Deer are indiscriminate feeders that consume large portions of foliage daily. While they are lovely to behold, deer are destructive to a home garden, as they eat foliage and fruit from the trees and trample plantings on the ground. Fortunately, several plants effectively repel deer from a garden, as they are unappetizing to the animal.
Japanese arrow bamboo (Psuedosasa japonica) is a hardy grass that grows in zones 7 through 10. This fast-growing grass reaches heights between 14 and 20 feet. Bamboo is not only repellent to deer, it can also provide a natural fence around the garden to further detract deer from entering.
Lavender is an aromatic herb that deer typically will not eat. In fact, gardeners report that the scent of lavender in a garden repels deer. Lavender is hardy in zones 6 through 10 and produces fragrant cones of flowers during the spring and summer months. Lavender is a natural seeding plant and a vigorous ground cover, so it must be maintained unless you desire an entire garden of lavender.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a wild flower that thrives in zones 3 through 9. This weed-like plant is a natural-seeding ground cover that thrives in full sunlight and is drought resistant. Yarrow comes in many blossom colors including red, yellow, orange, white, purple and pink. If properly cared for, yarrow can grow to be between 8 to 16 inches tall. Similar to lavender, yarrow is extremely aromatic, and naturally repels deer.