If you have hungry deer in your neighborhood, you know they can wreak havoc in just a few short hours. You can apply repellents or build a tall fence, but it may be easiest to make peace with the deer and plant flowers that won't be at the top of the dinner list. While no plants are completely deer-proof, especially if the deer are starving, there are a number of attractive, deer-resistant plants.
Angel's trumpet (Brugmansia) is a tall perennial with a sweet aroma that you will enjoy, and a nasty flavor that deer won't appreciate. Angel's trumpet is so named for the colorful trumpet-shaped flowers that will bloom vigorously in partial shade and full sunlight from midsummer to the first frost in autumn. Angel's trumpet will grow in USDA zones 9 to 11.
Dianthus, an annual more commonly known as carnations or pinks, is rarely damaged by hungry deer but is well-liked by gardeners for its carefree nature, fragrant, ruffled flowers, bright colors and attractive foliage. Dianthus is a sun-loving plant that will thrive in average but well-drained soil. Plant dianthus in USDA zones 4 to 9.
Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus) are cheery, deer-resistant annuals available in a range of colors from delicate pastels to bold oranges and reds. Snapdragons will often self-seed to return to the flower bed year after year in USDA zones 4 to 11. Although snapdragons like full sunlight, they prefer cool temperatures and won't do well during extended periods of hot weather.
Although the sweet nectar of ageratum (Ageratum houstonianum) will attract birds and butterflies to your garden, ageratum isn't usually attractive to deer, possibly because of its fuzzy leaves. Ageratum is a low-growing, compact perennial evergreen that grows in USDA zones 5 to 9, where the plant will produce colorful flowers from early summer to the first frost in autumn. Because ageratum is so dependable, it's a good plant for both seasoned growers and novice gardeners.
Daffodils (Narcissus) are vigorous spring-blooming bulbs that, once planted, will return to welcome spring year after year. The long-lived flowers, nearly always shunned by deer, are planted between September and November in well-drained soil and full sunshine. Depending on the variety, daffodils can be planted in USDA zones ranging from 3 to 10.
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