Deer Resistant Plants


Many of us spend a great deal of time working in our gardens and perfecting our landscaping. We spend hours on end planting, trimming and watering. We take pride in our hard work. We literally reap the fruits (and flowers) of our labor. Waking up one morning to find that hungry deer have ravaged our plants make us madder than a wet hen.

Pasadena MD Landscaping - Deer Resistant plants

AMJ Landscaping, Pasadena, MD Deer Resistant Plants Landscaping Design Ideas

There are things we can use to deter deer from eating our plants. Elephant garlic, Deer-Off, Liquid Fence, baby formula, hot sauce, and (my personal favorite) predator urine do alright for dissuading them, but rather than chase deer away from plants they love we can save ourselves a lot of frustration by planting things that they don’t particularly like to eat.

Now, you might have heard that there is no such thing as a deer proof plant. All plants are subject to being mowed down by deer if they are hungry enough. There are, however, plants (nice looking ones) that are generally avoided by deer.

Here’s what we know about deer dining habits:

  • As much as 90% of their water requirements are met by munching on lush greens and tender young, plant growth.
  • Deer prefer high protein crops such as peas, soybeans, turnips, alfalfa and corn.
  • They like trail mix. Fruit, nuts and seeds are especially important when the green vegetation starts to dwindle.
  • There are very few animals that can resist the sweet smell of apples. Deer are one of them.
  • They will happily rip off the bark of maples, aspens and dogwoods. They get water from their bark and it sits heavily in their four-chambered stomachs, keeping them full longer.

Okay, we know what they prefer. Now what do they avoid?

  • Deer are sensitive to smells and most strong scents can drive them away (unless that smellis apples!)
  • Like small children, deer don’t like strange textures in their food. They prefer not to eat things that are fuzzy, prickly or thorny. (They do like roses though. I guess in their case, the thorns are worth the taste of the delicious flower.)
  • Deer avoid plants with milky sap and other plants that will upset their stomachs or give them heartburn.
  • Deer prefer not to walk through sharp ornamental grasses or thorny brush to get to food.


Deer avoid the prickly center of zinnia flowers

Okay, now for the good stuff!
  There are a variety of beautiful flowers, shrubs and trees that we can plant in our yard that deer are unlikely to do much damage to. I have compiled this list based on information I have collected from searching educational websites, retail and wholesale suppliers’ recommendations, public forums and my own personal experience.

In honor of the Winter Olympics, I will divide them up into two categories: SILVER (plants that deer generally dislike eating) and GOLD (plants that deer really dislike eating).

First, the SILVER medal winners:

  • Beebalm
  • Buckthorn (Rhamnus)
  • Calla Lily
  • Columbine
  • Coral Bells (Heuchera)
  • Echinacea (Coneflower)
  • English Lavender
  • Evening Primrose
  • Gladiolus
  • Lily Turf
  • Oriental Poppy
  • Parsley
  • Rose of Sharon
  • Rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susan)
  • Sage (Salvia)
  • Smokebush
  • Speedwell
  • Weigela
  • Yarrow
  • Zinnia

…And for the GOLD:

  • American Holly
  • Arrowwood Viburnum
  • Barberry
  • Bayberry
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Bluebell
  • Blue Fescue
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Catmint
  • Common Boxwood
  • Dwarf Alberta Spruce
  • Foxglove
  • Germander
  • Hummingbird Mint
  • Iris
  • Japanese Blood Grass
  • Lamb’s Ear
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Lungwort
  • Maiden Grass
  • Oregano
  • Poppy (note: Oriental Poppy scored a silver)
  • Purple Moor Grass
  • Red Hot Poker
  • Riverbirch
  • Rosemary
  • Russian Olive
  • Russian Sage
  • Snap Dragon
  • Switchgrass
  • Thyme
  • Yucca

Of course there are always exceptions.  Time of year and scarcity of food will ultimately determine the eating habits of deer.

Reprinted from an article by our friend and grower from Ohio, Mike McGroarty

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Are you Grilling or Cooking?

Grilling has always been more about just throwing a few things on a grate and hoping they don’t all turn out charcoal black.  Cooking is replacing grilling. evo1

Cooking is what you did for Thanksgiving.  Remember all the prep work and the variety of side dishes?  The way everyone pitched in to bring their best ingredients?  How about those flavors-the way they made your mouth happy?

Cooking on an outdoor grill is all about having the right things at your disposal and being able to control the temperatures in your grill.  This is important.  Controlling the temperatures within your grill?  Is it possible to do beef, chicken, fish and veggies all at one time?

Yours doesn’t work that well?   Check out the Primo and Evo Grills on our website: , click Services then Outdoor Kitchens




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Putting your TAX dollars to work

Now is the time to plan where your tax dollars will do you the most good.flagstone patio, outdoor living, night lighting

Investing in your home is always a smart move, and we have some cool new products this season.

Is it going to be some new patio furniture, a better grill, a smoker, a fire pit?

Do you want to replace an old walkway? Replant the gardens? Add LED lighting or Irrigation?

What about the relaxing sound of a water feature?Basalt column water feature

Prepay NOW for annual lawn maintenance and we will give you an extra 5% off.  The government isn’t going to give you a break like that!

CAll 410.438.3027 today for a FREE Consultation!

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Choosing colors

20 Vibrant Colors and Every One is Green™

Breezesta has the largest color selection of 100% recycled poly in the industry. We take the industry way beyond white into 20, rich and vibrant colors. From Seafoam and Blueberry to Weatherwood and Forest Green, only Breezesta offers a wide range of colors that allow your customers to match their furniture to their personal style. Colors are consistent from season to season. Customers can buy year after year without fear of mis-matched or slightly askew colors.

Breezesta AdirondacksNot only do we offer the widest color range, we also stand by the integrity of our colors:

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Mix and Match Colors for a Customer Perfect Match

Breezesta Color Mix

Breezesta is the only poly outdoor furniture manufacturer to offer a color mix and match option this extensive. For the most style conscious customers, give them the ability to “mix and match” among our 20 vibrant colors. Homeowners can create exclusive color combinations to integrate with other outdoor elements or garden themes. Or, match to a favorite sports team or college or high school.

We can also create a custom color combination!
Spec any two* frame and seat/back slat colors for a one-of-a-kind style statement. There’s no minimum order. One piece or an entire set.

Breezesta Classic Bench

How to order custom multi-color items:

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Contact John Gallagher @ AMJ Landscaping or 410.437.3027

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