A List of Plants That Deer Do Not Like

Gardeners everywhere have to battle insects, weather, temperatures, plant diseases, and time constraints to grow our gardens. In addition, many of us have to battle Elk, Deer, Moles, Mice, Mountain Beavers, Bears, Crows, Raccoons, Squirrels, and the list keeps growing. These critters are usually after food. The better our plants grow, the more visitors we seem to get.
We gardeners have two choices when it come to protecting our investment in our gardens.
The best choice is to build a solid 10 foot high fence above ground with a strong locked gate. And to lock out moles and the mountain beavers, build a tight weave vertical 18 inch fence under the ground around the entire garden.
The other choice is to select and grow plants that members of the deer family just don't like to eat. So we have prepared a list of landscaping plants that our local Elk and Black-tailed do not like.
Most deer come into our gardens to find something extra, tasty and nice to eat. Kind of going to a Delicatessen.
However, keep in mind that deer will eat most anything when they get hungry enough.
This list is our suggested plants that deer don't like. This was written for the White-tail, Black-tailed, and other members of the Deer family here in the Pacific Northwest. But then again some Deer just weren't told that, so some of these plants may not work in your garden.

Deer proof plant lists should be used as a guide, and never 100% accurate. This is because deer choose plants to eat because of what is available to them and how hungry they are. and to some degree what time of the year it is when they come. A plant that may have be egnored one year may be browsed the next because less food is available that year.

Annual Flowers

  • Ageratum
  • Celosia
  • Centaurea
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Cosmos
  • California poppy
  • Dusty Miller
  • Felicia
  • Iceland Poppy: Papaver nudicaule
  • Impatiens: Impatiens wallerana
  • Zinnia: Zinnia elegans
  • Heliachrysum
  • Limonium
  • Lobelia
  • Lobularia
  • Mimulus
  • Salvia
  • Sanvitalia
  • Verbena


  • Acanthus mollis
  • Achillea
  • Agapanthus
  • Anemone
  • Artemesia
  • Bleeding Heart: Dicentra species
  • Blue Margurite: Felicia amelloides
  • Cerastium tomentosum
  • Dicentra
  • Foxglove: Digitalis purpurea
  • Dusty Miller: Centaurea cineraria
  • Epimedium
  • Euphorbia
  • Ferns: Ferns Species
  • Frittilaria imperialis
  • Galium oderatum
  • Gunnera
  • Helleborus
  • Hemerocallis
  • Kniphofia
  • Lavender: Lavendula
  • Liriope
  • Lobelia cardinalis
  • Lupinus
  • Monarda
  • Muscari
  • Myosotis
  • Narcissus
  • Nepeta
  • Papaver orientale
  • Raoulia australis
  • Salvia
  • Sage: Salvia Species
  • Santolina
  • Scabiosa
  • Scilla
  • Silene
  • Sisyrinchium
  • Stachys
  • Tradescantia
  • Yarrow: Achillea


  • Amaryllis belladonna
  • Crocus:
  • Daffodil:
  • Dahlia:
  • Freesia:
  • Iris, Bearded:
  • Iris, Dutch:
  • Ixia:
  • Tulip:


  • Carolina Jessamine: Gelsemium sempervirens
  • Jasmine: Jasminium Species
  • Cape Honeysuckle: Tecomaria capensis


  • Garlic: Allium sativum
  • Potatoes
  • Onions

Groundcover Plants

  • Carpet Bugle: Ajuga reptans
  • Arctostaphylos
  • Blue Star Creeper: Isatoma fluviatilis
  • Fragaria
  • Hedera helix
  • Aaron's Beard: Hypericum calycinum
  • Iceplant: Iceplant Species
  • Ivy: Hedera helix
  • Lithodora diffusa
  • Periwinkle, Dwarf: Vinca minor
  • Sagina
  • Thymus
  • Veronica
  • Salal & Oregon Grape
  • Kinnilinnick

Ornamental Grasses

  • Acorus
  • Carex
  • Cortaderia
  • Erianthus
  • Festuca
  • Hakonechloa
  • Helictotrichon
  • Imperata
  • Juncus
  • Miscanthus
  • Pennisetum


  • Abelia, Glossy Pink: Abelia grandiflora
  • Arbutus
  • Aronia arbutifolia
  • Azaleas: Azalea
  • Bamboo: Nandina domestica
  • Japanese Barberry: Berberris thunbergil
  • Boxwood, Jananese: Buxus
  • Butterfly Bush: Buddlea davidii
  • Dwarf Bottlebush: Callistemon
  • Choisya ternata
  • Clematis
  • Purple Smoke Bush: Cotinus coggygria
  • Daphine
  • Fatsia japonica
  • Holly: Ilex
  • Juniper: Juniperus
  • Kolkwitzia
  • Mahonia
  • Manzanita: Arctostaphylos
  • Myrica californica
  • Nandina domestica
  • Oleander: Nerium oleander
  • Pieris
  • Potentilla
  • Rhododendron
  • Ribes
  • Rosemary, Dwarf: Rosemarinus officinalis "prostratus"
  • Sarcococca
  • Wisteria


  • Abies
  • Acer circinatum
  • Acer negundo
  • Japaneses Maple: Acer palmatum
  • Silk Tree: Albizzia julibrissin
  • Araucauria
  • Cedrus
  • Cercis occidentalis
  • Chamaerops humilis
  • Juglans-Walnuts
  • American Sweet Gun: Liquidamber
  • Maidenhair: Gingo biloba
  • Magnolia: Magnoloa Grandiflora
  • Spruce: Picea
  • Pines: Pinus
  • Pseudotsuga menziesii
  • Rhus
  • Robinia pseudocacia
  • Giant Redwood: Sequoiadendron
  • Coast Redwood: Sequoia sempervirens
  • Sorbus aucuparia
  • Thuja plicata
  • Trachycarpus fortunei
  • Yew: Taxus

Notes: The vast majority of ferns and grasses are usually left alone by deer.

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This page was last updated November 24, 2018.