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Which Annual Plants Are Deer Resistant?

red flower image by sonya etchison from

Reduce your chances of a ruined garden by planting deer resistant annuals. Many annual flowers are not appetizing to, and often repel, the pesky garden thief. The wide range of sizes, shapes and colors means no limit to growing a vibrant and ever-colorful garden. Choosing plants deer don’t snack on reduces the chance of uninvited guests.

Bluebird Delphinium

Bluebird delphinium (Delphinium 'Bluebird') is a tall annual with striking blue flowers. Deer-resistant, bluebird delphinium attracts butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden. Growing 3 to 6 feet tall and 1 to 3 feet wide, bluebird delphinium has a clumping growth habit. The blue flowers have white centers that grow on the tall stem from early to midsummer. Flanking a garden walkway or backdrop for a perennial bed, bluebird delphinium creates a vibrant garden display. A moderate grower, bluebird delphinium requires regular deadheading to ensure a healthy and long-lived blooming season. Bluebird delphinium requires full sun and well-drained, nutrient-rich soil.


Zinnia (Zinnia elegans) is a fast-growing annual flower that is both deer- and drought-resistant. Growing in upright clumps ranging from 1 to 3 feet tall and wide, zinnia flowers grow in a wide range of bright colors, including, red, yellow, orange, purple and pink. A hummingbird attractant, zinnia flowers have single, semi-double or double flower heads that make ideal fresh cut flower blooms. Grown along a flower border or lining a garden walkway, zinnias are a garden staple that bloom throughout the summer. To promote a long blooming season, deadhead the spent blooms as soon as they are visible. Zinnias require full sun and well-drained, fertile soil to thrive.


Salvia (Salvia splendens), also called scarlet sage, is a deer-resistant annual flower with a moderate growth rate. The tall, upright stalks hold the blue, red or white blooms; the flowers shoot up and over pale green foliage for a showy garden display. Growing 12 to 36 inches tall and 8 to 10 inches wide, salvia has a moderate drought tolerance. Blooming in late spring through fall, salvia is a long-lasting annual variety to tuck along a front flowerbed for constant color. Salvia requires full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil.

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