The Top 5 Deer-Resistant Native Perennials Your Spring Garden Needs

The season for blooming perennials is just beginning! Start your early spring garden off right with native plants that deer tend to avoid. While there is an overwhelming amount of options to choose from, we have compiled a list of our top 5 early spring blooming native perennials that are deer-resistant.

1. Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)

To start off, we chose one of the most popular natives, Virginia Bluebells. Their petite bell-shaped blue flowers set them apart from any other plant in the garden. Pollinators, like butterflies and hummingbirds, highly enjoy their blooms in the spring.

This native works incredibly well in woodland gardens and will even thrive in full shade.

Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)
Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)

2. Golden Ragwort (Packera/Senecio aurea)

A vibrant option to brighten up your garden is Golden Ragwort. Its sunny yellow flowers and heart-shaped leaves at its base make it a charming addition to a woodland garden. This native perennial reaches average heights of one to two feet tall, making it a great option to add height to your garden.

Golden Ragwort is an extremely tolerant perennial that will survive in almost any type of garden! It thrives in full sun to full shade areas and tolerates heavy moisture to dry soils.

As an added bonus, pollinators, like bees and butterflies, are highly attracted to this native perennial!

Golden Ragwort (Packera/Senecio aurea)
Golden Ragwort (Packera/Senecio aurea)

3. Dwarf Mouse-Ear Tickseed (Coreopsis auriculata 'Nana')

Yes, this dwarf perennial is just as adorable as its name. Whether you choose to plant it in a container or a garden, its bright yellow flowers make a great accent. They work great in rock gardens and prefer to be planted in a spot with full sun in areas that retain moisture.

Dwarf Mouse-Ear Tickseed (Coreopsis auriculata 'Nana')
Dwarf Mouse-Ear Tickseed (Coreopsis auriculata 'Nana')

4. Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia)

While Tiarella produces tall clusters of white or pink flowers, it is really the foliage that is the star of the show. Foamflower is known for its wonderful foliage that is vibrant green with deep colored veins. This perennial works well in both containers and garden beds. Its “foam flowers” attract many pollinators in early spring during its bloom time. 

When planting in a garden, Tiarella makes an excellent groundcover due to it being both deer and rabbit-resistant. It thrives in deep shade areas, making it an excellent choice for a woodland garden.

Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia)
Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia)

5. Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

A striking representation of the Maryland flag is Red Columbine. The red and yellow color combination of the bird-shaped Red Columbine flowers makes it a necessity for any Maryland-lover’s garden!

This is another highly tolerant perennial that enjoys being in an area with full sun to shade and likes well-draining soil.

Hummingbirds and other pollinators flock to this perennial from spring to early summer!

Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

Native Deer-Resistant Perennials At Patuxent Nursery

While no plants repel deer completely, the above list of native perennials produce striking blooms that these woodland creatures do not enjoy. Stop by today to check out our full selection of native and deer-resistant plants!

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Mary Reply

    Tiarella is such an awesome shade-loving ground cover. When flowering, it looks magical.

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