A Few Deer Resistant Perennial Flowers to Consider

Coreopsis loves hot sunny areas and lights up a garden - photo Jan Johnsen

In my part of the world, deer are rampant. Walking down the streets of my village, chomping on our plants like a free buffet. The situation is so bad that it makes a plant lover sigh with resignation. But - with a little knowledge and some design ideas - you can have a lovely garden that deer avoid, or at least, not chew on. These suggestions are from my new 2021 book - Floratopia: 110 Flower Garden Ideas for Yard, Patio or Balcony .

In this post I am going to look at a few perennial plants (those flowering plants that come back every year) that deer rarely damage. You can create a deer resistant garden with blooms from spring to fall. 

Coreopsis -shown above-  is a sun lover and is easy to grow because it is drought-tolerant and needs no fertilizing. Deadheading spent blooms can encourage more flowers throughout the summer. Tough perennial!

Catmint 'Walker's Low'  -  photo Jan Johnsen

 Here is a great perennial - Catmint 'Walker's Low' is a lavender blooming flower that you see here. It blooms reliably in mid spring. Deer never touch it. 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. The golden foliage is Spirea 'Goldmound' You can prune it low in the early spring to keep it compact. It blooms in mid summer.

'East Friesland' perennial Salvia (Meadow Sage) -  Jan Johnsen

Another striking deer resistant perennial is 'East Friesland' perennial Salvia. It is deep purple and blooms at same time as catmint. Prune off the flowers as they pass and it will encourage more blooms. Can be divided every 3 - 5 years in early spring. After blooming, cut down to basal growth, as new growth will be more appealing. May flop if given too rich soil or in shade.  


Allium 'Summer Beauty'

For a summer flower that comes back and deer don't touch - try Allium 'Summer Beauty' or 'Millenium'. The round globe heads are a real eye catcher! Can plant bulbs or small plants in spring.

'Lemon Meringue' Baptisia - Jan Johnsen

A deer resistant, native cultivar is a Baptisia hybrid:  Decadence® 'Lemon Meringue' False Indigo.  Long, charcoal grey stems with lemon yellow flowers. The upright mound of blue-green foliage shows off the flowers on 36" high stems. Zones 4-9. Moderately drought tolerant once established. Very long-lived perennial.

Here is a great list - 

HERBACEOUS Perennial Plants RARELY Damaged by Deer

AstilbeAvensBaby's breath
Balloon flowerBarrenwortBasket of gold
BeebalmBergeniaBleeding heart
Butterfly bushCandytuftChristmas fern
Cinnamon fernCinquefoilClematis
ColumbineCoreopsisCrown imperial
DaffodilDead nettleEvening primrose
False indigoFeverfewForget-me-not
Garlic chivesGas plantGlobe thistle
GoldenrodHay-scented fernHeath
HeatherHelleboreHungarian speedwell
Interrupted fernJack-in-the-pulpitJapanese pachysandra
Joe pyeweedKirengeshomaLabrador violet
Lamb's earLavenderLily-of-the-valley
MulleinNew York fernOregano
Ornamental onionOstrich fernOriental poppy
PartridgeberryPennyroyalPerennial blue flax
PlumbagoPrimrosePurple coneflower
Queen-of-the-prarieRibbon grassRoyal fern
SageScillaShasta daisy
Spike gayfeatherStaticeSundrops
Sweet CicelySweet WilliamSweet woodruff
Tiger lilyTurtleheadTussock bellflower


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