof plants, but rather plants that deer rarely or seldom damage.

Let’s explore some Deer-resistant plants!
Now remember that if a deer is hungry, they will eat pretty much anything, but these varieties of plants should be pretty safe! 

Sun Annuals:
  • Lantana
  • Cannas
  • Angelonia
  • Gomphrena
  • Alyssum
  • Nasturtium
  • Persian Shield
  • Flowering Vinca
  • Marigolds
  • Snapdragons
  • Ageratum
  • Verbena
  • Dusty Miller
  • Sweet Alyssum
  • Rosemary
  • Garden Sage
  • Thyme
  • Cleome
  • Salvia
  • Zinnia
  • Diamond Frost (Euphorbia)
  • Lavender
  • Mints
  • Lemon Balm
Shade Annuals:
  • Caladiums
  • Begonias
  • Torenia
  • Ajuga
  • Allium
  • Iris
  • Lavender (Lavandula)
  • Columbine (Aquilegia)
  • Astilbe varieties (Astilbe)
  • Shasta Daisy varieties (Leucanthemum)
  • Foxglove (Digitailis)
  • Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum)
  • Lenten Rose (Helleborus)
  • Honeysuckle Vine (Lonicera)
  • Honeysuckle ‘Dropmore Scarlet’
  • Pachysandra
  • Yarrow (Achillea)
  • Silver Mound (Artemisia)
  • Small Globe Thistle (Echinops)
  • Blue Fescue Grass (Festuca glauca)
  • Beebalm (Monarda)
  • Catmint (Nepeta)
  • Poppy (Papaver)
  • Russian Sage (Perovskia)
  • Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)

Do they eat your Shrubs and Trees too? Here are our suggestions for some options that they would be less likely to enjoy munching on. 

  • Boxwood varieties
  • Clethra alnifolia (Summersweet)
  • Forsythia (Forsythia x intermediata)
  • Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica)
  • ‘P.J.M.’ Rhododendron
  • Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)
  • Winterberry Holly (Ilex verticillata)
  • American Holly (Ilex opaca)
  • Dwarf Alberta Spruce (Picea glauca ‘Conica’)
  • Willows (Salix)
  • Common Lilacs (Syringa vulgaris)
  • Yuccas
  • Viburnums
  • Junipers


  • White Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)
  • Chinese Dogwood (Cornus kousa)
  • American Smoketree (Cotinus obovatus)
  • Betty Magnolia (Magnolia ‘Betty’)
  • Globe Blue Spruce (Picea pungens glauca)
  • Mugho Pine (Pinus mugo)
  • Arborvitae (Thuja plicata)
We hope that these suggestions help in your mission to keep your garden deer free! For more plant tips and care information, be sure to follow us on instagram!

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