Are deer eating your gardens?

Who me? With a little planning you can design a garden that deer and rabbits may pass over.

May 13, 2016 | | Blogs

Most of us find out the hard way that hungry deer and rabbits will eat almost any plants. It can become a real problem, both in country gardens and also in more urban areas. Damage caused by deer and rabbits is easy to identify – browsing deer often leave a jagged or torn surface on twigs and stems.

Deer and rabbit resistant plants

Rabbit or rodent damage will leave a clean cut surface, usually at a 45 degree angle, like a person has snipped the plant with a good pair of pruners. Even though there are few truly deer and rabbit resistant plants you can, however make your garden a little less inviting by including plants they dislike and excluding those they prefer. In general deer and rabbits avoid plants with a sticky or rough texture, plants with spines or prickles and many plants with fragrant foliage.

Perennials least liked by deer and rabbits

Anenome Daffodil Lavender
Astilbe Delphinium Ornamental Grasses
Beebalm Euphorbia Peony
Blanket Flower Foxglove Rosemary
Bleeding Heart Hellebore Salvia
Buddleia Hyssop Siberian Iris
Catmint Icelandic Poppy Yarrow
Columbine Lady’s Mantle
Coreopsis Lambs Ear


Some plants, including the ones listed below are definite favourites. Try to avoid these plants or use them as lures to protect more treasured plants.

Plants loved by deer and rabbits

Apple Crocus Penstemon
Bearded Iris Daylily Perennial Geranium
Black Eyed Susan Hemlock Phlox
Cedar Hollyhock Sedum
Cherry Hosta Tulip
Coneflower Impatiens


What are your secrets for keeping your garden from becoming a buffet?

About the Author More by Katie Dawson

Katie Dawson and husband Chris Martin own the Cut and Dried Flower Farm, a family owned greenhouse business located close to Glencairn, Ontario.

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