Deer will eat just about any plant on the planet, particularly if they are hungry. This can be vexing to gardeners and homeowners that live in an area heavily populated by deer. One of the best things to do is choose plants that they simply will not go near or eat, cutting down on landscape damage.
There are many plants that are considered to be “deer resistant” for one reason or another. Deer have been shown to avoid these annuals, not touching them at all. The list includes Ageratum, Amaranth, Castor Bean, Chinese Forget-Me-Not, Cosmos and Creeping Zinnia. Cupflower/Nirembergia, Dusty Miller, French marigolds, Mexican Tulip Poppy/ Golden Cup, Globe Amaranth, Ornamental Pepper, Periwinkle, PolygonumSalvia, Signet Marigold and Snapdragon are also included in the plants that deer generally avoid.
By choosing one or more of these plants to place around the area, a garden can be saved against a deer onslaught. There are however, some plants that deer will jump and eight foot high fence to get at and if at all possible should be protected. The list includes things like apples, Arborvitae/white cedar, Arrowwood Viburnum, Birch, Daylilies, Dogwood, Euonymus, Garden lilies, Hostas, Hydrangea, Impatiens, Linden/basswood and Yews.
The list of vegetables a deer will eat is entirely too long to post but what they will tend to avoid is plants with an unpleasant odor such as onions or garlic. The drawback to having these in a garden, or any other deer resistant plant is that if the deer like something else there, these and other plants will get trampled on in the process of accessing which ones they want.
A combination of these plants and a proper deer repellent is the way that is recommended by most gardeners and landscapers. Choose a repellent that will keep the deer out but maintain the integrity of the plants and soil around them. There are many good repellents on the market and all can be found by conducting a search online for the best deer repellents available.