A List of Plants That Are Deer Resistant

Deer can devastate a vegetable and flower bed and leave the landscaping looking damaged and quite bare. Deer enjoy eating the sweet shoots of flowers and edibles but at the price of ruining the entire garden. To help combat this problem, plant deer-resistant plants, like yucca and candytuft. There are many shrubs, ground covers and flowers that deer don't enjoy eating, so as to keep the landscaping looking colorful. By planting these among the landscape, you have a better chance of growing a long-lasting garden.

Japanese Boxwood

Japanese boxwood is a deer resistant evergreen with a moderate growth rate. It's medium to fine texture and loose, rounded shape has fragrant flowers every spring. The Japanese boxwood grows up to six feet in height, four feet wide and has dark green leaves. These lustrous leaves grow up to one-inch long and leaf out early in the spring. The Japanese boxwood prefers sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained soils. The USDA hardiness zone is 6 to 9.


This evergreen shrub is drought and deer resistant, making it every gardener's dream. The rosemary bush has spreading branches that cascade out with their medium to fine texture. It prefers full sun to light shade and well-drained soil. The rosemary bush grows up to four feet high and wide, and has pale blue flowers that emerge every winter. The gray-green to dark green needles are highly aromatic and when crushed, permeate the air with a heady scent. Rosemary can be severely pruned in order to promote new growth the following growing season. The USDA hardiness zone is 7 to 8.

Garden Thyme

This deer-resistant ground cover has aromatic, medium to dark green leaves that creep around the landscape. Garden thyme grows six to 10 inches in height and is a fast spreading ground cover. Its hairy, fragrant leaves are small and clustered together. During the spring, garden thyme produces white to lilac colored flowers that dapple the garden with color. This hardy plant is also drought-tolerant and can tolerate low fertile soil, including clay. Garden thyme prefers sun to light shade to thrive. The USDA hardiness zone is 5 to 9.


This annul deer-resistant flower begins blooming in late spring and lasts through the fall. The colors of the zinnia blooms include pink, red, yellow, orange and white. The upright stems hold the colorful blooms and grow up to 36 inches in height. Zinnia is also drought tolerant and requires full sun to thrive. Spaced along a perennial garden or in a front flower bed, the zinnia is sure to be a showstopper among the garden. The USDA hardiness zone is 3 to 10.

Keywords: deer resistant plants, Japanese boxwood, rosemary bush

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer and photographer in North Carolina. Her work has appeared in Forbes and Automotive News magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.