Plants that deer don't eat

Looking out of the window in the mornings and seeing a family of roe deer on the lawn sounds idyllic.

In fact, it is idyllic until you realise that they love to eat your favourite flowers - the prettier the flower, the tastier it is. The deer are undeterred by thorns and prickles and will come right up to the door to munch on their best delicacy - roses.

After 20 (expensive) years of trying to outwit these animals,  I have decided that the best approach is to plant flowers and shrubs that the deer do not like.

The list below is a combination of trial and error and research on the Internet. I cannot guarantee that these plants will remain untouched but if you have a problem with deer in your garden, then they are worth a try.

Common Name Scientific Name
Agave and Cactus  
Anise Hyssop Agastache
Archange Lamiastrum and Lamium
Barberry Berberis
Bears Breeches Acanthus
Bishops Hat Epimedium
Beebalm Monarda
Bleeding Heart Dicentra
Bluebells Hyacinthoides
Blue Fescue Grass  
Blue Star Amsonia
Butterfly Bush Buddleia
Butterfly Flower Asclepias
Californian Lilac Ceanothus, small-leaved only
Catmint Nepeta
Comfrey Symphytum
Crimson Bottlebrush Callistemon
Daffodils Narcissus
False Indigo Baptisia
False Solomon's Seal Smilacina
Feather Reed Grass Calamagrostis
Ferns most, except Japanese Silver Painted
Fountain Grass Pennisetum
Foxglove Digitalis
Gas Plant Dictamnus
Germander Teucrium
Ginger Asarum
Goatsbeard Aruncus
Hardy Cyclamen  
Hardy Geraniums especially Geranium macrorrhizum
Heather Erica
Hellebores Helleborus
Iris especially Bearded Iris
Jack-in-the-pulpit Arisaemia triphyllum
Lamb's Ears Stachys lanata
Lavender Lavandula
Lavender Cotton Santolina
Lilac Syringa
Lily of the Nile Agapanthus
Lily of the Valley Convallaria
London Pride Saxifraga x urbium
Lungwort Pulmonaria
Miscanthus Grass  
Mondo Grass Ophiopogon
Monkshood Aconitum
Montbretia Crocosmia
Mountain Balm Calamintha
Ornamental Onion Allium
Ornamental Oregano  
Ornamental Rhubarb Rheum
Pampas Grass Cortaderia
Peonies Paeonia
Periwinkle Vinca
Plumbago Ceratostigma
Red Hot Poker Kniphofia
Rose Campion especially Lychnis coronaria
Rudbeckia Fulgida  
Russian Sage Pervoskia
Salvias and sages  
Snowdrops Galanthus nivalis
Soapwort Saponaria
Spiderwort Tradescantia
Spurge Euphorbia
St. John's Wort Hypericum
Sweet Woodruff Asperula
Tickseed Coreopsis
Waterlily Colchicum
Wormwood Artemisia
Yarrow Achillea


Many of the plants in this list were suggested in a gardening forum on the Wild About Britain web site, for which many thanks. Others were recommended by friends or found by trial and error in our English Country Garden.

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