List of Deer-resistant Plants

Deer Resistant PlantsWe’ve been asked a few times about deer-resistant plants, and we’ve done some research and have compiled the below list sorted by sun requirements.

To assemble the document we cross-referenced from different sources that report these native plants as being deer resistant.  Sources include personal experiences from prairie restorationists (Rita McCabe from Save the Prairie Society), Prairie Moon Nursery, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s Special Collections pages: (, Morton Arboretum: (

A very helpful page is

Unless noted, soil conditions are assumed to be typical garden soil here in the Chicago area–clay/loam which tends to hold onto moisture but still drain.  Plants in the full sun group can generally take part sun too, and those in the shade group can likewise take part sun.  To determine correct plants for your site, further research should be done.  Many of our sources warn that hungry deer in the spring are less discriminate about their meals then.  Just as a note, not all deer resistant plants are rabbit resistant.

Let us know if you have a plant that deer seem to avoid in your garden, and it’s not listed here.  We’ll add it.


Full Sun Plants


Plant nameBloom timeHeightSpecial notes
Monarda speciesSummer3-4’ Hummingbird/Bumblebees
Rudbeckia sppSummer/Fall2-3’ depending on speciesButterfly host plant
Asclepias sppSummer2-4’ depending on speciesMonarchs
Solidago sppFall2-5’ depending on species Provides for many insects
Coreopsis sppSummer
Filependula rubraSummer4? with spires
Echinacea sppSummer3-4’Butterfly host plant
Eupatorium sppSummer/Fall3-5’ depending on species
ArtemesiaFall–flowers generally inconsequential–foliage is silvery grayButterfly host plant
Allium sppSummer12” Some species provide early nectar
Liatris sppSummer2-5’ depending on species
RuelliaSummer1-2? May feed Buckeye butterfly caterpillar
Amorpha sppSummer2-3’Butterfly host plant
Asters sppFall varies; you can pruneButterfly host plant
Eryngium yuccifoliumSummer 3-4?
Vernonia sppSummer/Early Fall4-5’
Parthenium integrifoliumSummer (long bloom time!) 2-3?Great pollinator plant
Agastache sppSummer 3-4’ 3?-4? depends on speciesGreat pollinator plant; seeds for birds
Baptisia sppSpring1-3’ depending on speciesButterfly host plant
Senna hebecarpaSummer4’5’ can be prunedButterfly host and great pollinator plant
Pycantheum sppSummer2-3’Great pollinator plants
Euphorbia corollataSummer2-3’
Hypericum sppSummer2-4’ tall depending on speciesAmazing pollinator plants
Dalea purpureaSummer


Part Sun


Plant nameBloom timeHeightSpecial Notes
Anemone candanesis(grows in shade too)Late springadaptable, aggressive, good for groundcover
Shooting StarSpring1-2’
Gentian sppFall 2?
Solidago sppFall 2-5? depends on species
Phlox divaricataSpring/Summer 1?
Helianthus strumosusSummer/Fall3-5’
Penstemon digitalisSummer 3?
Eupatorium maculatum Summer 3-4?
Zizea aureaSpringBlack swallowtail host plant
Ceanothus americanusSummerHosts azure butterflies, duskywing
Asters sppSummer-Fall varies Pearl Crescent butterfly
Campanula sppSummer 2?
Verbena sppSummer
Chamaecrista fasciculataSummer Great pollinator plant; hosts sulphur butterflies
Lobelia spSummer3-4’Hummingbirds
Helenium autumnaleFall3-4’
Physostygia virginiaSummer3-4’Can be aggressive, hummingbirds
Iris virginicaSpring 3’ 2-3?Moist soil
Pedicularis canadensisSpring





Plant nameBloom timeHeightSoil
Sanguinaria canadensisSpringmax 12”
Tiarella cordifoliaSpring“  “
Solidago (Elm-leaved Goldenrod, Zig-zag Goldenrod are a couple examples that will take shade)Fall varies
Polemonium reptansSpring 1-2?
Asters spp varies
Actea sppSpring flowers and berries in fall 1-3?
Cimicfuga racemosaSummer5’ when in bloom
Asarum canadenseSpring, interesting flowersGround cover
Arisaema triphyllumSpring, interesting flower and berries late summer1-2’
Geranium maculatum (can handle range of light conditions)Spring1-2’