Deer Resistant Annual Flowers

Deer-resistant flowers have certain characteristics that make them unattractive to deer. Deer use their sense of smell to determine what is edible. Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardener George Morrison advises planting herbs as a method of deterring deer. You can also plant annual flowers with characteristics like scent, prickly leaves or bitter taste that deer avoid. Rutgers University has published research to help gardeners know which flowers are deer-resistant.

Plant larkspur in the fall for vibrant spring blossoms that are deer-resistant.

Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima)

Sweet alyssum has more good qualities than just being resistant to deer—it's rapid growing, drought-resistant and tolerates high temperatures. Plant alyssum in full sun or partial shade. It grows in almost any kind of soil. Keep spent blossoms trimmed back to encourage the plant to keep providing blooms right through the growing season. Plant them in borders, hanging pots and in rock gardens. Alyssum's sweet, honeyed scent is just one more plus.

Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis sylvatica)

Forget-me-nots come in several colors: yellow, blue, pink and white. Their ability to tolerate full sun makes them an appropriate choice for rock gardens, slopes and borders. They also work well as carpeting around other spring and summer flowering bulbs. The Better Homes and Gardens website relates that forget-me-nots make good companion plants for wild ginger, bleeding hearts, corydalis and columbine. These plants are versatile and hardy because they tolerate both drought and moist conditions. They do best in zones 5 to 9.

Larkspur (Consolida ambigua)

Larkspur is tall and stately, providing an elegant background for gardens. It handles the heat of Southern gardens as long as they get deep watering occasionally. Larkspur is sown in the fall for blooms of pink, purple or white in the early spring. Plant larkspur in broad drifts behind hollyhocks, daisies and yarrow. Together, these vibrant colors attract hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators to the garden. Not only is larkspur resistant to deer, it makes attractive cut-flower bouquets for the table.

Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus)

Snapdragons bring long-lasting color to gardens in shades of yellow, pink, white, crimson and bronze. They make excellent bouquets and can be planted in window boxes, containers or in gardens. Snapdragons sometimes wilt in the summer heat but come right back full-force with fall's cooler weather. Snapdragons prefer full sun and like to be fertilized about once a month. They are normally disease free and deer won't bother them. Snapdragons are fairly hardy and will survive a light frost.