Last Updated July 29, 2020

Are deer getting too close?

Are deer getting too close for comfort in your Delaware County, PA, landscape?

When it comes to designing your outdoor landscape and living spaces in our neck of the woods, you have to make some very important choices when it comes to your selection of plants, shrubs, and trees because of the heavy deer population in the Media, Garnet Valley, Glen Mills, Swarthmore and Wilmington in Delaware area. Though deer can be interesting wildlife, you should not only want to protect the investment of your landscape plants–but also be concerned about ticks and other diseases deer carry that can be dangerous to your family and pets!

You don’t want to waste your hard-earned money and time on providing the local deer a veritable buffet of tasty plants to snack on and decimate your foliage. The experts at Cider Mill Landscapes can help you carefully select plants that are not only beautiful but also deer resistant so these pests will steer clear of your property.

While a hungry deer will eat almost anything, there are plenty of shrubs and trees that you can plant that deer will usually not bother unless starving.  Selecting plants that deer find offensive to eat because of their naturally occurring bad flavor, strange texture, or having a strong smell gives your landscape a fighting chance by having deer go elsewhere to browse rather than your prized garden.

Boxwoods make a great addition to deer-frequented landscapes.

Boxwoods make a great addition to deer-frequented landscapes.

If planting a new landscape, try to avoid:

  • yew
  • thuja (arborvitae)
  • hemlock
  • most fruit trees
  • rhododendron
  • azalea
  • euonymus
  • hosta
  • lilies

These are among deer favorites. Many homeowners complain that deer will literally pick the flowers right off their rose bushes, too! Of course, you are probably wondering what’s left to plant if we lop off such a big selection of favored standards of the garden such as these. Is the only solution to resort to a boring and lifeless garden with no pizzazz?

Salvia Cider Mill Landscapes


Not at all! We can help you select plants, flowers, and trees that will give you a dazzling landscape design for all seasons. Deer resistant perennials that add color include:

  • Ageratum
  • Alyssum
  • Begonia
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Coneflowers
  • Forget-Me-Not
  • Foxglove
  • Gaillardia
  • Heliotrope
  • Marigold
  • Morning Glory
  • Nasturtium
  • Ornamental pepper
  • Poppies
  • Salvia
  • Shasta Daisies
  • Geranium
  • Snapdragons
  • Stock
  • Vinca
  • Yucca
  • Zinnias

Some more of our larger favorites to use in our zone 6 that deer tend to avoid are:

  • Boxwood
  • Hellebore
  • American Holly
  • Nepeta
  • Ajuga
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Leucothoe
  • Hakone grass
  • Lavender
  • Pieris
  • Mahonia
  • Various ornamental grasses (like Pennisetum and  Karl Foster)
  • Miscanthus
  • Peony
  • Birch
  • Ferns

If there are already legacy plants and trees in your landscape that you want to keep, we do have a few solutions. One is to plant other plants deer find yucky around those you want to protect in your garden beds such as herbs like Basil, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, and Rosemary. Not only do they help deer move away to some degree, but they also have wonderful use in the kitchen!

If you have a much larger yard to defend, Cider Mill Landscapes can install a veritable “deer screen” around the perimeter of your property. Which includes specimens that deer don’t find tasty that creates almost a wall of nasty flavored trees and shrubs that deer find unsuitable to browse. We can also add Deer Scram to the installation of new landscapes in areas that are susceptible to a heavy deer population. Which is a natural and environmentally friendly repellent that keeps deer at bay.

Cider Mill LandscapesLet Cider Mill Landscapes help you select plants, shrubs and trees that will defend against deer browsing, yet look spectacular.

If you are in the Media PA, Garnet Valley PA, Glen Mills PA, Rose Valley PA, Swarthmore PA and Wilmington area in Delaware, give us a call at 484.574.4666. You can also email us at

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