Are you weary of feeling that deer are thinking that your garden is one extended salad bar? We get it— that frustration when your hard work goes to pieces under the mouth of a hungry deer. So that is why we get excited about sharing information on deer-resistant perennials, a game-changer for Pennsylvania gardeners.

Deer-resistant perennials are plants that deer tend to avoid because of taste, texture, or smell. While there really is no such thing as a completely “deer-proof” plant, perennials are much less likely to be chewed on by our four-legged friends. These plants will add beauty and require less maintenance in your landscape, blooming year after year without being deer food.

Why Do Deer-Resistant Perennials Repel The Deer?

It is because they all have a natural defense system in place. The bulk of them contain offending odors, fuzzy or prickly leaves, and taste terrible; these aspects are fairly unpalatable to deer. Take lavender, for example, its pungent smell and silver-gray leaves signal a glaring ‘No’ to deer. On lamb’s ears, too, the soft leaves are way too rough for deer.

Deer-resistant perennials are the ornamental natural pest control schemes to garden wisely and organically. When you use these varieties of perennials all over your landscape, you’re creating a natural barrier that keeps them away. It is much more beautiful and practical than installing high fences or depending on chemical repellants.

Now, let’s have a look at 10 different deer-resistant perennials that grow well in Pennsylvania:

Deer-Resistant Perennials Black Eyed Susan

1. Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)
They will bloom from summer to fall and seem to never be troubled by deer.

 

 

Deer-Resistant Perennials Coneflower

2. Coneflower (Echinacea)
These flowers also come in many colors. Like black-eyed Susans, they appear to attract butterflies but not deer.

 

 

Deer-Resistant Perennials Russian Sage

3. Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
Deer-resistant, fragrant with silver-gray foliage and purple flowers.

 

 

Deer-Resistant Perennials Catmint

4. Catmint (Nepeta)
Deer tend to avoid these fragrant herbs sporting lavender-blue flowers.

 

 

Deer-Resistant Perennials Beebalm

5. Bee Balm (Monarda)
Perennial with bright red, pink, or purple flowers that are sure to attract every passing pollinator but aren’t really headed toward the deer’s favorite list.

 

 

Deer-Resistant Perennials Yarrow

6. Yarrow (Achillea)
They arrive in many colors, but to deer, its ferny foliage and flat-topped clusters of flowers never seem all that interesting.

 

 

Deer-Resistant Perennials Bleeding Heart

7. Bleeding Heart (Dicentra)
Deer hardly ever browse this shade-loving perennial featuring heart-shaped flowers.

 

 

Deer-Resistant Perennials Foxglove

8. Foxglove (Digitalis)
Tall spikes of tubular flowers add vertical interest to the garden and usually go untouched by deer.

 

 

Deer-Resistant Perennials Hellebore

9. Hellebore (Helleborus)
Sometimes called Lenten rose, this early-flowering perennial has a shade preference.

 

 

Deer-Resistant Perennials Lungwort

10. Lungwort (Pulmonaria)
With lovely spotted leaves and flowers at the beginning of spring and is good in shaded areas.
 
 

Time To Plan Your Deer-Resistant Garden

These 5 tips can help you in your garden planning to create a visually interesting deer-resistant garden:

  1. Group deer-resistant plants together. Grouping these together around the border of your garden can help to create a natural barrier against deer.
  2. Use plants that show varying textures, heights, and bloom times to give your garden interest all year long. Just because the purpose is to keep deer out doesn’t mean it needs to detract from the aesthetic of your garden.
  3. Use fragrant herbs such as lavender, thyme, and rosemary as borders or throughout your garden to help repel deer.
  4. Ornamental grasses are great for adding height and visual interest to your garden design, and the tougher texture is unappealing to deer.
  5. Adding not only dee-resistant perennials but also deer-resistant shrubs and trees to your home’s landscaping creates a full yard defense against most deer.

While deer-resistant plants deter most deer, keep in mind that even deer-resistant plants can still be nibbled by extremely hungry deer or young deer testing out new food sources.

Want to maximize the protection of your garden against deer? Follow these 4 tips to keep your garden from being snacked on by hungry or young deer:

  1. Applying deer repellent sprays to vulnerable plants, especially in early spring when deer are the most hungry.
  2. Install motion-activated sprinklers that will startle the deer and discourage it from entering your garden
  3. Add physical barriers of netting or fencing around prized plants or vegetable gardens.
  4. Avoid overfeeding, as lush new growth is more tempting to deer.

Fill your landscape in Pennsylvania with deer-resistant perennials for a beautiful, low-maintenance garden filled with beauty year after year. These plants not only deter deer but also attract beneficial pollinators, bringing life and color into your outdoor space.

Riverview Tree & Landscaping is here to help you design the and make your garden dreams come true using deer-resistant plants. Our experts will be pleased to assist you in picking out plants that work with the kind of soil you have and the lighting conditions you have—a look in landscaping that suits your taste. We will help you turn your landscape into a deer-resistant haven you are bound to enjoy for many years to come.

Don’t let deer ruin your ideas of a garden by adding deer-resistant perennials into your garden design.

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