Rabbit and Deer Resistant Plant Ideas

Plant List

The following plants are typically deer proof – but remember, there are no absolutes when it comes to deer. This list includes annuals, perennials, bulbs and flowering shrubs. I’ve also included a list of

deer proof ferns, grasses and groundcovers. Source: Deer Proof Gardens


Common Name Latin Name
Ageratum Ageratum houstonianum
Angel’s Trumpet Brugmansia sp. (Datura)
Anise Pimpinalla anisum
Annual Vinca Catharanthus rosea
Dusty Miller Centaurea cineraria
False Camomile Matricaria sp.
Flowering Tobacco Nicotiana sp.
Forget-Me-Not Myosotis sylvatica
Heliotrope (questionable) Heliotropium arborescens
Larkspur Consolida ambigua
Poppy Papaver sp.
Pot Marigold Calendula sp.
Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis
Snapdragon (questionable) Antirrhinum majus
Snow-on-the-Mountain Euphorbia marginata
Spider Flower Cleome sp.
Strawflower Helichrysum
Sweet Alyssum (questionable) Lobularia maritima


Common Name Latin Name
Anise Hyssop Agastache sp.
Basket of Gold Aurinia saxatilis
Bigleaf Goldenray Ligularia dentata
Bleeding Heart Dicentra spectabilis
Butter & Eggs Linaria vulgaris
Buttercup Ranunculus sp.
Cactus Cactaceae sp.
Catmint Nepeta sp.
Common Tansy Tanacetum vulgare
Corydalis Corydalis sp.
Dame’s Rocket Hesperis matronalis
European Ginger Asarum europaeum
False Indigo Baptisia australis
Forget-Me-Not Myosotis sp.
Fringed Bleeding Heart Dicentra eximia
Garden Sage Salvia officinalis
Germander Teucrium Chamaedrys
Greek Jerusalem Sage Phlomis sp.
Horehound Marrubium vulgare
Horseradish Armoracia rusticana
Hyssop Hyssopus officinalis
Iris Iris sp. (may eat buds)
Jack-in-the-pulpit Arisaema triphylum
Lamb’s Ear Stachys byzantina
Lavendar Lavandula sp.
Lavender-Cotton Santolina chamaecyparissus
Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis
Lenten or Christmas Rose Helleborus sp.
Lungwort Pulmonaria sp.
Marjoram Majorana
May Apple Podophyllum
Meadow Rue Thalictrum sp.
Mint Mentha sp.
Monkshood Aconitum sp.
Oregano Oreganum sp.
Ornamental Onion Allium sp.
Peony (questionable) Paeonia sp. (may eat buds)
Potentilla, Cinquefoil Potentilla sp.
Purple Rock-Cress Aubretia deltoidea
Rock-Cress Arabis caucasica
Rocket Ligularia Ligularia ‘The Rocket’
Rodgers Flower Rodgersia sp.
Rose Campion Lychnis coronaria
Rue Ruta sp.
Russian Sage Perovskio atriplicifolia
Siberian Bugloss Bruneria macrophylla (Brunnera)
Silver Mound Artemisia sp.
Small Globe Thistle Echinops ritro
Spurge Euphorbia sp. (except ‘Chameleon’)
Statice Limonium latifolium
Tarragon Artemisia dracunculus
Threadleaf Coreopsis Coreopsis verticillata
Thyme Thymus sp.
Wild Ginger Asarum canadense
Yucca Yucca filimentosa
Foxglove (technically, a biennial) Digitalis purpurea


Common Name Latin Name
Autumn Crocus Colchicum sp.
Bluebell (questionable) Endymion sp.
Crown Imperial, Fritilia Fritilaria imperialis
Daffodil Narcissus sp.
Ornamental Onion Allium sp.
Siberian Squill Scilla siberica
Snowdrops Galanthus nivalis
Winter Aconite Eranthus hyemalis


Common Name Latin Name
Christmas Fern Polystichum arcostichoides
Cinnamon Fern Osmunda cinnamomea
Hayscented Fern Dennstaedtia punctilobula
Holly Fern Cyrtomium falcatum
Japanese Painted Fern Athyrium goeringianum (nipponicum)
New York Fern Thelyptens noveboracensis
Ostrich Fern Matteuccia struthiopteris
Royal Fern Osmunda regalis
Sensitive Fern Onoclea sensibilis
Wood Fern Dryopteris marginalis

Ground Covers

Allegheny Spurge Pachysandra procumbens
Barrenwort Epimediurn sp.
Bearberry Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
Bishop’s Weed Aegopodium podagaria
Bugleweed Ajuga reptans
Lily of the Valley Convallaria majalis
Pachysandra Pachysandra terminalis
Spotted Deadnettle Lamium sp.
Sweet Woodruff Galium odoratum (Asperula odorata)


Common Name Latin Name
Arrowwood Viburnum Viburnum dentatum
Barberry Berberis sp.
Bayberry Myrica pensylvanica
Blue Mist Shrub Caryopteris clandonensis
Broom Cytisus sp.
Bush Cinquefoil Potentilla fruticosa
Butterfly Bush (questionable) Buddleia sp.
Common Boxwood Buxus sempervirens
Daphne Daphne sp.
Devil’s Walking Stick Aralia spinosa
Drooping Leucothoe (questionable) Leucothoe fontanesiana
Fragrant Sumac Rhus aromatica
Heath Erica sp.
Heather (questionable) Calliuna sp.
Japanese Pieris, Andromeda Pieris japonica
Japanese Plum Yew Cephalotaxus harringtonia
Japanese Skimmia Skimmia japonica
John T. Morris Holly Ilex x ‘John T. Morris’
Leatherleaf Mahonia (questionable) Mahonia bealei
Lydia Morris Holly Ilex x ‘Lydia Morris’
Moonglow Juniper Juniperus scopulorum ‘Moonglow’
Mountain Pieris Pieris floribunda
Oregon Grape Holly (questionable) Mahonia aquifolium
Prince of Wales Juniper Juniperus horizontalis ‘Prince of Wales’
Red Elderberry Sambucus racemosa
Russian Cypress Microbiota decussata
Russian Olive Elaeagnus angustifolia
Sweet Box Sarcoccoca hookeriana

Ornamental Grasses

Common Name Latin Name
Big Bluestem Andropogon sp.
Blue Fescue Festuca glauca
Blue Oat Grass Helictotrichon sempervirens
Clump Bamboo Fargesia sp.
Feather Reed Grass Calamagrostis sp.
Fountain Grass Pennisetum alopecuroides
Giant Japanese Silver Grass Miscanthus floridulis
Giant Reed Arundo donax
Golden Bamboo Phyllostachys aurea
Hakonechloa Hakonechloa macra
Hard Rush Juncus Effusus
Indian Grass Sorghastrum nutans
Japanese Blood Grass Imperata cylindrica
Japanese Sedge Carex sp.
Japanese Silver Grass Miscanthus sinensis
Japanese Sweet Flag Acorus sp.
Large Blue June Grass Koeleria glauca
Little Bluestem Schizachyrium scoparium
Lyme Grass Leymus arenarius glaucous
Northern Sea Oats Chasmanthium latifolium
Oriental Fountain Grass Pennisetum orientale
Pampus Grass Cortaderia selloana
Purple Moor Grass Molinia caerulea
Ravenna Grass Erianthus ravennae
Switch Grass Panicum virgatum
Variegated Purple Moor Grass Molinia caerulea ‘Variegata’
Varigated Oat Grass Arrhenatherum elatius
Weeping Love Grass Eragrostus curvula


None (unfortunately)


American Holly Ilex opaca
Bottlebrush Buckeye Aesculus parviflora
Dwarf Alberta Spruce Picea glauca ‘Conica’
Japanese Black Pine Pinus thunbergiana
Katsura Tree (questionable) Cercidiphyllum japonicum
Mimosa Albizia julibrissin
Paper Birch Betula papyrifera
Pawpaw Asimina triloba
Pitch Pine Pinus rigida
Red Pine Pinus resinosa
River Birch Betula nigra

Deer and Rabbit Resistant Plants

As gardeners, we are often faced with the task of keeping deer and rabits out of our gardens. This is often a fruitless task, as once these animals find something they enjoy eating they will keep coming

back for more. Your garden will soon become a salad buffet. Following are lists of plants deer and rabbits tend to avoid. I have planted some of these plants along the perimiter of my gardens, with
decent success at deterring both deer and rabbits. Russian Sage, one of my favorite plants disliked by deer, also makes a great backdrop when planted en-mass.

Keep in mind that during a harsh season, deer and rabbits may resort to eating these plants if nothing else is available. They have also been known to nibble on the fresh new growth of many garden plants,
including some of these listed. Source: Lewis Gardens

Deer Resistant Plants:

Alchemilla mollis (lady's mantle)
Allium species (ornamental onions)
Agapanthus (african lily)
Antirrhinum (Snapdragon)
Astilbe species
Begonia semperflorens (Wax Begonia)
Buxus (Boxwood)
Centaurea cineraria (Dusty Miller)
Convallaria majalis (Lilly of the Valley)
Cotinus coggygria (Smoke Tree)
Dicentra (Bleeding Heart)
Dictammus albus (Gas Plant)
Echinacea (Coneflower)
Euphorbia marginata (Snow on the Mountain)
Gypsophila paniculata (Baby's Breat)
Heuchera (Coralbells)
Liatris (Gayfeather)
Linum (Flax)
Lonicera (Honeysuckle)
Lupinus (Lupine)
Mentha species (mints)
Narcissus (Daffodil)
Ornamental Grasses
Paeonia (Peony)
Papaver orientalis (Oriental Poppy)
Perovskia atriplicifilia (Russian Sage)
Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed-Susan)
Salvia (Sage)
Stachys byzantina (lamb's ears)
Syringa (Lilac)
Tagetes (Marigold)
Thymus (Thyme)
Trollius europaeus (globe flower)
Veronica (Speedwell)
Vinca (Periwinkle)

Rabbits tend to avoid plants that have a prickly, rough, or fuzzy texture.

Rabbit Resistant Plants:

Acanthus species (bear's breeches)
Aconitum species (monkshood)
Alchemilla mollis (lady's mantle)
Allium species (ornamental onions)
Alstroemeria (Peruvian lily)
Antirrhinum (snapdragon)
Aquilegia species (columbine)
Artichoke, globe and Jerusalem
Astilbe species
Bergenia species (elephant's ears)
Brunnera macrophylla
Cortaderia selloana (pampas grass)
Corydalis species
Crocosmia species
Cyclamen species (hardy cyclamen)
Dahlia (dahlias)
Digitalis species (foxgloves)
Doronicum species (leopard's bane)
Echinops species (globe thistle)
Eryngium agavifolium (sea holly)
Hemerocallis (day lily)
Lamium species (dead nettles)
Malva moschata (musk mallow)
Melissa officinalis (bee balm)
Mentha species (mints)
Muscari species (grape hyacinth)
Myosotis (forget-me-not)
Narcissus (daffodil)
Nepeta × faassenii (catmint)
Origanum vulgare (marjoram)
Paeonia species (paeonies)
Polemonium species (Jacob's ladder)
Polygonatum × hybridum (Solomon's seal)
Primula vulgaris (primrose)
Pulmonaria species (lungwort)
Salvia × superba
Stachys byzantina (lamb's ears)
Trollius europaeus (globe flower)
Tulipa species (tulips)
Verbascum thapsus (mullein)
Verbena species
Viola odorata (violet)

Critter resistant plants.pdf

Copied the information here because Websites have a way of disappearing.

Susceptibility of plants to Rabbit Damage

I thought these plants would be good to try either around the entire garden or for individual gardeners to line their plots with them as a Deer Fence, because we are not allowed to put up an 8 foot fence in our plot and I am not sure we could afford or would be granted an 8 foot fence. If we were it would probably be a Chain-link fence and that might make it look like a prison garden :P

Growing Food When It Counts

One of my favorite books is Growing Food When it Counts by Steve Solomon.
The Des Moines Public Library carries at least one copy and you can read a lot of if not all of the book at Google Books.

From what I have read thus far I really enjoy his take on Clay Soils (pg 34) & The Garden Center Seedrack (pg 97). He also points out on page 90 that you should not water the seed after you have sowed it, the soil should be as damp as when you do the soil moisture test.

Steve Solomon's Soil and Health Library.

Solarization; the dirt, roots, and plastic

Thinking about Tomatoes

I will now quote from my well-worn Rodale's Garden Problem Solver. (be sure and read this to the end about solarizing's effect on beneficial organisms)

"Solarization was developed in Israel and has been tested at a number of universities across this country. It is a process that produces very high levels of heat and humidity in the soil, which pasteurizes the soil, destroying harmful bacteria, fungi, some nematodes, virtually every type of insect larva, and the stock of weed seeds near the surface.

Solarization has been found to be an effective control against such pesky disease problems as verticillium wilt in tomatoes, potates, and eggplants. It knocks out fusarium wilt in tomatoes and onions. It is effective against rhizoctonia in potatoes and onions, and eliminates a variety of nematodes that attack potatoes and other crops.

An unexpected and unexplained benefit of solarization is that it also enhances the soil's ability to grow especially robust and healthy plants. Greater yields have been seen in beds that have been solarized. Solarization destroys harmful organisms, but it seems that certain beneficial organisms are not harmed.

Jim DeVay, chairman of the plant pathology department at the University of California at Davis, is quoted as saying: "While many fungi, bacteria and other pathogens are killed, certain fungi that play an important role in utilization of plant nutrients and crop development withstand the heat and survive."

Source: Fat Free Organic Gardening

I have often wondered if Solarization would kill the beneficial microbes in the soil and plant roots. I have also heard that clear plastic works better for Solarization than black.