Five Deer-Resistant Ground Cover Plants

Deer are notorious for consuming the most lovely plants in any garden, including ground cover plants. Luckily, there are several species of attractive ground cover that deer will not eat. Many of these plants also thrive in shade, making them an excellent choice for planting under more established species.


Catnip plants are an herbaceous perennial herb with white flowers and a reputation for driving house cats crazy. The herb thrives in slightly alkaline soil and can be grown in full sun or partial shade. It is important to note that Catnip will grow up to three feet tall and three feet wide.

Japanese Pachysandra

This plant is a broadleaf evergreen perennial and has adapted to spread throughout the garden. If you want to contain this plant in one part of your garden, you must destroy its runners each year. This plant quickly out-competes weeds and other invasive species. Therefore, the Japanese Pachysandra is an excellent deer-resistant ground cover for a large area.

Sweet Woodruff

Sweet Woodruff is a beautiful and fragrant ground cover which bears tiny white clusters of flowers. This perennial will quickly suffocate weeds and spread out throughout the garden similar to Japanese Pachysandra. Sweet Woodruff is adapted to grow in the shade, but it will thrive in full sun as well. This plant is also edible and makes a great addition to any herb garden.

Liriope Spicata

This species of ground cover is an excellent deer-resistant ornamental grass. It can be used as a border for your yard, or it can serve as an all-over replacement for traditional grass since it only grows to be about 1 inch tall. In autumn, Liriope Spicata produces a dark berry which replaces its white and lavender flowers. It grows vigorously and can be difficult to contain, so be prepared to handle a lot of maintenance if you decide to keep it in one area.

Vinca Minor Vines

Vinca Minor Vines are an outstanding choice for deer-resistant ground cover because of their beautiful flowers. Also known as Creeping Myrtle or Periwinkle Flowers, these plants produce beautiful light blue and purple flowers. In addition, it has the potential to creep throughout your entire garden blooming intermittently throughout the summer.

These ground cover are deer resistant mostly because of the odors they produce. The odor that many people would consider alluring actually repels deer. Your nose will benefit from planting deer-resistant ground cover plants as will your blossoming garden. It is a good idea to plant a variety of deer-resistant species if you wish to repel deer from your garden altogether.