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Native Plant Guide

Information and Services for King County, Washington

Deer resistant plants

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Young buck in yard
Young buck in yard
The only real deer-proof plants are those that the deer haven't found or can't reach. However, here are some ways to minimize their impact. Deer are primarily browsers; this means they prefer to munch on the new, growing tips of your plants. They will also graze on perennials, clover and other plants.

If you can't tolerate indiscriminate munching of your foliage, fencing around the prized plant is the most effective method to eliminate damage. If you protect newly planted areas, most trees and shrubs can handle some browsing after they are four feet tall. At that point, fencing can be removed or moved elsewhere in your yard.

By planting a wide variety of native plants, you are likely to have some plants that are less appetizing to wandering herbivores. That way you can grow a beautiful, native landscape that can endure some browsing once established. You will be enjoying your landscape while the deer dine on your neighbors hostas.

To learn more about reducing deer damage or providing better deer habitat, please visit Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Living With Wildlife.
With all that in mind, try these suggested plants that are not preferred by the more discriminating deer.