Bulbs Deer Hate: Flower Bulbs That Deter Deer

deer in yard
Image by regan76

By Anne Baley

Any gardener who finds deer in the neighborhood will never look at Bambi the same way again. In a couple of nights, one or two deer can devastate a perennial landscape design you’ve spent months to perfect. While no plant is perfectly safe from deer if they’re starving, there are some bulbs deer hate to eat and will only consume in the most desperate conditions. If deer are a problem in your area, give up the idea of drifts of tasty tulips and stick with deer resistant bulbs in your landscaping plans.

Deer Resistant Bulbs

Flower bulbs that deter deer do so for many different reasons, but most of them have to do with the physical properties of the plants. Some of the reasons deer will stay away from a plant are:

  • Plants with strong tastes and scents. Like people, if something doesn’t taste or smell good, deer aren’t likely to eat it unless they’re desperate.
  • Plants with pickers or thorns. If it’s painful to eat, it’s safer than food that’s not. The same goes for plants with hairy leaves. Unpleasant for the throat and unappetizing.
  • Plants with thick or poisonous sap. Nature provides these properties to keep predators away; it works well with deer in most instances.

Flowering Bulbs to Keep Away Deer


Instead of setting out a banquet for the deer, plan your landscaping around flowering bulbs to keep away deer. These plants come in a rainbow of colors and all heights from rock garden size to tall and stately. Choose some of these favorites for a deer-resistant yard:

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