Three Deer Resistant Landscaping Tips

Here are Three Deer Resistant Landscaping Tips to make your yard less inviting to Bambi and company.   We get questions almost daily about how to deal with Deer eating Annuals, Perennials & Shrubs.  If sometimes it seems like your yard is just a buffet for Deer, read on!

  1. Use more Deer Resistant plants in groups
  2. Use repellents regularly
  3. Install physical barriers

Plant lists are long and vary depending on your area of residence. There are no guarantees that deer won’t taste many of these plants. We DO know that they love Roses, Euonymus, Daylilies and Hosta.  You must use repellents religiously, if you want to grow these plants in a deer infested area. Try planting things they don’t like very much, and grouping several in a planting.

Deer Resistant Plants

Some Deer Resistant Shrub are Nandina, Osmanthus, Spirea, Boxwood, Sweetbox, Mahonia ,Japanese Holly , Juniper, Barberry & Butterfly Bush.  Most of these are evergreen and provide foliage color and texture. To add more interest to a landscape, layer in deer resistant perennials. As a general rule, deer resistant sun loving perennials have pungent grey green foliage.  Some examples of this are Lavender, Rosemary, Russian Sage, Catmint, Lambs Ear, Bee Balm, Yarrow, Euphorbia, Salvia, Coreopsis & Artemisia.  Shade perennials include Helleborus (Lenten rose), Bleeding Heart, Lungwort, Ferns, Hakone Grass, Lamium, Lily of the Valley, and Sweet Woodruff.


Lists however don’t tell you how to create a beautiful planting.  We offer a few Design Trios to help you use deer resistant plants in a pleasing way.

Recipes for Sun:

  • Osmanthus, Catmint, Yarrow
  • Nandina, Salvia, Coreopsis
  • Boxwood, Lavender, Prostrate Rosemary
  • Barberry , Russian Sage, Blue Pacific Juniper

Recipes for Shade:

  • Mahonia, Lenten Rose, Lamium
  • Oakleaf Hydrangea, Autumn Fern, Hakone Grass

Using repellents regularly helps a great deal if you have a severe problem. We carry Deer Out , a concentrated liquid you can spray on your plants. We have tried many products and find this to be superior. An organic fertilizer called Milorganite has proven to repel deer as well as adding nutrition to the garden.


Building barriers around problem plants also works, especially when deer are rutting in the Spring. Fence posts and some sort of wire fencing may be the only deterrent for vegetable garden or young fruit crops.

Gardeners are always trying to outwit Mother Nature and her creatures. Keep up the good work and try planting our Deer resistant Design Trios which you will find in our deer resistant display at Willow Ridge Garden Center in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Here’s another blog that might help with Deer issues: Tips For Minimizing Deer Damage