There are many flowers, vines, shrubs and trees available for all climates that deer will not normally eat. Deer have lost much of their natural habitat to human populations in the past 50 years. This reduction in habitat for deer and their predators has increased the interaction between deer and humans. Unfortunately for many homeowners this means predation of their landscaping plants. One way to reduce this impact is to use plants that deer won’t eat as part of the landscape.
Deer will eat the bark as well as leaves, fruit and branches from crabapple trees, cherry trees and pear trees. It is better to plant trees that do not have tasty fruit. Examples for southern states include a Flowering Dogwood, Australian Pine or Bottlebrush tree. Colorado Blue Spruce and Honey Locust can be grown in more northern climates.
Shrubs are another favorite meal for many deer. They enjoy Hibiscus, Rhododendrons and roses. They will not eat Chinese Holly, Juniper or Philodendron. Generally any plant that has thorns is also resistant, so blackberry and raspberry bushes are good choices. These thorny bushes can also be used to build a hedge around the yard to keep deer out entirely.
Deer do not seem to eat vines as much. They will often chew on Clamatis, but Ivy and jasmine don’t seem to be damaged. This may be due to their reluctance to come that close to a home as many times these vines grow directly on the house.
There are many flowers and annuals that deer love to eat. They enjoy plants from peas to Phlox. Planting flowers such as daisy or Lupine may help reduce predation. These flowers have wonderful blooms but deer do not seem to like their taste. Gardeners may want to plant sage, oregano and chives. Annual flowers that deer don’t seem to bother include snapdragon, dahlia and marigolds.
Planning landscaping and flower gardens in areas where deer are a problem should include the use of at least some plants and shrubs that deer don’t like to eat