Deer and elk can be cute to look at from afar, but once they end up munching on your shrubs and plants, they can quickly become a nemesis to your garden and a problem worth taking action against. In rural areas of Eastern Ontario or on the outskirts of Ottawa near forested areas, deer and elk like to roam onto properties in search of food. Keep deer and elk away from your greenery by incorporating these five deer and elk resistant plants into your landscape.

Morning Glory

These climbing plants are a great addition to any garden. Deer and elk stay away from morning glory plants as the seeds can be very toxic if ingested. These are beautiful annual climbers that blossom into trumpet-shaped flowers of pink, purple-blue, magenta or white. They have a classic, dainty look to them, but don’t let that fool you. These climbers can be used as ground cover or along fences since they grow quickly and self-seed easily too. They require lots of sun and shelter from the wind. And instead of deer and elk, you can look forward to butterflies and hummingbirds in your garden as they are attracted to the fragrant flowers.


The bold, aromatic properties of lavender make it one of the most popular inclusions in any garden. Aside from its stunning display of gray-greenish foliage and bright purple flowers, it is very durable and robust. It can be used as a border plant, or placed in plots. Either way you decide to plant it, this herb loves full sunshine and well-drained soil. Deers do not like fragrant flowers with strong scents, and lavender certainly falls into that category. Deer are also less likely to trample your plants as they dislike getting lavender oil on their bodies.


These plants are very adaptable and hearty. And they are of course, stunning to look at. The range of white, yellow, orange, red, pink, or purple flowers that bloom are also resistant to deer or elk. They are vigorous as they can grow rapidly and multiply each year. This makes them a great addition to garden beds, or in containers and along borders. They can survive in varying conditions, but usually prefer light shade and well-drained soil.

Japanese Maple

Japanese maples can provide that bold, fiery red colour to your landscape. These miniature trees need a little more care when being placed in the ground. They prefer a spot that can provide morning sunshine and shade in the afternoons. Any intense conditions can make them wilt fairly quickly.

Climbing Hydrangea

Climbing hydrangeas display brilliant fragrant clusters of white flowers against dark green foliage. They’re hearty and can grow into massive climbing vines, which can latch onto just about anything, so keep it pruned where necessary. They’re easy to grow and can tolerate shade or sun, but prefer rich, wet soil.

Visit your nearest Ritchie Feed & Seed garden store for expert recommendations on deer resistant plants. Our 2017 seeds are now in stock!

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