Every so often I see plants advertised as being "deer resistant".

I can understand when flowers are marked as attracting butterflies or hummingbirds, since that can be determined by the shape of the flowers. But how does a plant get marked as deer resistant?

I can't imagine someone gets paid to sit and watch a plant to see of deer will avoid it or not.

2 Answers 2


I think that is actually what they do. They could set up cameras to make sure it's not a rabbit or something, but the tag "Deer Resistant" just means that deer show a tendency not to eat it for one reason or another.

However, there is a reason they say deer "resistant" and not "proof". I've had deer tear up plenty of plants that deer have destroyed that were supposed to be resistant. My Crepe Myrtles said deer resistant, but I watched a deer out the window chewing on it. I've also had them tear up small trees by scratching the antlers on them.


I think this idea that deer, or most herbivores, won't eat some plants is misleading or just wrong.

I heard this answer from a lawyer, and I hate it, but it answers the question....

It all depends..

It depends on

No matter what the plant, somewhere, there is an animal that will eat it sometime...

  • The last sentence isn't helpful, as the question was about deer specifically.
    – J. Musser
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 0:07
  • @J.Musser - come on! Its funny... and true.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 17:23
  • @Bamboo True, but things can be both true and funny and still not apply to the question :)
    – J. Musser
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 23:27
  • @J.Musser feel free to provide a better answer!
    – kevinskio
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 23:40

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