Deer in grass

Deer may be beautiful but, to gardeners, they are voracious chompers of beloved plants. The deer even have the nerve to come onto our patios where we try planting annuals in containers. Fortunately, there are some annuals that the deer usually don’t eat.

They tend to stay away from herbally or bitterly scented plants and from poisonous plants, thus most herbs are safe.

Ricinus communis (Castor Bean Plant)

Several tropicals that always make a statement are also usually safe, for instance, Canna, Phormium, Cordyline, Ricinus (Castor Bean) and Elephant Ears (Alocasia and Colocasia).

If you are tired of fibrous begonias and would like to branch out a bit, there are several other annuals that the deer usually don’t have on their menu. Try Ageratum, Browallia, Cleome, Dahlia, Datura, Dusty Miller, Fuchsia, Gazania, Helichrysum, Heliotrope, Hypoestes, Lantana, Lobelia, Lobularia, Marigold, Nicotiana, Petunia, Salvia farinacea, Snapdragons, Torenia, Verbena, Vinca, and Zinnia.

Another group of plants are the ornamental grasses. There are some gorgeous annual grasses such as

Pennisetum 'Fireworks'

Pennisetum ‘Fireworks’ with its pink, red, and green variegation and, of course, that old standby Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’ with its burgundy foliage and inflorescences. Fiber Optic Grass is smaller but distinctive.

Fiber Optic Grass (Scirpus cernuus)

Most of these plants will be for sale during my annual Plant Sale, this year Thursday, May 10. For more information about the plants and the sale, visit my website and read the 2012 Newlsetter and the Order Form; they have pictures and cultural information.