Deer-Resistant Flowers, Annuals, Perennials - Diane's Flower Seeds
Gaillardia aristata 'Bremen'
Deer-Resistant Flower Seeds

Deer-Resistant Flowers
by Diane Linsley

What are the best deer-resistant flowers from seed?

You've probably heard the saying, "A weed is a plant in the wrong place." I think we should say, "A deer is an animal in the wrong place." I love seeing deer in the mountains, but I want to eliminate the herd that hangs out in my garden.

After doing research for this article, I was delighted to find that most of the plants in my garden are deer-resistant. The few that are not deer-resistant - like fruit trees, tulips, daylilies, and some vegetables - just happen to be the plants that I've been fighting to save from the deer for many years.

Most of the annual and perennial flowers are doing fine without protection. If I grew plants that were not deer-resistant, they would have died out long ago. That being said, there are no "deer-proof" plants - only plants that the deer leave alone most of the time. Scroll down for a list of deer-resistant flowers.

Tips for Deterring Deer

1. Surround plants that are susceptible to deer damage with deer-resistant plants, especially strong-smelling ones like lavender, rue and feverfew.

2. Set a radio in the garden overnight. In my experience, deer despise talk radio. Unfortunately, they get used to it after a while.

3. Commercial deer deterrents sometimes work, but they are very expensive. You can make your own by blending up smelly plants that deer dislike, then straining the mixture and putting it in a spray bottle. Spray the liquid on susceptible plants.

I've also tried mixing egg whites with tabasco sauce and crushed garlic. This sticky mixture can be spread on susceptible plants with a paintbrush. It works for a little while -- until the sprinklers wash it off. Experiment first with a small spot on the plant to make sure the mixture doesn't damage the plant. I used this mixture with variable success on daylily seed pods (which are deer candy) before I switched to physical barriers (wrapping the pods with netting fabric attached with a safety pin).

4. Physical barriers work best. In our garden, every young fruit tree is surrounded by its own cage. These giant cages are made by pounding T-posts into the ground, then wrapping chicken wire fencing around the T-posts. Small plants like lettuce and young roses are protected with tomato cages. If the deer are very persistent, cover the tomato cage with netting, which lets in sunlight, but keeps out browsing deer.

Here's a list of our best deer-resistant flower seeds.

Deer-Resistant Annual Flowers

Alyssum 'Carpet of Snow'
Calendula 'Pink Surprise' -- For more calendulas, see Annual Flower Seeds.
Centaurea cyanus
Clarkia amoena
Convolvulus tricolor
Coreopsis basalis
Coreopsis tinctoria
Cosmos 'Sensation Mix' -- For more cosmos, see Annual Flower Seeds.
Cynoglossum amabile
Emilia 'Scarlet Magic'
Mirabilis jalapa
Nasturtium 'Alaska Mix' -- For more nasturtiums, see Annual Flower Seeds.
Nicotiana 'Sensation Mix'
Nigella damascena
Papaver rhoeas -- For more poppies, see Annual Flower Seeds.
Rudbeckia hirta
Salvia coccinea
Salvia farinacea
Snapdragon -- For more snapdragons, see Annual Flower Seeds.
Tithonia 'Torch'
Zinnia 'California Giants' -- For more zinnias, see Annual Flower Seeds.

Deer-Resistant Perennial Flowers

Allium 'Purple Sensation' -- For more alliums, see Perennial Flower Seeds.
Alyssum 'Mountain Gold'
Alyssum saxatile
Agastache foeniculum
Agastache 'Golden Jubilee'
Antirrhinum braun-blanquetii
Aquilegia 'McKana's Giants' -- For more aquilegia, see Perennial Flower Seeds.
Asclepias tuberosa
Aster azureus
Baptisia australis
Campanula persicifolia -- For more campanula, see Perennial Flower Seeds.
Centranthus ruber
Dianthus barbatus -- For more dianthus, see Perennial Flower Seeds.
Digitalis purpurea 'Alba' -- For more digitalis, see Perennial Flower Seeds.
Echinacea purpurea -- For more echinacea, see Perennial Flower Seeds.
Eupatorium maculatum
Euphorbia polychroma
Gaillardia aristata
Geum 'Blazing Sunset' -- For more geum, see Perennial Flower Seeds.
Gypsophila pacifica
Hibiscus lasiocarpus
Iberis gibraltarica
Lavender 'Vera'
Liatris spicata -- For more liatris, see Perennial Flower Seeds.
Lupine 'Russell Hybrids'
Lychnis chalcedonica -- For more lychnis, see Perennial Flower Seeds.
Oenothera missouriensis
Perovskia atriplicifolia
Platycodon 'Hakone Blue' -- For more platycodon, see Perennial Flower Seeds.
Papaver altanticum -- For more poppies, see Perennial Flower Seeds.
Rudbeckia subtomentosa
Ruellia humilis
Ruta graveolens
Salvia azurea -- For more salvia, see Perennial Flower Seeds.
Shasta Daisy 'Silver Princess'
Sidalcea malviflora 'Rosanna'
Solidago nemoralis
Tanacetum niveum 'Jackpot'
Thalictrum (Meadow Rue)
Thymus serpyllum
Verbascum phoeniceum
Verbena bonariensis -- For more verbena, see Perennial Flower Seeds.

Related Articles

Shade-Tolerant Flowers -- Perennials and annuals for difficult shady spots.

Drought-Tolerant Flowers -- Save water and still have a beautiful garden.

First-Year Flowering Perennials -- Get more bang for your buck.

Recommended Books

Designing with Plants by Piet Oudolf and Noel Kingsbury

Perennial All-Stars: The 150 Best Perennials for Great-Looking, Trouble-Free Gardens by Jeff Cox

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