Peonies & Deer


If deer live in your area, you're faced with either keeping them out of your yard or planting flowers and shrubs that deer won't eat. Peonies are one of those flowers.


  • Peonies grow up to 4 feet tall and bloom for around a week in late spring to early summer in most colors besides blue. They can grow in zones 2 through 8, so most people in the United States can grow them.


  • Deer do not like the strong smell of peonies, so planting them around your garden will help keep deer out. The double flowering types produce more fragrance (versus single flowering), and pinks are more fragrant than reds.

Benefits Over Chemicals

  • Flowers offer a natural alternative to store-bought chemical deterrents, and they add beauty to your garden or yard.

Benefits Over Other Scents

  • There are other natural scents that deter deer, but these might make your cringe, such as creosote, rotten eggs or garlic.

Other Plants

  • There are over 600 plants besides peonies that will deter deer. Deer don't like the fuzzy leaves of Lamb's Ear, the hard and sharp leaves of Hardy Sugar Cane, which have beautiful blooms, or the bitter taste of New York fern.

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  • Photo Credit Image by, courtesy of Sharon Mollerus
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