Deer-Resistant, Sun-Loving Perennials for Pollinators

Most of the gardens I work in, including my own, are safely insulated from the deleterious effects of grazing deer. However, I periodically land a project in deer country and I'm working on one right now. As a result, I've been dusting off my deer-resistant plant lists as I compose the planting palette for a project in the forested hills above Portland. 

In terms of deer-resistant flowering perennials for sun, there are many wonderful choices to consider. So there's certainly no shortage of options. The trick will be in winnowing it down to a select group and composing vignettes that will look great together and provide the biggest bang for the proverbial buck. In addition, providing fodder for the pollinators is a priority. 

Of course, I realize that the deer aren't looking at the same lists as I am and that push-come-to-shove, they'll eat just about anything if they're hungry or bored enough. But the hope is that with a variety of plants chosen for their resilience, we'll be able to dissuade them for getting too enthusiastic about the garden we're creating.

In this post, I'm focusing on one segment of the plants we'll be using—the flowering perennials selected for color and to provide habitat for pollinators. In the coming weeks, I'll be creating additional posts and/or videos showing more about this project. At that time, I'll say more about the trees, shrubs, grasses and ground covers that we're using, as well as more about the design process.

Until then, I'm spotlighting in the gallery below some of the deer-resistant perennials that I'm considering. Not all will make the final cut, mostly because it is best to focus on a few carefully-chosen selections in order to create a cohesive scene.

loading plants into car
LOADING UP AT BLOOMING JUNCTION — A great location for sourcing bloom

laying out plants


Even if you don't have deer that you're dealing with, these perennials for full sun can bring months of color and enjoyment to your garden.


Published June 04, 2021


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