How Do I Choose the Best Deer-Resistant Plants?

Misty Amber Brighton

If you are plagued by deer in your garden, adding deer-resistant plants can be a good idea. Your local extension or agriculture office should have a list of plants in your area with deer resistance. The list will tell you which plants are good for different locations based on sun and shade, and you should choose deer-resistant plants based on light availability in your garden.

Even plants considered deer resistant might be eaten by hungry game animals.
Even plants considered deer resistant might be eaten by hungry game animals.

Finding out what types of plants native to your region are deer-resistant is the first step. You can obtain this information in a number of ways. A good source of information can be a local government agency that deals with farming and agriculture. You can also perform a search for this data on the Internet. Other gardeners in your area are another good resource, and you can ask them if they have been successful in deterring deer by planting certain specimens.

You will likely have the best results if you plant deer-resistant plants around the border of your property. If you own a great deal of land, you may want to place them at the perimeter of a garden instead. You should decide on the exact spot where you would like to add plants with deer resistance, and then note the particulars of that location before purchasing plants. That way, you can choose a plant from the list that is likely to thrive when planted.

Different types of trees, shrubs, and flowers all repel deer. You may want to consider a ground cover if the perimeter of your garden is hilly or rocky. It can also be a good idea to plant herbs that are deer-resistant in a vegetable garden.

If you are planting herbs or flowers, find out if they are annuals or perennials. Annuals last for only one season, while perennials come up year after year. If you would like your deer-resistant plants to remain in place for some time, perennials are the better choice. You could mix in some annual varieties if you would like to add visual interest.

Even though certain plants are thought to be deer-resistant, these animals may sometimes eat them anyway. This usually occurs whenever other food sources become scarce, such as when there has been a drought or wildfire. You should check on your plants from time to time to make sure deer have not eaten them, and if so, you may need to place deer fencing around your garden.

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