Deer Resistant Annuals

Published On: May 19th, 2022

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This deer resistant annuals article is here by popular demand. Every year, in spring, I have dozens of people ask me the same question, "Which annuals can I plant that the deer won’t eat?” With so many people clearly struggling with the same gardening challenge, I've compiled a list of annuals less favored by deer.

Note: When dealing with deer browsing it is important to state that these plants are deer resistant and not deer proof.

Deer Resistant Annuals for Sun

  • Floss Flower (Ageratum)
  • Alyssum
  • Summer Snapdragon (Angelonia)
  • Canna
  • Spider Flower (Cleome)
  • Cosmos
  • Dusty Miller
  • Fountain Grass
  • Geranium (Pelargonium)
  • Heliotrope
  • Lantana
  • Marigolds
  • Nasturtium
  • Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana)
  • Salvia
  • Snapdragon
  • Sunflower
  • Verbena
  • Zinnia

Deer Resistant Annuals for Shade

  • Begonia
  • Caladium
  • Ferns
  • Fuchsia
  • Clown Flower (Torenia)

Using Deer Repellants on Annuals

If your favorite annuals aren’t on this list, there is also the option of using deer repellents. We carry several types of deer repellents, all of which are completely natural and harmless to the environment. Deer are prey animals and rely on all their senses to detect danger in their surroundings. When strongly scented animal repellents are applied in the garden, deer tend to shy away from the area as they feel vulnerable because they cannot use their sense of smell to perceive danger. Deer repellents deter browsing through ingredients that have strong smells. Most utilize egg solids, and many also incorporate garlic and strongly scented essential oils. The smell will be unpleasant to the human nose for a couple of hours but will remain unappealing to deer for up to three weeks. During periods of rapid plant growth or heavy rains more frequent application may be necessary. Deer can become acclimated to even the most effective repellents, so we recommend alternating repellents if deer populations are high in your area.