Planting Flowers That Deer Will Not Eat
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, using deer spray, wire fences and other methods to keep the deer away. I have utilized several methods to combat the deer problem in my area, 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 years that have never been touched by the deer (Sources: Better Homes and Gardens and University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
My preferred brand of deer spray. I buy mine at Lowes every spring.
These shiny, pink flowers are nice but did not always do well in my yard due to being in the full sun. They like a shadier spot. So, I help them along with plant food and natural fertilizers. They're no the prettiest or largest type of flower in my garden, but they are still better than a bed full of bald stems.
These plants do not flower, but their snowy white color nicely highlights other flowers. They don’t need much water to do well and can survive on super hot days. I've even had them survive the winter and continue to grow into the next spring. Some grow larger than others. Others tend to turn a shade of green rather than white, but their interesting leaf shape makes them nice in either size or color.
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. They don't like the smell, but don't use that as the only means of deterring deer away from your plants.
These tiny flowers don’t do as well in my garden, though they are said to do better with little water. Still, I can say when I planted them, the deer did not touch them, and they make a pretty shade of purple. Many gardeners plant them in pots or hanging baskets.
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. However, I have noticed in recent years that animals have been taking a bite out of them here or there. Maybe the taste is growing on them with so few options for a good meal in my yard.
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.
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. I especially like the dark red ones, though I plant a variety of colors, and they are the highlight of my flower bed.
One spring, when I couldn't find dahlia's at my local plant store, I picked up some zinnia's instead. They were slow starting but were growing big and tall by July and looked very similar to the dahlia's. The deer won't touch them either, and they come in interesting shades of orange, yellow, and pink.
Other flowers you can plant in your yard that the deer will not eat:
-polka dot plant
-forget me not
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!