Richters InfoSheet D9000 


Deer Tolerant Herbs

Deer will eat just about anything in bad winters, but most of the time they seem to avoid many herbs. They seem most likely to turn their noses up at strong smelling plants, which, fortunately, include many herbs. Members of the mint family, for example, such as peppermint, lavender, sage and rosemary, are usually not bothered by deer.

Below is a list of herbs that are known to be tolerant or resistant to grazing by deer. It is compiled from a variety of sources, but as deer are not much of a problem at Richters we cannot vouch for the herbs on this list from experience. We would be grateful to hear from gardeners who have grown herbs in deer country – please tell us what deer like and dislike, and we’ll update this list accordingly.

Aconite (Aconitum napellus)
Alkanet (Anchusa officinalis)
**Basil (Ocimum spp.)
*Borage (Borago officinalis)
Bugloss, Viper’s (Echium vulgare)
*Bugle (Ajuga reptans)
Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
*Candytuft (Iberis amara)
Catnip (Nepeta spp.)
Chives (Allium ssp.)
Clove-pink (Dianthus caryophyllus)
Cohosh, Black (Cimicifuga racemosa)
Comfrey (Symphytum spp.)
Coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria)
Dusty Miller (Senecia cineraria)
****Foxglove (Digitalis spp.)
Garlic (Allium spp.)
Geranium, Scented (Pelargonium spp.)
Germander (Teucrium spp.)
Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)
Heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens)
Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla spp.)
Lamb’s Ear (Stachys byzantina)
Larkspur (Delphinium spp.)
Lavender (Lavandula spp.)
Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis)
*Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis)
Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum)
Marguerite, Golden (Anthemis tinctoria)
**Marigold (Tagetes spp.)
Mints (Mentha spp.)
Molepant (Euphorbia lathyris)
Mugwort (Artemisia spp.)
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum spp.)
Onion, Welsh (Allium spp.)
Pepper, Chile (Capsicum spp.)
*Periwinkle (Vinca minor)
Periwinkle, Madagascar (Catharanthus roseus)
Poppy (Papaver spp.)
Poppy, California (Eschscholzia californica)
Rhubarb (Rheum spp.)
Rocket, Sweet (Hesperis matronalis)
Rosemary (Rosmarinus spp.)
Sage (Salvia spp.)
Sage, Russian (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
Santolina (Santolina spp.)
Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis)
*Sumac, Sweet (Rhus aromatica)
*** ****Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus)
Thyme (Thymus spp.)
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
Wormwood (Artemisia spp.)
Yarrow (Achillea spp.)

*Marty Galganski of Missouri reports that deer will graze on these herbs. They graze on borage, bugle and candytuft through the year; and on lungwort, periwinkle and sweet sumac in the winter months.

**Linda Samson in Canada reports that deer ate or pulled up basil, patchouli, mexican marigold and parsley (Aug. 2006). She feels that "it is best to fence and cage all the plants if [growers] don’t want any surprises in the future."

***Karen Wiggins of Wisconsin says "White-tail deer here in Wisconsin love sunflowers! They’ll strip the heads off the plants leaving only the stalks."

**** Bonnie Morrell-Wade of Quispamsis, New Brunswick says (March 2008), "Two herbs on your list that deer in my area will eat in summer are: foxglove (Digitalis spp) -- I originally thought this was poison to them; I heard that heart medicine was extracted from this plant; [and] sunflower (Helianthus annuus) -- these are a buffet to the deer here; they love the leaves & the heads of plants... I would not have any garden both of plants or vegetables if my husband didn’t put up an electric fence on part of our property. We are strongly considering extending the electric fence to cover all of our property. "

Feedback

We welcome your feedback on your experiences. The information you provide will help us refine our recommendations to other herb enthusiasts. Please email your comments to Infosheet Feedback.

 

Richters Herbs  www.richters.com
D9000   
©2002-2008 Otto Richter and Sons Limited

 

Copyright © 1997-2014 Otto Richter and Sons Limited. All rights reserved.