I provide this list with a special warning: DEER DON’T READ!  Please use this list wisely. Deer will sample anything new, and the fresh growth in the spring often does not contain the concentration of volatile oils or scents that would normally repel deer from browsing. I always recommend using a good deer repellent such as Deer Out for the first few weeks after planting even a “reliably” deer resistant plant. It certainly can’t hurt and might help avoid finding your plant pulled out of the ground and dropped across the yard!

So, remember to use this list wisely. Different areas have different “deer pressure” and the deer have regular feeding patterns that you should be aware of. Use the more reliably deer resistant plants in these areas. And good luck!

DEER RESISTANT PLANTS FOR CENTRAL TEXAS
(No Guarantees!)
Plant Exposure Height x width Evergreen

or Decid.

Comments
Agarita Sun/Part sun 3′-6′ x 4′-6′ E Edible red berrries
Agave, various Sun/Part sun check variety E Bucks may damage with antlers
Ajuga, various Shade 6″ x 1′ Semi Protect when young, not reliable
Angel’s Trumpet, Datura Sun 4′ x 4′ Annual Re-seeding annual
Angel’s Trumpet, Brugmansia Sun/Part sun 6′ x 5′ Tropical Protect in winter
Artemesia, Powis Castle Sun/Part sun 2′ x 4′-6′ Semi Prune before new growth starts in spring
Aspidistra Shade 3′ x 3′ E Loves “dry” shade
Barberry Sun/Part sun varies D Needs well-drained soils
Bottlebrush, Woodlander’s Hardy Sun 4′-5′ x 4′-5′ E Hardy to Zone 7
Boxwood, various Sun/Part sun check variety E  
Butterfly Vine, Yellow Sun/Part sun 10′-12′ vine Semi Aggressive grower
Candelilla, Wax Plant Sun 1 1/2” x 3′ E Very Drought resistant
Catmint, Walker’s Low Sun/Part sun 1′ x 3′ E Tidy plant
Cholla, Tree Sun 3′-9- x 3′-6′ E Hot pink blooms in spring
Coral Bean, Giant Sun 10′ x 10′ D Red blooms al summer
Cotoneaster, Grayleaf Sun 4′ x 4′ E Deer browse new growth
Crinum Lily Sun/Part sun 3′ x 4′ D Spring blooms
Daisy, Copper Canyon Sun 4′ x 4′ D Fall bloomer, mainly
Daisy, Euryops Sun 3′ x 3′ Semi Not reliably winter hardy
Damianita Sun 1′ x 1′ E Trim new growth to keep compact
Dusty Miller Sun/Part sun 1′ x 1′ E Nice for border
Eleagnus Sun check variety E May browse new growth
Esperanza Sun check variety D Not deer resistant in all areas
Fern, Foxtail Sun/Part sun 3′ x 3′ Semi Not deer resistant in all areas
Fern, Holly Shade 3′ x 3′ E Not deer resistant in all areas
Fig, Creeping Sun/Part sun 3″ x 20′ Semi Do not put on wood walls
Flax Lily, Variegated Sun/Shade 2′ x 2′ Semi Great for shade color
Germander, Creeping Sun 6″ x 3′ Semi Drought resistant
Firebush, Mexican and Lime Sizzler Sun/Part sun check variety D Zone 9, plant on S. side
Plant Exposure Height x width Evergreen

or Decid.

Comments
Germander, Silver Bush Sun 4′ x 4′ E Drought resistant

 

Gopher Plant Sun 2′ x 4′ E Blooms in February
Grasses, various Sun check variety D Cut back in late Feb.
Guava, Pineapple Sun/Part sun   E Prefers enriched, acid soil
Holly, Dwf Yaupon Sun/Part sun see note E Eat new growth, keep pruned
Iris, Bicolor Sun/Part sun 4′ x 4′ Semi Divide every 3-5 years
Jasmine, Asian Sun/Part sun 1′ x 3′ E Must get established
Jerusalem Sage Sun 4′ x 4′ E Deadhead unusual yellow blooms
Juniper, Blue Point Sun 12′ x 8′ E May be browsed
Juniper, Green Mound Sun 1′ x 6′ E Great under Crape Myrtles
Juniper, Taylor Sun 30′ x 3′ E Sub for Italian Cypress
Lamb’s Ears Sun/Part sun 1 1/2′ x 3′ D Biennial
Lantana Sun 4′ x 4′ D May browse in drought
Lavender Sun check variety E Needs well-drained soils
Lenten Rose Hellebore Shade check variety Semi Great for dry shade
Leopard Plant, Giant Shade 3′ x 3′ Semi Large leaves
Lomandra, Platinum Beauty Sun/Part sun 2′ x 3′ E Nice variegated variety
Loropetalum, various Sun/Part sun check variety E May not be deer resistant in all locations
Magnolia, Southern varieties Sun check variety E Adapts to many soil types
Mahonia, Leatherleaf Sun/Part sun 5′-7′ x 2′-3′ E Unusual form
Mist Flower, Blue Shade Shade/Part Sun 1′ x 6′ D Give it room to grow, likes moisture
Mist Flower, Gregg’s Blue Sun/Part sun 2′ x 6′ D Butterfly magnet, spreads
Moss Verbena (V. tenuisecta) Sun 8″ x 2′-3′ D More resistant than hybrids
Nandina, various Sun/Part sun check variety E May browse new growth
New Gold/Chapel Hill Lantana Sun 2′ x 6′ D Chapel Hill more winter hardy
Oleander Sun   Semi All parts toxic
Orange Zest Cestrum Sun/Shade 6′ x 6′ Semi Blooms all summer
Oregano, Italian Sun/Part sun 1′ x 3′ E Great evergreen perennnial
Oregano, Mexican Sun 4′ x 4′ Semi Use in cooking
Palm, Mediterranean Fan Sun 8′-10′ x 15′ E Great for screening
Palm, Sago Sun/Part sun 6′-8′ x 6′-8′ Semi All parts toxic
Palm, Texas Sabal Sun 35′-50′ tall E Slow growing
Palm, Windmill Sun 25′-30′ x 8′-10′ E Slow growing,narrow trunk
Osmanthus, Sweet Olive Sun/Part sun 10′ x 6′-8′ E Fragrant, not always reliable
Plant Exposure Height x width Evergreen

or Decid.

Comments
Philodendron selloum Shade 8′ x 8′ Tropical Protect in winter
Plumbago Sun/Part sun 3′-4′ x 3′-4′ D May not be deer resistant in all areas

 

Pride of Barbados Sun 8′ x 8′ D Be patient-it comes back late
Rosemary Sun check variety E Upright and Prostrate varieties
Russian Sage Sun check variety D Great for upright growth
Sage, Texas Sun check variety E May browse in drought
Salvia greggii Sun 3′ x 3′ E Variety of colors
Salvia, Henry Duelberg Sun 3′ x 3′ D Great performer
Salvia, Mealy Blue Sage Sun 1 1/2′ x 1 1/2′ D Texas native
Salvia, Mexican Bush Sage Sun check variety D Mostly fall bloomer
Salvia, Mystic Spires Sun/Part sun 3′ x 3′ D Great for butterflies
Santolina, Green or Gray Sun 1′ x 3′ E Nice low evergreen perennial
Sedge, various Part sun/shade check variety E Replacement for turf in small areas
Senna, Common Sun 6′-8′ x 6′ Semi Short-lived small tree
Skullcap, Pink Sun 1′ x 3′ E May browse when newly planted
Society Garlic Sun 1′ x 1′ Semi Do not plant by front door!
Spider Lily Sun/Part sun 8″-24″ tall D Many varieties available
Texas Bird of Paradise Sun 6′ x 6′ D Small deciduous tree
Thryallis Sun 6′ x 6′ Semi May browse when young
Thyme Sun/Part sun check variety E Low-growing
Viburnum, Sandankwa Sun/Part sun 6′ x 4′ E Not deer resistant in all areas
Vinca major (Green or Variegated) Shade 1′ x 4′ E Control leaf tier caterpillars
Vitex, Beach Sun/Part sun 2′ x 6′ D Spreads rapidly
Vitex, Chaste Tree Sun 25′ x 25′ D Give it room to grow
Wax Myrtle, Southern Sun 15′ x 8′ E Not drought resistant
Wooly Butterfly Bush Sun 4′ x 4′ E Orange marble-sized blooms
Wooly Stemodia Sun 8″ x 5′ D Drought Resistant
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Part Sun 3′ x 3′ D Zone 9 Protect in winter
Yew, Japanese Sun/Part sun 15′-20′ x 3′-4′ E Not deer resistant in all areas
Yucca, various Sun/Part sun check variety E Deer eat flowers