Garden Plants the Deer Allow Me To Enjoy

Evergreen candytuft

Iberis sempervirens - Candytuft

Six new Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft) are ready to be added to the garden this weekend and the deer will most likely pass them by unharmed.

Drought and deer cause serious damage in my central North Carolina garden, but the deer are more annoying. Neighborhood rules prohibit erecting a twelve-foot fence and none of the expensive garden sprays, homemade solutions, smelly soaps have worked well enough to provide peace of mind. With remarkable savvy, deer take advantage of that one break in the repellent application schedule to devour the phlox paniculata or daylily flowers that opened only moments before.

Last summer with sadness I finally pulled up these treasured garden mainstays, the phlox and daylilies, that used to provide color throughout much of the summer. What can a gardener do?

Some plants in this garden though have been ignored by deer. Although every list of deer-resistant plants comes with the warning deer will eat these too if they are hungry enough, to date these plants have been safely grown.

Perennials, Bulbs, Shrubs

Aquilegia spp. (Columbine)
A. italicum (Arum)
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly weed)
Artemisia spp.
Buddleia spp. (Butterfly bush) (potentially invasive)
Colocasia esculenta (Elephant ear)
Dianthus spp.
Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William)
Digitalis purpurea (Foxglove)
Echinacea spp. (Coneflower)
Echinops ritro (Globe Thistle)
Eupatorium (Joe-Pye Weed)
Gardenia jasminoides (Gardenia)
Hyacinthus spp. (Hyacinths)
Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)
Iris spp.
Lavandula (Lavender)
Liatris (Gayflower)
Lychnis spp. (Rose Campion)
Monarda didyma (Bee Balm)
Muscari spp. (Grape Hyacinths)
Narcissus spp. (Daffodils)
Nepeta spp. (Cat Mint)
Perovskia spp. (Russian sage)
Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant)
Salvia spp.
Spirea spp. (Spirea)
Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s ear)
Tanacetum (Tansy)
Verbena bonariensis (Verbena)
Veronica spp. (Speedwell)


Campanula media (Canterbury Bells)
Cleome hasslerana (Spider Flower)
Dahlia spp. (Dahlia)
Impatiens balsama (Balsam impatiens)
Lantana camara (Lantana
Pelargonium spp. (Scented Geranium)
Portulaca grandiflora (Rose Moss)
Senecio cineraria (Dusty Miller)
Tagetes spp. (Marigold)
Zinnia spp. (Zinnia)

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