Throughout the year, your garden provides color, fragrance, and enjoyment. Unfortunately, many plants also offer grazing deer an easy banquet, which is hugely frustrating. Thankfully, many flowers are deer-resistant to some degree. In this article, I’ll share 50 of my favorite types of deer-resistant flowers and plants that you can add to your garden. Plus, learn about my go-to tips for deer-proofing gardens and patio spaces. 

50 Deer Resistant Flowers and Plants
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What Makes a Flower Deer Resistant?

Grazing deer usually seek out young, tender shoots, leaves, or stems. As such, even one or two deer can quickly ruin your emerging spring or summer display. Thankfully, several factors can make certain flowers deer-resistant. These factors also make many deer-resistant flowers perform well as companion plants for more vulnerable flowers.

Deer-resistant flowers often have fragrant leaves that produce aromatic scents that are off-putting to deer. Other deer-resistant plants have spiky stems, leathery leaves, or hairy foliage that make deer think twice about eating them.

Some deer-resistant plants, such as certain bulbs, are also mildly toxic to deer. When grazing deer try to eat these plants, chemical compounds or oils in the leaves produce a bitter taste. Most deer will quickly realize that bitter-tasting plants should be avoided.

Remember that ‘deer-resistant’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘deer-proof’. Inquisitive deer may still nibble at deer-resistant plants if no other food is available. However, it’s unlikely that deer will decimate deer-resistant plants.


50 Best Deer Resistant Flowers and Plants: 


1) Ajuga (Ajuga reptans)

Ajuga (Ajuga reptans) are very effective deer resistant flowers

Ajuga reptans is more commonly known as carpet bugle or bugleweed. This mat-forming herbaceous perennial is native to Europe and belongs to the mint or sage family (Lamiaceae).

Ajuga plants have upright stems topped with whorls of small bluish-purple flowers. These deer resistant plants also have elliptical or oval-shaped leaves with rounded teeth. Ajuga reptans plants are unpalatable to grazing deer due to their hairy stems.

Growing Zones:3 to 10
Flowering Season:Spring
Colors:Blue, pink, purple, white
Light Requirements:Partial to full shade
Soil Requirements:Moist, well-draining soils

2) Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)

Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)

Agastache foeniculum is a herbaceous perennial from the mint family. Anise hyssop is native to North America and thrives in USDA Zones 4 to 8.

Anise hyssop grows in clumps of ovate leaves with toothed edges. These perennials also have dense spikes of tiny pinkish-purple tubular flowers. The medium-green leaves produce a strong licorice scent that deters grazing deer.

Growing Zones:4 to 8
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Colors:Pink, purple
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Soil Requirements:Loose, well-draining soils

3) Barrenwort (Epimedium spp.)

Barrenwort (Epimedium spp.) are very effective deer resistant flowers

Members of the Epimedium genus are herbaceous perennials from the barberry family (Berberidaceae). Most Epimedium plants are native to China.

These deer resistant flowers grow in clumps of arrow or heart-shaped leaves with toothed edges and red or bronze veins. During the spring, barrenworts produce arching racemes of small, colorful flowers. The leaves have a bitter taste that is off-putting to deer.

Growing Zones:5 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring
Colors:Pink, purple, orange, red, yellow, white
Light Requirements:Partial to full shade
Soil Requirements:Loose, moist, well-draining soils

4) Basket-of-Gold (Aurinia saxatilis)

Basket-of-Gold (Aurinia saxatilis) are very effective deer resistant plants

Also known as golden alyssum, basket-of-gold plants are evergreen perennials that are native to Europe and Asia. Aurinia saxatilis belongs to the cabbage or mustard family (Brassicaceae).

Basket-of-gold plants form rounded, spreading mounds of hairy grayish-green leaves that are unpalatable to grazing deer. In spring, basket-of-gold plants are covered with dense mounds of charming golden-yellow flowers with four petals.

Growing Zones:3 to 7
Flowering Season:Spring
Colors:Yellow, orange, white
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Soil Requirements:Dry, well-draining soils

5) Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)

Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) are very effective deer resistant flowers

Scarlet bee balm is a herbaceous perennial from the sage family. These wildflowers are native to eastern parts of North America.

These deer resistant flowers grow in clumps of lance-shaped leaves with serrated margins. These leaves produce a pungent, minty smell that is off-putting to deer. Scarlet bee balm also has dense clusters of tubular bright red flowers with reddish-green bracts.

Growing Zones:4 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring to fall
Colors:Red, pink
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Soil Requirements:Fertile, moist, well-draining soils

6) Bergenia (Bergenia cordifolia)

Bergenia (Bergenia cordifolia)

Bergenia flowers are evergreen perennials from the Saxifragaceae family, commonly known as heartleaf bergenia. These hardy flowering plants are native to parts of Central and Eastern Asia.

Bergenia cordifolia forms basal rosettes of rounded or heart-shaped leathery leaves. The texture of these leaves is unpalatable to deer. During the spring, bergenias also have dense clusters of pinkish-purple star-shaped flowers.

Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring
Colors:Pink, purple
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Soil Requirements:Rich, moist, well-draining soils

7) Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) are very effective deer resistant plants

Black-eyed Susan is one of my favorite North American wildflowers. It’s also deer-resistant thanks to its hairy stems and leaves. Black-eyed Susan belongs to the aster or daisy family (Asteraceae).

Rudbeckia hirta grows in clumps of coarse, elliptical leaves covered in fine hairs. Black-eyed Susan has bright yellow or orange daisy-like flowers from summer to fall with dark brown central florets.

Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Colors:Yellow, orange
Light Requirements:Full sun
Soil Requirements:Moist, well-draining soils

8) Blanket Flower (Gaillardia x grandiflora)

Blanket Flower (Gaillardia x grandiflora) are very effective deer resistant flowers

Blanket flowers are gorgeous herbaceous annuals or perennials from the daisy family. Gaillardia x grandiflora is a hybrid variety that can be grown as a perennial. Blanket flowers are native to the Americas.

These deer-resistant flowers have mounds of hairy grayish-green lance-shaped leaves with notched edges. The fine hairs on the leaves are off-putting to browsing deer. Blanket flowers also have colorful red, orange, or yellow daisy-like leaves.

Growing Zones:3 to 10
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Colors:Red, orange, yellow
Light Requirements:Full sun
Soil Requirements:Moist, well-draining soils

9) Blazing Star (Liatris spicata)

Blazing Star (Liatris spicata) are very effective deer resistant plants

Also known as gayfeathers, blazing star flowers are herbaceous perennials from the daisy family. Blazing star flowers are native to eastern parts of North America.

Liatris spicata plants have clumps of grass-like leaves and upright stems. From summer to fall, these stems are topped with fluffy flower spikes that resemble bottle brushes. Deer seem to avoid blazing star plants.

Growing Zones:3 to 10
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Colors:Purple, reddish-pink, white
Light Requirements:Full sun
Soil Requirements:Fertile, moist, well-draining soils

10) Bleeding Heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis)

Beautiful pink Bleeding Heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis) are very effective deer resistant flowers

Bleeding heart plants are herbaceous perennials that are native to Eastern Asia. These attractive flowers come from the poppy family (Papaveraceae).

Lamprocapnos spectabilis has arching, fleshy stems with compound leaves. During spring and summer, bleeding heart plants have horizontal racemes with nodding pink and white heart-shaped flowers. Bleeding heart plants are also reasonably deer-resistant but can get out of control if not appropriately maintained.

Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Colors:Pink, white
Light Requirements:Partial shade
Soil Requirements:Moist, well-draining soils

11) Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii)

A single purple Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii) are very effective deer resistant flowers

Butterfly bushes are some of my favorite deer-resistant flowers. These fragrant, nectar-rich flowers come from the figwort family (Scrophulariaceae). Butterfly bushes are native to China and Japan.

Buddleja davidii are fast-growing woody perennials. The woody stems and fragrant flowers are unpalatable to deer. Butterfly bushes have elliptical to lance-shaped leaves and dense, scented spikes of tiny purple, pink, or white flowers.

Growing Zones:5 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Colors:Purple, pink, white
Light Requirements:Full sun
Soil Requirements:Moist, well-draining soils

12) Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens)

A field of pink Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens) flowers

Candytuft flowers are beautiful evergreen plants that are also deer-resistant. Candytuft plants are native to Europe. These low-growing plants have a spreading habit and come from the mustard family (Brassicaceae).

Iberis sempervirens has glossy, slender, dark green leaves and woody stems that are off-putting to grazing deer. In spring, candytuft plants produce clusters of attractive white flowers decorated with yellow dots. These plants thrive in Zones 3 to 9.

Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring
Colors:White, yellow
Light Requirements:Full sun
Soil Requirements:Average, well-draining soils

13) Catmint (Nepeta spp.)

Wild purple Catmint (Nepeta spp.) growing in a field

Catmint plants are known for their intoxicating effects on cats. However, deer aren’t fond of the aromatic grayish-green leaves of catmint plants. As such, Nepeta plants are excellent deer-resistant flowers.

Nepeta plants have upright stems that bear small blue, pink, purple, or white flower spikes. These herbaceous perennials come from the mint family. Catmint plants are native to parts of Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Colors:Blue, pink, purple, white
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Soil Requirements:Neutral, well-draining soils

14) Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) are very effective deer resistant flowers

Echinacea purpurea is another of my favorite deer-resistant flowers. These famous North American wildflowers belong to the daisy family. Coneflowers are low-maintenance herbaceous perennials that bloom from summer to fall.

These deer-resistant plants have colorful daisy-like flowers with large, spiky central cones. Coneflowers also have coarse, hairy, lance-shaped leaves. Both the hairy leaves and spiky cones deter deer from eating these wildflowers.

Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Colors:Purple, pink, orange, red, yellow, white
Light Requirements:Full sun
Soil Requirements:Loose, well-draining soils

15) Coral Bells (Heuchera spp.)

Coral Bells (Heuchera spp.) are very effective deer resistant flowers

Coral bells are evergreen perennials that are native to North America. These popular ornamental plants belong to the Saxifragaceae family.

Heuchera plants have attractive palmate leaves that are divided by several lobes. The hairy leaves have a ruffled texture that deer aren’t fond of. Coral bells have upright racemes of colorful bell-shaped flowers in spring and summer.

Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Colors:Pink, orange, red, white
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Soil Requirements:Rich, well-draining soils

16) Cranesbill Geranium (Geranium spp.)

Purple Cranesbill Geranium (Geranium spp.) flowers in bloom

Cranesbill geraniums are low-maintenance perennials from the Geraniaceae family. These attractive flowers are found worldwide and thrive in Zones 4 to 9.

These deer resistant plants grow in rounded mounds of palmate leaves with several lobes. From spring until fall, cranesbill geraniums also have cup-shaped flowers. Deer usually avoids eating cranesbill geraniums due to the texture of the leaves.

Growing Zones:4 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring to fall
Colors:Blue, purple, pink, white
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Soil Requirements:Moist, well-draining soil

17) Crocosmia (Crocosmia spp.)

Orange and red Crocosmia (Crocosmia spp.) flowers in bloom

Crocosmia flowers are brightly colored deciduous or evergreen perennials from the iris family (Iridaceae). Interestingly, these plants have tough, lance-shaped leaves that are unpalatable to grazing deer. Plus, crocosmia plants produce racemes of tubular orange, red, or yellow flowers from summer to fall.

Crocosmia flowers are native to eastern and southern parts of Africa. These vibrant perennials grow from underground corms.

Growing Zones:6 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Colors:Orange, red, yellow
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Soil Requirements:Moist, well-draining soils

18) Daffodil (Narcissus spp.)

Bright yellow Daffodil (Narcissus spp.) are very effective deer resistant flowers

Daffodils are stunning spring bulbs that grow in clusters of green, strap-like leaves. Daffodils also produce large yellow or white trumpet-shaped flowers. These popular garden plants belong to the amaryllis family (Amaryllidaceae) and are native to Mediterranean Europe.

Narcissus flowers are rarely troubled by grazing deer because these plants contain lycorine. This chemical compound is toxic to most mammals and gives daffodils a bitter taste.

Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring
Colors:Yellow, orange, white
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Soil Requirements:Moist, well-draining soils

19) Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)

Pink flowering Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)

Evening primroses are biennial plants from the willowherb family (Onagraceae). Evening primroses are native to central and eastern parts of North America. Evening primroses are toxic to many mammals, including deer.

Oenothera biennis plants grow in clumps of leathery, dark green, oblong leaves. Evening primroses also have bright yellow cup-shaped flowers. These deer resistant flowers open in the evening but are spent by the following afternoon.

Growing Zones:4 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Colors:Yellow
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Soil Requirements:Well-draining soils

20) Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides)

Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides) are very effective deer resistant plants

Like many ornamental grasses, fountain grass is deer-resistant. Grazing deer don’t like the leaves or feathery flower heads of these perennial grasses. Fountain grass is native to parts of Asia and Australia.

Pennisetum alopecuroides belongs to the grass family (Poaceae). Interestingly, this popular type of ornamental grass grows in mounds of narrow dark green leaves and produces fluffy, reddish-purple flower heads.

Growing Zones:6 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Colors:Red, purple
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Soil Requirements:Moist, well-draining soils

21) Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)

Wild colorful Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) flowers in bloom

Foxgloves produce stunning spires of beautiful bell-shaped flowers during the summer. These popular flowers are also poisonous to many animals, including deer. Foxgloves also have hairy, oblong leaves that deer don’t like eating.

Digitalis purpurea is a herbaceous biennial or perennial from the plantain family (Plantaginaceae). These deer resistant plants are originally native to Europe but have also become naturalized in North America.

Growing Zones:4 to 8
Flowering Season:Summer
Colors:Pink, purple, yellow, white
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Soil Requirements:Moist, well-draining soils

22) Gaura (Oenothera lindheimeri)

Gaura (Oenothera lindheimeri) are very effective deer resistant flowers

White or pink gaura flowers are herbaceous perennial wildflowers native to parts of Louisiana and Texas. These flowers belong to the willowherb family (Onagraceae).

Oenothera lindheimeri has hairy lanceolate leaves that are unpalatable to deer. These plants may also be toxic to deer. Plus, during summer and fall, gaura flowers have lovely white or pink flowers that resemble butterflies.

Growing Zones:5 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Colors:Pink, white
Light Requirements:Full sun
Soil Requirements:Loamy or sandy well-draining soils

23) Goldenrod (Solidago spp.)

Yellow blooming Goldenrod (Solidago spp.) flowers

Goldenrod plants are gorgeous wildflowers usually native to North America and Mexico. These widespread herbaceous perennials come from the aster or daisy family.

Solidago plants have an upright growth habit and form large mounds of lance-shaped or oblong leaves. What’s more, from summer to fall, goldenrod plants erupt with cone-shaped panicles of bright yellow flowers. As an added bonus, deer don’t like the taste or texture of goldenrod leaves.

Growing Zones:2 to 8
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Colors:Yellow
Light Requirements:Full sun
Soil Requirements:Well-draining soils

24) Grape Hyacinth (Muscari spp.)

Purple Grape Hyacinth (Muscari spp.) are very effective deer resistant flowers

Grape hyacinths are some of my best-performing spring bulbs. These gorgeous perennials are also deer-resistant because they’re poisonous to grazing deer. Members of the Muscari genus belong to the asparagus family (Asparagaceae).

Muscari produce clumps of slender, glossy grass-like leaves. During the spring, leafless stalks are topped with dense spikes of tiny blue, purple, or white bell-shaped flowers.

Growing Zones:4 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring
Colors:Blue, purple, white
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Soil Requirements:Moist, well-draining soil

25) Hellebore (Helleborus spp.)

White blooming Hellebore (Helleborus spp.)

Hellebores are gorgeous herbaceous perennials from the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). Most hellebores are native to parts of Asia and Europe. Hellebores are popular ornamental plants in Zones 3 to 9.

Helleborus plants have glossy palmate leaves divided into several lobes. These deer resistant flowers produce large, nodding, cup-shaped flowers from late winter to spring. Hellebores are poisonous to mammals like grazing deer.

Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Winter to spring
Colors:Pink, purple, orange, red, yellow, white
Light Requirements:Partial to full shade
Soil Requirements:Fertile, well-draining soils

26) Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis)

Purple flowering Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis)

Known for their intoxicating fragrance, hyacinths are perennial members of the asparagus family. These colorful flowers are native to parts of Asia. Plus, hyacinths are fragrant spring bulbs that are poisonous to mammals like deer.

Hyacinthus orientalis produce rosettes of fleshy green leaves and dense spikes of fragrant flowers with recurved petals. Hyacinths are popular spring bulbs in Zones 4 to 8.

Growing Zones:4 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring
Colors:Blue, pink, purple, red, yellow, white
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Soil Requirements:Fertile, well-draining soils

27) Iris (Iris spp.)

Purple Iris (Iris spp.) are very effective deer resistant flowers

Irises are stunning plants from the Iridaceae family. Irises grow from underground bulbs, producing clumps of slender, lance-shaped leaves and thick, fleshy stems. The leaves are tough, making them unpalatable to browsing deer.

What’s more, during spring and summer, these deer resistant plants produce large, showy flowers in a dazzling array of colors. Irises are native throughout the Northern Hemisphere and thrive in moist soils.

Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Colors:Blue, pink, purple, yellow, white
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Soil Requirements:Moist, rich, well-draining soils

28) Japanese Pieris (Pieris japonica)

Japanese Pieris (Pieris japonica) are very effective deer resistant plants

Japanese pieris shrubs are evergreen members of the heather family (Ericaceae). These beautifully compact shrubs are native to parts of Eastern Asia.

Pieris japonica shrubs have elliptical dark green leaves and elegant trusses of white or pink urn-shaped flowers. These flowers emerge in late winter and spring. Plus, Japanese pieris shrubs are deer-resistant because they are poisonous to mammals.

Growing Zones:4 to 8
Flowering Season:Winter to spring
Colors:Pink, white
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Soil Requirements:Moist, fertile, well-draining soils

29) Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum)

Pink Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum) in bloom

Joe Pye weed is a herbaceous perennial widespread throughout central and eastern North America. These attractive wildflowers belong to the aster or daisy family.

Eutrochium purpureum has thick, upright stems bearing whorls of coarse, lance-shaped leaves. These leaves are unappealing to grazing deer. In addition, Joe Pye weed also produces rounded clusters of pinkish-purple flowers that emit a vanilla-like fragrance.

Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Colors:Pink, purple, white
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Soil Requirements:Well-draining soils

30) Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla mollis)

Yellow and green Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla mollis) are very effective deer resistant flowers

Lady’s mantle plants are herbaceous perennials from Southern Europe. These clump-forming groundcover plants come from the rose family (Rosaceae).

Alchemilla mollis has dense mounds of dark green, scallop-shaped leaves with serrated margins. Grazing deer don’t like the taste or texture of these leaves. During spring and summer, lady’s mantle plants produce clusters of tiny yellowish-green flowers above the leaves.

Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Colors:Green, yellow
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Soil Requirements:Moist, well-draining soils

31) Lamb’s Ear (Stachys byzantina)

Lamb's Ear (Stachys byzantina) plants growing in a garden

Lamb’s ears are beautiful, tactile plants with furry silvery-green leaves. These attractive rosettes are off-putting to deer because grazing deer don’t like furry textures. Lamb’s ears grow in rounded clumps and are popular ornamental plants in garden borders.

Stachys byzantina plants are herbaceous perennials from the mint family. These fascinating plants are native to Western Asia. Plus, during the spring, lamb’s ears produce spikes of purplish-pink flowers.

Growing Zones:4 to 10
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Colors:Silvery-green, purple
Light Requirements:Full sun
Soil Requirements:Well-draining soils

32) Lavender (Lavandula spp.)

Purple Lavender (Lavandula spp.) in bloom

Lavender bushes are some of my favorite plants due to their calming fragrance and nectar-rich flowers. Lavender bushes come from the mint family. These popular herbaceous perennials are native to parts of Africa and the Mediterranean.

Lavandula plants grow in rounded clumps of aromatic grayish-green leaves. Plus, during the summer, lavender plants produce small spikes of fragrant flowers. The pungent smell of the leaves and flowers deters grazing deer.

Growing Zones:5 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer
Colors:Blue, pink, purple, white
Light Requirements:Full sun
Soil Requirements:Loose, well-draining soils

33) Lungwort (Pulmonaria saccharata)

Lungwort (Pulmonaria saccharata) are very effective deer resistant flowers

Also known as Bethlehem sage, lungwort is a herbaceous perennial from the borage family (Boraginaceae). Pulmonaria saccharata is native to parts of Europe, including France and Italy.

These deer resistant flowers grow in clumps of elliptical or lance-shaped leaves decorated with white spots. The leaves are covered in bristles or hairs, making them unpalatable to grazing deer. In spring, lungwort plants also have terminal clusters of pink or white flowers.

Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring
Colors:Pink, white
Light Requirements:Partial to full shade
Soil Requirements:Moist, well-draining soils

34) Lupine (Lupinus spp.)

Blue Lupine (Lupinus spp.) flowers growing in amongst trees in a woodland area

Sometimes known as bluebonnets, lupines are colorful flowers native to the Americas. These herbaceous perennials belong to the legume or pea family (Fabaceae).

These deer resistant plants have upright stems topped with dense spikes of blue, purple, or white flowers. Lupines also have grayish-green palmate leaves divided into several leaflets. Interestingly, these leaves are often covered in silvery bristles, which are off-putting to deer.

Growing Zones:4 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Colors:Blue, purple, white
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Soil Requirements:Rich, moist, well-draining soils

35) Marigold (Calendula officinalis)

An array of bright orange Marigold flowers (Calendula officinalis)

Marigolds, sometimes known as pot marigolds, are some of my favorite companion plants in the garden. These colorful annuals or perennials have aromatic, hairy, oblong leaves that deter grazing deer. Marigolds also have orange, red, or yellow flowers.

Calendula officinalis belongs to the aster or daisy family. These flowers are native to Southern Europe but have spread around the world.

Growing Zones:2 to 11
Flowering Season:Spring to fall
Colors:Orange, red, yellow
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Soil Requirements:Neutral, well-draining soils

36) Mexican Hat (Ratibida columnifera)

Yellow Mexican Hat (Ratibida columnifera) flowers growing in the wild

Mexican hat flowers are perennial wildflowers, also known as upright prairie coneflowers. Ratibida columnifera is a member of the aster family native to North America.

Mexican hat flowers have hairy upright stems and hairy pinnate leaves that are unappealing to grazing deer. What’s more, Mexican hat flowers have red and yellow flowers with tall central cones that resemble Mexican hats, hence the common name.

Growing Zones:4 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Colors:Yellow, red
Light Requirements:Full sun
Soil Requirements:Well-draining soils

37) Monkshood (Aconitum napellus)

Purple Monkshood (Aconitum napellus) are very effective deer resistant flowers

Monkshood flowers are herbaceous perennials from the buttercup family. These plants are native to parts of Asia and North America. However, monkshood flowers are poisonous to deer and other foraging animals, even to the touch.

Aconitum napellus has tall, upright stems and rounded, palmate leaves divided into several leaflets. During the summer, these deer resistant plants have spikes of tiny blue or purple hooded flowers.

Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Summer
Colors:Blue, purple
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Soil Requirements:Rich, moist, well-draining soils

38) Peony (Paeonia lactiflora)

A single pink Peony in bloom (Paeonia lactiflora)

Paeonia lactiflora is a herbaceous perennial commonly known as the Chinese peony. These peonies are native to Eastern Asia and come from the Paeoniaceae family.

Peonies have large bowl-shaped flowers that produce a lovely fragrance. What’s more, peonies also have palmate leaves containing paeonol, a toxic chemical compound to deer and other grazing animals.

Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Colors:Pink, purple, red, yellow, white
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Soil Requirements:Fertile, moist, well-draining soils

39) Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa caucasica)

Violet colored Pincushion Flowers in bloom (Scabiosa caucasica)

Pincushion flowers are attractive, colorful herbaceous perennials from the honeysuckle family (Caprifoliaceae). These flowers are native to parts of Western Asia, such as Turkey and Iran.

Scabiosa caucasia grows in clumps of stiff, hairy stems and pinnate grayish-green leaves divided into several lobes. What’s great is these hairy stems are unpalatable to deer. During the summer, pincushion flowers produce colorful flowers with central clusters that resemble pincushions.

Growing Zones:4 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer
Colors:Blue, pink, purple, red, white
Light Requirements:Full sun
Soil Requirements:Fertile, moist, well-draining soils

40) Potentilla (Potentilla spp.)

Pink Potentilla (Potentilla spp.) are very effective deer resistant plants

Potentilla flowers are also known as cinquefoils or silverweeds. Potentilla flowers are hardy herbaceous perennials from the rose family. These flowers are native throughout the Northern Hemisphere.

These deer-resistant flowers grow in rounded clumps of hairy, grayish-green palmate leaves divided into five leaflets. From summer to fall, these plants have clusters of colorful star-shaped flowers. These hairy leaves deter grazing deer.

Growing Zones:5 to 8
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Colors:Pink, red, yellow, white
Light Requirements:Full sun
Soil Requirements:Moist, well-draining soils

41) Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia uvaria)

Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia uvaria) are very effective deer resistant flowers

Red hot pokers are upright perennials that are native to South Africa. These plants are members of the Asphodelaceae family. These colorful plants are usually ignored by foraging deer.

Kniphofia uvaria grows from underground rhizomes and produces basal rosettes of long lance-shaped leaves. Red hot pokers bloom from spring until fall, producing vibrant spikes of tiny orange, red, or yellow flowers.

Growing Zones:5 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring to fall
Colors:Orange, red, yellow
Light Requirements:Full sun
Soil Requirements:Moist, well-draining soils

42) Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) plants showcasing tiny blue flowers

Rosemary is one of my favorite kitchen herbs to grow in the garden. Rosmarinus officinalis grows in large clumps of aromatic needle-like leaves that deter browsing deer. Rosemary shrubs also have tiny blue, pink, purple, or white flowers.

These deer-resistant plants are native to Mediterranean Europe and come from the mint or sage family. These fragrant shrubs work brilliantly in kitchen gardens. They are also an excellent mosquito repellent plant

Growing Zones:8 to 11
Flowering Season:Winter to spring
Colors:Blue, pink, purple, white
Light Requirements:Full sun
Soil Requirements:Loose, well-draining soils

43) Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)

A field of wild purple Russian Sage in bloom (Perovskia atriplicifolia)

Russian sage is a fragrant, herbaceous perennial from the mint or sage family. These aromatic plants are native to parts of Central Asia. Due to its aromatic leaves, Russian sage is highly deer-resistant.

Perovskia atriplicifolia grows in clumps of woody stems with lanceolate grayish-green leaves. Plus, from summer to fall, Russian sage has terminal clusters of blue or purple flowers similar to salvia flowers.

Growing Zones:4 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Colors:Blue, purple
Light Requirements:Full sun
Soil Requirements:Average, well-draining soils

44) Sage (Salvia spp.)

Purple Sage (Salvia spp.) are very effective deer resistant flowers

Sage plants are herbaceous perennials or shrubs from the Lamiaceae family. Sage is another popular kitchen herb with lovely aromatic leaves. The pungent scent of these leaves is off-putting to deer.

Salvia plants have fine silvery-green lance-shaped leaves that have a coarse texture. Salvias produce upright spikes of tiny blue or purple flowers during the summer. These deer-resistant plants have been cultivated for centuries as a culinary herb.

Growing Zones:4 to 10
Flowering Season:Summer
Colors:Blue, purple, pink
Light Requirements:Full sun
Soil Requirements:Average, well-draining soils

45) Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum)

Bright white and yellow Shasta Daisies in bloom (Leucanthemum x superbum)

Shasta daisies are attractive hybrids from the aster or daisy family. These flowers have leathery dark green leaves that deer usually steer clear of. Shasta daisies were first bred in the United States.

Leucanthemum x superbum flowers grow in clumps of leathery leaves and upright stems. These stems are topped in the summer with large white daisy-like flowers and yellow central florets.

Growing Zones:5 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer
Colors:White, yellow
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Soil Requirements:Fertile, well-draining soils

46) Snow-in-Summer (Cerastium tomentosum)

A field of white Snow-in-Summer flowers blooming (Cerastium tomentosum)

Snow-in-summer is an evergreen plant that’s native to Europe’s alpine regions. These herbaceous perennials belong to the carnation or pink family (Caryophyllaceae).

Cerastium tomentosum is a low-growing plant with hairy creeping stems and fuzzy, silvery-green leaves. What’s more, the hairy texture of this plant is exceptionally off-putting to deer. Plus, snow-in-summer plants also have elegant white flowers with notched petals and yellow centers in spring and summer.

Growing Zones:3 to 7
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Colors:White, yellow
Light Requirements:Full sun
Soil Requirements:Loose, well-draining soils

47) Stonecrop (Sedum spp.)

Yellow Stonecrop (Sedum spp.) are very effective deer resistant plants

Stonecrops are perennial flowering plants from the stonecrop family (Crassulaceae). Stonecrop flowers are divided into two main types: low-growing stonecrops and upright stonecrops.

Sedums have fleshy, succulent leaves that taste bitter when eaten by curious deer. As such, deer usually avoid sedums. Sedums produce dense, rounded clusters of fragrant star-shaped flowers from summer to fall. As an added bonus, these deer resistant flowers come in shades of pink, red, yellow, and white.

Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Colors:Pink, red, yellow, white
Light Requirements:Full sun
Soil Requirements:Loose, well-draining soils

48) Tickseed (Coreopsis spp.)

Orange and red Tickseed wildflowers in bloom (Coreopsis spp.)

I believe tickseed flowers are some of North America’s most attractive native wildflowers. These herbaceous perennials are members of the daisy family.

Coreopsis flowers have hairy lanceolate leaves that are divided into narrow lobes. Thankfully, the hairy foliage is unpalatable to grazing deer. What’s more, tickseed plants produce colorful orange, red, or yellow flowers with notched petals and dark red centers during the summer.

Growing Zones:3 to 10
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Colors:Orange, red, yellow
Light Requirements:Full sun
Soil Requirements:Loose, well-draining soils

49) Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)

Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) are very effective deer resistant plants

Wormwood plants are herbaceous perennials from the aster or daisy family. These plants are native to parts of Asia, Europe, and North Africa but are also naturalized in North America.

Artemisia absinthium has woody upright stems covered in whorls of hairy, grayish-green leaves. These fuzzy leaves have a bitter taste that deters grazing deer. During the summer, wormwood plants have dense panicles of tubular yellow flowers.

Growing Zones:4 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer
Colors:Yellow, silvery-green
Light Requirements:Full sun
Soil Requirements:Well-draining soils

50) Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

White blooming Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

I love yarrow plants because of their impressive height and pollinator-friendly flowers. These herbaceous perennials have feathery, bipinnate leaves that are usually hairy. What’s more, yarrow plants also have a pungent, slightly sweet smell that is unappealing to deer.

Achillea millefolium is native throughout the Northern Hemisphere and belongs to the aster family. Yarrow plants have dense, flat-topped clusters of tiny white or pink flowers during the summer.

Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer
Colors:White, pink
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Soil Requirements:Average, well-draining soils

10 Essential Deer Proofing Tips to Consider in Your Garden

As well as choosing deer-resistant flowers and plants, there are other ways to keep grazing deer away from your plants. Here are 10 of my favorite deer proofing tips to consider: 

  1. Add Fencing: Deer can jump high, so it’s recommended to have a fence at least 7-8 feet tall. Consider slanted or angled fences, which can confuse and deter deer.
  2. Apply Deer repellents: There are a variety of commercial deer repellents available. These typically have to be reapplied after rain or every few weeks. Alternatively, you can make homemade repellents using ingredients like garlic and hot pepper, which can also assist. 
  3. Create Odor barriers: I’ve found that strong-smelling soaps, human hair, or even predator urine can act as a deterrent. Hang bars of soap or bags of hair around the garden. Remember to refresh these periodically.
  4. Add Netting to Protect Plants: For individual plants or smaller garden sections, consider using netting or mesh to protect them. 
  5. Install Gravel Paths: Deers dislike walking on loose or shifting surfaces. Creating pathways or barriers with gravel around your garden beds can act as a deterrent because the noise and feel of the gravel underfoot can be off-putting to them. 
  6. Plant barriers: Planting a “sacrificial” row of a deer’s favorite plants away from your central garden can sometimes keep them occupied. Alternatively, planting a border of strong-smelling or thorny plants can act as a deterrent.
  7. Increase Noise and Motion: Motion-activated devices such as sprinklers or lights can be an effective deterrent. Radios left on overnight can also discourage deer.
  8. Put Your Dog to Work: If you have a dog, its presence can deter deer. The scent and noise of a dog can be very off-putting to approaching deer.
  9. Routine change: Varying your deterrent methods can prevent deer from becoming accustomed to one way. Rotate between repellents, noises, or other tactics.
  10. Leverage Your Community: Collaborate with neighbors and local communities to share information on deer activity. This can help be proactive and stay one step ahead of the deer.

A Few Flowers to Avoid

Grazing deer prefer to target young shoots or plants with soft, smooth leaves. Many deer are particularly partial to edible crops like chard, runner beans, and fruit trees.

Other flowers that are vulnerable to deer include camellias, daylilies, roses, and tulips. It’s also a good idea to avoid bulbs like crocuses or shrubs like hebes.

Deer Resistant Flowers and Plants – Wrapping Up

As we can see, there are loads of deer-resistant flowers that make excellent additions to any garden. Deer-resistant flowers often have hairy leaves or aromatic scents that are unpalatable to deer. Some of my favorite deer-resistant flowers include butterfly bushes, coneflowers, and yarrow flowers.


Contributing Editor | Full Bio | + posts

Edd is a budding content writer and gardener living in the United Kingdom. He has a bachelor's degree in Creative and Professional Writing and has written for several gardening publications online. He is passionate about nature and sustainability with a focus on gardening and wildlife.

Author Edward Hodsdon

Edd is a budding content writer and gardener living in the United Kingdom. He has a bachelor's degree in Creative and Professional Writing and has written for several gardening publications online. He is passionate about nature and sustainability with a focus on gardening and wildlife.

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