We love deer, but we don’t love them eating up our gardens! Bambi and his Mom trotting through your yard may seem sweet at the outset, but once they chomp your tulips to bits, your sentiment may sour. Living in Lane County means sharing your home with the deer population. For those who don’t have their landscapes fenced, garden centers carry a myriad of sprays and repellents that can keep deer out of your yard for a short period of time. Typically these will need to be reapplied on a regular basis, and forgetting to do so just one time, can be disastrous.

Instead of fighting to keep them out, one approach is to plant items deer don’t like to eat like ornamental grasses and some herbs. See below for some suggestions, but keep in mind that deer in different areas eat different things, and what works in one yard doesn’t always work in the next.

 Trust me when I say they're not quite as cute when they're eating your garden!
Trust me when I say they’re not quite as cute when they’re eating your Oregon garden!

Before you purchase a lot of one type of plant, it is always a good idea to buy just one as a test plant. Set it out in your yard and see what happens after a few days. Did the deer do any damage to it? If not, you have likely found something that they will not bother and can buy more of it.

Deer Resistant Planting

 Pinecone Hanging from a Conifer TreeConifers like Cypress, Fir, Spruce & Pine.
 Purple Flowers LFP Lane Forest Oregon Herbs like Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Chives, Basil & More.
 Lane Forest Products Oregon Perennials like Hellebore, Lamb’s Ears, Agastache, Iris, Peonies, Yarrow, Aster and Chrysanthemum Green PlantsPerennials like Hellebore, Lamb’s Ears, Agastache, Iris, Peonies, Yarrow, Aster & Chrysanthemum.
 Annuals like Marigolds, Poppies & Impatiens.
 5Ornamental Grasses like Feather Reed Grasses, Gold Fountains & Various Sedge Varieties.

 

 6Bulbs like Daffodil’s, Lilies & Garlic/Allium

 

 7Shrubs like Lilac, Rhododendron/Azalea, Camellia, Nandina, Buddleia, Barberry, & Ceanothus

 

 8Trees like Magnolia, Fig, Vine Maple, Ash, Ginko & Oak

*Sold at our Lane Forest Products Glenwood Nursery.

Quick Tips:

  • Deer tend to avoid plants with fragrant foliage and fuzzy leaves.
  • Deer also do damage in the garden during rutting season. This is when they are removing the velvet from their antlers (late summer). They do this by rubbing their antlers on small flexible trees and branches. An easy solution is to install a length of rebar (about 4’ long) beside any trees/shrubs that are vulnerable. The deer don’t like the feel of the metal on their antlers and avoid it.