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Vegetable Plants That Deer Do Not Eat

By Darcy Logan ; Updated September 21, 2017

One way to protect your garden from deer is to plant vegetables that deer do not eat. Unfortunately, what a deer is willing to eat varies according to the availability of food sources, number of deer and weather conditions, according to Washington State University. While the deer are less likely to eat the vegetables listed below, it is impossible to say they will never eat them.

Fruit Vegetables

Deer seem to have mixed feelings about fruit vegetables. Deer tend to stay away from cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) and eggplant (Solanum melongena). Deer will usually stay away from okra (Abelmoschus esculentus), squash (Cucurbita pepo) and tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum), but not always. They also have mixed feelings about peppers. They almost always avoid sweet peppers (Capsicum frutescens) and hot peppers (Capsicum annuum), but only occasionally avoid green peppers (Capsicum annuum).

Bulb Vegetables

Perhaps because of their strong smell, deer tend to avoid bulb vegetables. They especially do not like chives (Allium schoenoprasum), garlic (Allium sativum and Allium scordoprasum) and onions (Allium cepa).


Herbs are a category of plants that deer do not seem to enjoy. Herbs that they almost always avoid include lavender, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme. They also dislike mint such as spearmint and peppermint.

Root and Tuber Vegetables

Deer seem to enjoy most root and tuber vegetables. However, they almost always avoid radishes (Raphanus sativus) and will usually avoid potatoes (Solanum species), especially Irish potatoes (Solanum tuberosum).

Other Vegetables

Other vegetables that deer tend to avoid include asparagus (Asparagus officinalis), rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum), cantaloupe (Cucumis melo cantalupensis) and watermelon (Citrulus lanatus).


About the Author


Darcy Logan has been a full-time writer since 2004. Before writing, she worked for several years as an English and special education teacher. Logan published her first book, "The Secret of Success is Not a Secret," and several education workbooks under the name Darcy Andries. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English and Master of Arts in special education from Middle Tennessee State University.