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Deer are everywhere, to the delight of many and to the frustration of some.  It's easy to think that deer will eat anything and everything floral, but like all animals -- including humans -- they have their preferences and things they would rather avoid.

There are a wide variety of flower and native plant species that are less palatable to deer. And some flowers, like tulips, are almost irresistible to deer. Here is a partial list of flowers and plants that deer like – and ones they don’t like. Check your local garden store for information on what types of plants seem resistant in your area. You can also contact your local Cooperative Extension Service for this information.

Plants that deer avoid:

Annuals/Biennials

  • Annual Periwinkle
  • Cornflower
  • Dusty miller
  • Forget-me-not
  • Heliotrope
  • Lobelia
  • Marigold
  • Morning glory
  • Parsley
  • Snapdragon
  • Sweet basil
  • Sweet pea
  • Thorn apple
  • Wax begonia
  • Zinnia

Groundcovers and Vines Bittersweet

  • Bugleweed
  • Cherokee rose
  • Honeysuckle
  • Myrtle
  • Sweet woodruff
  • Virginia creeper
  • Wild ginger
  • Wisteria

Perennials/Bulbs

  • Amaryllis
  • Anise
  • Baby’s breath
  • Bleeding heart
  • Blue star
  • Bluebeard
  • Common dill
  • Coneflower
  • Daffodil
  • Evening primrose
  • False indigo
  • Ferns
  • Foxglove
  • Glory lily
  • Goldenrod
  • Heather
  • Hyacinth
  • Iris
  • Jack-in-the-pulpit
  • Lavender
  • Lily-of-the-valley
  • Oregano
  • Poppy
  • Primrose
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Soapwort
  • St. John’s wort
  • Star of Bethlehem
  • Sweet William
  • Wild indigo

Shrubs/Trees

  • American bittersweet
  • Bald cypress
  • Banana shrub
  • Boxwood
  • Butterfly bush
  • Colorado blue spruce
  • Common buckthorn
  • Common lilac
  • Common sassafras
  • Douglas fir
  • Eastern white pine
  • Forsythia (border)
  • Gardenia
  • Heather
  • Oleander
  • Panicled dogwood
  • Red maple
  • Staghorn sumac
  • White spruce
  • Winter daphne

Plants that deer love to eat:

Annuals/Biennials

  • Dahlia
  • Geranium
  • Hollyhocks
  • Impatiens
  • Violas

Perennials/Bulbs

  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Buttercup
  • Crocus
  • Daisy
  • Daylily
  • English ivy
  • Lilies
  • Periwinkle
  • Rose
  • Tulip
  • Wallflower

Shrubs/Trees

  • Common winterberry
  • Crabapple
  • Deciduous azalea
  • Evergreen holly
  • Hemlock
  • Japanese maple
  • Juniper
  • Mountain laurel
  • Pear
  • Rhododendron
  • White pine
  • Yew
 

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