Deer Resistant Lily Plants


Many ornamental plants either are related to lilies or are commonly referred to as some type of lily. Resistance to deer damage or mortality from browsing varies among species.


  • Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus spp.) is listed as deer-resistant by several university extension services. The West Virginia Extension Service and the Rutgers Agricultural Experimental Station both list glory lilies (Gloriosa superba) and lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) as seldom damaged by deer. Other deer-resistant plants include lily leek (Allium ostrowskianum), lilyturf (Liriope spp.), toad lily (Tricyrtis hirta), trout lily (Erythronium spp.), calla lily (Zantedeschia spp.), crinum lily (Crinum asiaticum) and canna lily (Canna spp).

Discrepancies and Exceptions

  • Not all sources agree on the degree to which a certain species is deer-resistant. The Rutgers Agricultural Experimental Station lists lilyturf (Liriope spp.) as seldom severely damaged, while the Pender County Cooperative Extension isn't as optimistic. Daylilies are frequently damaged by deer, with the exception Stella de Oro daylilies (Hemerocallis, "Stella de Oro"), a very resistant plant.


  • Deer-resistant plants will still be browsed when other sources of food are scarce. Thick, thorny hedges with outer plantings of species that deer like but will not kill can help deter deer from lily plants. True lilies (Lilium spp.) are frequently damaged by deer.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images tricyrtis toad lily image by Jan Ebling from stella de oro day lilly plants image by Jorge Moro from Lilium image by Andrew Filatov from
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