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Deer's least favorite flowers

Posted by joycehm 5 (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 23, 09 at 16:39

I am moving shortly to an island off the coast of British Columbia, not far from Vancouver. It's famous for its beauty - and its ravenous deer, known as 'Superdeer', as they "can leap high fences at a single bound". I have two large pots of coreopsis to take with me, as well as sage, rosemary, curly-leafed parsley, ivy, and two pots of geraniums, which are ready to be wintered inside. I couldn't tell by the colors on the map whether I'm in zone 1 or 5, as we're right on the coast (was it a green strip on the map? If so, zone 5). So, deer experts, may I have your advice?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Deer's least favorite flowers

No expert, but deers hate marigolds, and lavender.

RE: Deer's least favorite flowers

No expert here either but coreopsis grows wild here and I also have had several different types and they never ate them. I also grow sage and rosemary. We live with woods on three sides and there has been up to 10 deer in our backyard without eating them.

RE: Deer's least favorite flowers

Daffodils, Shasta Daisies, Amaryllis. They don't eat iris in the spring but do in the fall when there is less food.


RE: Deer's least favorite flowers

Most of the islands off the coast of British Columbia are Canada zone 8 or 9. We're talking really warm, at least for Canada. I would check that hardiness zone if I were you. Are you moving to Salt Spring Island by chance?

RE: Deer's least favorite flowers

I find that salvias are never browsed by deer. So many to choose from.

RE: Deer's least favorite flowers

Deer herds will have different preferences by regions, depending upon availability of other foods.

I've found these flowers to work well in my deer resistant garden (no fencing, no repellents in use). SL Magazine was here this summer and has a copy of this list that they are going to use in an upcoming issue in 2010 that features my deer resistant garden.

I am listing only those plants that I've personally grown in my garden where 20+ deer wander through at least once a day. I'm sure that I've forgotten a few plants, but these are the best.

Top Flowering Deer Resistant Perennials:

'Salmon & Pink'
'Blue Fortune'
'Purple Haze'
'Purple Pygmy'
'Heather Queen'

'Ruby Star'
'White Swan'
'Sundown' (I think that's it -- orange)

'Raspberry Wine'
'Jacob Cline'
'Blue Stocking'

'Walkers Low' and 'Six Hills Giant'

guarantica 'Black & Blue'
ulignosa (bog sage)
greggii 'Dark Dancer', 'Navajo Bright Red', 'Diane', 'Texas Wedding', 'Cherry Queen'
nemorosa 'Marcus', 'Caradonna'

Other good deer resistant flowering perennials
heliotropium amplexicaule 'Azure Skies'
ageratum 'Wayside'
coreopsis 'Creme Brulee' and verticillata 'Zagreb/
amsonia hubrichtii
verbena 'Homestead Purple'
verbena bonariensis
crocosmia 'Lucifer'
delosperma cooperii
stachys hummelo
anemone 'Margarette', 'Prince Henry'
rudbeckia 'Goldsturm'
iris ensata (there may be some bloom picking. I grow many of these and lost only 3 blooms that I noticed)

Top Flowering Deer Resistant Shrubs & Trees
Crape Myrtle 'Tuscarora', 'Muskogee', 'White Chocolate'
Buddleia 'Pink Delight', 'Royal Red', 'Adonis Blue', 'Honeycomb', 'Black Knight' (and another one that is lavender/orange eye)
Vitex 'Shoal Creek'
Spirea 'Neon Flash' for blooms and a few other varieties for the foliage
Lantana (multiple varieties; some bloom nibbles may occur in late fall)
osmanthus fragrans
magnolia - Sweet Bay Magnolia and Southern (must protect trunk from antler rubbing, but they don't eat these)
Winter Daphne
Gardenia 'August Beauty'
I've just added the Proven Winners 'Blue Satin' Rose of Sharon to try. It is listed as deer resistant

Flowering Deer Resistant Vines
Carolina Jasmine
Confederate Jasmine

Flowering Deer Resistant Annuals and Bulbs
Spanish bluebells
allium 'Purple Sensation'
Dutch iris
petunias (I grow only the deep purple that are very fragrant. Not Wave.)
zinnias (Benary's Giant tested)

Deer Resistant Foliage Plants (shrubs, trees, herbs and perennials)
canna 'tropicana rose'
stachys 'Helen von Stein'
colocasia esculenta
white butterfly ginger
lysmachia nummularia Aurea

lavender (Spanish and 'Munstead')
oregano (culinary officinalis and ornamental gold)
sages (culinary officinalis, purple, gold leaf, pineapple)
thyme (rose, lemon, culinary)
basil (Thai, sweet, spicy, purple)

miscanthus 'Cosmopolitan', 'Little Zebra'
carex (multiple varieties)
pink muhly
pampas grass

chamaecyparis pisifera
wax myrtle
carex holly
oakleaf holly
osmanthus 'Goshiki'
cotinus - purple smokebush (I grow it for the foliage, not the bloom)
clumping bamboo (fargesii?)

weeping willow, curly willow
river birch
cryptomeria (Black Dragon and the large trees that are probably one of the Tsugi?)
deodar cedar


Here is a link that might be useful: my gardening blog (select deer resistant topic)

RE: Deer's least favorite flowers

I don't recall seeing lamb's ear on that list and I saw that in a gardening magazine last evening. Use it, one of the nureries that has a tv show every saturday morning, highly recommends this product. We've used Liquid Fence and had success but any product like that, you have to reapply after a rain.

RE: Deer's least favorite flowers

We have occassional deer damage in our Connecticut yard, and they love to eat Mondarda (bee balm). I have jacob klein or another red variety and the only way for me to see it bloom is if I spray it. The deer just came and ate my true geranium Rozanne, this October. Normally they are not supposed to like true geranium so I've read, and that seemed to be true since the deer left it alone all summer. They also ate my mock orange this month Oct. and they normally don't eat that either.

RE: Deer's least favorite flowers

They hate any flowers of aromatic herbs (rosemary, lavender, etc.)

Also have used Bleeding Heart, Day lily, Iris, and Columbine to avoid the deer munching. And other people report otherwise, but I have not had a problem with deer and rhododendrons--but they LOVE azaleas. Crape myrtles are also good to go but they need real summer HEAT to do anything.

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