Deer Protection

With the exploding deer populations, gardeners are finding it impossible to keep the deer away. Plant damage from deer is very frustrating and can make a gardener want to give up. So how do you keep those pesky animals away? The solutions can be broken down in to three categories: Plant Palette, Physical Barriers, Repellents. Spraying repellants, resistant plant selection and design process, and protective netting are all offered at Meissner Landscape, Inc.

Plant Pallette

Unfortunately, deer will eat almost any plant if food is limited, but they prefer some plants over others. Below is a list of plants we like to use at Meissner Landscape that are considered “deer resistant” and are rarely or seldomly eaten:


Common Name Botanic Name
Ageratum Ageratum houstonianum
Alyssum Lobularia maritima
Angel’s Trumpet Brugmansia
Dusty Miller Centaurea cineraria
Flowering Tobacco Nicotiana
Flowering Vinca Catharanthus rosea
Heliotrope Heliotropium arborescens
Lantana Lantana
Lobelia Lobelia
Poppy Papaver
Salvia Salvia
Snapdragon Antirrhinum majus
Spider Flower Cleome
Zinnia Zinnia


Common Name Botanic Name
Crocus Crocus
Daffodil Narcissus
Hyacinth Hyacinthus
Ornamental Onion Allium


Common Name Botanic Name
Bugleweed Ajuga reptans
Lily of the Valley Convallaria majalis
Pachysandra Pachysandra terminalis
Periwinkle Vinca major
Spotted Deadnettle Lamium
Sweet Woodruff Galium odoratum


Common Name Botanic Name
Blue Fescue Festuca glauca
Blue Oat Grass Helictotrichon sempervirens
Clump Bamboo Fargesia
Feather Reed Grass Calamagrostis
Fountain Grass Pennisetum alopecuroides
Giant Jap Silver Grass Miscanthus floridulis
Hakonechloa Hakonechloa macra
Japanese Sedge Carex
Japanese Silver Grass Miscanthus sinensis
Little Bluestem Schizachyrium scoparium
Oriental Fountain Grass Pennisetum orientale
Switch Grass Panicum virgatum


Common Name Botanic Name
Basil Ocimum basilicum
Dill Anethumus graveolens
Parsley Petroselinum crispum
Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis
Sage Salvia officinalis
Thyme Thymus
Marjoram Majorana
Mint Mentha
Oregano Oreganum
Tarragon Artemisia dracunculus


Common Name Botanic Name
Anise Hyssop Agastache
Bleeding Heart Dicentra spectabilis
Catmint Nepeta
False Indigo Baptisia australis
Garden Sage Salvia officinalis
Iris Iris
Lavendar Lavandula
Lenten Helleborus
Lungwort Pulmonaria
Monkshood Aconitum
Peony Paeonia
Rocket Ligularia Ligularia
Rodgers Flower Rodgersia
Russian Sage Perovskio atriplicifolia
Siberian Bugloss Brunnera
Silver Mound Artemisia
Yucca Yucca filimentosa
Black-Eyed Susan Rudbeckia
Cardinal Flower Lobelia
Common Yarrow Achillea millefolium
Coralbells Heuchera
Delphinium Delphinium
Foam Flower Tiarella cordifolia
Heartleaf Bergenia Bergenia
Hens and Chickens Sempervivum
Jacob’s Ladder Polemonium caeruleum
Ladys’ Mantle Alchemilla
Lance Coreopsis Coreopsis lanceolata
Lupine Lupinus
Pincushin Flower Scabiosa caucasica
Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpurea
Rhubarb Rheum rhabarbarum
Snakeroot, Bugbane Cimcifuga
Speedwell Veronica
Spiderwort Tradescantia
St. John’s Wort Hypericum calycinum
Trillium Trillium
Yarrow Achillea filipendulina
Cinnamon Fern Osmunda cinnamomea
Japanese Painted Fern Athyrium goeringianum
Ostrich Fern Matteuccia struthiopteris


Common Name Botanic Name
Bush Cinquefoil Potentilla fruticosa
Butterfly Bush Buddleia
Boxwood Buxus sempervirens
Daphne Daphne
Fragrant Sumac Rhus aromatica
Bridalwreath Spirea Spiraea prunifolia
Beautybush Kolkwitzia amabilis
Common Lilac Syringa vulgaris
Currant Ribes
Deutzia Deutzia
Smokebush Cotinus coggygria
Sweet Pepperbush Clethra
Cotoneaster Cotoneaster
Magnolia Magnolia


Common Name Botanic Name
Bottlebrush Buckeye Aesculus parviflora
Spruce Picea
Katsura Tree Cercidiphyllum japonicum

This list only names a few. You can stop by Meissner Landscape for a complete list.

Physical Barriers


You can wrap plastic netting around almost any flower, small tree or shrub to protect it from roaming deer. The bad thing about this is that the material degrades and breaks down depending on how much sunlight it is exposed to if left on plants. We apply this in the fall to trees and shrubs that need protection during the winter months when food in the woods is not as plentiful. We then remove it in spring so the new foliage doesn’t grow into it.


This is the most dependable way to keep deer away. Here are four different types of deer fencing:


Deer can jump very high so a standard upright wooden, chain link, or polypropylene fence should be at least 8 feet tall with no open areas for the deer to get under or through.


The slanted style should be 5 feet tall and slanted outward, away from the garden. This will confuse the deer because they normally walk under the overhang, making them think there is not another way around it.

Double Row

The double fence consists of side by side parallel fences. They should be 4 feet tall and 4 feet apart. This will make the deer fearful of not being able to land when jumping over it.


An electrical fence will give the deer a shock when touched, hoping to make no returns! You will want to mark the wires so they are visible to surrounding people. To get the deer’s attention, you may want to bait it with an apple or peanut butter so that they notice the food instead of what is on the other side of the fence. They will get a shock when they try to eat the bait and will remember they shouldn’t go there again.

TIP: For any type of fence, always keep your plants 2 feet away so that the deer aren’t able to nibble on the edges of them.


Most repellents are odor or taste deterrents and if used correctly they can be effective. You can apply odor based repellent to shrubs, trees, annuals, and perennials; applying it directly on the plant and around them. We would recommend using Liquid Fence; we have had the best luck with this product. Don’t wear your best clothes when applying these sprays; you may come away from the application with residue on yourself. You will need to reapply the sprays to the new growth of plants, and if you keep up with this, the deer will know it is not something they want to eat. For best results on the use of any repellent, read the manufacturers label.

Lastly, always remember DO NOT feed the deer. This will attract them to your yard and they will check out all your plants after they eat what you put out for them. Deer are habitual animals and if you can do things that don’t attract them to your yard, the better it will be for your garden.

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