Deer Resistant Bulbs

Deer Resistant Bulbs to Plant in Your Garden This Year

Written By: Ian @ World Deer

If you live in an area with a large deer population and take pride in your garden, how on earth do you keep those pesky cervids off your property? Deer enjoy few things more than munching on your beautiful flowers, and they sometimes even dig up bulbs. Luckily, one incredibly effective step is to plant deer resistant bulbs. Let’s learn more here.

Deer have exceptional senses of smell, and this means they can smell the plants they hate from a distance and they often won’t come anywhere near your property. That’s why deer resistant bulbs can protect other plants on your property that deer do like to eat, such as tulips.

Here is our list of deer resistant bulbs that create a beautiful display in the garden and will help keep away deer.

Deer Resistant Bulbs for Fall Planting

Below are deer-resistant bulbs that you should plant in the fall. Remember that you plant bulbs in the fall for blooming in the spring.

Perennials to Plant in the Fall

Here are perennial bulbs that you should plant in the fall that are deer-resistant.


Daffodils are one of the best-known perennial bulb flowers. These bright yellow flowers are a lovely addition to any garden, and another advantage is that they’re deer-resistant.

Daffodils flower each spring. Yellow daffodils are the most famous, but there are other color varieties too. For example, you can find pink, coral, and white daffodils.

Deer Resistant Plants Daffodils

When it comes to planting daffodils to repel deer, the more the better. In other words, plant as many daffodils as you can.

Daffodil bulbs are relatively vulnerable and their development and growth sometimes go awry. That’s why you should plant twice the number of bulbs that you imagine you want to bloom.

Daffodils are fall-planting flowers. Make sure you plant them well before the first frost.

You cannot plant bulbs when the ground is frozen.

To ensure your daffodils grow and bloom as they should, it’s best for them to have full sun. If that is not possible, they can still do well in partial shade, but they should never be in full shade.

Leucojum (Summer Snowflake)

This bulb blooms in the springtime. If you also have daffodils, you will find that your Leucojum will bloom soon afterward.

Leucojum are delicate but beautiful, and they are a pleasant finishing touch in anyone’s garden.

Deer Resistant Bulbs Leucojum Summer Snowflake

You can grow summer snowflakes in either partial shade or full sun. If you live somewhere between USDA zones four through eight, you should have success with these deer-resistant bulbs.

One of the advantages of summer snowflakes is that they can do well in a variety of different soil types.

You can have lovely summer snowflakes whether your soil is alkaline, acidic, or neutral. However, they cannot tolerate soggy soil.


You should have success with colchicum if you give this flower either partial or full sun. . This is a deer-resistant plant, and you may hear others refer to it as Meadow Saffron.

Deer Resistant Plants Colchicum Meadow Saffron

This is quite strange, as there is no relation between this plant and saffron.

Low areas, such as groundcovers and around shrubs, are the best places to plant colchicum. If you have a fence, you may want to plant colchicum bulbs in an area of grass beside it.


Related to garlic, alliums are an excellent choice as a deer-resistant plant for keeping deer away from your other plants.

Deer Resistant Bulbs Allium

There are different varieties of alliums available, and you would be surprised at how beautiful they are. You can find allium plants with flowers in colors such as purple and white.

Your alliums will be especially happy if you have dry soil. And if you live in a region that tends to experience drought, you won’t have to worry about these plants.

Always plant your allium plants during the fall months.


We all love colorful flowers, and that is why hyacinths are so popular. These plants and their bulbs are also deer-resistant.

Many homeowners like planting hyacinths near flower bed borders.

Deer Resistant Bulbs Hyacinths

Plant your hyacinth bulbs in the fall months.

The soil should be well-drained but still a bit moist. Hyacinths do best if they get full sun.


Another deer-resistant bulb is the Ornithogalum. To give your Ornithogalum the best chance of beautiful flowering, ensure you give it full sun or at least partial sun.

Deer Resistant Plants Ornithogalum

You should make sure the soil is well-drained and has mid-level moisture. It should also be well-fertilized and nutritious.

Most varieties of this bulb grow plants with small white flowers. Like with other bulbs, make sure you provide regular watering, especially as the plant is growing.

Deer Resistant Bulbs for Spring Planting

Bulbs you plant in the spring bloom in the summer. Let’s find out about deer-resistant bulbs you plant during the spring months.



Looking for a deer-resistant bulb that you plant in the spring and that will tolerate shade? Think about planting astilbes.

If you can give this plant full sun, even better. It thrives in those conditions.

Deer Resistant Bulbs Astilbe

Make sure the soil is well-fertilized, preferably with organic compost. The soil should be well-drained before you plant your bulbs.

One advantage of this bulb is how low maintenance it is relative to other bulbs. While it’s still growing, however, you should always remember to water your astilbe.


Peonies have a strong perfume and taste that deer dislike.

This flower is colorful, making it an aesthetically pleasing addition to your garden. Peonies are known for their bright pink and other shades.

Deer Resistant Bulbs Peonies

Salvia (Sage)

Salvia (sage) is another plant that is effective for keeping deer away. Deer strongly dislike the smell of sage.

Many gardeners plant sage on the borders of their gardens, to help keep deer out. While deer hate sage’s aroma, people tend to like it. That’s a win-win for you.

Deer Resistant Plants Salvia Sage

Siberian Iris

Do you live in a region with a temperate climate? Consider adding Siberian irises to your property.

These deer-resistant plants grow delicate purple flowers and they a quite hardy against cooler weather.

Fertilize your soil with a nitrogen fertilizer before planting this bulb.

Deer Resistant Plant Siberian Iris

What Bulbs are Susceptible to Deer?

Unfortunately, there are certain bulbs that are susceptible to deer. Cervids enjoy eating them and they will attract these animals to your property.

You shouldn’t plant bulbs that are susceptible to deer if you live in an area with many deer. If you do, you should take precautions to keep deer away.

What Bulbs are Susceptible to Deer?

The tulip is famously susceptible to deer. Cervids adore eating these flowers and their bulbs, so if you have them in your garden, you should take certain steps.

For example, you can surround your tulips with deer-resistant plants (including the ones we listed earlier). In other words, you can create borders of deer-resistant plants around your tulips.

Final Thoughts On Deer Resistant Bulbs

Here you’ve learned about deer-resistant bulbs that you can plant in the fall and spring. Now you can decide which of these plants will thrive in your region and best fit your preferences.

Picture of By: Ian from World Deer

By: Ian from World Deer

A passionate writer for WorldDeer using the most recent data on all animals with a keen focus on deer species.

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