Q&A Which annuals are deer candy? And are there any annuals the deer will leave alone?

Q: Dear Victoria,

The deer seem to eat my annual containers like candy! Are there any annuals the deer will leave alone?


A: There are quite a few options for deer resistant annuals, then there are some varieties that they mostly leave alone, but nibble on occasionally, and there are, as you say, “deer candy.”

Everyone has different anecdotal evidence for one variety being left alone while another is always eaten, but after more than 3 decades as a professional landscaper in Ulster county – these are my findings:

Deer candy:

(You can plant these if you are deer free, protected by a fence or if you are willing to spray deer repellant. We carry Deer Defeat, an all natural, locally produced deer spray.)

  • Sweet potato vine

  • Coleus

  • Oxalis

  • Impatients

  • Fuchsias


Annuals that deer mostly leave alone:

  • Zinneas

  • Marigolds

  • Angelonia

  • Snapdragons

  • Cosmos

  • Fragrant petunias

  • Persian shield

  • Geraniums



Deer resistant:

  • Annual Grasses

  • Mint

  • Salvia

  • Agastache

  • Verbena bonariensis

  • Cleome

  • Lantana

  • Euphorbia “Diamond frost”


We have a huge selection of annuals in stock, so come in this weekend and pick out some all-summer color for your containers and gardens.

If you battle the deer, don’t worry we’ve got you covered!

And if you have questions about many of the other varieties we carry, just ask one of the knowledgeable gardeners who work in the store -they can help you find the right combination for your planter: sun, shade, deer-resitant, drought-tolerant – we have the perfect annuals for you.

Happy planting!