Landscaping Solutions for Deer Infested Areas: A List of Reliable Plant Options

Deer can be a beautiful addition to any landscape, but they can also wreak havoc on gardens and flower beds. If you live in an area with a high deer population, it’s important to choose plants that are resistant to their browsing habits. In this article, we will provide you with a list of reliable plant options that will help keep your garden thriving while deterring deer from causing damage.

Understanding Deer Browsing Habits

Before we dive into the list of deer resistant plants, it’s essential to understand why certain plants are more attractive to deer than others. Deer are herbivores and rely on plants as their primary source of food. They have specific preferences when it comes to browsing, which can vary depending on the region and available food sources.

Deer tend to avoid plants with strong scents or tastes, as well as those with prickly or fuzzy textures. They also shy away from plants that have toxic properties or contain compounds that are unpalatable to them. By selecting plants that fall into these categories, you can create a landscape that is less appealing to deer.

Trees and Shrubs

When it comes to choosing trees and shrubs for deer infested areas, there are several options that they tend to avoid. One such plant is the American holly (Ilex opaca), which features spiky leaves and bright red berries. Other excellent choices include the Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) and the American sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua). These trees offer both beauty and resistance against deer browsing.

For shrubs, consider planting boxwoods (Buxus spp.), which have dense foliage and emit a strong scent that deters deer. The fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica) is another great option due to its thorny branches and resistance to deer browsing. Additionally, the common witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) is known for its beautiful flowers and ability to withstand deer.

Perennials and Annuals

When it comes to perennials, there are numerous options that can add color and vibrancy to your garden while repelling deer. The purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is not only resistant to browsing but also attracts pollinators with its vibrant blooms. Another popular choice is the Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia), which features aromatic leaves that deer find unappetizing.

For annuals, marigolds (Tagetes spp.) are a go-to option for deterring deer. Their strong scent and bitter taste make them highly unattractive to these animals. Another effective choice is the snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus), which features tall flower spikes that are generally avoided by deer.

Groundcovers and Vines

Groundcovers can be an excellent way to protect vulnerable areas of your landscape from deer browsing. The creeping phlox (Phlox subulata) is a popular choice due to its dense foliage and colorful flowers, which create a carpet-like effect in your garden. Other options include the bugleweed (Ajuga reptans) and the lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantina), both of which have fuzzy leaves that deter deer.

Vines can also play a role in creating a deer-resistant landscape. The trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) produces beautiful orange-red flowers that attract hummingbirds but repel deer due to their bitter taste. Additionally, the clematis vine (Clematis spp.) offers an array of stunning blooms while being relatively unappealing to deer.


Creating a landscape that is resistant to deer browsing doesn’t mean sacrificing beauty and variety. By incorporating the plants mentioned in this article, you can enjoy a flourishing garden that is less likely to attract these animals. Remember to consider your specific region and consult with local experts to ensure you select the most suitable plants for your area. With careful planning and strategic planting, you can successfully deter deer while maintaining a visually appealing outdoor space.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.