Deer Resistant Annuals


All About Deer Resistant Annuals


Many of us gardeners are frustrated year after year from invading deer, but for those of us who want colorful and attractive garden displays, there are many deer resistant annuals that we can turn to. Hungry deer are prevalent across the United States and can destroy an entire year of gardening work in just a few minutes. There are many ways to try to remove deer from your garden. Large fences, spray repellents or sound devices all may help you repeal deer invasions, but they require repeated and constant applications, and many people prefer their gardens to be open, not surrounded by large, obtrusive fences. A much simpler option is to fill your garden with attractive, hardy and deer resistant annuals. These provide color all summer long and reduce the amount of deer related garden attacks you may suffer. Featured here is a brief list of some of the most popular deer resistant annuals.


Marigolds are available in white, yellow and orange colors and are hardy even through the frost. They stay small and cute, reaching to about 1-3 inches tall, and do best in full sun. French Marigolds can reach up to 10 inches if you are looking for a taller species. Marigolds remain a favorite of deer resistant annuals, and their small round shape makes a perfect addition to beds or borders.

Lobelias grow best in full sun or light shade, and are available in sapphire blue, white, pink, red or even mixed colors. They can grow in an upright or trailing position, giving your garden a new quality.

Ageratums boast a wonderfully blue colored flower, and are also available in white or pink variations. These annuals grow to be about 8-10 inches tall and grow best in full sun to light shade. These compact mounding plants are very attractive.

Dusty Millers can grow in just about any soil in full sunlight. These plants grow to be about 6-15 inches tall, making them great for the middle levels of your garden. They also have a cool silver grey coloration.

Alyssum annuals have nice flowers of red, purple and white that can be easily maintained throughout the entire season with some deadheading. They also self seed with little effort, making them easy to keep and grow in your garden. It is best to avoid over rich soils with Alyssums however.

Often called the ‘Monkey Flower’, Mimulus plants have attractive spotted yellow flowers and grow nicely in damp or shady soils. The 9 inch tall Calypso variations are the most popular.

Calendulas are often used in deer resistant gardens. They are often called Pot Marigolds and come in a variety of colors due to hybridization. You can find them in yellow to orange or a variety of multicolors. They grow best in full sun or part shade, can grow in just about any soil condition and are self seeders.


Cosmos may look delicate, but these tall and robust plants can be used to create depth in your garden and produce some quality colors as well. They grow to about 1-3 feet and are found in white, red or yellow colors. They grow best in full sun and can handle even the crappiest soil.

Dahlias will continue to flower right up until the first frost and are available in a variety of colors. They grow to about 1-2 feet tall.

Nicotianas have attractive bushy leaves and bright upright flowers. These are a hybridization of the tobacco plant and grow best in full sunlight to partial shade.

Gazanias have daisy like large flowers available in several combinations of colors. They enjoy full sunlight and grow to be about 8-15 inches tall. They can handle dry soils, but it is best not to plant them in heavy thick soils.

California Poppies will grow fast in poor soils and boast a wide variety of bright colors including orange, cherry, yellow and white. They grow best in full sunlight and will reach about 6 inches to 1 foot in height.

Finally, Zinnia annuals may not like cool and wet weather, but grow well in full sunlight. They are available in many different sizes, shapes and colors to suit your preferences.

These deer resistant annuals are your best bet for a problem free garden full of color and shape. Remember that sometimes even deer can get the better of you, as hunger may force them to nibble on things often times they will ignore. But for those of us that share our gardens with the natural world, sometimes wildlife guests will stop in and that’s part of the fun too. 


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