Contact your local county Extension office through our County Office List.

Close Icon
Science-based gardening information, videos, & resources created for Colorado communities with support from Green Industry.

2307 – Deer and Gardening   arrow

Many Coloradoans live in areas where deer regularly visit. While it’s not hard to understand why deer consume the same vegetables that humans eat,deer additional forage plants include annual and perennial flowers as well as trees and shrubs. Deer-resistant plant lists are available however; deer in different areas appear to have different tastes.

In general deer tend to avoid plants with strong odors (lavender cotton, hyssop, Artemisia, sumac, chocolate flower, oregano, lavender), many ornamental grasses and ferns, and plants with fuzzy, prickly or sharp leaves (lamb’s ear, yucca, Colorado spruce). Deer may leave these less desirable plants alone for a period of years and then browse them in another year. A hungry deer will find almost any plant palatable so no plant is “deer-proof”. A sturdy deer fence around the garden is the most successful tactic to discourage deer damage.

Tell us what you think!

Do you have a question? Try Ask an Expert!