Plants Deer Dislike

Thanks to their fuzzy leaves, strong fragrance, or bitter taste, the following plants aren’t among deer’s favorite nibbles.

Spring-blooming perennials

Bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis) Shade-loving, fernlike plant with pendulous heart-shaped flowers; hardy to -35° F.

  • Bluebell (Hyacinthoide hispanica) Bulb plant with small bell-shaped blue, white, or pink flower clusters; hardy to -25°F.
  • Crocus (Crocus sp.) Low, clumping bulb plant with white, yellow, or purple flowers; hardiness varies.
  • Daffodil (Narcissus sp.) Bulb plant with showy yellow or white blooms; hardiness varies.
  • Fritillaria (Fritillaria imperialis) Bulb plant with bell-shaped orange, yellow, or red flowers atop stalklike stems; hardy to -5°F.

Summer-blooming perennials

  • Bluebeard (Caryopteris) Shrubby plant with deep-blue flower clusters; hardy to -5° F.
  • Catmint (Nepeta faassenii) Compact relative of mint; small purple flowers; hardy to -25° F.
  • Hyssop (Hyssopus officianalis) Large-leaved plant with purplish flower spikes; hardy to -5° F.
  • Lavender (Lavandula) Sun-loving, aromatic flowering herb; many varieties; hardiness varies.
  • Monkshood (Aconitum) Shade tolerant, with hoodlike purple-blue flowers; hardy to -35° F.
  • Mullein (Verbascum) Woolly leaf rosettes with tall flower spikes; hardy to -15° F.

Groundcovers

  • Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans) Creeping evergreen with dark blue flower whorls; hardy to -35° F.
  • Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) Bell-shaped waxy white flowers; hardy to -45° F.
  • Pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis) Shade lover; small white or pink flowers; hardy to -25° F.
  • Spotted deadnettle (Lamium) Variegated leaves with white or pink flowers; hardy to -25° F.

Shrubs

  • Aralia (Araliaceae) Large, bright green foliage with small white flowers; hardy to 5° F.
  • Andromeda (Pieris japonica) Rounded shrub with hanging white or pink flowers clusters; hardy to -5° F.
  • Boxwood (Buxus) Compact, tiny-leaved hedging shrub; hardy to -5° F.
  • Bush cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticose) Extremely cold-hardy; roselike flowers; hardy to -35° F.
  • Oleander (Nerium) Tall, evergreen shrub with large white or pink flowers; hardy to 15° F.
  • Russian olive (Elaeagnus augustifolia) Willowlike leaves and yellowish summer flowers; hardy to -35° F.

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