Perennial Deer Resistant Plants For Your Pittsburgh Garden

If you are like us, your garden is your pride and joy. Pittsburgh residents spend good money to make their yard colorful and beautiful with flowers with intent of enjoying the warmer months with these bright and beautiful plants dressing up their yard. While it is understood that there is a certain amount of hard work required for gardening, it can often end up being a battle against deer and other animals that view backyard gardens as their own personal buffet. Not only is this discouraging and costly, it is  time consuming to get the garden back in shape, and keeping it that way after these creatures are done snacking.  One way to get deer to pass by your garden and move on to another food source, is by planting deer resistant plants. Now, you could always install a nine foot fence around the perimeter of your property, or your could consider some plants that come back every year, and are not attractive to deer. Here are a few for consideration in your Pittsburgh home’s garden.

Bee Balm

Bee balm is a native plant to North America.  This colorful perennial comes back every year in clumps that attract bees, butterflies and humming birds to your garden to help pollinate, and bring alive your backyard ecosystem. Deer do not like the smell of bee balm’s minty scent and will avoid it for other cuisines. Bee balms come in a variety of colors including bright red, violet, purple, pink, and white, so there will be plenty of vibrant flexibility for your backyard color scheme.



A perennial plant available in different colors including pink, red, purple, or white, Astilbe is a great choice for adding texture and color to your garden or planter.  Deer do not want to eat this plant because of its fuzzy foliage, and rabbits do not like it either.  This flower also requires minimal maintenance and their feathery plumes look best best when grouped together with other plants. The Astilbe grows in clumps from 6 inches to 2 feet with a height of 6 inches to 5 feet. They, like bee balm attract butterflies to your yard and give it delightful movement and life in conjunction with the rest of your plants!


Lamb’s Ear

This soft leafed, silvery green plant is often used for ground cover or in container gardens. Lamb’s Ear is very easy to care for and does not require much watering once established. It can grow up to 12 inches tall with a spread of 12-36 inches, which makes it perfect as a border around flower beds or walkways. Its woolly leaves also make it deer resistant which crosses a gardening challenge off the list. Lamb’s Ear is a great addition to any garden providing soft texture and muted color that allows brighter additions like bee balm to pop!


Cone Flower

Cone flowers offer 12-16 inches of deer resistant beauty.  These flowers come in pink, red, orange, white, and yellow. Cone flowers bloom all summer long, and are deer resistant because of the spiny center. Cone flowers attract butterflies during the summer months, and when the blooms die in the winter, the goldfinches and other birds can feast on them!


Red Hot Poker

Red hot pokers take on a tropical appearance, and are sturdy against deer. Every year when this plant comes back it welcomes hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees as it blooms, but deer and rabbits usually turn the other way in favor of other more fitting food if it is present.


Other Ways To Prevent Deer And Rabbits From Eating Your Garden

Wire mesh can help keep deer away from select plants, but many people don’t like the look of metal covering all of their flowers.  One important thing to note, is that deer and rabbits will grow accustomed to methods of deterrent over time, so you will need to switch it up.

Red Pepper Flakes – Deer do not like hot spices, so mixing red pepper flakes with water, putting it in a pan to simmer before straining it into a spray bottle to spray on your plants is a great option for keeping these freeloaders out of your garden.

Raw Eggs – Put some eggs in a blender, whip them up with a bit of water for a few minutes. Put the mixture into a spray bottle and let the foam die down. Dilute further with water, and spray on your plants. This will last all summer, however if there is new growth you will need to spray on that too. Deer love the tender new shoots on plants so if you want your plants to flourish, you will have to stay on top of it.

Mint – Deer are repulsed by mint so if you grow mint in your yard around your other plants they can smell it from afar and likely avoid your yard in favor of one that has no mint.


Visit Phelps Nursery For Deer Repellant Plants, And More!

Phelps Nursery in Upper St. Clair offers a wide variety of annuals, perennials, trees, plants and more to beautify your Pittsburgh home’s landscape! We also offer landscape design services, delivery of your purchases, and you can even hire us for plantings!