7 Different Types Of Plants That Deer Eat

As a gardener, it’s frustrating to put time and effort into growing a beautiful garden, only to have it destroyed by deer. But there is hope! There are actually a number of plants that deer don’t like to eat. By incorporating some of these What Do Deer Like To Eat? plants into your garden, you can keep the deer away and enjoy your handiwork uninterrupted.

  1. American holly – The American holly is an evergreen plant that produces small white flowers and red berries. The prickly leaves make this plant unappetizing to deer, who will usually avoid it.
  1. Butterfly bush – The butterfly bush is a deciduous shrub that gets its name from its ability to attract butterflies. It produces small clusters of purple, blue, or white flowers. Deer find the taste of this plant unpleasantly bitter and will usually leave it alone.
  1. Columbine – Columbine is a perennial herb that produces showy yellow, red, or blue flowers. The flowers are actually shaped like little bells, which is how this plant got its name (columbine comes from the Latin word for “dove”). Deer find the foliage of this plant unpleasant to eat because it contains toxins that can irritate the digestive system.
  1. Daffodil – Daffodils are one of the first signs of spring! These perennial bulbs produce striking yellow flowers with a long central trumpet. All parts of the daffodil plant contain toxins that can be harmful if ingested, so deer stay away from them.
  1. Forsythia – Forsythia is a deciduous shrub that produces bright yellow flowers in early spring (before the leaves appear). Deer find the taste of forsythia unpleasant and avoid eating it whenever possible.
  1. Hosta – Hosta is a perennial herb that comes in many different varieties, some with variegated leaves in shades of green and white. This plant produces clusters of white or lavender flowers on tall stems in late summer or early fall. Although deer will nibble on hosta leaves if they’re desperate enough, they usually prefer other plants instead.
  1. Marigold – Marigolds are annual herbs that come in many different colors, including yellow, orange, and red. They have a strong scent that deters deer (as well as rabbits and other pests). Marigolds are also known to repel mosquitoes and other insects, making them a great addition to any garden!


If you’re looking for ways to keep deer out of your garden, try planting some of these plants that they don’t like to eat! American holly, butterfly bush, columbine, daffodil, forsythia, hosta, marigold, and zinnia are all good options. With a little planning (and maybe a little bit of fencing), you can enjoy a beautiful garden free from pesky deer damage!