Deer Resistant Plants for the Pacific Northwest

Whether you’re an animal lover or hater, hunter or photographer, most people residing in the Pacific Northwest will agree—deer don’t belong in our yards. You might have already experienced the shocking disappointment of having your vegetable garden or prized flowers ravaged by deer. Keeping them out of the yard, however, can be a daunting task—they leap over fences and take what they please. Not only that, when its time to deliver their newborn fawns, and care for their young, deer can be protective to the point of aggression. We’ve seen protective deer mamas chase cats and dogs and even kill a family pet to keep their young safe.

How do you keep them out? High fences can certainly help. However, deer are athletes when it comes to jumping. Unless your fence is at least 8’ high, a determined deer can leap right over it. There are many solutions to preventing deer from consuming your plants, but in the meantime, here are a few of our favorite deer resistant plants:

Bellflower

  • A long bloom season plant with bell-shaped flowers in shades of blue, pink, or white.
  • Growing Conditions:Full sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil
  • Size:From 6 inches to 4 feet tall and to 2 feet wide, depending on type

Corydalis

A long blooming perennial with an abundance of flowers.

  • Growing Conditions: Part shade and moist, well-drained soil
  • Size: To 18 inches tall and wide

Bigroot Geranium

A great ground covers for shady sites, with woodsy-scented foliage and clusters of magenta, pink, or white flowers in early summer.

  • Growing Conditions: Part to full shade and well-drained soil
  • Size: To 2 feet tall and wide

Foxglove

A super deer deterrent because it’s poisonous. Has tall spikes of pink, purple, cream, or white blooms in early summer.

  • Growing Conditions: Part shade to sun and moist, well-drained soil
  • Size: To 5 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Epimedium

A knockout perennial with cute flowers (in shades of pink, red, orange, white, and yellow) and deer-resistant foliage.

  • Growing Conditions: Shade and well-drained soil
  • Size: To 2 feet tall and wide

 

Jerusalem Sage

Has fuzzy silver or green foliage and spikes of soft yellow blooms in summer.

  • Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
  • Size: To 3 feet tall and wide

Ligularia

Ligularia is a known for dramatic foliage; each leaf may be more than a foot across. They also have pretty spikes of yellow flowers in summer.

  • Growing Conditions: Part shade and moist soil
  • Size: To 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide

Lupine

Colorful spikes of flowers though the first half of summer.

  • Growing Conditions: Full sun or part shade and well-drained soil
  • Size: To 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Meadow Rue

Looks like a giant relative of its cousin, the columbine. Both are deer resistant and possess attractive blue-green foliage.

  • Growing Conditions: Sun to shade, depending on selection, and moist, well-drained soil
  • Size: From 6 inches to 6 feet tall and 6 inches to 3 feet wide, depending on selection

The list is just a start. Check with your local garden supply for more ideas.

Pro Tip: Contact Levy’s Lawns and Landscaping for information on building a privacy barrier or fence, or hardscaped yard. (360) 265-5231

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