My Favorite Deer-Resistant Plants Blooming Now

Marjorie George
3 min readSep 3, 2020

Are there any plants that are truly deer-resistant? Maybe not, but here are five plants flourishing in my yard in North Carolina that deer don’t seem to like.

I’ve had this Issai Beautyberry for several years. Its delicate berries add a touch of subtlety to the late-summer landscape, and the sweeping branches complement a nearby forsythia.

Beautyberry Issai

I bought three Watermelon Coleus plants this spring, and they brightened the shady spots in my yard well beyond my expectations. This one lives in an area heavily trafficked by squirrels, as well as deer, and it wasn’t touched at all. With many varieties of coleus available, it’s a good choice for carefree, deer-free gardening.

Watermelon Coleus

This is my fourth year with my white wood aster, which has found a comfortable home in a lightly shaded bed that surrounds our patio. Native to the eastern United States, this hardy plant requires minimal care. It tolerates drought and attracts butterflies. I especially like its star-shaped flowers.

White wood aster (Eurybia divaricata)

Though this Anemone Pamina sits near the white wood aster, it enjoys more morning sun. A perennial plant, it reminds me of the annual cosmos flower in its tall, willowy stems. Mine needs staking. The flowers keep coming day after day and perk up my yard when so many other plants have begun to fade.

Anemone Pamina

My spirea is on its second bloom of the season, this time not so riotous but still cheerful. It’s one of my oldest perennial plants. Easy to grow and drought tolerant, the deer never take even a small bite. This year I’m trying to propagate a new plant from a low-lying shoot.


I like to try all sorts of products to keep deer away, including red pepper, blood meal, and Irish Spring soap. And while these and other DIY concoctions have helped, I’m most satisfied when I find plants that deer don’t like in the first place. Plants with fuzzy texture, leathery leaves, and strong odors are naturally repellent. These five meet the criteria and, as a bonus, are beautiful additions to the fall landscape.

What plants do you have success with? I’m looking forward to my fall garden and sharing more deer-resistant plants then.



Marjorie George

I write once again, hoping to make sense of a world on the edge. Humor helps. So does my family. And, of course, there’s always another weed to pull.