A Stunning Answer to Deer Trouble, Bulbs!

t’s the age-old tale of the gardener versus wildlife. While many people enjoy most forms of backyard fauna, it is discouraging to wake-up and find beloved plants in the garden gone, having been a midnight snack. The struggle of trying to find plants and shrubs that look beautiful in the landscape but will not become dinner for deer and other garden mammals is about to get a little easier.

One Solution: Summer-Flowering Bulbs

Several species of summer-flowering bulbs provide a beautiful alternative to more appetizing plants. While Lilies are true “deer candy,” there is a wide range of bulbs that are not on their menu thanks to a bitter-tasting substance most mammals find unappealing. Many of these varieties have a strong fragrance that is appealing to humans and pollinators but will deter deer from feeding on them.

Our Favorite Deer Resistant Bulbs

  • African Lily – Agapanthus
  • Ornamental Onion – Allium
  • Naked Ladies – Amaryllis belladonna
  • Begonias – Begonia
  • Canna Lily – Canna
  • Swamp Lily – Crinum
  • Montbretia – Crocosmia
  • Dahlia – Dahlia
  • Sword Lily – Gladiolus
  • Summer Hyacinth – Galtonia candicans
  • Iris – Iris
  • Abyssinian Gladiolus – Gladiolus callianthus
  • Spider Lily – Hymenocallis
  • African Corn Lily – Ixia
  • Dense Blazing Star – Liatris spicata
  • Star-of=Bethlehem – Ornithogalum
  • Polyanthus Lily – Polianthes tuberosa
  • Tiger Flower – Tigridia
  • Calla Lily – Zantedeschia

Note that there are no true deer-proof plants, and many deer, if hungry enough, may take a bite or two, but it is unlikely they will cause severe damage. Deer feeding is the heaviest in the fall and winter, so be diligent at those times. If there is a plant or section of the garden that is cherished, you can apply a deer repellent to that area.

This spring, stick to planting stunning, summer-flowering, deer-resistant bulbs. Pesky deer will steer clear and look for a tastier treat.