Lisa's Landscape & Design

Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time

Deer Resistant Plants for Austin and Central Texas!

Deer are a big problem for those who live among them. While they may be cute and fun to watch, they can wreak havoc on a landscape. You need to know what plants to use to prevent them from turning your yard into a salad bar.

The good news is that there are many “deer resistant” plants, the bad news is that even deer resistant plants can be nibbled on if the deer are hungry enough. It is recommended that you do not feed deer to encourage them not to eat your yard as it can have the reverse effect, but starting with deer resistant plants can definitely help your overall success.

The best plants to use are those that are stinky, spikey or stabby. There is a pretty great list so let’s go over some of them.

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Texas Lantana, full sun. All lantana are deer resisant and my favorite varieties are Dallas Red, Confetti, Gold, Trailing purple and of course, Texas.

White Salvia is also a great choice for deer issues, low water low maintenance. (sun to part sun)

White Salvia is also a great choice for deer issues, low water low maintenance, sun to part sun. All Sages are good deer resistant plants.

Butterfly weed

Butterfly weed, full to part sun. Huge Butterfy Attraction.

Squid Agave, (full to part sun)

Squid Agave, evergreen, full to part sun.

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Any plant with spikey margins, spines or thorns will help deter deers but they will eat roses so be cautious of those.

 

Greggs Mist is an excellent choice because it almost glows in the dark at dusk.

Greggs Mist is an excellent choice because it almost glows in the dark at dusk. deciduous, full to part sun

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Moon Flower Datura, deciduous, full to part sun

Paprika Yarrow is an excellent plant for Central Texas, evergreen, colorful and medicinal.

Paprika Yarrow is an excellent plant for Central Texas, evergreen, colorful and medicinal. Full to part sun

Blueboonet

Mint is an excellent deer resistant ground cover, paddle cactus and bluebonnet, full to part sun

 

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Oregano, evergreen, full to part sun, edible, medicinal.

Many herbs such as basil, mint, rosemary and oregano are for the most part are deer resistant, though some can be exceptions.

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Mexican Bush Sage, semi evergreen, Full to part sun.

upright rosemary

Upright Rosemary, evergreen, full sun, edible

Trailing Rosemary

Trailing Rosemary, evergreen,full to part sun, edible

Fireman's Cap / Helmet Coral Bean-Full Sun

Fireman’s Cap / Helmet Coral Bean-Full to part sun, deciduous 10 x 10

Golden Showers Thryallis

Golden Showers Thryallis, semi-evergreen, full to part sun 4 x 3

Wonderful Pomegranate

Wonderful Pomegranate, full to part sun, edible fruit 8 x 8

Yellow Bells Esperanza-beautiful and drought tolerant.

Yellow Bells Esperanza-beautiful and drought tolerant. deciduous, full sun. 8 x 6

Pride of Barbados-super drought tolerant. Full sun.

Pride of Barbados-super drought tolerant. Deciduous, full sun. 8 x 6

iris4

Bearded Iris, Evergreen, full to part sun 2 x 2

Texas flowery Senna tree

Texas flowery Senna tree, semi evergreen, full to part sun 8 x 8

Spectacular Bloom!

Evergreen Wysteria, Spectacular Bloom! Full sun.

The Jerusalem Sage has a really fabulous flower form and a beautiful true sage color to the leaf.

The Jerusalem Sage has a really fabulous flower form and a beautiful true sage color to the leaf. Evergreen, full to part sun. 2.5 x 2.5

Incredibly fragrant, evergreen and beautiful.

Confederate Jasmine (or Star) vine is an Incredibly fragrant, evergreen and beautiful. Full to part sun. 15 x 15 spread

Desert Willow Tree

Desert Willow Tree, deciduous, full sun. 20 x 20

Lisa LaPaso-Pineaple Guava

Pineapple Guava, Lg. evergreen shrub, full to part sun. 8 x 6

lisalapaso_mexicanfeathergrass

Mexican Feather Grass, evergreen, full to part sun. 2 x 2

Pink Salvia is the most common, bright pink and a great hummingbird and butterfly attraction.

Pink Salvia is the most common of the salvia greggi but all varieties are deer resistant, a great hummingbird and butterfly attraction. Full sun. 3 x 3

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Echinacia, Purple Cone Flower. Deciduous, medicinal. 2 x 1

Firecracker fern

Firecracker fern, semi evergreen, full to part sun. 2 x 2

Mexican Honey Suckle

Mexican Honey Suckle, semi evergreen full to part sun. 3 x 3

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Flax Lily in the front and Cordiline (the purple leaves) in the back. both are full sun to shade and are awesome evergreen plants for contrast. 2 x 2

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knife Acacia, evergreen full to part sun. 6 x 5

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Twist Leaf Yucca, evergreen, full to part sun. 2.5 x 2.5

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Gulf Muhly full to part sun. Low water and little maintained. Trim back to about 1′ after the last frost to encourage growth.

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Pigeonberry, shade, deciduous. 2 x 3

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Foxtail Fern, evergreen, shade to sun. 2 x 2

Ferns of all kinds are great deer resistant plants. Be sure you are choosing the right fern for your light requirements. Kimberly Queen, Wavy Cloak and Asparagus ferns are great for light and river, holly and wood ferns are great for shade and low light.

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Paddle Cactus, Agave and Palms are all deer resistant, evergreen and very low water/ just be sure not to place them near cars or people like these guys did.

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Kidneywood Tree, Deciduous, sun to part shade. Super fragrant when it blooms. 10 x 10

 

These are just some of the plants I love to use in problem areas to deter deer from inviting thier friends to your buffet. With many colors, textures and light requirements you can find an array of plants to choose from. Plant strategically and send those pesky deer over to the neighbors house for lunch :/

Lisa LaPaso

Lisa’s Landscape & Design (“like” me on facebook!)

“Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”

11 Comments

  1. Vernon Berger

    Your pigeon berry looks like Poke weed to me. Also, I did see a name for: incredibly fragrant __________. What is it. Great info. Thanks

    • Poke weed has purple berries but they look a lot alike, and the fragrant vine is Confederate or Star Jasmine, thanks for the heads up.

  2. Tanya Davison

    Wow this a great list, especially with size and light requirements. My neighbors and I really need a similar list for free ranging Longhorns. I haven’t found anyone to address this problem yet.

    • Glad it is helpful Tanya, I worked a lot in Westalke and Lakeway where the deer are a real problem. I don’t have any experience with longhorn resistant plants and just Googled that and found nothing.

  3. After 19 years of not being bothered the deer population discovered my Pittosporums last summer. They went through my hedge row like Sherman through Atlanta. The dwarfs that I had perfectly shaped into round balls now look like a large kitchen scrubbies. They gave my Acanthus a good working over as well. They didn’t bother anything else many of which are on your list. Live and learn

    • Gerald, first of all your comment is hysterical, so thanks for the laugh. Though I know having your landscaped desecrated by deer is no laughing matter. I learned about them when I designed and planted an entire landscape for an event in Westlake and came back the next morning to stems. I have been on a mission ever since.

  4. Doris Buhr

    Pictures — about 5th from the bottom looks like some sort of feather grass plant and not a lantana. I think that somehow the wrong picture was added. Love your site and pictures. I am house bound but still want to garden — so I look out my windows, dream, and look at beautiful gardening sites on the Internet. Your site has given me a great mental boost. Best wishes and many blessings, plus many happy days while gardening!

    • Thank you for the heads up and I’m so happy you enjoyed it. Be well, and hope you’re back in the garden very soon.

  5. Melinda Smith

    Hi Lisa, We just purchased an Oakleaf Hydrangea from Lowes. We were told it was deer
    proof, but just had a deer today eating away at it. I plan on using some the plants you mentioned – very helpful.
    Thank You, Melinda
    Killeen, Tx

    • Hi Melinda, I am so glad you found it helpful. Happy gardening , fingers crossed.

    • Hi Melinda, I am so happy that helped. They re voracious to be sure, but planting the right flora can make a big difference.

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