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Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Deer Resistant Plants for Fall Gardening

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By Heather Andrews

As you browse through the nursery planning the look for your garden this fall, consider some deer resistant options to ensure your hard work doesn’t get eaten. Deer are beautiful creatures, but they can also be a pest when it comes to protecting your plants.There are plenty of safe and humane ways to deter deer from entering your garden, but for additional security check out the colorful and classy fall flowering plants that can be added to your garden and are deer resistant.

  1. Buddleja (also known as the Butterfly Bush) - This shrub blooms in tubular flowers and is available in a variety of colors, most commonly purple, white and pink. The buddleja has a strong scent that attracts butterflies.

  2. Achillea - The Achillea species offers a big brightly colored (mostly yellow, red and purple) flat cluster of flowers that is protected from deer with it’s strong scented leaves.

  3. Dahlia - Producing a beautiful single flower (usually in red, pink or orange) per stem, the Dahlia species of plants add a wow factor to your garden and also deters deer with its leafy stems. The Dahlia species is all about looks as the flowers do not produce a strong scent.

  4. Colchicum - This purple budding perennial plant is best planted in drifts in the high shade under large trees, which helps to protect them in the summer from rain.
  5. Digitalis- If you are look for a plant with a little height, the Digitalis is a great deer-resistant option. The Digitalis carries its bloom for a long period and lives for two years.

  6. Helleborus- This fern blooms in the spring and keeps it through the winter. The Helleborus offers a more subtle, autumn like hue to your garden.

These deer resistant plants will brighten your garden and prevent destruction from deer. Including herbs in your garden or surrounding it with ornamental grasses can also help to keep deer away. Of course, if your deer resistant plants, shrubs, flowers or ferns are surrounded by other plants that are attractive to deer, it won’t help. Deers like to snack and may consume all of your garden if there is something appealing in the mix. Here are some plants to avoid in your garden that tend to attract deer:

  • Roses
  • Azalea Bushes
  • Berries
  • Hibiscus
  • Lilies
  • Vegetables (especially tomatoes and sweet smelling veggies)
  • Fruit
  • Fir Trees

It is important to note that deer resistant doesn’t mean deer proof. Deer don’t typically scout for the best food sources and will snack on almost anything available if their need for food is high. To truly protect your garden, try a deer fence or other deer repellents. Effective deer repellents come in a variety of forms that are safe for deer, yet works to get rid of deer from your yard.

  • Natural Deer Repellent Sprays - Spray your grass and bushes. Deer will learn your yard is not a good food source and will stay away for up to 30 days.
  • Ultrasonic Deer Repellers- Ultrasonic deer repellers cannot be heard by humans, but produce a high frequency unpleasant noise for deer that will deter them from entering your yard
  • Organic Granular Repellent- An organic mix of ingredients that can repel many creatures of different sizes from your garden.

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