20 Plants That Repel Deer (With Photos!)

When deer start eating your plants, it can feel impossible to get rid of them. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a deer-resistant plant, but don’t fret! There are still plants you can grow that deer find unpleasant to eat and will stay away from.

The 20 plants that are more likely to repel deer are:

  1. Rosemary
  2. Sage
  3. Mint
  4. Poppies
  5. Daffodils
  6. Foxglove
  7. Plumbago
  8. Dalmatian Iris
  9. American Holly
  10. Oleander
  11. Lantana
  12. Elephant Ears
  13. Mountain Laurel
  14. Wormwood
  15. Chinese Juniper
  16. Peruvian Lily
  17. Butterfly Milkweed
  18. Bearded Iris
  19. American Barberry
  20. Honey Locust

Deer are known to be majestic creatures. But for gardeners, they can also be a royal pain in the butt. To help save your precious crops from being grazed, read on to find out which plants are the most likely to repel deer!

1. Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus)

Rosemary has an extremely strong fragrance that helps repel deer. To dissuade deer, grow this herb by borders. Rosemary oil can also be used in sprays and applied directly to other plants.

Repelling Mechanism: Oil and fragrance

Best grown in: Ground or containers

Size: 1-2.5 feet (30-76 cm)

Origin: Germany or Europe

This popular aromatic produces needle-like leaves that have a very strong smell. In ideal conditions, they can even grow up to 6 feet (1.83 m) high.

Deer have a sensitive sense of smell. It is speculated to be stronger than dogs! Because of this, they should find the fragrance of rosemary overwhelming.

Rosemary flower
Anna F (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Rosmarinus Officinalis Flower

It’s uncertain where rosemary originates from, but this is commonly grown in the US. To keep away deer, you can plant rosemary around the perimeter of your garden. But you can place it anywhere else you wish.

DIY Rosemary Deer Repellent

Rosemary oil can be used in sprays as well. Simply mix 2 teaspoons of rosemary oil with 1 tablespoon of Castile soap in 1 gallon of water, and shake well.

You can spray your plants directly with this or the surrounding area, but be sure to reapply this repellent after rain.

This option can be used for the next plant as well as others, so keep reading!

2. Sage (Salvia officinalis)

Similar to rosemary, sage helps repel deer with its powerful aroma and can be used in sprays. Sage typically grows 3-feet tall and should be grown with other plants in the ground.

Repelling Mechanism: Oil and fragrance

Best grown in: Containers

Size: 3 feet (91 cm)

Origin: Europe

It has been noted that salvia, also known as sage, is rarely damaged by deer. Like rosemary, this may be because of how strong-smelling this herb is.

This perennial shrub usually grows up to 3 feet (0.91 m), so these may be best placed by other low-lying plants for protection.

Sage flower
Thérèse DEVAUX (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Salvia Officinalis Flowers

Sage essential oils can also be used to help act as a deer repellent and implemented into sprays.

DIY Sage Deer Repellent

Mixing 1 tablespoon of Castile soap with 2 teaspoons of sage oil in a gallon of water should work fine to repel deer.

Alternatively, why not use the sage you’re growing?

For a more potent solution, you can gather 10 sprigs of fresh sage, dry them for a few days and let them soak in a 32-ounce bottle. Let the sage soak for 1-2 weeks and then you can spray this directly onto your plants to help dissuade deer.

You can use sage that is already dried, replace it with rosemary, or even combine them.

3. Mint (Mentha spp.)

Mint can be a highly effective plant to repel deer. But this rapid-growing plant is invasive and must be planted in containers. Potted mints should surround and protect desired plants from being eaten. Alternatively, mint can be used in sprays using essential oils or fresh leaves.

Repelling Mechanism: Oil and fragrance

Best grown in: Containers

Size: 1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

Origin: Europe

You’re most likely familiar with mint. Various species of mint are very popular in deterring deer due to how powerful the smell can be. This plant can very easily be grown to keep away pesky deer, but it is incredibly invasive.

To prevent mint from overtaking your garden, I highly recommend growing them in containers and placing them in a row all around your plants. Deer tend to avoid spearmint and peppermint plants as much as possible.

Mint flowers
Leslie N (cc-by-sa) Plantnet – Mentha Spicata Flowers

If the thought of rampant-growing mint is too much, you can use its leaves in cooking and sprays.

>>> Learn more about mint and how to use it in our article on the differences between spearmint and peppermint.

DIY Mint Deer Repellent

Use 5-10 drops of mint oil and mix with 1 gallon of water or soak 10 mint leaves in 32 ounces of water for about 2 weeks.

Spray your desired plants generously to ward off deer and be sure to re-spray after rain.

4. Poppies (Papaver orientale)

Oriental poppies are useful in warding off deer, due to their harmful effects once consumed. Poppies grow up to 2-3 feet and can be placed by all entrances. However, they are illegal in some regions, like Canada.

Repelling Mechanism: Poison

Best grown in: Ground or containers

Size: 2-3 feet (60-90 cm)

Origin: Central Asia

Oriental poppies can be harmful when eaten, so they are not often eaten by deer and make good repellents.

Poppies can grow up to 3 feet high and come in many colors! But because they are self-seeding, you may want to keep them away from other plants.

Pods containing seeds will eventually grow and fall to spread other poppies, so be sure to remove these when you see them!

Poppy flowers
Fernholz Lea (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Papaver Orientale Flowers

Instead, you can grow poppies in large clusters by all the entries into the garden. If you have any pets or little ones running around, be sure to keep them away. Poppies are highly toxic and may lead to inappetence and even death if eaten in large amounts.

Another thing to remember is that these Central Asian poppies are invasive and illegal in some areas, like Canada. So before you take action, check first to see if this plant is allowed in your region.

5. Daffodils (Narcissus spp.)

Daffodils are toxic upon consumption and, therefore, a good deterrent against deer. Daffodils typically only grow 1.5 ft (0.46 m) high and should be planted only near low garden beds or wherever deer are seen. Handle with caution.

Repelling Mechanism: Toxicity

Best grown in: Ground or containers

Size: 1.5 feet (45 cm)

Origin: Northern Europe

Native to Northern Europe, these bright trumpet flowers are deer resistant because of their waxy leaves and putrid taste. Daffodils are also toxic when consumed, making them very unpleasant to eat.

Keep pets and children away and wash your hands after handling, just to be safe.

Narcissus flower
Casper Vlaar (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Narcissus Pseudonarcissus Flower

Because most daffodil species grow 1.5-feet high, these plants might get trampled and ignored. You can place this wherever you normally see deer, or you may plant the bulbs next to other flowerbeds or low-lying plants.

Additionally, they thrive in full sunlight but may be harmed if left in temperatures below 23°F (-5°C).

6. Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)

Foxgloves are toxic and may help fight off deer through their fragrance alone. Plant these flowers sparingly and grow them near more sensitive plants to ensure total safety.

Repelling Mechanism: Fragrance and poison

Best grown in: Ground or containers

Size: 3 feet (91 cm)

Origin: Europe

These European blooms contain a toxin that deer avoid as much as they can. But don’t worry if you happen to see this plant being eaten.

Most of the time, deer will pass by and eat small amounts of your plants first to sample them. Once repelled by foxglove’s fragrance, they likely won’t eat anything else in your garden.

Foxglove flower
Kessler Paul (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Digitalis Purpurea Flowers

Once grown, this perennial can grow up to 3 feet tall. Place them by entries and other plants most damaged by deer to help them stay away.

For safety purposes, I suggest planting only just a few as foxgloves are poisonous. Their bell-shaped flowers may be tempting to pets and little ones to touch and eat, so be careful!

7. Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata)

Cape plumbagos are beneficial in preventing deer damage in the garden because they cause extreme irritation upon contact. Plumbagos must be handled with gloves to prevent contact dermatitis. If grown in hedges, it is recommended to place warning signs.

Repelling Mechanism: Severe irritation upon contact

Best grown in: Ground or containers

Size: 3 feet (91 cm)

Origin: Southeast Asia

Plumbago plants cause severe irritation when touched and because of this, they’re less likely to be disturbed. Fruits are also barbed and sticky, and this helps warn animals not to eat them.

These should always be handled with gloves since they can cause contact dermatitis. You can grow these in containers instead to be safe, and place warning signs informing people not to touch it.

Plumbago flower
Antonio (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Plumbago Auriculata Flower

This plant, also known as cape leadwort or cape plumbago, is native to Southeast Asia and is technically a shrub. If given proper care, they can grow up to 6 feet high!

Males of the white-tailed deer species typically only grow up to 3 feet, so you can plant plumbago hedges to surround your garden and block them off entirely.

8. Dalmatian Iris (Iris pallida)

Dalmatian irises are poisonous if consumed and will help deter deer from damaging other plants. They typically only grow up to 2 feet (0.61 m) and should be grown next to low-lying plants or near entryways to discourage fawns from entering.

Repelling Mechanism: Toxicity

Best grown in: Ground or containers

Size: 2 feet (60 cm)

Origin: Southeast Europe

These irises are originally from a region named Dalmatian in Croatia, hence the name.

They are short-growing plants and reach heights of only about 2 feet, but they do not need much maintenance. You can grow these in containers or use this as ground cover to help offer your other plants protection.

Containing traces of a toxin that can be harmful when ingested, these flowers are much more resistant to deer than other plants.

Unless the deer are absolutely starving, they’ll most likely stay clear of these flowers once they smell its scented fragrance.

Iris flowers
13567890 (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Iris Pallida Flowers

Take care that none of your pets or little ones touch any of the plant’s roots or sap, as this has been suspected to cause irritation.

9. American Holly (Ilex opaca)

American holly helps repel deer by producing pungent berries and spiky leaves. For convenience, dwarf trees can be grown in planters and placed wherever deer are commonly spotted. Holly berries should not be eaten and will cause vomiting if ingested.

Repelling Mechanism: Fragrance and toxicity

Best grown in: Ground or containers

Size: 40 feet (12.19 m)

Origin: USA

Holly berries are toxic and taste very unpleasant. If the deer were to bite into this and the holly’s waxy, spiny leaves, they’d learn fast not to eat it again and would stay away.

As the name suggests, this plant is native to the US. If you want something that you don’t have to worry about handling, American holly trees may be a good option.

Holly berries
Marissa (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Ilex Opaca Fruit

This evergreen is safe to handle, but take extra caution that the bright, red berries are not eaten. They may look fun and festive, but they’re dangerous when eaten and can cause vomiting.

American holly can reach up to 40 feet tall. But bear in mind, that growing a tree this tall will take years. Instead, you can grow dwarf trees in containers and put them wherever you commonly see deer.

10. Oleander (Nerium oleander)

Oleander is highly resistant to deer and can be fatal if eaten. Oleander can grow up to 6 feet tall and should be grown as a protective barrier to prevent deer from entering.

Repelling Mechanism: Toxicity

Best grown in: Ground

Size: 6 feet (1.83 m)

Origin: Europe and Asia

Of all the plants that deer love to eat, oleander is very rarely one of them. This plant is originally from Europe and Asia and can be fatal if consumed, but is otherwise very pretty!

Similar to the American holly, oleander makes a great deer repellent because of how bitter its fruits are.

This evergreen is very commonly used in landscaping and makes for great shrubs. It often reaches 6 feet, so you can surround your garden with this and not worry about any deer chomping their way through.

Oleander flowers
ong dtl (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Nerium Oleander Flowers

Even if this plant were to be heavily damaged, it’s likely to just grow back due to how well this plant can handle being pruned.

11. Lantana (Lantana camara)

Lantanas are powerful deer repellents with their putrid berries and harsh leaves. Grow by entryways and garden beds to make plants seem unappealing to deer. However, since this plant is not frost-hardy, it must be replaced during the winter.

Repelling Mechanism: Fragrance and taste

Best grown in: Ground or containers

Size: 1-6 feet (48 cm)

Origin: Mexico

Lantanas are fragrant perennials that grow bitter-tasting berries. Stems are sometimes even prickly, growing rough leaves that can emit unpleasant odors when crushed.

All of these factors work brilliantly together to help repel deer. If this wasn’t intriguing enough, lantanas can also attract more birds and butterflies to your garden with the help of their colorful flowers.

Lantana flowers
Jesse Jarvis (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Lantana Camara Flower

Possibly from Mexico, this plant is commonly seen in Florida landscaping. But because of its love for heat, this may not be the best choice for our readers in colder climates.

Lantanas can sometimes be short. So strategically place them at entries or by the edge of your flower bed to help keep the deer at bay. Be certain to use gloves to prevent skin irritation.

12. Elephant Ears (Colocasia esculenta)

The leaves of elephant ears or taro plants can cause extreme pain and swelling if eaten raw, which is helpful to deter deer. This plant should be prominently grown by the borders of gardens to help ward off deer and must be replaced in the winter.

Repelling Mechanism: Severe irritation

Best grown in: Ground

Size: 3 feet (91 cm)

Origin: Eastern Asia

The incredible elephant ears plant can grow huge leaves on stems that are 3-feet tall and beyond!

These plants are native to eastern Asia and might look like something straight out of Alice’s Wonderland, but they are not very hardy. Elephant ears and taro plants can be harmed if temperatures drop below 68°F (20°C). So consider using other deer-resistant plants during the winter.

30 + Deer Resistant Plants! Mostly Edible Too! Help Planning Your Deer Resistant Garden Today
YouTube Video – 30+ Deer Resistant Plants

You may be familiar with cooking taro roots and leaves, but these leaves can actually cause severe pain and irritation in the mouth if they’re eaten raw.

Elephant ear leaves
Vadim Panov (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Colocasia Esculenta Leaves

Use this to your advantage and place them directly in the entryways of your garden to teach curious deer to keep their distance. They’re not very fragrant, so make sure they’re grown where they can be seen easily.

13. Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)

Although a popular shrub, mountain laurels contain chemicals that are highly toxic when consumed and are effective in controlling deer. A popular shrub in US landscaping, this plant is best grown in tall hedges encircling houses to ward off deer.

Repelling Mechanism: Toxicity

Best grown in: Ground

Size: 5-15 feet (152-457 cm)

Origin: USA

With bushy, glossy leaves and pink and white flowers, this pretty shrub is commonly grown throughout the US for landscaping purposes.

As beautiful as this plant is, however, it is known to contain a chemical compound called glycosides. Glycosides are severely toxic when consumed, producing a burning sensation in the mouth and making a good deer-resistant plant.

Mountain laurel leaves
Valerie Schrader (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Kalmia Latifolia Leaves

The only cases seen of deer eating mountain laurel are when they are starving. But otherwise, they tend to avoid eating this as much as they can, which is why mountain laurel can be so commonly found in areas even with a high number of deer.

If left to its own devices, this shrub can grow to over 15 feet tall and would be best purposefully grown surrounding your home or garden.

14. Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)

Wormwood plants contain a compound that is toxic if eaten in large quantities, making it a highly deer-resistant plant. Grow wormwood where deer commonly tread or keep them in containers to help prevent irritation upon contact.

Repelling Mechanism: Fragrance and poison

Best grown in: Containers or confined spaces in-ground

Size: 2-5 feet (60-152 cm)

Origin: Europe or Asia

The silvery-green stems and leaves of wormwood may smell lovely. But wormwood is yet another perennial that has been shown to contain glycoside and is severely toxic when eaten in large amounts.

Wormwood leaves
Nicole Landes (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Artemisia Absinthium Leaves

While wearing gloves, you can grow this directly in the ground—where deer most commonly enter. They should be repelled by the fragrance.

Consider keeping them in confined spaces like containers to help prevent irritation and keep them away from any children or pets.

15. Chinese Juniper (Juniperus chinensis)

A rich-scented evergreen, Chinese junipers produce bristly needles for leaves that deer seldom enjoy eating. Plant directly in the ground or raise in containers outside the house to ward off unwanted deer.

Repelling Mechanism: Fragrance and prickly needle-like leaves

Best grown in: Ground or containers

Size: 50-60 feet if grown on the ground (15-18 m)

Origin: Eastern Asia

Chinese junipers are rarely ever damaged by deer. Its evergreen needles are rough and prickly, making it extremely uncomfortable for deer to consume.

Mature Chinese junipers tend to reach 50-60 feet if planted directly in the ground. But you can grow them in containers and leave them in areas you’d like to protect.

Chinese juniper leaves
Sven Schoenaerts (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Juniperus Chinensis Leaves

The needles will stay all year round and can be scattered around the perimeter of your home or hung on a string to help repel the deer with its fragrance.

Female plants will produce seed cones that are similar to berries. These berries are safe to eat but may cause convulsions, so be sure no one eats these in large amounts.

16. Peruvian Lily (Alstroemeria aurea)

The highly poisonous Peruvian lily can cause severe irritation upon contact and is often ignored by deer. Grow it by garden beds or other low-lying plants to shield them from deer damage. Gloves must always be used when handling these flowers to prevent contact dermatitis.

Repelling Mechanism: Poison

Best grown in: Ground or containers

Size: 1-3 feet (30-91 cm)

Origin: South America

Despite its poisonous characteristics, this plant is commonly used as borders in landscaping, and you can use it as such. Peruvian lilies can cause severe skin irritation and itching when touched, so it’s unlikely for deer to push through this.

If there are any children or pets at your home, consider growing these flowers in pots instead. Then leave them in an area where they’re protected from the wind.

Peruvian lily flower
Carleen Broster (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Alstroemeria Aurea Flowers

Peruvian lilies are dense and rarely go beyond 3 feet in height, so they can be grown with other low-growing plants.

They can help give a colorful accent to your garden but always wear gloves when caring for this plant to avoid contact dermatitis.

17. Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Butterfly weeds are poisonous when consumed and can help in deterring deer. Butterfly milkweeds are best grown in low-lying garden beds to help discourage deer damage, and must have their seed pods removed regularly to prevent unwanted growth.

Repelling Mechanism: Poison

Best grown in: Ground or containers

Size: 1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

Origin: Eastern USA

Butterfly weeds seem to be pretty resistant against most pests, even deer. They’re quite short and would be excellent grown at the edge of garden beds or other small plants deer may attempt to graze upon.

Ingesting this plant can lead to vomiting, so any curious deer that decides to try eating this will find themselves weak and may decide to keep their distance afterward.

Butterfly milkweed flower
EOL − H. Zell (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Asclepias Tuberosa Flowers

Keep in mind, though, that this plant can self-seed and may overtake your garden if left unwatched. Seed pods will grow and eventually split open to allow seeds to fall and sprout, so take care to remove these pods when you see them.

18. Bearded Iris (Iris x germanica)

Bearded irises contain intense aromas and toxins that are useful in repelling deer and can cause nausea when ingested. Yellow blooms have been reported to be the most effective and can be grown in high-traffic areas with deer. Handle with gloves to prevent skin irritation.

Repelling Mechanism: Fragrance and poison

Best grown in: Ground or containers

Size: 1-4 feet (30-121 cm)

Origin: Yugoslavia

Because of its potent fragrance, deer tend to avoid bearded irises, also known as German irises, as much as they can. This iris, in particular, has some poisons that can cause nausea if eaten and is effective for deer control.

Its yellow flowers appear to be the least damaged by deer, and it flourishes in full sun. So place them in a sunny area outside where deer normally tread.

Bearded irises make excellent container plants, but should not be handled with bare hands as the roots, seeds, and sap may cause minor skin irritation.

19. American Barberry (Berberis canadensis)

American barberries grow sharp and painful thorns, making them a highly suitable plant to fight off deer pressure. For maximum efficiency, barberry hedges should be raised around gardens and houses to prevent potential deer disturbances.

Repelling Mechanism: Thorns

Best grown in: Ground

Size: 3-6 feet (91-182 cm)

Origin: North America

Because the stems of this plant are littered with sharp spines, American barberries are extremely effective in warding off unwanted deer.

Many folks find its thorns problematic, but it is this exact feature that will help you in fighting off those pesky deer. Grow this thorny plant in hedges around your home to help combat deer and even wild rabbits.

American barberries thorns
American Barberries Are Often Grown To Prevent Burglary

Japanese barberries may also be grown for this purpose, but this plant is invasive and banned in some states like New York, Maine, and Minnesota. Avoid eating too much of its fruit, because this could potentially lead to kidney problems.

20. Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos)

Honey locust trees grow 3-inch thorns that deer will find uncomfortable to tread past. Thorns can be collected to create barbed fences and are more likely to appear on fully-established trees.

Repelling Mechanism: Thorns

Best grown in: Ground

Size: 80 feet (24.38 m)

Origin: North America or Mexico

Staying on the trend of thorny plants, honey locust trees make a great addition to deer-resistant gardens. It might be a surprise, but these trees are actually a part of the legume family and grow long 3-inch thorns along their branches.

The fruits are edible, and their thorns can be collected to attach to other plants for protection. Multipurpose! But this tree can be messy and drop many leaves and fruit, so keep this in mind.

Honey locust tree
Kampf Robert (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Gleditsia Triacanthos Tree

It’s doubtful that this plant will produce effective thorns if it is grown in a container.

So it’s better grown directly in the ground. But that will require some careful planning.

However, honey locust trees are considered invasive and are even seen as a major weed in Australia, so make sure you can grow this legally and always check with your local area first.

4 Ways to Choose Deer Repellent Plants Effectively

The 4 factors essential to effectively choosing appropriate deer repellent plants are:

  1. Grow plants early
  2. Buy fully grown plants
  3. Change plants regularly
  4. Speak with other gardeners

Now that you’ve gathered all this information, you might be eager to start planting. But wait! To help ensure the most success, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

1. Grow Plants Early

Deer don’t have upper incisors and must tear vegetation away to consume it. To prevent newly grown plants from being destroyed and eaten, it is recommended to grow them ahead of time to ensure a higher rate of success.

Due to their lack of upper incisors, deer are forced to pull apart leaves and fruits from plants when they eat.

What does this mean? This means if you grow any of these plants mentioned above, (rosemary, sage, etc.) you are better off having hardier plants that are older and already well-established.

Effectively repelling deer
Deer Are More Likely to Eat Younger Plants

If you’re in the middle of an active deer problem with very little control, they might just come over and yank your new plants out of the ground and ruin all your efforts overnight.

You can grow these plants indoors or try to cover them with some type of wire to help ensure their safety while they’re growing. However, it is easier to grow these plants ahead of time.

Grow your favorite deer repelling plants early. By the time you see deer, your plants will be much stronger and are way less likely to die if they end up suffering severe damage.

2. Buy Full Grown Plants

In general, if there is an extreme issue with deer, fully grown plants should be bought to ward off deer more effectively. Well-established plants will require less preparation and will, therefore, be faster and easier to use.

If you’re suffering a severe deer issue in your area and need these plants ASAP, you can buy these plants in a hardier state and plant them to use immediately.

These plants may still need a few days to adjust if you transfer them to the ground or different pots. But this will take much less time than if you were to grow these plants by seed, which can take months to fully grow.

3. Change Plants Regularly

Deer-resistant plants should be swapped regularly to prevent hungry deer from growing accustomed to them. In areas with a high deer population, plants should be changed at least 2-3 times a year.

Deer can be very persistent. If they are hungry and become familiar enough with your plants, they may eventually decide to eat them and your other plants anyway. They can even eat cacti!

You can switch your deer-resistant plants on a regular basis to help prevent the deer population from growing well-acquainted with them.

Deer stomachs
Deer Can Grow Familiar With Plants and Even Eat Cacti

If you don’t have many in your area, you may not have to do this often. But if there are large numbers of hungry deer where you live, you may need to swap plants 2-3 times a year.

4. Speak With Other Gardeners

In general, no plant is truly deer-resistant. Consult others on what plants deer have consumed the most and the least of. Confirm their normal diet and adjust planting decisions accordingly to best repel what deer are in the area.

This may be one of the best tips you can use to successfully repel deer. Chances are, you’re probably not the only one to ever wake up to all your plants being eaten.

Take this opportunity to reach out to your neighbors or other gardeners in your area. Ask them, how are they handling it, and what plants did the deer eat the most or the least of?

Remember, there is no such thing as a deer-resistant plant. If desperate, they’ll eat almost anything. What they avoid in one area can be completely different in another.

Check with others to see if the deer in your area are actually repulsed by any of the plants mentioned above, and grow whatever you deem will be the most successful.


Do deers avoid pepper plants?

Depending on the deer population and the general vegetation available, some deer may avoid pepper plants. However, there are many cases of deer consuming them regardless of their spiciness. It is not recommended to grow peppers to repel deer.

Can using neem oil on plants help prevent deer?

Neem oil can sometimes be successful in warding off deer, but there is not much evidence available to conclude it is 100% effective. Some deer may avoid plants treated with neem oil, while other deer may still choose to eat it.

Summary of Plants That Repel Deer

No plant is completely deer-resistant. However, there are plants that deer are more likely to avoid due to their unpleasant taste or odors.

Plants that can repel deer include rosemary, sage, mint, poppies, daffodils, foxgloves, plumbago, Dalmatian irises, American hollies, oleander, lantana, elephant ears, mountain laurel, wormwood, Chinese juniper, Peruvian Lilies, butterfly milkweed, bearded irises, American barberries, and honey locusts.


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