This post may contain affiliate links.

If you have deer frequently visiting your yard, you know how hard it can be to keep them from ruining your garden. It’s disheartening to see your garden become a meal for deer. While building tall fences or using repellents might work, a simpler approach is to plant annuals that deer tend not to eat.

These annual flowers are an effective and easy way to deter deer while adding color to your garden. Most annuals grow from seed to full bloom in just a few months, providing a bounty of vibrant flowers throughout the summer.

Like us, deer have their own food preferences. Although no plant is completely deer-proof, many annuals are less attractive to them.

Here are 15 deer-resistant annuals that are typically less appealing to deer.

Marigold (Tagetes Spp.)

marigold plant
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

A kitchen garden classic, Marigolds produce a colorful array of yellow, orange, and red flowers throughout the warmer months. They have a bushy growth habit and are often used in vegetable plots to attract beneficial insects. However, due to their strong, pungent scent, which can be off-putting to deer.

Marigold plants prefer full sun and well-drained soil. They require regular watering until well-established but can then tolerate hot, dry conditions.

14 Eye Catching Orange Flowers That Will Make Your Garden Pop


Flowerbed with red clusters of Lantana heads for landscapes and floral backgrounds.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

This sun-loving perennial is treated as an annual in cooler climates but is hardy in zones 9 to 11. Its clusters of small, brightly colored flowers can attract butterflies and hummingbirds, making it a perfect addition to any garden.

14 Stunning Plants That Bring Butterflies to Your Garden


The beautiful Dianthus flowers in a garden on a sunny day
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Dianthus plants add charm to any garden with their vivid colors and sweet, spicy scent. Available in a spectrum from white to deep reds and purples, these flowers often have frilled or serrated petals.

These annuals attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators and come in various forms, from low groundcovers to taller upright varieties. Perfect for border displays, containers, and cutting gardens, Dianthus thrives in full sun and well-drained soil.

Regular deadheading ensures a continuous display of color and fragrance all season long.

Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella Damascene)

love in the mist
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Love-in-a-Mist produces a mound of delicate foliage topped with exquisite mist-like blue flowers, hence its whimsical name. This low-maintenance plant’s floral display peaks in late spring and early summer, earlier than that of many other annual plants.

This frost-sensitive annual grows well in zones 2-11 in full sun or partial shade. Plant in well-drained soil and water well until established.

Cosmos (Cosmos Bipinnatus)

Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Famed for its colorful daisy-like flowers atop mounds of bushy fern-like foliage, Cosmos will add color to your garden from early summer right into fall. The flowers come in a range of colors, including pink, white, red, orange, and purple.

Plant Cosmos in a sunny location in well-drained soil, and water well until established. This drought-tolerant plant will thrive in zones 2-11 but loves hot climates.

These 21 Pretty Pink Plants Are Everything Your Garden Has Been Missing


Red colored begonias (Begonia tuberhybrida) in garden
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Begonias are beloved for their lush foliage and vibrant blooms in many colors and shapes, ranging from upright bedding begonias to cascading tuberous begonias. They prefer partial shade and well-drained soil, making them perfect for summer blooms.

Begonias may attract pests like slugs, snails, and aphids. Soft pest control measures, such as handpicking or organic repellents, can help mitigate these issues without damaging the blooms.

California Poppy (Eschscholzia Californica)

orange poppies
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

California Poppy boasts large orange flowers that add a vibrant splash of color to your garden. The blue-green foliage creates an interesting contrast with other flowering plants, and it will self-seed easily year after year.

Grow California Poppies in full sun in well-drained soil. When established, this plant tolerates drought well and thrives in zones 6-11.


Beautiful Canna Lily flower in the park
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

These heat-loving plants come in fiery reds, sunny yellows, and rich oranges. Cannas prefer full sun and moist, well-drained soil.

While cannas attract pollinators, they may be susceptible to pests like caterpillars and spider mites. However, they are great at deterring deer.

Cornflower (Centaurea Cyanus)

Cornflower Centaurea cyanus
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Cornflowers are one of the best-known traditional cottage garden plants, producing delicate pastel-colored flowers on tall stems. The slender leaves form a bushy plant, creating excellent ground cover in flower gardens.

Plant Cornflowers in full sun in well-drained soil in zones 2-11. They tolerate drought and poor soil well, making them ideal for neglected areas of the garden.


Flower with leaves Calendula (Calendula officinalis, pot, garden or English marigold) on blurred green background. Note: Shallow depth of field
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Calendula is a bright and cheerful plant that enhances any garden. Plant it in early spring to enjoy its vibrant flowers from late spring until early summer.

Calendula flowers and petals can be used in cooking. While the leaves are edible, they tend to be bitter and are commonly added to salads for an extra bite.

Calendulas are easy to grow in well-drained soil and thrive in gentle sunlight. They also help in pest control and deter deer and rabbits, making them beneficial for protecting vegetable gardens.

Sweet Pea (Lathyrus Ooratus)

The flowers have five petals and a yellow center. The petals are round at the base and become pointed towards the tips.
Image credit: Hilola Jurakulova, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Sweet Peas climb and vine their way upwards throughout the summer, producing fragrant flowers in shades of pink, purple, and red. This fast-growing annual is ideal for growing up a trellis or fence and will flower for several months if dead-headed regularly.

Sow Sweet Pea seeds directly into fertile soil in a well-draining, sunny spot. This fast-growing annual flower grows well in zones 2-11.

20 Best Climbing Plants for Your Fences, Trellises and Pergolas

Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia Maritime)

A cluster of white sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima). The flowers are small and have four petals. The leaves are small and green, and they are visible around the base of the flowers.
Image credit: Hectonichus, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Sweet Alyssum is a low-growing plant that produces a carpet of tiny flowers in white, pink, and purple shades. Its strong fragrance attracts insect life that can help keep garden pests at bay.

Sow Sweet Alyssum in well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade. It tolerates poor soil and drought well and can be grown in zones 5-11.

16 Colorful Drought Tolerant Native Plants to Add to Your Yard

Globe Amaranth (Gomphrena Globose)

Globe Amaranth
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

The globe-shaped flower heads of Globe Amaranth produce a pompom-like carpet of blooms in vibrant shades of pink, purple, and red. This fast-growing annual will thrive in containers and ornamental gardens with very little maintenance.

Globe Amaranth should be grown in full sun in well-drained soil. Grown as an annual in zones 2-11, this rapidly growing plant can tolerate drought and will attract clouds of butterflies to your garden.

Snapdragon (Antirrhinum Majus)

Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Unlike most fast-growing annuals, Snapdragons produce most of their flowers in the cooler months of spring and fall. The tall spikes of tubular flowers come in a range of colors, adding height and interest to your ornamental flower garden.

Snapdragons prefer full sun or partial shade and should be planted in fertile, well-draining soil and watered regularly. They grow best in zones 4-11 but do not tolerate long periods of drought.

Nasturtium (Tropaeolum Majus)

Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Nasturtium is a trailing plant that produces mounds of bright green leaves and an array of flowers in shades of orange, yellow, and red. Its sprawling growth habit makes it great for quickly covering bare soil, but it can crowd out smaller plants.

Plant Nasturtiums in full sun or partial shade in zones 2-11. They tolerate drought and poor soil, making them perfect for rock gardens and hanging baskets.

Plants to Grow Now for a Mosquito-Free Summer

Tall red flowers of Monard bee balm in the summer garden
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Here are some of the best plants that you can grow in your yard to help keep the mosquitoes at bay.

12 Plants to Grow Now for a Mosquito-Free Summer

How to Outsmart Gnats to Keep Them Away From Your Houseplants

cinnamon on houseplant
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Gnats are more than just a minor annoyance; these tiny pests buzz around with a persistence that’s hard to ignore. Here are ten effective ways to keep gnats away from your house plants.

How to Outsmart Gnats to Keep Them Away From Your Houseplants

11 Reasons Banana Peels Are the Secret Ingredient Your Garden Needs

A Close up view of a white round plate with bananna peals piled into it on the green grass
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Banana peels are not just kitchen scraps but an excellent way to enrich your garden. Here are 11 reasons banana peels can be your garden’s secret ingredient.

11 Reasons Banana Peels Are the Secret Ingredient Your Garden

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *