The only real deer-proof plants are those the deer haven’t found or can’t reach. However, here are some ways to minimize their impact. Deer are primarily browsers; this means they prefer to munch on your plants’ new growing tips. They will also graze on perennials, clover, and other plants.
If you can’t tolerate indiscriminate munching of your foliage, fencing around the prized plant is the most effective method to eliminate damage. If you protect newly planted areas, most trees and shrubs can handle some browsing after four feet tall. At that point, fencing can be removed or moved elsewhere in your yard.
By planting a wide variety of native plants, you will likely have some less appetizing plants for wandering herbivores. That way, you can grow a beautiful, native landscape that can endure some browsing once established. You will enjoy your landscape while the deer dine on your neighbor’s hostas.
To learn more about reducing deer damage or providing better deer habitat, please visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Living With Wildlife.