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Jul 15, 2011 09:16 PM

Suggestions For Deer Resistant and Easy-To-Grow Flowers

Hello Gargeners!

I need suggestions as to flowers which are both deer-resistant and easy-to-grow. I live in northeastern Pennsylvania, and I would like to plant flowers in a half-barrel type pot in my front yard, which gets moderate sun exposure due to tree coverage. I have 8-12 deer which travel through my property twice a day, at dawn and dusk. I enjoy seeing the deer, so I am not complaining!!!

I have not even attempted to plant anything on my property with the exception of on my deck, because everyone warns me that the deer will eat everything. However, I would like to try planting flowers in just this one large planter. I would like something hearty that is not too difficult to grow. I will consider any and all suggestions!!!!

Thank You In Advance,

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  1. "Deer Resistant" to one deer can be "delicious" to Bambi when he's hungry. Whichever you pick you should probably spray with deer repellant. Strongly scented, rough-foliaged or poisonous plants are your best bet to discourage deer.

    Some of my flowers which deer (or rabbits) have not yet decimated:
    Zinnia, Cosmos, Snapdragon, Calendula, Foxglove, Nicotiana, all easy to grow from seed.
    Catmint, Lavender, Salvia, Thyme, Geum, Hosta, Daylily, Coreopsis, Rudbeckia (Blackeyed Susan) Echinacea, and Yarrow. All except hosta and daylily can be grown from seed fairly easily.

    You can find more exotic ones by searching the web for deer resistant flowers (or plants).

    4 Replies
    1. re: DonShirer

      Thank you for your suggestions, Don!

      I know that if the deer are hungry, any sort of foliage is fair game! I just want to be able to give some color to my yard with some pretty flowers! There is nothing that can take the place of flowers to beautify a property in my humble opinion!

      1. re: DonShirer

        Where I am the deer LOVE daylily (they eat the buds off), hosta, and echinacea and rudbeckia blossoms. I have luck with salvia, yarrow, catmint, and coreopsis. Peonies are very resistant, as are astilbe and heliopsis. Oh, and they don't seem to like bee balm (monarda), which is nice to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

        1. re: visciole

          Hi visciole!

          I just found out the hard way about the deer loving daylilies! :( The deer just knocked over the fortified chicken wire fence yesterday, and they devoured my daylilies and petunias!!! I am ready to replace the flower pot in my front yard with a stone statue or a rock garden!!!

          Thank you for all the suggestions. I will try at least once more with some of the flowers that you suggested....

          -Valentine ;)

          1. re: Valentine529

            You should look on Gardenweb at your local board (they have boards devoted to different types of gardening, as well as to different geographical locations), and ask your neighbors what works best for them. Deer's preferences seem to be quite localized, so what works for me may not work for you... though we do have a ton of deer and the perennials I've listed are disturbed extremely seldomly. Good luck!

      2. Not much in the way of help, I just wanted to relate a story...
        Our friends had deer knock over 6' imitation evergreens from their porch. These "trees" had clusters of plastic red berries which were all eaten by the deer. PLASTIC.
        So I can imagine your dilemma.

        1 Reply
        1. re: porker

          That is too funny, porker!!! I hope that I have better luck than your friends did!!! :)

        2. I was always under the impression that marigolds were a good thing to plant to keep away deer. My mom would plant marigolds as a border around our vegetable garden to keep away deer.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jdcooksalot

            Thanks for your suggestion, jd! I just happen to have a lot of extra marigolds which I have grown for my vegetable garden. I just happen to have enough to place in the pot which the deer target! I am going to replant the marigolds in the next few days, and I will hope for the best!

            -Valentine ;)

            1. I feel your pain. I am in Western NC (originally from the northeast) and new to dealing with deer. Like you, I love the deer, so I don't mind working around them.

              I have found they will eat hosta right down to the nubs! My day lilies have survived, but they like those too. What has worked for me is to stuff dog fuzz/hair into each clump of plants. I got lazy with the hosta, but I kept up with the lilies and I think that's what's kept them out. If you don't have a dog, find a friend who does and when they shed them out or brush them, have them save the fuzz for you. It works. Obviously, you have to replenish the fuzz in the plants from time to time, but it's not a lot -maybe once every couple of weeks or a month.

              They have not bothered my Shasta daisies and they are a super easy perennial.

              I am in charge of planting flowers at our subdivision sign and I have used lantana and vinca for several years and the deer haven't touched them. Both come in a variety of colors and need very little attention. Mine get partial shade and do well. I want to change up what I plant there, but am inclined to go with "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

              good luck!

              2 Replies
              1. re: Scirocco

                THANK YOU, SCIROCCO!!!

                I think that your suggestion is the answer that I have been looking for!!! You cannot imagine how excited I am with the prospect of spreading dog fur around my flowers!!!

                I will keep you posted as to my progress. Right now, I have a family of deer...5 fawn, 4 doe, a button buck, and a buck...foraging on my property on a daily basis. They are BEAUTIFUL!!! My toddler daughter adores them.... However, I would like to have just ONE flower bed that actually has blooms!

                Really, thank you for your AMAZING suggestion!!!!

                1. re: Valentine529

                  so jealous! haven't seen a buck yet. 5 or 6 does at a time and the occasional fawn. LOVE them!

                  with the lilies and hosta, the dog fuzz just tucks right in among the fronds. Maybe 3 or 4 little clumps in each plant should do it. I leave it there until maybe after a few hard rains, then I replenish. and you can tuck it down in a little ways so your plants don't look "furry" - LOL I don't use the fuzz at all on the daisies, lantana and vinca. So, those appear to be truly deer-proof. At least the ones we have!

                  hope it works for you.

                  Oh, and btw, discovered that deer also LOVE tomatoes too. who knew? Before I learned to fence them, I looked out one day after they had gotten to a beautiful fluffy 3' and GONE. I was heartbroken. Between the deer and the stupid stink bugs (which apparently there is very little cure for), I have found that when it comes to tomatoes, the farmers market is my friend. :)