Deer are majestic creatures that are common around Pennsylvania. While they may be beautiful, they can also turn your landscape beds into their lunch table and destroy the plants you work so hard to keep healthy and looking great. Fortunately, you can make your landscape as deer-resistant as possible by growing plants that deer hate. These include ornamental grasses, foxgloves, vincas, herbs, cosmos, and purple coneflowers.

No landscape is entirely deer-resistant because deer will eat anything if the food supply is scarce. However, it will still be beneficial to your property if you incorporate some of these plants into your landscape to keep deer away. Check out what plants you should have to achieve a deer-resistant landscape.

1. Ornamental Grasses

Tall ornamental grasses are a great addition when planning for a deer-resistant landscape. They provide unmatched charm and deter deer from browsing on your property. Deer tend to stay away from textured plants and ornamental grasses with lush foliage fall into that category. Most ornamental grasses grow into larger mounds, so make sure to leave room between each plant to give them space for growth.

It's also important to note how ornamental grasses can beautify your landscape. There are ornamental grasses that provide different colors ranging from pale green to red, giving you some room to design around your other desired plants. Varieties of ornamental grass you can add are pampas, fountain grass, maiden grass, and ribbon grass, among others.

2. Foxgloves

Foxgloves in bloom near West Chester, PA.

Foxgloves are another great addition to your landscape to keep deer away. That's because all parts of these towering plants are poisonous to deer. Foxgloves can be planted as a perennial or annual and grow multiple, downward-facing bell or tube flowers in brilliant clusters. If you desire blooms of pink, purple, cream, and white on your landscape, then plant foxgloves in areas with moist and well-drained soils that are under partial shade or full sunlight.

3. Vincas

Vincas, also called periwinkle, are a good deer deterrent because of their fragrant and mildly poisonous flowers. These flowers make a good ground cover if you want to add some subtle white, pink, and lavender hints to your landscape. Vincas are perennials but can be planted as annuals. They are native to Madagascar and thrive in warm conditions, flourishing in sunny and partially shaded areas with sandy loam soils.

Aside from keeping deer at bay, the vinca plant is also known to dissuade rabbits from munching away on your beloved plants.

4. Herbs

Catmint purple blooms in Downingtown, PA.

As much as humans like the aroma of herbs, deer don't like their smell. This makes herbs a smart addition to plant around your landscape beds to protect them from deer. Here are some common herbs you can use in the kitchen that also discourage deer from entering your property:

  • Catmint
  • Chives
  • Lavender
  • Ginger
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano

5. Cosmos

Cosmos are annual plants that are easy to plant and sow. With daisy-like flowers that sit on slender stems, they bring beauty to your landscape and are deer-resistant. One cosmos variety is the chocolate cosmos. It has a vanilla-like scent that makes your landscape more fragrant while also deterring deer from your property. With the stunning blooms that cosmos provide your landscape, you want to deadhead these flowers to keep them in bloom longer. Staking will also help the plant sit upright, given that they have slender stems.

6. Purple Coneflowers

Purple coneflowers are a favorite among homeowners because of the classic beauty they bring to any property. This plant also has a daisy-like flower that comes in pink and purple. It has a spiny flowerhead that deer don't like, but will attract pollinators like bees and butterflies.

These plants will bloom as early as mid-spring until late summer. Purple coneflowers will also thrive in sunny or partially shaded areas and well-draining soils. Aside from its alluring beauty, its flowers are also used to make herbal tea that is believed to help strengthen the immune system.

Want a deer-resistant landscape? Call our team today!

Let's be clear: No landscape is absolutely deer-resistant. However, you can take measures to keep deer away by growing plants they hate, and that's what we're here for. At Countywide Landscape, we specialize in installing plants that are known to deter deer. More importantly, our team will strategically place them around your other valuable plants so they will be kept safe from deer that would otherwise make your landscape bed a buffet table. Our planting and softscape installation services are available to properties in West Chester, Downingtown, Exton, PA and nearby areas. Call our team today at (610) 285-9727 for a consultation.