7 Plants That Repel Deer - Backyard Boss
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7 Plants That Repel Deer

Deer might seem innocent, but they can wreak havoc in your garden. The good news is that there are many ways to keep them out of your yard. However, one of the most efficient and eco-friendly methods is growing plants that naturally repel them.

In this article, we want to share with you some of the best plants and herbs that will help you keep the deer at bay while adding a pop of color to your outdoor space.

Go ahead and pick up some of these flowers and herbs at your local nursery. You can also pick them to keep your garden thriving all year and protect it from these animals!

Bee balm

Bee Balm
Image credits: BambiG via Canva

Bee balm’s nectar is one of the most aromatic plants for your yard. Due to its strong smell, deer and rabbits tend to stay away from it. Bee balm has a minty scent that attracts bees and butterflies

You can plant Bee balm to prevent deer from snacking on other plants such as hostas and lillies. The best part is that Bee balms are extra easy to maintain, and thrive during summertime when deer are abundant.


Rosemary Plant
Image credits: jopstock via Canva

Rosemary is one of the best herbs to grow due to its strong aroma and therapeutic qualities. However, did you know that its strong fragrance can induce a headache in deer?

Rosemary has needle-shaped leaves, which makes it difficult for deer to snack on. These leaves are also stretchy and leathery, making them all the more non-appealing for deer. This plant grows like a dense bush, but can also be grown in containers and porous pots. 

You can use Rosemary for all your culinary needs while ensuring peace of mind knowing that your plants are safe from deer. 


Purple flowered chives
Image credits: ivabalk via Pixabay

Chives are another culinary herb that turns away deer and other pests such as aphids, mites, and Japanese beetles. You can plant chives alongside the landscape of your garden veggies to act as a protective border. Deer to not appreciate the scent of chives. 

Chives can be grown easily in containers, and they add to the appeal of your garden, especially during summer and spring when you notice some beautiful purple flowers. 


Yellow daffodils against a blue sky with white clouds
Image credits: knollzw via Pixabay

Don’t be deceived by the bright yellow appeal of daffodils. These fresh-looking flowers contain lycorine which is toxic to deer and rabbits. The best part about growing daffodils in your garden is that they will add color to your spring garden and help keep deer away.

You’ll find a great variety of daffodils to choose from, and these plants are pretty low maintenance too. Daffodils are not limited to being a summer plant. They’re winter hardy, and are wonderful for adding some lovely color to a snowy winter garden.

Bleeding hearts

Bleeding Hearts
Image credits: Jeffrey Hamilton via Unsplash

Bleeding Hearts, also known as lady’s locket, will bless you with the best of both worlds. Not only is this flower uniquely beautiful, but it also acts as a deer-resistant border across your garden landscape. All you need to do is grow the vine, wrapping it around the fence, acting as a sturdy barrier.

Bleeding Hearts are best grown in shade, and they appreciate some humidity. Bleeding Hearts also consist of isoquinoline alkaloid, which is both toxic to deer and humans. Deer steer clear from this plant as it causes skin irritation and issues with digestion.

Lamb’s ear

Lamb’s Ear leaves
Image credits: Alex_Schmidt via Canva

As the name suggests, this plant has soft wool-like leaves resembling drooping lamb ears with a velvety feel. This plant is a favorite among bees and hummingbirds. You’ll notice pink or white flowers on this plant which makes this a great colorful addition to your garden.

This plant loves hot and dry weather and thrives during summers. Some people even eat its leaves raw in a salad, or cooked. It is said to have a mild fruity taste, almost like a cross between apples and pineapples. This multi-purpose plant can be used for various edible dishes and medicinal purposes, but most importantly, will help your deer problem.


A bunch of budding orange marigolds
Image credits: _Alicja_ via Pixabay

If you are looking for a plant that can not only help you keep deer out of your garden but also look spectacular in your garden, consider growing Marigolds! They bloom all summer long and serve as homes for buzzing pollinators and rewards for every gardener. 

Marigolds work great as deer repellent due to their strong, pungent scent. They are also easy to grow and do not require a lot of maintenance. 

Ready to work on your deer-safe garden?

These are some plants that will help your yard to stay safe from deer invasion. Do remember that some of them might be seasonal and what may work for one season may not be as effective for other seasons. 

Keep also in mind that deer are attracted to water sources. So, if your yard has a pond, birdbath, or pool, make sure to grow deer repellent plants around them or cover these areas when not in use. 

We hope this article and tips help you get started on a ‘deer-safe’ garden.

Happy gardening!