These Plants Keep Your Gardens Safe From Deer

Kori Williams - Author

May 1 2023, Published 11:18 a.m. ET

Lavender on an orange background.
Source: Getty Images

Gardening can be a fulfilling hobby that gets you out into the fresh air while allowing you to show off your creative side. With all the different plants to choose from, there are unlimited ways to make the perfect outdoor space, that is until deer find out about it.

But deer can wreak havoc on your garden. And even though no plant is 100 percent deer-proof, there are some common deer-resistant plants for gardening that will help keep your flowers in their beds.

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Don't get us wrong — deer are beautiful creatures, but their appetites can be the end of your green thumb if you aren't careful. And let's face it: pesticides and poisons simply aren't an option!

So if deer run rampant in your neighborhood, these are definitely something to consider for your outdoor space.


A person planting yellow marigolds.
Source: Getty Images

Garden Design points out that there are many types of marigolds, but most are great options for keeping deer away, as they have a "strong, pungent scent." This is also good news, because that means you can create all kinds of variety in your flower beds, without feeling too restricted.

And some are even great additions to food.

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This white, delicate-looking flower is part of the osmanthus family. Home and Gardens points out that it's low-maintainance, and can even grow tall enough to double as a privacy screen. Similarly to marigolds, it has a scent that deer do not like, but many of these also have spiny leaves that can irritate the animals that try to eat them.

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A planted boxwood bush in front of someone's house.
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House Beautiful points out that boxwood is a great option for any garden. It can grow pretty tall so they are great for privacy, and they're evergreen, which means they last throughout the year by default. Deer simply don't tend to eat this one so you really can't go wrong here.

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Lavender on folded towels.
Source: Getty Images

Plenty of people love lavender, for its beauty, scent, calming benefits, and more. But it's one of these reasons why deer won't eat it. The smell is just too much for these animals and they tend to stay away. All About Gardening also says that they also have a strong taste deer don't like.

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Purple foxgloves growing on a branch.
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Foxgloves have a beautiful bell shape that attract hummingbirds. But as far as deer go, they aren't fond of this one either. HGTV says part of that is because they are poisonous to many animals, though that includes pets and people, as well.

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Daffodils growing in tall grass.
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The Spruce points out that daffodils produce a "milky sap" that deer, rabbits, and squirrels dislike. Plus, these flowers can bloom in a number of different colors so they can work in all kinds of gardens to keep it safe without sacrificing your creative vision.

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Pink peonies in a garden.
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One of the great aspects of peonies is it's not just that deer don't like them. Gardening states that they're rarely bothered by any pests. Deer don't like them because they have a strong scent and flavor, but they also have large blooms — which makes them that much better for your gardening pursuits.

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