Skip to Content

The 13 Best Deer Resistant Plants and Flowers

For many suburban homeowners, deer have become a huge problem in their gardens. Today I am sharing the 13 best deer resistant plants and flowers you can put in your garden to keep a beautiful landscape all year long.

Deer have been a big issue for many folks. They are losing their habitats, facing extreme weather conditions, and have had to forage elsewhere for their food. This has brought them into our neighborhoods and eating our plants and flowers.

I live in an area with lots of trees and deer are abundant here. I have learned that I need to adapt in order to coexist with the wildlife.

Thus I have been doing a lot of research on plants and flowers that the deer won’t eat. Today I am sharing all of that with you.

A grid of three flowers, a bearded iris, bleeding hearts and daffodil.

Popular Deer Resistant Plants and Flowers

When you are considering these plants make sure you keep in mind the sun and soil requirements for each plant. It’s also good to know what planting zone you are in.

This list is not exhaustive of all the deer resistant plants but it has most of the popular plants that are readily available in your local nurseries. There is no sense in discussing a flower that is unattainable.

*This post contains affiliate links. For more details see my full disclosure.

Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze Stats

To understand a color you need to know what makes it that color. Here are the vitals on Urbane Bronze:

  • Hex Value: #54504A
  • Red: 84 
  • Green: 80 
  • Blue: 74
  • Color Collections: Color ID (Minimalist), Colormix Forecast 2021 (Sanctuary), Colormix Forecast 2022 (Method), Rejuvenation (Fall/Winter), Colormix Forecast 2023 (Biome), Gallery Series, Top Interior Colors, Top Exterior Colors
  • Color Family(s): Neutral

Here is what Sherwin Williams has to say about Urbane Bronze:

Rooted in nature, this brownish gray evokes a down-to-earth tranquility and a subtle sophistication that is hard to beat.

Sherwin Williams

Butterfly Bush

A dark purple butterfly bush in a garden next to a paver path.

The Butterfly Bush is a gorgeous shrub that has gorgeous floral clusters that bloom almost all summer long. It comes in a variety of colors and sizes. Some can be very compact while others can grow to be over 10 feet tall and wide!

This bush deters deer but is a big attractor to pollinators.

  • Hardiness Zones: 5 to 9
  • Sun Requirements: Full Sun
  • Soil Needs: Moist and well-drained
  • Colors: purple, pink, blue, white, and yellow

Zinnia

Yellow, pink and red zinnias in a field.

In most areas, Zinnia is an annual, while in very warm climates they can be a perennial. They have blooms nearly the whole summer and deadheading spent flowers will encourage more blooms.

These plants can get to nearly 4 feet tall! They require very little care which is great for the gardener who doesn’t have a lot of time to spend outside.

  • Hardiness Zones: 3 to 11
  • Sun Requirements: Full Sun
  • Soil Needs: Moist and well-drained
  • Colors: Pink, purple, yellow, orange, white, red, green

Lilac

A closeup of a Lilac cluster of flowers that are light purple.

A Lilac bush is a wonderful plant to add to your landscaping. It has gorgeous flower clusters and blooms in early to mid-summer. While deer stay away from it pollinators are attracted to the flowers.

This is a very low-maintenance plant and is very manageable in size.

  • Hardiness Zones: 3 to 7
  • Sun Requirements: Full Sun
  • Soil Needs: Moist and well-drained, also does well in sand and clay
  • Colors: The Flowers are a mixture of blue and red so most blooms are in the pink and purple family.

Peonies

A closeup of light pink peony with beautiful green foliage.

One of the most popular flowering plant because of the ability to cut the stems and bring the flowers indoors in bouquets is the peony. The blooms are fluffy and full. They are also very heavy so often need staked to keep the shape of the plant.

Peonies have a strong scent that deer do not like but keep in mind that peonies are toxic to animals and humans. If you have pets or small children this might not be a good plant for your home.

  • Hardiness Zones: 3 to 9
  • Sun Requirements: Full Sun
  • Soil Needs: Moist and well-drained
  • Colors: Pinks, Reds, Coral, Purple, and White

Rose of Sharon

A large rose of sharon bush with pink flowers next to an evergreen in front of a brick house.

Rose of Sharon is a fast growing plant and is part of the hibiscus family. It flowers in the spring and the fall.

This plant is very drought tolerant and does well in urban areas where heat and humidity are high and soil conditions are less desirable.

  • Hardiness Zones: 5 to 8
  • Sun Requirements: Part to Full Sun
  • Soil Needs: Moist and well-drained
  • Colors: Pink, purple, red, peach, white

Shasta Daisy

A closeup of a shasta daisy with white petals and a deep yellow center.

Shasta Daisy is hardy and does not require a lot of care once they are established. While deer pass by these plants they are frequented by pollinators.

These plants grow in rich fertile soil as well as poor soil. They are drought-tolerant as well as disease resistant. It’s easy to see why this plant makes its way into most gardens.

  • Hardiness Zones: 5 to 9
  • Sun Requirements: Full Sun to part shade
  • Soil Needs: Moist and well-drained
  • Colors: White with light yellow

Lavender

A closeup of lavendar with dark purple flowers and light green foliage.

People love the scent of lavender and often use it as a calming influence. Where people love this smell deer do not, it’s what drives them away.

Lavender struggles in cooler climates but thrives in warm ones. It can even be grown into hedges but unfortunately is not a long living perennial.

  • Hardiness Zones: 5 to 9
  • Sun Requirements: Full Sun
  • Soil Needs: Moist and well-drained
  • Colors: Purple and violet-blue

Coneflower

A closeup of a coneflower with light purple petals and an orange center.

Coneflower is a deer-resistant plant but it attracts butterflies, bees, and wild birds. They are heat and drought-tolerant and have a very long flowering season.

  • Hardiness Zones: 3 to 9
  • Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Part Sun
  • Soil Needs: Moist and well-drained soil that is well fertilized
  • Colors: Purple, Pink, Red, Yellow, White, and Orange

Bleeding Heart

A closeup of a bleeding heart plant with pink flowers and a white center.

This plant has gorgeous heart-shaped flowers and is very popular in woodland areas. It thrives in full to part shade and neither deer nor rabbits like this plant!

This plant does very well in cool areas but will go dormant if it is exposed to too much heat or sun.

  • Hardiness Zones: 3 to 9
  • Sun Requirements: Shade to Part Shade
  • Soil Needs: Moist and Ricgh
  • Colors: Red, White, and Pink

Daffodil

A field of yellow daffodils with dark green foliage.

The Daffodil is a spring flowering bulb that is very deer resistant. I have them all over my yard and the deer have never touched them!

Deer do not care for them neither do rabbits. Daffodils grow in full sun to part shade and spread with every year that goes by.

  • Hardiness Zones: 3 to 8
  • Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Part Shade
  • Soil Needs: Moist and well-drained
  • Colors: Yellow, White, Orange, and sometimes Apricot

Marigold

A closeup of marigolds that are dark orange with yellow centers.
Source: Brittanica

Marigolds are an easy to grow annual that blooms all summer. They also are disease resistant and pest resistant which makes them a great choice for gardens.

They are tough and colorful and love the heat so if you live in a warm area this annual would be a great choice. The fragrance of the Marigold is what keeps the deer away.

  • Hardiness Zones: 2 to 11
  • Sun Requirements: Full Sun
  • Soil Needs: Moist and well-drained
  • Colors: Yellow, gold, red, orange, and bi-color

Bearded Iris

A closeup of a bi-color bearded iros with both light purple and dark purple petals.

The Bearded Iris is one of the most loved flowering bulbs in the world. It comes in a wide variety of colors. It blooms in the late spring, some reblooming varieties also bloom in the fall.

These flowers need at least 6 hours of sun a day but do better if they get full sun.

  • Hardiness Zones: 3 to 9
  • Sun Requirements: Full Sun
  • Soil Needs: Moist and well-drained
  • Colors: From reds to Blues and bi-colors as well. Over 33 different varieties!

Sunflower

A closeup of a sunflower with yellow petals and a dark brown center.
Source: Johnnyseeds

The Sunflower is an annual with a large daisy-like face that blooms in late summer through fall. These flowers can grow up to several feet tall with blooms as large as 6-8 inches wide!

There are tons of varieties of sunflowers in all shapes and sizes. Birds adore this flower for it’s seeds.

  • Hardiness Zones: 2 to 11
  • Sun Requirements: Full Sun
  • Soil Needs: Moist and well-drained
  • Colors: Yellow, Gold, Orange, Cream, and Bi-color

Deer Resistant Plants and Flowers Recap

As you can see there are several different options from perennial plants, annuals as well as bulbs that you can choose from to plant in your garden that the deer will not eat. I would love to know in the comments which one you will use at your home!

Other Outdoor Posts You Might Like:

A grid of six deer resistant plants and flowers with text overlay.

Deer Resistant Plants and Flowers

As a licensed Real Estate Agent and an avid home decorator, I strive to give my clients the very best I can when it comes to staging, selling, and decorating their homes. I have lots of experience with paint color choices and love to DIY my home so I can have everything just the way I want it. I share my ideas and projects with the world in the hopes that I can help others have their homes just the way they want as well.

Sharing is caring!

I accept the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.