Deer Resistant Trees, Shrubs, Roses,Palms, Ornamental Grass,Perennials, Annuals, Ferns, and Bulbs

The best approach to deer management is a combination of strategies which starts with a list of deer resistant plants. Landscaping, and especially deeroscaping,is based on a knowledge of deer feeding habits can reduce or eliminate costly browsing damage. A list of deer resistant plants is invalualbe. Also,use of deer repellents or fencing can also be greatly reduced by choosing aesthetically pleasing deer-resistant alternative plants. If you must plant susceptible plants, only plant them close to the house, or in an already fenced area such as a backyard.


As stated above, the plants deer prefer to eat can vary from region to region and can change seasonally and is dependent on many variables. The following lists have been compiled from research done across the US.


There are four basic catagories of plant damage. Rarely Damaged, Seldom Damaged, Occasionally Damaged, and Frequently Damaged.

Rarely Damaged: Plants that deer will rarely eat unless there are no other options. These are the best candidates for damage-prone landscapes.
Deer Resistant Trees
Rarely Damaged Shrubs
Rarely Damaged Roses
Rarely Damaged Palms
Rarely Damaged Ornamental Grasses
Rarely Damaged Perennials
Rarely Damaged Ferns
Rarely Damaged Annuals
Rarely Damaged Bulbs

Also check out our special deer proof gardening page with
Deer Resistant Vegetables,Herbs, and Fruit

Seldom Damaged: Deer sometimes feed on ornamentals listed as Seldom Damaged, but the browsing is usually minor and usually doesn't detract from the looks of the plants.

Occasionally Damaged: These are the plants that deer will turn to once their favorites are depleted.

Frequently Damaged: Plants that are deer favorites. These are the first plants deer will seek out to eat. These plants often require physical or chemical protection.

Plants can be listed as deer resistant for several reasons. The variables include seasonal factors, geographic area, availability of alternative food, taste of the plants, and the deer's nutritional needs at the time. One plant species may be rarely damaged in one region of the country, but highly preferred in another region. Holly, white pine, and deciduous magnolias are a few plants that have very different deer preferences from region to region. Many deer-resistant plants are poisonous at some time of their growth cycle. Many are aromatic, have thorns, or have coarse foliage.

If an adequate supply of natural native plants are available to eat, deer are less likely to browse ornamental plantings. When the natural food supply is low, few ornamental plants will be resistant. Generally, deer browsing is worst in the winter when green grass and green plants aren't found. Also deer browse heavily in the spring on new succulent growth.

Have Other Plants to Add To The List?

Have you found other plants that deer rarely damage or seldom eat? We would love to add your plants to our lists. Tell us about your landscape or garden and the plants that the deer avoid or love to eat. Please share with us!

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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Day Lilies 
As a landscaper I encounter many deer eaten landscapes and the daylilies never seem to be touched. Not sure why but didn't see them on your list

Grandma of 5 
They love my hydrangea, daylilies, and hibiscus!

We call them "deer candy." They eat them down to the roots. Fortunately the hostas are hardy and each year they come back. I hate to see them destroyed …

Nasturtiums: Deer Resistant Annuals 
I've been growing nasturtiums for two years now, and the deer don't touch them! They've leaned over the nasturtiums to get to the hydrangeas! What's …

Uneaten coleus 
Along the side of my house I have planted hosta, coral bells and coleus. The deer have eaten the hosta and bells right down to the ground, but have not …

Looks like Tansy 
I have a "weed" that has established itself in the rose bed. I've never had it before, so am not up on its' identification. It looks like Tansy, may be …

Redbud seems to be resistant. 
A few years ago, I planted a small Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis), where the deer can easily reach it. They have never touched it, although last year …

It Works 
I live on 5 acres in N. Ca. Deer are prevalent! But, I found a good cure BLOOD MEAL!! Not only does it it fertilize--but it keeps the deer away!! …

Horticulturist/Landscape designer 
Viburnum carlesii is happily never bothered by deer here in central NJ. On the other had, Ilex crenata and all Rhodies (which you list as deer resistant) …

deer resistant annuals 
I need deer resistant annuals for shade. The area gets very little sunlight. It would be helpful if the chart on your home page designated sun, part sun, …

please remove all non-native invasive plants 
I am currently a volunteer for a department of recreation and parks in MD. I am trying to remove some of the plants you are suggesting people plant from …

Try a Native-Northern Sea Oats 
Northern sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) is an ornamental grass that grows 24"-36" high in loose clumps of green foliage. Its name derives from its …

Black currants and goose berries seem to be safe from deer. Not rated yet
I have a lot of black currant bushes and a goose berry bush that are not at all affected by deer or groundhog. The raspberries are just once in a while …

Kara Not rated yet
I am always looking for the next plant to try in my quest to have perennial and shrub borders in deer country. We have a surprising variety that do well, …

Comfrey Not rated yet
While gardener friends look horrified when I offer them Comfrey plants/roots (considering it too invasive), it has been one of the few plants I have that …

Red Salvia  Not rated yet
I plant red salvia every summer and the deer leave them alone

Untouched wild roses Not rated yet
I live in the North Central Cascades, near Leavenworth. This area is known for apples, peaches and pears and lovely gardens, but because of deer no one …

They love dark red Japanese maples. Not rated yet
I have tried twice to put Japanese maples in my yard, but the deer eat them very quickly.

PlantAddict Not rated yet
I plant a lot of grasses, but I also use lilies of the valley,also some tropicals which I bring indoors at wintertime, like oleander, nightshade, also …

What the urban deer eat in Northern KY Not rated yet
We have a problem with urban deer. The late summer and fall is the worse, but already this spring (April) they have eaten hosta, Solomon's seal, oak leaf …

My deer aren't picky! Not rated yet
I live in southeast Louisiana and planted a flower bed last Fall containing snap dragons, petunias, and mums, all of which were eaten in the course of …

Carolina Gardner  Not rated yet
I've never had them eat my lantana. Plant it every year right it their pathway.

MD Not rated yet
I have 50 persimmons trees of different sizes (1-6" trunks). Deer never rub their antlers or damage bark of persimmons. I wonder if they know where their …

Deer and cannas Not rated yet
Here in NE OH, deer eat cannas- and not just as a last resort. They don't wait until flowers bloom, either. Deer will wipe out an entire bed in a night. …

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Holly Fern Not rated yet
The Holly Fern is evergreen in most of NC

Rosa "The Fairy" Not rated yet
Have read that this was the only deer resistant rose so I Tested it. Sure enough- not obe nibble. Going to use at a clients house So hope my luck holds! …

south Jersey gardener Not rated yet
Deer browse regularly here, coming in from the wooded areas all around us. They have Never even snipped our lavender. We have 2 areas, one in front , …

south Jersey gardener Not rated yet
Deer browse regularly here, coming in from the wooded areas all around us. They have Never even snipped our lavender. We have 2 areas, one in front , …

Illinois Not rated yet
Which of these are resistant specifically in Illinois we are not listed in your chart? thank you From the webmaster: I am sorry, I don't have any Illinois …

louisa Not rated yet
monkey tail trees don't get eaten

Swede Not rated yet
I'm getting eaten-up here. I like and appreciate your site and the work that you put into it. I have however the need to see photographs of the plants …

Lantana (Various species) Not rated yet
I live in central Texas, and deer have been a problem for us. recently, I purchased a wide selection of new plants to see how they would do. I found …

Deer Resistant Annuals, PA Not rated yet
I live in Pittsburgh, PA, where deer populations have started exploding within the city. I've had excellent luck with Four O'Clocks. The deer don't touch …

Deer Resistance Study Not rated yet
As a master gardener in Athens County I have been working with the Ohio State Extension Office on a list of deer resistant plants. Our study is based …

Christmas Cheer for the Deer Not rated yet
In November our landscape team planted several flats of red Petunias and Cyclamen and white Dusty Miller and Alyssum in a streetside flowerbed of a beloved …

deer resistant annuals Not rated yet
our yard borders a field with tall grasses. Deer did not eat the lantana I planted right near the field

deer resistant annuals Not rated yet
our yard borders a field with tall grasses. Deer did not eat the lantana I planted right near the field

Wade's Glen Not rated yet
Another perennial you might add to the deer resistant list are Watsonia. I think that's what they're called. We have upteen million of these and the deer …

Dirt Diva Gardens Not rated yet
I'd like to comment on the deer resistance of Cornus Sericea (Red Ozier Dogwood)- NOT resistant!...I live in N. Idaho where the dogwood is native, and …

Retired teacher with vacation home in The Woods near Martinsburg, WV Not rated yet
Dwarf Alberta Spruce - have not been eaten by deer for 3 years Pacasandra - survived about 5 years with no eating by deer, but this past year, deer …

Deer resistant - not Not rated yet
I live in CT and the Rhododendron must be sprayed. They are guaranteed to be eaten otherwise...

Deer Resistant Blooming Fern Not rated yet
At a recent flower show in our area which is southwest Ohio I purchased some roots which were light tan and averaged about 4 inches long and about an inch …

Deer Resistant Blooming Fern Not rated yet
At a recent flower show in our area which is southwest Ohio I purchased some roots which were light tan and averaged about 4 inches long and about an inch …

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