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Five Deer-Resistant Annuals

By Delilah Onofrey, Suntory Flowers
Photographs courtesy of Suntory Flowers

The deer ate all my flowers! Sadly, this is a common refrain that leads many to give up on gardening. Those who are more determined spray deer repellant regularly. At home, we have had great results using physical barriers – decorative fencing that still allows you to see our planters and beds. Another option is to choose plants deer do not prefer.

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You may notice there are plants the deer don’t touch. For instance, we have beautiful larkspur that reseeds randomly and never gets eaten by deer. There are many commercialized premium annuals that have proven to be deer resistant, or at least not preferred by deer. These could be plants with leaves that have a strong taste or smell, have fuzzy foliage or are toxic, like larkspur.

Here are five annuals recommended by Suntory Flowers for deer resistance:

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Angelonia: Our Sungelonia angelonias come in Deep Pink, Blue and White. These make outstanding thrillers in containers or as an upright border in the landscape. Commonly known as summer snapdragons, they thrive in heat and humidity.

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Lobelia: Beautiful clouds of purple, blue, and white can be created with our trailing lobelias, which are especially nice in hanging baskets mixed with other varieties. Maybe they could provide a cloak of protection for petunias. That would be interesting to test. There are also many compact lobelia varieties for landscape beds.

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Torenia: Commonly known as wishbone flower, torenias are an excellent choice that tolerates shade. Our Summer Wave varieties come in shades of blue, purple, pink, white and yellow and provide a nice trailing component in mixed baskets. They also thrive in summer heat.

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Verbena: There are many choices and colors, upright and trailing types. Our trailing Temari verbenas produce vivid umbels of flowers in red, blue and bright pink. Our Tapien varieties create a carpet of color in pink or blue violet.

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Vinca: There’s a lot of new breeding in vinca. Suntory Flowers has three series. Soiree Kawaii mini vinca come in eight colors and produce tidy mounds of color that retain their shape throughout the summer. Excellent in containers and landscapes. Soiree Double varieties have a unique flower form. Soiree Flamenco varieties have unique bicolors and ruffled petals, bringing a new dance to your garden party. All thrive in summer heat and humidity.

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