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5 Gorgeous Deer Resistant Perennials – How To Plant To Avoid Deer!

There is no better way to create a long-lasting, low-maintenance, damage-proof landscape than by filling your flowerbeds with deer resistant perennials. Especially when they just happen to be drought resistant plants too!

Let’s face it, deer can cause serious damage to flowerbeds. And in quick fashion! Whether it’s chewing hostas to the ground, or nibbling the blooms off tulips and roses, a hungry deer can destroy plant life in an instant.

And, unless you are willing and able to put up tall and expensive fencing, they are going to keep coming back. Deer have a wondrous knack for remembering where their favorite plants are. And for coming back time and time again to enjoy the plant’s latest re-growth as a snack.

But there is hope. And it all starts by selecting and planting perennials that deer won’t find attractive in the least. And believe it or not, there are a few plants out there that deer don’t enjoy!

deer resistant perennials
Once deer find the plants they love, they will keep coming back, But by planting perennials that deer don’t enjoy, you can help protect your landscape from damage.

In fact, in some cases, there are plants that deer even find offensive. And by adding these plants into your landscape, it can also help protect the plants the deer do find attractive. Now that is the ultimate form of companion planting for sure!

With that in mind, here are 5 great deer resistant perennials to add to your flowerbeds this year:

5 Incredible Deer Resistant Perennials

#1 Lupines – Deer Resistant Perennials

With colorful elongated blooms that last from late spring through summer, lupines add serious interest to the landscape. But in spite of their beauty, deer simply don’t find them attractive in the least.

deer resistant perennials
Lupines send up long slender blooms from spring until mid summer. Not only are the plants beautiful, they also have long taproots that actually help to break up hard soil and improve your flowerbeds over time.

What makes this perennial so unique and special are it’s incredibly prolific and long lasting blooms. A member of the pea family, lupines will bloom profusely for weeks on end – and in a wide array of colors too!

Lupines grow well and survive in growing zones 4 through 8. They are a full sun plant, and require at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight to produce their flowers. The herbaceous perennial dies back completely each year, re-emerging with new foliage in the spring.

Although deer may not be attracted to lupines, pollinators are! In fact, lupines attract all types of butterflies, bees and birds to the landscape. Just one more reason to add them to your landscape this year!

#2 Blanketflower – Deer Resistant Perennials

We would be hard pressed to leave Blanketflower out of our list today of deer resistant perennials. In fact, we love this deer resistant perennial so much, we penned an entire article on it this past summer. (See : The Most Amazing Perennial Ever – Blanketflower!)

Talk about a perennial with all season flower power! Blanket flower blooms so thick and dense, it often gets confused as an annual. It’s not only perfect for planting in flowerbeds, but it pots and containers as well.

blanketflower blooming
Blanketflower’s blooms just keep coming. The perennial is one of the longest blooming plants of all – and looks great in the landscape or in containers.

Blanketflower stays in continual bloom all through the summer months, and even into early fall. They thrive in full sun, and require very little water to survive. In fact, they actually prefer less water and are considered a highly drought-resistant plant.

Blanketflower grows in a mounding form, reaching about 14 to 16 inches in height. Their flowers closely resemble a cross between a daisy and a coneflower, and are simply stunning to behold.

#3 Bee Balm – Deer Resistant Perennials

Bee balm has so many incredible qualities as a perennial, that it’s truly a must-have plant for any landscape. Not only is it highly drought and deer resistant, it also attracts bees, birds and butterflies in droves.

In fact, its fragrant spiky blooms are so good at bringing in pollinators, other varieties of plants planted in close proximity will see increased pollination as well.

Bee balm is a relatively low-maintenance, easy care perennial. Making it even more attractive, not only is it deer-resistant, it’s scent actually repels deer. That means when planted near plants deer love, it can help protect them as well!

deer resistant - bee balm
Bee balm might be deer resistant, but pollinators love it! The fragrant scent will bring butterflies, bees and more to your yard.

Full size varieties grow in clumps, with flowering tops that extend upwards of two to four feet tall. In addition to larger varieties, there are dwarf varieties available with smaller bloom heights of 10″ to 12″ tall.

For more on growing this incredible perennial, be sure to check out our article on This Is My Garden : Growing Bee Balm For Pollinators.

#4 Astilbe – Deer Resistant Perennials

Looking for a perennial that can handle the shadier areas of your yard without worry of deer? Astilbe is the perennial for you!

Astilbe’s shiny foliage fills bed spaces with interest all season long. But it is its beautiful clusters of blooms in red, white or pink that are perfect for bringing intense color to the shadier spots of your yard.

Astilbe can add serious flower power to the shadier areas of your yard. They are a wonderful perennial for attracting pollinators, and can help to protect other plants deer love to eat when planted in close proximity.

Astilbe is a great choice for planting around hostas to help hide and protect them a bit from deer. Not only do they help protect the plants, the two growth-styles and foliage patterns fit perfectly well together.

Astilbe can be found in varieties ranging from 8 to 12 inches in height, up to nearly 6 feet tall and beyond. Their blooms form on woody stems that depending on the variety, can range from just a few inches long, to 24 inches or more.

And do the pollinators ever love them! Much like bee balm, astilbe produces blooms that are highly attractive to a wide range of pollinators. Bees and butterflies will visit the plants repeatedly over the course of their long bloom cycles.

#5 Coneflower – Deer Resistant Perennials

Last, but not certainly least on our deer resistant perennial plant list are coneflowers. Talk about a great perennial with big blooms, coneflower holds up well to drought and deer!

coneflower - deer resistant
With a daisy like bloom, coneflowers hold up well to drought and deer. They also double as a great food source for birds in the fall.

A member of the Daisy family, Coneflowers produce flowers with colorful petals that surround a rounded center seed cone. And that seed cone attracts all kinds of pollinators – including birds, bees and butterflies.

You can find them in a wide range of varieties, from white, red and pink, to purple, orange and gold. One thing is for sure, there is a color of coneflower for nearly every flowerbed theme!

Coneflowers are extremely low-maintenance, and do not require watering or fertilizer once established. They are heavy re-seeders as well, and often can produce additional plants that can be used all over the landscape.

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Here is to filling your flowerbeds with low-maintenance, deer resistant perennials! Happy Gardening – Jim and Mary.

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