Episode 155: Deer Resistant Favorites

One of the worst sights you can ever see in the garden is a plant that has been browsed by deer. (Sidenote: we don’t love the gentle word “browsed” in this instance. A more appropriate term might be “obliterated.”) If the munching is particularly bad, that perennial, tree, or shrub becomes unrecognizable. And in many cases, this can mean instant death to your prized specimen. With deer pressure increasing from coast-to-coast, we decided it’s time to highlight some of our favorite deer-resistant plants. Yes, we’re from deer-ridden New England, but rest assured that we’ve included plants in this episode that will thrive from Texas to Michigan, and everywhere in between.

Guest: Karen Chapman is a landscape designer in Duvall, Washington, and the author of Deer-Resistant Design: Fence Free Gardens that Thrive Despite the Deer.

Danielle’s Plants

Photo: Walters Gardens, Inc.

‘Childhood Sweetheart’ hellebore (Helleborus ‘Childhood Sweetheart’, Zones 4-9)

Winter daphne

Winter daphne (Daphne odora, Zones 7-9)

Bonfire euphorbia

‘Bonfire’ euphorbia (Euphorbia polychroma ‘Bonfire’, Zones 5-9)

Sunshine Blue blue mist shrub

Sunshine Blue® blue mist shrub (Caryopteris incana ‘Jason’, 5-9)


Carol’s Plants

Variegata Hiba arborbitae
‘Variegata’ Hiba arborbitae

Hiba arborvitae (Thujopsis dolobrata ‘Variegata’, Zones 5-8)

Victoria Blue mealycup sage

‘Victoria Blue’ mealycup sage (Salvia farinacea ‘Victoria Blue’, Zones 8-10)

Carolina allspice in full bloom
Carolina allspice in full bloom. See sweetshrub trial results from the Chicago Botanic Garden here.

Eastern sweetshrub, syn. Carolina allspice (Calycanthus floridus, Zones 4-9)

Gerald Darby iris spring foliage
‘Gerald Darby’ iris, spring foliage

Gerald Darby iris early summer flowers
‘Gerald Darby’ iris, early summer flowers

‘Gerald Darby’ iris (Iris × robusta ‘Gerald Darby’, Zones 4-9)


Expert’s Plants

Magical Fantasy weigela
Photo: Karen Chapman

Magical® Fantasy weigela (Weigela florida ‘Kolsunn’, Zones 4-8)

Threadleaf bluestar flowers
Threadleaf bluestar flowers, Photo: Karen Chapman

Threadleaf bluestar fall color
Threadleaf bluestar fall color, Photo: Karen Chapman

Threadleaf bluestar (Amsonia hubrichtii, Zones 5-8)

Whirling Butterflies gaura
Photo: Karen Chapman

‘Whirling Butterflies’ gaura (Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’, Zones 5-9)

Goldsturm black-eyed Susan
Photo: Michele Christiano

‘Goldsturm’ black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’, Zones 3-9)

Karen Chapman headshot
Photo: courtesy of Karen Chapman

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