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Best Herbs for Deer-Resistance

source: The Spruce

These herbs deter deer while they spice up recipes. The following herbs are useful for eating, enjoying their beauty, and best of all, do not taste good to deer.


To increase the likelihood that your herbs will really deter deer, plant them along the edges of vulnerable flower beds or vegetable patches.


What makes rosemary so wonderful—its unique smell—also makes it unpalatable to deer and other wildlife. Due to its tender nature, in northern climates, keep rosemary planted in large pots. You can then bury the pots wherever you want them to grow during your hottest months. Look for both upright and trailing varieties to add visual interest in your herb garden.


Lavender (Lavandula)

Lavender is a wonderful herb to grow in any size herb garden. Its heady fragrance is loved by almost everyone, and the beauty of the plant itself is unrivaled. Plant lavender borders along the sides of your garden that seem to invite deer traffic the most. If you can not plant an in-ground border, lavender also grows very well in containers.


Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)

Bee balm is one of the most striking and useful herbs to have in your herb gardens. Its color is eye-catching to you as well as attractive to both butterflies and bees. Bee balm can also be used to repel deer. Find your favorite variety of bee balm and plant it in container gardens as well as a background color in your beds that edge the yard.



A huge family of plants native to every continent except South America and Antartica. They are characterized by their square stems and aggressive growth. Most are perennial. And deer do not eat any of them. Mint really wants to be a ground cover spreading the plant wherever it can reach. Highly recommend using mint in containers to prevent invasive spread. Mint plants prefer part shade, though you can grow it in full sun if you water it frequently. Mint is one of the few culinary herbs that grows ​well in shady areas. Would work well around azaleas.


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