How to Deter Deer From Your Yard in the Hudson Valley

Adobe Stock / Landon

Most of us have been there: You spend time, money, and effort creating your garden only to have deer make a meal out of it. Short of erecting fencing or using chemicals, is there anything a home gardener can do? Happily, there are solutions to deter deer from your precious plants.

If deer are munching on your flowers and shrubs, you need to replace them with varieties that they won’t consume. Deer love hostas, daylilies, English ivy, narrow leaf evergreens like arbor vitae and fir, roses, tulips, yews, and azaleas. Instead, try peonies, ornamental onion (allium), daffodils (narcissus), and any of the iris varieties. In general, the more strongly scented the plant is, the less appealing it is to deer. Here are some more to consider:

Lenten roses. Adobe Stock / Nickkurzenko

FOR SEMI-SHADED GARDENS

  • Foxglove (digitalis), preferably the perennial variety called mertonensis. Digitalis is poisonous so be careful where it’s planted (don’t put it where kids play).
  • Lenten rose (hellebores)
  • False spirea (astilbe)
  • Spiderwort (tradescantia)
  • Ferns of all types
Adobe Stock / Monika

FOR SUNNY GARDENS

  • Sages (salvias) and Russian sage varieties (Perovskia)
  • Minty-smelling flowering perennials like Agastache (giant hyssops)
  • Catmint varieties (Nepeta)
  • Felt-textured lamb’s ears (stachys lanata)
  • Flowering shrubs in the cinquefoil family (potentilla), spirea, and viburnum
  • Ornamental grasses
  • Prickly plants like Cleome
  • Hardy lavenders, monardas, and butterfly bush

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