What Fall Flowers are Deer Resistant?
K. van Bourgondien offers a wide selection of deer resistant perennial flowers—or plants that deer usually won't eat because of the plant's texture, toxicity, taste, or fragrance.
Some of the best, deer-resistant fall-planted bulbs are:
Some favorite deer resistant fall perennials for shade include:
Some of the best fall flowers deer resistant for sun are:
How to Choose the Right Deer Resistant Fall Flowers
When choosing deer resistant perennial flowers, start by evaluating your planting site. Select plants that grow in your hardiness zone and that are suitable for the amount of sunlight they'll receive. All plants need light to grow, but some require lots of direct sunlight or full sun (6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily). Others grow better in shade (often less than 4 hours of direct sunlight). Partial shade is usually 4-6 hours of direct sunlight.
Consider how much space you have. Do you live on a ranch or have just a small garden in the front yard? Some deer resistant fall flowers like German irises, crocuses, and daffodils look stunning planted in large swaths. Many, like peonies, can be planted as a specimen plant or in groups. The look that you want to create also plays a role when selecting deer resistant fall flowers. For instance, alliums are known to add a whimsical look to the garden, and German irises are known for their elegance.
Take into account the plant's mature height and spread. This helps you determine how many plants you need and where to place them in the garden or landscape.
Finally, choose plants with the flower color and foliage that you desire. When selecting deer resistant fall perennials, also take note of bloom times. With some planning, you can have deer resistant perennial flowers blooming from spring to fall.
How to Plant Deer Resistant Fall Perennials
Some deer resistant fall flowers, such as alliums, daffodils, hyacinths, muscari, snow drops, and fritillaria, are planted as bulbs. Bulbs should be planted at a depth that is about three times the height of the bulb with the pointy end up. At the time of planting, we recommend fertilizing with an all-natural plant food like Van Bourgondien's 100% Natural Bulb Food.
When planting other deer resistant fall perennials, take time to prepare the soil before planting. German bearded iris, peonies, and ferns thrive in well-drained soil, rich in organic matter. Follow instructions in our Planting Guide for specific fall perennials.
Many deer resistant fall flowers, like bearded iris and daffodils, naturalize and multiply over the years and can be divided and shared with other gardeners. Others, like peonies, don't like to be moved or transplanted.
When planting deer resistant perennials, you may have to protect the young flowers and plants from deer when the plants are first establishing and have tender shoots. One way to do this is with deer repellents for plants.
For more information on deer resistant perennials, read our blog on Deer Resistant Flowers for Gardens