Gardening is hard work, and you put in a lot of long hours in the sun to get your yard looking as beautiful as it does.
So how can you combat the natural inclinations of deer in your area?
One way to do so is by choosing deer-resistant flowers.
Unfortunately, there are no annuals entirely immune to deer, but there are a few that deer would prefer not to eat and choose to avoid when possible.
This bright, colorful flower is the official state flower of California, as its name might suggest. While we can appreciate the California poppy, deer certainly don’t.
Deer don’t enjoy the texture of the leaves on these flowers, so if they can find something else to nibble on, they will.
The California poppy is technically not a true poppy, but it looks very similar to one. You’ll be able to appreciate its gorgeous mix of sunset colors best if you space your plants 9 to 12 inches apart.
Snapdragons make an excellent addition to your garden, with or without deer, due to their bright colors ranging from pinks and purples to red, yellow, white, and orange. They make for an easy way to add color to your yard.
And, thankfully, deer do not enjoy eating these flowers.
Plant your snapdragons in neutral, nutrient-rich soil in a space that sees full sun or partial shade for best results. These plants need good drainage too and react well to 10-10-10 fertilizer.
Surprisingly, deer do not like their meals to be overly fragrant. So if you enjoy a lovely, sweet-smelling flower, you’re in luck! Deer will stay away from them.
The flowering tobacco plant is an excellent example of a sweet-smelling plant that’s no friend to the neighborhood deer. You’ll get the sweet smell along with beautiful, tubular blooms all summer long.
Be sure to keep this plant away from any tomato plants you might have. They can attract tomato hornworms, which are not good for tomato plants.
Cosmos is a very popular annual flower. It grows in a wide range of colors, including white, red, pink, and purple. They’re great for covering large areas, as you can plant many in one spot. Plus, they attract butterflies!
Deer don’t tend to bother these flowers because their thin, delicate petals are like paper to them. They don’t provide much of a meal, nor do they have the greatest texture.
Cosmos require full sun, so be sure to plant them somewhere out in the open.
The Mexican sunflower ranges in color from deep orange to fiery red. These daisy-like flowers have a gold center that can grow as large as 3 inches. One of the best parts about this flower – aside from deterring deer – is that it attracts pollinators like bees and hummingbirds.
Deer aren’t fans of this flower because its petals sprout tiny hairs that make them uncomfortable to eat.
The Mexican sunflower needs full sun in order to thrive. Keep these plants 2 to 3 feet away from each other, as they can grow 4 to 6 feet tall.
The heliotrope is another plant that boasts a sweet-smelling fragrance that keeps deer away. They’d rather not smell their dinner while eating it, and they don’t heliotrope leaves, either.
But this flower is excellent for gardens and flowerbeds. It grows as a herbaceous shrub and gifts its home with beautiful, delicate white blooms.
Heliotrope does well in warmer climates and prefers slightly acidic soil that is kept consistently humid.
The spider flower is a super-cool plant with a unique flower that certainly makes a statement. These plants can grow anywhere from 6 to 8 feet tall, with flowers that bloom in shades of pink and white.
Neither deer nor rabbits like this plant, so it’s a two-for-one deal! Additionally, since they grow so tall, some people enjoy using spider flowers to create natural borders to keep pests out.
Beware when choosing this plant, though. They are fast self-spreaders and will drop seeds everywhere. If not properly maintained, they can take over your whole garden.
Canna lilies are versatile plants that do well both in gardens and in pots. These annuals are not only resistant to deer but to transplanting, too. You can easily dig up their roots and move them around from season to season for many years.
Cannas have large leaves that grow in bronze, green, and even multi-colored patterns. Their flowers are yellow, orange, pink, and more.
Canna lilies do best in warmer climates, but you can keep them around longer by digging them up in cold temperatures and storing them indoors for the winter.
Morning glories are vine plants that are strong climbers with stunning flowers in shades of blue, pink, purple, white, and red. They have heart-shaped leaves, and their flowers resemble trumpets, making them a beautiful addition to any garden.
Deer don’t like any kind of vine plant, really, so morning glories are perfect deterrents.
Morning glories enjoy full sun, and because they are vines, they like to climb. It’s best to plant them by a lattice, fence, or trellis and let them take over.
Larkspur is such a fabulous, eye-catching plant. Its flowers range from deep, dark blues and violets to vibrant white and magenta. They’ll bloom in the summer and last throughout the fall, giving you continual color.
Beyond simply not enjoying these tall spikes of flowers, but they are also poisonous to deer. While this is an excellent deterrent for deer, keep in mind that this flower is also toxic to humans, so keep that in mind when choosing this plant.
Larkspur is highly adaptable to the soil, so long as it has good drainage. You can give it full sun or partial shade. Expect it to grow up to 5 feet tall!