11 Deer Resistant Proven Winners® Perennials

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Learning Not to Fear the Deer

Deer are one of the most visible of garden pests (in part because they are also one of the largest). When a browsing deer has been through the damage is almost always immediately evident. Short of fencing, not much works to keep them out. Therefore, landscapes that have learned to resist deer browsing tend to remain beautiful just a little bit longer. Adding plants that will either survive browsing or be avoided altogether is a great place to start. Here are a few we have found that meet this criteria:

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'Serendipity' Allium

Height: 15-20" | Width: 10-15" | Light: Full - Part Sun | Zones: 4-8

Commonly called "Ornamental Onion," Allium have an onion like taste which makes them undesirable to browsing deer.

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'Storm Cloud' Amsonia tabernaemontana

Height: 24-36" | Width: 38-42" | Light: Full - Part Sun | Zones: 4-9

Milky white sap in the stems and coarse leaves see A. tabernaemontana cultivars usually ignored.

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'Chantilly Lace' Aruncus

Height: 24-32" | Width: 40-48" | Light: Full Sun - Full Shade | Zones: 3-7

Also called "Goatsbeard", Aruncus have finely textured foliage and wispy sprays of flowers similar to Astilbe.

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'Jack of Diamonds' Brunnera macrophylla

Height: 14-16" | Width: 28-32" | Light: Part - Full Shade | Zones: 3-8

One of the few deer resistant shade plants, Brunnera have a unique leaf texture that is often left alone by browsing animals.

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Paint the Town Dianthus

Height: 6-8" | Width: 12-14" | Light: Full - Part Sun | Zones: 4-9

Thin, needle-like foliage is semi-evergreen. An excellent plant for late spring color.

Variety Pictured: Dianthus 'Paint the Town Magenta'

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SUMMERIFIC® 'Holy Grail' Hibiscus

Height: 4-4½' | Width: 4-5' | Light: Full - Part Sun | Zones: 4-9

Growing at about 1" a day, Hibiscus simply grow too fast to be slowed down by any but the most voracious of browsing animals.

Variety Pictured: Hibiscus SUMMERIFIC® 'Holy Grail'

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PYROMANIA™ Kniphofia

Height: 2½-3½' | Width: 2-2½' | Light: Full Sun | Zones: 5b-9

Grass like foliage adds a varied texture to most broadleaf perennials, perfect for adding contrast in the landscape.

Variety Pictured: Kniphofia PYROMANIA™ 'Backdraft'

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Sweet Romance® Lavender

Height: 12-18" | Width: 12-18" | Light: Full Sun | Zones: 5-9

Fragrant, needle-like foliage is rarely bothered by deer. Sweet Romance® is one of the best Lavenders for rebloom.

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'Cat's Pajamas' Nepeta

Height: 12-14" | Width: 18-20" | Light: Full Sun | Zones: 3-8

A member of the mint family, Nepeta are another of the plants that are low on deer's list of desires. Even if they are bothered, new growth will soon emerge from the crown to fill any damaged spaces.

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'Denim 'n Lace' Perovskia atriplicifolia

Height: 28-32" | Width: 34-38" | Light: Full Sun | Zones: 4-9

Woody stems and fragrant, finely-textured foliage are rarely bothered by deer or other browsing animals.

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COLOR SPIRES® & Profusion Salvia

Height: 16-22" | Width: 16-24" | Light: Full Sun | Zones: 3-8

Unlike annual Salvia, the much more coarsely textured perennial species are not bothered by deer. New growth will replace any damage done by browsing animals.

Variety Pictured: Salvia nemorosa 'Pink Profusion'

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Varieties Mentioned in this Article