10 Plants Sure to Stop Deer in Their Tracks

If your backyard and garden have become a buffet for deer, these 10 Bambi-resistant plants will encourage them to forage elsewhere.

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  1. Poppies

    Orientalpoppy whiteflowerfarms

    Poppies are a dazzling addition to a sunny garden landscape. They come in myriad colors and bloom from early to mid-summer. They're a favorite perennial for cut flowers; plant some seeds and you’ll enjoy them year after year.


  2. Catmint

    Catmint grimmsgardens.com

    Catmint is a super-hardy perennial that’s not only deer resistant but drought resistant as well. It’s a standout in containers, beds, or borders. Cut it back hard after that first flush of brilliant purple flowers, and you’ll be rewarded with another bloom before the end of the season.


  3. American Holly

    American holly ilex opaca rev

    A cheery staple of Christmastime decor, American holly is also beautiful in a landscape. Prolific in Zones 5 through 9, holly can reach up to 50 feet in height or be pruned into an attractive hedge. If you want those beautiful red berries, plant four or more to cross-pollinate.


  4. Garden Sage

    Gardensage farmerbrownsgardens.com

    Sage is an appealing component of an herb garden or ornamental border. Its lush green leaves, punctuated by spikes of purple blooms throughout the growing season, are a tasty treat for you—but not the deer.


  5. Iris

    Iriscrownedheads whiteflowerfarm

    Despite their exotic looks, irises are hardy, easy perennials to grow, with distinctive flowers that put on a real show in the spring. Named after the Greek goddess Iris, who rode rainbows, irises aptly come in a rainbow of colors. Deer-resistant and drought-tolerant, graceful iris is outstanding in any garden.


  6. Lamb's Ear

    Lambsear sustainable gardening.com

    The fuzzy, felted foliage of lamb’s ear makes it a popular perennial groundcover. It’s happy in hot, dry weather, and although it attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, it will not attract deer. Plant it in beds and borders, and you’ll enjoy both its textured leaves and spiky flowers.


  7. Pachysandra

    Pachysandra oldheritagegardencenter.com

    If you have a shady spot in need of groundcover, pachysandra is your best friend. Evergreen and low maintenance, pachysandra produces pretty white flowers in early spring. Plant it, and it will grow rapidly into a lush, green, deer-resistant carpet. 


  8. Daffodils

    Daffodils vanmeuwen.com

    One of the first signs of spring is the sunny daffodil. They are hardy, easy perennials to grow in most of North America. Plant bulbs in the fall to enjoy beautiful yellow- and white-trumpeted flowers in early spring. With any luck, the deer will gravitate instead to the tulips in your neighbor’s yard!


  9. Butterfly Bush

    Butterflybush soonerplantfarm.com

    Butterfly bush is a fragrant, showy, easy-to-grow shrub. Plant in early spring, and it will soon tower 5 to 10 feet tall. In warmer climates, butterfly bush can grow as tall as a tree. The fruity smelling flowers resist deer but attract butterflies and hummingbirds, which will delight your visitors, young and old alike.


  10. Boxwood

    Boxwood gardensonline.com

    With glossy evergreen leaves that deer dislike, boxwood is a popular landscaping choice. You can plant one alone or group several together to form a hedge. Boxwood's small leaves and dense structure also make it excellent for shaping, so you can use it in patterned and topiary designs.


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