Deer & Rabbit Resistant Annuals

We've all been there - you work so hard to plant the gorgeous garden you've always dreamed of, just for your plans to be foiled by hungry (albeit adorable) critters. While no plant can truly be guaranteed to be "deer or rabbit PROOF," we've put together this guide to help you pick the best plants for your gardens.

In this guide, we'll be going over some of our favorite deer & rabbit resistant annuals. We're going by the Rutgers rating system and showing you our favorite plants that are rarely damaged and seldom severely damaged. For further reference, click here to check out the full list from Rutgers!

Tip: deer and rabbits tend to avoid plants that have textured leaves (think fuzzy, spiky, or rippled) or strong scents. This is not a definitive guide, but it's helpful to keep in mind when selecting your plants!

 ⬇️ Rarely Damaged Annuals ⬇️

The following list is our team's favorite annuals that are rarely damaged by deer & rabbits.

Flower Name

Photo Example

 Ageratum (Floss Flower)

  • Height: Varies, 6-12"
  • Full to Part Sun

Flowering Vinca

  • Height: 6-8"
  • Full to Part Sun
  • Heat & Drought Tolerant

Dusty Miller

  • Height: 8 - 15"
  • Full Sun
  • Drought & Heat Tolerant

Nicotiana (Flowering Tobacco)

  • Height: Varies - 6 - 48"
  • Full Sun
  • Strong scent after dusk

Heliotrope 

  • Height: 12 - 48"
  • Full Sun
  • Vanilla-like scented flowers

Cleome (Spider Flower)

  • Height: Varies, 12 - 48"
  • Full Sun

Strawflower

  • Height: Varies, 12 - 48"
  • Full Sun
  • Great for cut flower gardens

Sweet Alyssum

  • Height: 3-10"
  • Full to Part Sun

 ⬇️ Seldom Severely Damaged Annuals ⬇️

The following list is our team's favorite annuals that are seldomly severely damaged by deer & rabbits.

Flower Name

 Example Photo

Celosia

  • Height: 3-10"
  • Full to Part Sun

Lantana

  • Height: 3-10"
  • Full to Part Sun
  • Pollinator-friendly

French Marigolds

  • Height: 6-12"
  • Full Sun
  • Heat & Drought Tolerant

Lobelia


  • Height: 6-9"
  • Full to Part Sun

Nasturtium

  • Height: Varies, 6-12"+
  • Full to Part Sun
  • Edible

Zinnias

  • Height: Varies, 6-48"
  • Full Sun
  • Taller varieties great for cut flowers

 

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and of course when animals are hungry they will snack on whatever they can find. These lists contain the plants our staff and customers have reportedly had the most success with here in Monmouth County, New Jersey.

 


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