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Deer-Resistant Plants

Listing of flower garden plants (and some choice woody plants) that are categorized by type of garden and resistance to deer.
White-tailed deer fawn

White-tailed deer fawn

Information was derived from numerous extension and other research reports throughout the United States and adapted for this area by surveying Pocono Master Gardeners.

Deer-resistance is a relative term and will vary with the number of deer in an area, other food available, and time of year. Additional controls are recommended for areas with high deer populations.

Butterfly And Hummingbird Garden

Very Resistant

  • Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides)
  • Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata)
  • Goldenrod (Solidago sp.)
  • Lavender (Lavandula sp.)
  • Mint (Mentha sp.)
  • Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)
  • Ornamental Onion (Allium schoenoprasum)
  • Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium)
  • Purple Coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia)
  • Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus)

Moderately Resistant

  • Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)
  • Blanket Flower (Gaillardia pulchella)
  • Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
  • Butterfly-bush (Buddleia davidii)
  • Coneflower (Rudbeckia sp.)
  • Forget-me-not (Myosotis sylvatica)
  • Marigold (Tagetes sp.)
  • Oregano (Origanum sp.)
  • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
  • Spike Gayfeather (Liatris spicata)
  • Threadleaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata)
  • Yarrow (Achillea sp.)

Choice Deciduous Shrubs

Very Resistant

  • Bluebeard (Caryopteris x clandonensis)
  • Drooping Leucothoe (Leucothoe fontanesiana)
  • European Privet (Ligustrum vulgare)
    These may become invasive in certain areas, use with caution.
  • Pawpaw (Asimina triloba)
  • Sweet Fern (Comptonia peregrine)

Moderately Resistant

  • Beautybush (Kolkwitzia amabilis)
  • Forsythia (Forsythia sp.)
  • Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)
  • Potentilla (Potentilla fruticosa)
  • Wisteria (Wisteria floribunda)

Choice Deciduous Trees

Very Resistant

  • American Hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana)
  • Beech (Fagus sp.)
  • Birch (Betula sp.)
  • Bottlebrush Buckeye (Aesculus parviflora)
  • Catalpa (Catalpa sp.)
  • Chinese Paper Birch (Betula albo-sinensis)
  • Gray Birch (Betula populifera)
  • Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)
  • Hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata)
  • Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum)
  • Japanese Plum Yew (Cephalotaxus harringtonia)
  • Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
  • Mockernut Hickory (Carya tomentosa)
  • Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera)
  • Pignut Hickory (Carya glabra)
  • Pin Oak (Quercus palustris)
  • Poplar (Populus sp.)
    Choose carefully, as many are invasive or of poor quality.
  • Shadbush (Amelanchier canadensis)

Moderately Resistant

  • European White Birch (Betula pendula)
  • Japanese Flowering Cherry (Prunus serrulata)
  • Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa)
  • Larch (Larix decidua)
  • Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia soulangeana)

Choice Evergreen Shrubs

Very Resistant

  • Andromeda (Pieris japonica)
  • Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
  • Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens)
  • Daphne (Daphne sp.)
  • Littleleaf Boxwood (Buxus microphylla)
  • Sweet Christmas Box (Sarcococca hookerana)

Moderately Resistant

  • Inkberry (Ilex glabra)
  • Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)
    Select species over hybrids, hybrids tend to be less deer-resistant.
  • Oregon Grape Holly (Mahonia aquifolium)

Choice Evergreen Trees

Very Resistant

  • American Holly (Ilex opaca)
  • Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea pungens glauca)
  • Japanese False Cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera)
  • Juniper (Juniperus chinensis)
  • Norway Spruce (Picea abies)
  • Pines (Pinus sp.)
  • Pitch Pine (Pinus rigida)
  • Red Pine (Pinus resinosa)
  • Spruce (Picea sp.)
  • Swiss Stone Pine (Pinus cemba)
  • White Spruce (Picea glauca)

Moderately Resistant

  • Austrian Pine (Pinus nigra)
  • Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris)

Cut Flower Garden

Very Resistant

  • Ageratum (Ageratum houstonianum)
  • Blue Salvia (Salvia farinacea)
  • California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)
  • Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus)
  • Daffodil (Narcissus sp.)
  • Dahlia (Dahlia sp.)
  • Foxglove (Digitalis sp.)
  • Heather (Calluna sp.)
  • Icelandic Poppy (Papaver nudicaule)
  • Iris (Iris sp.)
  • Larkspur (Consolida ambigua)
  • Lavender (Lavandula sp.)
  • Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)
  • Purple Coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia)
  • Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus)
  • Statice (Limonium latifolium)
  • Veronica (Veronica sp.)

Moderately Resistant

  • Baby's Breath (Gypsophila paniculata)
  • Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)
  • Blanket Flower (Gaillardia pulchella)
  • Butterfly-bush (Buddleia davidii)
  • Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum sp.)
  • Coneflower (Rudbeckia sp.)
  • Marigold (Tagetes sp.)
  • Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale)
  • Peony (Paeonia sp.)
  • Spike Gayfeather (Liatris spicata)
  • Threadleaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata)
  • Tiger Lily (Lilium tigrinum)
  • Yarrow (Achillea sp.)

Dry Borders

Very Resistant

  • Blue Flax (Linum perenne)
  • Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides)
  • Globe Thistle (Echinops sp.)
  • Hen and Chickens (Sempervivum sp. (spiny ones)
  • Lamb's Ears (Stachys byzantina)
  • Lavender (Lavandula sp.)
  • Lavender Cotton (Santolina chamaecyparissus)
  • Purple Coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia)
  • Red Valerian (Centranthus ruber)
  • Rose Campion (Lychnis coronaria)
  • Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
  • Spurge (Euphorbia sp.)
  • St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum)
  • Statice (Limonium latifolium)
  • Verbena (Verbena x hybrida)
  • Wormwood (Artemisia sp.)

Moderately Resistant

  • Blanket Flower (Gaillardia pulchella)
  • Boltonia (Boltonia asteroides)
  • Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
  • Butterfly-bush (Buddleia davidii)
  • Coneflower (Rudbeckia sp.)
  • Daylily cultivar (Hemerocallis 'Stella d'Oro')
  • Evening Primrose (Oenothera sp.)
  • Spike Gayfeather (Liatris spicata)
  • Threadleaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata)
  • Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris)
  • Yucca (Yucca sp.)

Herb Garden

Very Resistant

  • Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
  • Catmint (Nepeta catarina)
  • Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)
  • Dill (Anethum graveolens)
  • Feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium)
  • Garlic Chives (Allium tuberosum)
  • Ginger (Asarum sp.)
  • Lavender (Lavandula sp.)
  • Oregano (Origanum sp.)
  • Parsley (Petroselinium crispum)
  • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
  • Savory (Satureja sp.)
  • Spearmint (Mentha spicata)
  • Thyme (Thymus sp.)
  • Wormwood (Artemisia sp.)

Light Shade Garden

  • Amsonia (Amsonia tabernaemontana)
  • Balloon Flower (Platycodon grandiflorus)
  • Boltonia (Boltonia asteroides)
  • Bugleweed (Ajuga sp.)
  • Carpet Bugle (Ajuga reptans)
  • Daffodil (Narcissus sp.)
  • Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides)
  • Foxglove (Digitalis sp.)
  • Garlic Chives (Allium tuberosum)
  • Heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens)
  • Iris (Iris sp.)
  • Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris)
  • Lilyturf (Liriope sp.)
  • Polka-dot Plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya)
  • Spiderwort (Tradescantia sp.)
  • St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum)
  • Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
  • Veronica (Veronica sp.)

Patio And Deck Plants

Very Resistant

  • Aloe (Aloe sp.)
  • Amaryllis (Amaryllis sp.)
  • Cast-iron Plant (Aspidistra lurida)
  • Century Plant (Agave americana)
  • Cyclamen (Cyclamen sp.)
  • Jerusalem Cherry (Solanum pseudocapsicum)
  • Lantana (Lantana camara)

Moderately Resistant

  • Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus sp.)

Rocky Area Garden

Very Resistant

  • Basket-of-Gold (Aurinia saxatilis)
  • Bugleweed (Ajuga sp.)
  • Carpet Bugle (Ajuga reptans)
  • Cinquefoil (Potentilla sp.)
  • Evening Primrose (Oenothera sp.)
  • Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides)
  • Lavender Cotton (Santolina chamaecyparissus)
  • Rock Cress (Aubrieta deltoidea)
  • Spurge (Euphorbia sp.)
  • Sundrops (Oenothera tetragona)

Moderately Resistant

  • Plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides)
  • Threadleaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata)

Shady Entry Garden

Very Resistant

  • Barrenwort (Epimedium sp.)
  • Christmas Fern (Polystichum acrostichoides)
  • Dead Nettle (Lamium maculatum)
  • Edging Lobelia (Lobelia erinus)
  • Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia)
  • Forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpioides)
  • Foxglove (Digitalis sp.)
  • Hay-scented Fern (Dennstaedtia punctilobula)
    These may become invasive in certain areas, use with caution.
  • Hellebore (Helleborus sp.)
  • Japanese Spurge (Pachysandra sp.)
  • Lily-of-the-Valley (Convallaria majalis)
  • Monkshood (Aconitum sp.)
  • Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium)
  • Rue Anemone (Anemonella thalictroides)
  • Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum)
  • Tuberous Begonia (Begonia tuberhybrida)
  • Vinca (Vinca minor)

Moderately Resistant

  • Allegheny Spurge (Pachysandra procumbens)
  • Astilbe (Astilbe sp.)
  • Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis)
  • Fringed Bleeding-heart (Dicentra eximia)
  • Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium caeruleum)
  • Turtlehead (Chelone sp.)
  • Wax Begonia (Begonia x semperflorens cultorum)

Sunny Entry Garden

Very Resistant

  • Ageratum (Ageratum houstonianium)
  • Basket-of-Gold (Aurinia saxatilis)
  • Blue Fescue (Festuca ovina var. glauca)
  • Blue Salvia (Salvia farinacea)
  • Canna (Canna hybrids)
  • Common Thrift (Armeria maritima)
  • Cosmos (Cosmos hybrids)
  • Dahlia (Dahlia sp.)
  • Dame's Rocket (Hesperis matronalis)
  • Dusty Miller (Senecio cineraria)
  • Evening Primrose (Oenothera sp.)
  • Feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium)
  • Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana alata)
  • Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides)
  • Four-O'Clocks (Mirabilis jalapa)
  • Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata)
  • Gerbera (Gerbera jamesonii)
  • Heath (Erica sp.)
  • Heather (Calluna sp.)
  • Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis)
  • Lamb's Ears (Stachys byzantina)
  • Lavender (Lavandula sp.)
  • Maiden Grass (Miscanthus sinensis)
  • Montbretia (Crocosmia hybrids)
  • Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)
  • Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana)
  • Oregon Fleabane (Erigeron speciosus)
  • Rose Campion (Lychnis coronaria)
  • Scented Geraniums (Pelargonium sp.)
  • Sundrops (Oenothera tetragona)
  • Veronica (Veronica sp.)
  • Wormwood (Artemisia sp.)

Moderately Resistant

  • Balloon Flower (Platycodon grandiflorus)
  • Gas Plant (Dictamnus albus)
  • Geranium (Geranium sp.)
  • Marigold (Tagetes sp.)
  • Ornamental Onion (Allium sp.)
  • Spike Gayfeather (Liatris spicata)
  • Tiger Lily (Lilium lancifolium)

Sunny Fall Garden

Very Resistant

  • Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster')
  • Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides)
  • Heather (Calluna sp.)
  • Maiden Grass (Miscanthus sinensis)
  • Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana)
  • Purple Coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia)
  • Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
  • Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus)

Moderately Resistant

  • Boltonia (Boltonia asteroides)
  • Coneflower (Rudbeckia sp.)
  • Spike Gayfeather (Liatris spicata)

Tall Perennials, Annuals, And Bulbs

To mix with shrubs for a screen.

Very Resistant

  • Bear's Breeches (Acanthus mollis)
  • Crown Imperial (Fritillaria imperialis)
  • Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster')
  • Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides)
  • Goldenrod (Solidago sp.)
  • Joe-Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum)
  • Maiden Grass (Miscanthus sinensis)
  • Maximillian Sunflower (Helianthus Maximilliani)
  • Morning Glory (Ipomoea purpurea)
  • Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana)
  • Red Valerian (Centranthus ruber)
  • Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
  • Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus)

Moderately Resistant

  • Butterfly-bush (Buddleia davidii)
  • Cleome (Cleome hasslerana)
  • Goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus)
  • Queen-of-the-Prairie (Filipendula sp.)
  • Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum)

Tall Shady Screens

Very Resistant

  • Foxglove (Digitalis sp.)
  • Monkshood (Aconitum sp.)

Moderately Resistant

  • Angelica (Angelica archangelica)
  • Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)
  • Butterfly-bush (Buddleia davidii)
  • False Indigo (Baptisia sp.)

Wet Area Garden

Very Resistant

  • Glory Lily (Gloriosa superba)
  • Lilyturf (Liriope sp.)
  • Lungwort (Pulmonaria sp.)
  • Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana)
  • Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium)
  • Ribbon Grass (Phalaris arundinacea 'Picta')
  • Sedge (Carex alata)
  • Spiderwort (Tradescantia sp.)
  • Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum)

Moderately Resistant

  • Astilbe (Astilbe sp.)
  • Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)
  • Bergenia (Bergenia sp.)
  • Dwarf Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon japonicus)
  • Forget-me-not (Myosotis sylvatica)
  • Goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus)
  • Iris (Iris sp.)
  • Lobelia (Lobelia sp.)
  • Primrose (most) (Primula sp.)
  • Turtlehead (Chelone sp.)

Woodland Garden

Very Resistant

  • Bugbane (Cimicifuga racemosa)
  • Dame's Rocket (Hesperis matronalis)
  • Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia)
  • Ginger (Asarum sp.)
  • Hay-scented Fern (Dennstaedtia punctilobula)
    These may become invasive in certain areas, use with caution.
  • Hellebore (Helleborus sp.)
  • Holly Fern (Cyrtomium falcatum)
  • Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)
  • Lobelia, except L. cardinalis (Lobelia sp.)
  • Lungwort (Pulmonaria sp.)
  • Ostrich Fern (Struthiopteris)
  • Spiderwort (Tradescantia sp.)
  • Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum)
  • Wood Fern (Dryopteris marginalis)

Moderately Resistant

  • Bergenia (Bergenia sp.)
  • Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis)
  • Cinnamon Fern (Osmunda cinnamomea)
  • Forget-me-not (Myosotis sylvatica)
  • Fringed Bleeding Heart (Dicentra eximia)
  • Interrupted Fern (Osmunda claytoniana)
  • Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium caeruleum)
  • Royal Fern (Osmunda regalis)

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Deer-Resistant Plants

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