As neighborhoods grow into once wild areas and predator populations dwindle, deer are becoming common garden visitors even in the bustling suburbs. The only way to guarantee the safety of landscape plants is to physically protect them inside fences or cages. In cases where that’s not an option, try using plants deer find distasteful to avoid losing plants in your gardens. Deer might take a nibble here and there, but they’re more likely to move along to more palatable options.
Here’s a list of some beauties they especially dislike. For a full list click here.
Euphorbia x martinii 'Ascot Rainbow'
The striking variegated foliage of 'Ascot Rainbow' is looks fantastic from spring through fall. Selected for its highly ornamental variegated flower bracts and narrow, grey-green leaves with a striking yellow edge. Plants are topped by clusters of variegated cream, lime, and green "flowers" in spring. In the cooler months, the foliage at the ends of the stems becomes flushed with shades of red, pink, and orange. Overwinters reliably with excellent drainage. Gorgeous in the garden bed and showy enough for container plantings. Heat and drought tolerant.
Baptisia australis is an upright native perennial which occurs in rich woods, thickets and along stream banks from Pennsylvania south to North Carolina and Tennessee. Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade, false indigo grows best in full sun. Tolerates drought and poor soils. Plants form slowly expanding clumps with deep root systems that should not be disturbed once established. Shearing foliage after bloom helps maintain rounded plant appearance. Beautiful, showy native plant! NATIVE TO THE EASTERN HALF OF THE U.S.
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Epimedium grandiflora ‘Lilafee’
Dense, clump-forming, deciduous perennial that grows 10-15” tall with a spread to 18-20". Native to woodland areas of Japan, Korea and Manchuria, the pale rose to violet sepals and white petals bloom in above the foliage in spring. These delicate looking woodland perennials are actually pretty tough! 'Lilafee' produces racemes of long-spurred, lavender-violet flowers in spring well above the foliage. Compound, medium green leaves with spiny-toothed, oval leaflets (to 3" long) on wiry stems form attractive foliage mounds. New leaves in spring emerge beige with a red tinge, mature to green and turn red in fall. 'Lilafee' is sometimes called 'Lilac Fairy'.
Large, multi-stemmed shrubs have aromatic twigs and foliage. Spicebush is an important native plant for birds and a larval host plant for the spicebush swallowtail. Male and female flowers occur on separate plants, and the females have bright red fruits in fall. NATIVE TO THE EASTERN HALF OF THE U.S.
Agastache rugosa 'Little Adder'
An excellent pollinator plant, ornamental, herbal, and culinary herb. Both flowers and leaves have a delicate licorice scent reminiscent of rootbeer. Blossoms make attractive garnishes and are often used in Chinese-style dishes. Excellent in salads. While 'Little Adder' is half the height of 'Black Adder' and 'Blue Fortune', it's twice as floriferous which means more nectar for the pollinators. TRY THE NATIVE! Related Plants [plant id="5800"]
Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus'
Horizontal yellow bands on wide foliage that grows 4-6' tall and 3-5' wide. Tolerates poorly drained soils. [gallery columns="1" size="medium" link="file" ids="6088"]
Foliage of the cultivars 'Jack Frost' and 'Silver Heart' is intricately washed with a striking silver, crackle-like finish. Dark green leaves are heavily frosted which allows only the green veining to show through. From mid to late spring, baby blue, blossoms that resemble forget-me-not are held in clusters over the shimmering foliage that brightens shady areas in borders or woodland settings or as a groundcover. A beautiful addition to the shade garden.
This low, colony-forming perennial grows large, velvety, heart-shaped leaves with a darkish red-brown to green-brown flower. The solitary flower is at ground level, hidden below the leaves. The fleshy rootstock has a strong, gingery flavor. NATIVE TO THE EASTERN HALF OF THE U.S.
Fothergilla major 'Blue Shadow' Plant Patent #15,490
White honey-scented flowers at branch tips on a mounded shrub featuring two-tone blue-green foliage in spring followed in fall with stunning fall colors of red, orange and yellow. Provides unique color to the landscape as a foundation plant and mixed borders. Best bloom and color when planted with more sun, but adapts to partial shade. Deciduous.