Getty Images: Hanne Kobaek

The Best Deer-Resistant Plants For Your Garden

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If you think that deer are adorable, chances are you don't have them eating up all the plants in your garden. Then, they're not so cute. If you have experienced the frustration of taking good care of your garden, just to wake up and have top soil all over your lawn with your plants in ruin, you probably don't feel so inspired to buy another round and try again. Why bother with an extensive array of greenery in your backyard, patio, or walkway if it's just going to be a quick lunch? Luckily, I have some good news: there are deer-resistant plants, herbs, and flowers that most deer just don't like, and it could save your garden this year.

Okay, so now the not so good news: nothing you plant is truly deer-repellant. If deer are hungry enough, they'll look past all of the advice we give you and munch on your plants. However, don't be deterred by this. There are plenty deer-resistant plants that can severely reduce the risk of your garden getting upended this year, and it's worth the time and effort to pepper your garden with these this year. So what makes plants repel or resist deer, anyway? Essentially, deer are picky eaters. They don't like plants with strong smells, for instance, making herbs a great bet for your outdoor areas. They don't like silvery-looking plants, either (they must sense danger in eating them, as many of these quirks are just plain old animal instincts), or plants with spikes or thorns (not that we'd want that in our salads, either). Plants that are fibrous tend to be a no-go for deers that don't want to spend all of their time chewing and digesting their meals. Essentially, you just need to find plants that you know will be annoying for the deer, and unless they're extremely hungry or stressed, they are likely to avoid them. Don't let deer prevent you from a beautiful and thriving outdoor garden this year. Here are our favorites:

1. Rosemary

Rosemary Arp (3 Plants) - Burpee, $24.95

Hardiness Zone: Perennial in 7-9

Sun: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained, moist

This herbaceous, sturdy plant is a delicious herb that has a strong odor and is perennial in certain climates, although many bring it inside for winter. Try a pack of three plants from Burpee or buy the seeds here.

2. Russian Sage

Russian Sage (1 Plant) - Burpee, $13.95

Hardiness Zone: 5-10

Sun: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained, moist

This easy-to-grow sage does best in summer through fall, and work really well in smaller spaces. It's an aromatic and beautiful plant, and it'll come ready to put right in your garden.

3. Garlic Chives

Garlic Chive Heirloom Seeds - Amazon, $7.99

Hardiness Zone: 4-9

Sun: Full sun in cooler climates, partial sun in extremely hot climates

Soil: Well-drained, moist

Garlic chives have a delicious, mild garlic flavor and are perfect in salads, summer pastas, more. These non-GMO seeds are perennial as well.

4. Goldenrod

OutsidePride Goldenrod Solidago Seeds - Amazon, $9.99

Hardiness Zone: 3-9

Sun: Full sun

Soil: Will grow in most soils (even rocky ones) with decent drainage

Goldenrod is a beautiful and fragrant wild flower that can grow up to three feet. These deer-resistant plants also attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

5. Woolly Lamb's Ear

Palm Beach Medicinal Herbs Woolly Lamb's Ear Seeds - Amazon, $7.97

Hardiness Zone: 4-9

Sun: Full to partial

Soil: Well-drained moist or dry soil

This herb (which is said to have antiseptic properties) is a durable, drought-resistant plant that thrives in lots of different conditions. It's furry leaves and silver color make it one of the best deer-repellant plants.

6. Wild Bergamot

Wild Bergamot Seeds - Burpee, $4.95

Hardiness Zone: 4-9

Sun: Full to partial

Soil: Evenly moist

This beautiful flower is another favorite for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Also known as bee balm, it thrives in the summer in the north and the south in the fall — so buy your seeds now!

7. Basil

Sow Right Seeds Genovese Basil Plant Kit - Amazon, $15.99

Hardiness Zone: 3-11, but as an annual plant when the weather is warm

Sun: Full 

Soil: Well-drained

Everyone loves basil: it's delicious for pesto, pizza, caprese salads, chicken parm, and so much more. Well, everyone loves it but deers, who are turned off by its fragrant aroma. This kit comes with everything you need to put it on your patio or deck and have fresh basil for summer and fall.

8. Boxwoods

Boxwood Live Evergreen Shrub - The Home Depot, $30.73

Hardiness Zone: 3-8

Sun: Partial

Soil: Well-drained

Boxwoods are a classic hedge plant that is beloved for a reason: the evergreen plant grows all year long and survives in most places in the US. It can handle all sorts of weather, and the deers aren't fans of it. Line them on your walkway.

And Don't Forget: 

Deer Out Deer Repellent - Amazon, $17.95

Deer-repellant plants can really help your garden out, but if you also want to sow plants they love and need reinforcements, this Deer Out spray could be your answer. It's 100% natural, it smells like mint, and one rave review reads: "Suddenly, I can grow plants I never would have even attempted. Lilies!! Hydrangeas! Things with BUDS! It smells great and works wonderfully but what really amazed me was that it didn't wash off after heavy rainstorms."

AlpineReach Garden Netting Kit - Amazon, $29.99

This mesh garden netting is reusable, sturdy, and keeps deers and other animals out of your garden — which is great if you're trying to grow foods that you know deer love. It's easy to put up and take down so you can tend to your garden whenever you want.

READ MORE: These Plants Repel Snakes From Your Garden and Backyard