Deer are graceful animals that are a joy to watch, but some of their habits such as nibbling your prize plants are not so attractive. While it is true that a hungry deer will eat anything there are a number of plants that they find less appetizing. By growing the plants on this list you will have a greater chance of being left in peace by these by these four footed nibblers. These twenty deer-resistant plants are described in an article by Anne Balogh which I came across on the Garden Design Magazine website.
The ornamental plants and shrubs in your garden should be a feast for the eyes, not a banquet for the local deer population. Nothing is more enticing to these hoofed herbivores than fresh garden greenery, especially when hunger pangs strike and other food sources are scarce. Although it?s impossible to make a backyard completely deer-proof, other than surrounding it by a tall fence or other impenetrable barrier, you can fill it with plants that don?t please a deer?s palate.
?You can still have a lush, thriving garden by making smart choices. Many stunning plants are unpalatable to deer because of their poisonous compounds, fuzzy or aromatic leaves, and tough, spiny, or bristly textures,? says Ruth Rogers Clausen, author of 50 Beautiful Deer-Resistant Plants. We?ve included some of Clausen?s smart choices here, along with a few top picks of our own.
Boxwoods are among the most versatile broadleaf evergreens for a deer-resistant garden. They come in numerous shapes and sizes and take well to pruning, making them ideal for formal hedges, borders, and topiaries. Deer seem to shun the attractive glossy, green foliage because of its strong scent.
Also called black snakeroot and bugbane, this plant?s showy bottlebrush-shaped flower spikes add drama and architectural interest to a shade or woodland garden. The creamy white flowers open gradually along the spikes from the bottom upward, creating fluffy spires up to 2 feet long rising above deeply lobed dark-green foliage. Although the spikes can grow as tall as 7 feet, they rarely need staking. The flowers have an unpleasant odor and bitter taste that repel deer.
This popular shade-tolerant groundcover is primarily grown for its foliage, which spreads quickly via underground runners to form a dense carpet of glossy green leaves that retain their color throughout winter. As an added attraction, attractive spikes of tiny white blooms emerge from the creeping shoots in early spring. ?Variegata?, a cultivar with white markings on its leaves, is especially effective at brightening up shady locations.
See more at Garden Design Magazine
Feature photo courtesy of Kieft Seed.