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Planting Annuals that the Deer Will Not Eat

Updated on November 6, 2014
Planting flowers can be a challenge when you see this in your yard each day.
Planting flowers can be a challenge when you see this in your yard each day. | Source


Better Homes and Gardens:

University of Nebraska-Lincoln:

If you live in an area that’s heavily populated with deer, you know how difficult it can be to keep a garden. Living in Western Pennsylvania, deer are about as prevalent as people here, and they have become increasingly bold in their quest for food, coming up to front porches, walkways and even jumping fences to get at appetizing vegetation. Gardeners have had to get creative with deer spray, wire fences and other methods to keep the deer away. I have utilized several methods to keep the deer away, but the one that works best is planting flowers that they do not like to eat. Below are a list of flowers that I have planted in my garden over the last few years that have never been touched by the deer.

My first garden.
My first garden. | Source
  1. Wax Begonia – These shiny, pink flowers are nice but did not always do well in my yard due to being in the full sun. I’m not too thrilled with their dark green leaves either, but they are still better than a garden full of impatiens stems.

Wax Begonias
Wax Begonias | Source

2. Dusty Miller- These plants do not flower, but their snowy white color nicely accents other flowers. They don’t need much water to do well and can survive on super hot days.

Dusty Miller
Dusty Miller | Source

3. Marigold – These are easy to find in most any place where flowers are sold. I like to buy the signet marigolds. They have longer petals, unlike the more common, frilly French marigolds. Plant them around the border of your vegetable garden to help keep the deer away.

signet marigolds
signet marigolds | Source

4. Verbena – These tiny flowers don’t do as well in my garden, though they are said to do well with little water. Still, I can say that the deer did not touch them. Many gardeners plant them in pots or hanging baskets.

Verbena Plant
Verbena Plant | Source

5. Geranium – Geraniums are another flower that are easy to find. I like to buy one to put in my flower pot in late spring. They have bold, pretty colors. Pull the petals off as they die, and they will continue to sprout new ones all summer.

Geraniums | Source

6. Four O’Clock – I’ve tried to plant these as seeds, and they didn’t come up (I believe due to lack of space – plant them where they have room to grow), but if you can get them to bloom, they come in pretty colors. Their petals open up in the afternoon, and they do well in sun and partial shade.

Four O'Clock Plant
Four O'Clock Plant | Source

7. Dahlia – This is my favorite type of flower to plant. They are very colorful and grow wide and thick for me, filling in my garden bed. They stay in bloom through late summer and are the last of my flowers to die off.

Dahlias | Source

Other flowers you can plant in your yard that the deer will not eat:


-snap dragon

-blanket flower



-polka dot plant

-morning glory

- lobelia

-forget me not

-annual poppy

-blue salvia

What kind of annuals do you like to plant? What kind of animals or pests do you have to avoid? Leave your answers in the comments below!

On your way, deer!
On your way, deer! | Source


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    • Laura335 profile image

      Laura Smith 3 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

      Thanks for reading!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very helpful article. Thanks for the information.