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Native Perennial Plants that are Deer-Resistant and Pollinator-Friendly

Native Perennial Plants that are Deer-Resistant and Pollinator-Friendly

Posted by Bloomin Designs Nursery on Apr 18, 2024

Perennial plants are a great addition to any garden or landscape. They require less maintenance and may provide seasonal interest. However, when selecting perennial plants, it is important to consider factors such as native species, deer resistance, and their ability to attract pollinators, including butterflies and hummingbirds. Native perennial plants are a smart choice as they are well-adapted to the local climate and soil conditions, making them more resilient and better suited for survival. American native plants that are good pollinators and deer resistant tend to avoid (no plant is deer proof) include:

Aquilegia canadensis, Columbine: With its delicate, hanging flowers, columbine attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. It prefers part shade and moist soil.

Asclepias syriaca, Milkweed: This essential food source for Monarch butterflies is not favored by deer due to its milky sap.

Baptisia, false indigo: Common false indigo (B. australis) is native throughout the country, in the Southeast, lower Midwest and mid-Atlantic, and into the Plains states. They attract an array of pollinators and nativars continue to be introduced in a dazzling array of corms and colors.

Coreopsis, tickseed: Common tickseed (C. grandiflora) has a wide range of nativity, nearly throughout the country, while whorled coreopsis (C. verticillata) is native mainly to the Southeast and mid-Atlantic. However, pollinators are copious; the flowers acting as landing pads for larger butterflies and insects.

Echinacea purpurea, Purple Coneflower: This long-blooming wildflower attracts butterflies, bees, and birds. It is known for its hardiness and drought tolerance.

Liatris spicata, Blazing Star: This tall wildflower with showy purple spikes attracts butterflies and bees. It thrives in full sun and well-drained soil.

Monarda didyma, Bee Balm: This fragrant wildflower is a favorite among hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. It comes in various colors, including red, pink, purple, and white.

Panicum, switch grass: Common switchgrass (P. virgatum) has become a go-to grass for professionals wanting native grasses in the design. The USDA shows that switchgrass is native to all states and most of Canada except for California, Oregon, Washington, Alberta, and British Columbia. Acceptance of switchgrass for gardens, landscapes, and bioremediation is well established, and nativars continue to be introduced.

These are just a few examples, the best deer-resistant native plants for your garden will depend on your specific location and growing conditions. For more information on native plants in your area, you can contact your local cooperative extension office or native plant society.