Dealing with our large population of deer in southeastern Wisconsin can be a challenge. While they are lovely to observe in the wild, they are infuriating to observe up close in our gardens as they browse our favorite plants. Deer resistant plants include those which we’ve observed to be less palatable or less desirable to deer.
Minimize deer visitation by planting perennials from the deer resistant list, and by avoiding perennials from the deer delicatessen list.
Note: When dealing with deer browsing it is important to state that these plants are deer resistant and not deer proof.
Deer Resistant Perennials List
FS=Full Sun; PS=Part Sun
Yarrow (Achillea) – unattractive taste – (FS)
Anise-Hyssop (Agastache) – pungent scent and flavor – (FS)
If deer get hungry enough, they may browse on even plants from the resistant list, so If you continue to experience damage 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 because they feel vulnerable when 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.