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Deer-Resistant Shade Plants Brighten Up Your Garden

Linda enjoys tending her plants and flowers. She has written a variety of gardening articles about flowers, arid plants and shade plants.

Rare soft pink bells. Convallaria majalis, Rosea is one of the most unique Lily of the Valley.

Rare soft pink bells. Convallaria majalis, Rosea is one of the most unique Lily of the Valley.

Lily-of-the-Valley Bush

Deer tend to eat just about everything at times, but the lily-of-the-valley bush is an exception. Deer don't eat the flowers on this shade-loving broadleaf evergreen, which has dense green leaves and drooping clusters of pink, white, or rose flowers in the spring. The lily-of-the-valley vine, also known as andromeda, thrives in partial shade. It's perfect for a shrub border or a base planting.

Your shade garden will have an exotic Asian beauty thanks to star-shaped blossoms. The orchid-like petals are almost engulfed in deep purple spotting. Slender spreading clusters of swollen dark burgundy buds exploded into flowers. Astonishing!

Your shade garden will have an exotic Asian beauty thanks to star-shaped blossoms. The orchid-like petals are almost engulfed in deep purple spotting. Slender spreading clusters of swollen dark burgundy buds exploded into flowers. Astonishing!

Toad Lily

Toad lily, which blooms in late summer and fall and has tiny lavender blooms with dark purple patches, is a welcome addition to a shade flower border. Alternatively, look for deer-resistant shade plant varieties with golden or cream-colored variegation on their leaves, which will brighten up a shady spot.

Lungwort plants are cultivated mostly for their unusual leaves, which are green with random white spots and seem to have been sprayed with bleach. The leaves are often covered with a rough, hairy fuzz.

Lungwort plants are cultivated mostly for their unusual leaves, which are green with random white spots and seem to have been sprayed with bleach. The leaves are often covered with a rough, hairy fuzz.

The Lungwort

Lungwort is both enticing and deer-proof. This hardy shade annual comes in a variety of colors and patterns, with spotted or variegated leaves and pink or blue flower sprays in the spring. This low-maintenance plant is an excellent companion for deer-resistant spring bulbs like narcissus and scilla.

Astilbe is one of our favorite shade perennials because it is the savvy gardener's trick for adding vivid color in low-light areas. White, pink, lavender, and red feathery plumes are carried high over dark green, fernlike foliage.

Astilbe is one of our favorite shade perennials because it is the savvy gardener's trick for adding vivid color in low-light areas. White, pink, lavender, and red feathery plumes are carried high over dark green, fernlike foliage.

Astilbe

The feathery finery of astilbe will brighten the dark corners of your landscape. This hardy annual has violet, coral, purple, lavender, and cream blooms, as well as fern-like leaves that add provide color and appeal even though the plants aren't blooming.

Shade, plenty of water, and nutrients are all necessities for Jack-in-the-pulpit. It is not difficult to grow the plant once these flowers have been produced.

Shade, plenty of water, and nutrients are all necessities for Jack-in-the-pulpit. It is not difficult to grow the plant once these flowers have been produced.

Jack-in-the-Pulpit

Jack-in-the-pulpit blooms in the early spring and is a dependable native wildflower that takes a few years to develop but gradually forms large colonies. The hooded green or purple herb, sometimes supplemented by red berries later in the season, distinguishes Jack-in-the-pulpit, which goes latent in the mid-summer.

Columbine looks great in beds and borders because of its clumping habit and wide range of colors. Columbine is a perfect filler plant between the early-spring flower bonanza and the main garden season since it blooms in the middle of the season.

Columbine looks great in beds and borders because of its clumping habit and wide range of colors. Columbine is a perfect filler plant between the early-spring flower bonanza and the main garden season since it blooms in the middle of the season.

Columbine

Columbine's pretty, star-shaped flowers are borne aloft on wiry stems that dance gracefully as the wind blows. Columbine is a low-maintenance native wildflower that thrives in part shade and comes in a variety of shades, forms, and sizes. Individual columbine plants can be short-lived, but they self-sow freely and form vast drifts of color over time.

Bergenia plants (Bergenia cordifolia) have long enchanted gardeners with their big glossy leaves and pert springtime flowers, including the unflattering nickname pig squeak. The name derives from the sound made as the leaves are rubbing together.

Bergenia plants (Bergenia cordifolia) have long enchanted gardeners with their big glossy leaves and pert springtime flowers, including the unflattering nickname pig squeak. The name derives from the sound made as the leaves are rubbing together.

Bergenia

Bergenia is a great choice for your shade garden because of its trusses of pink flowers held over glossy, heart-shaped stems. Bergenia, also known as pig squeaks, gets its name from the squealing sound its leaves make when rubbed between your thumb and finger. Bergenia can remain evergreen in the southern part of its range.

The shady serenity of its natural Oriental gardens is evoked. Due to the lovely combination of green and purple shades on its fronds that seem to be silver, it is one of the most common cultivated ferns.

The shady serenity of its natural Oriental gardens is evoked. Due to the lovely combination of green and purple shades on its fronds that seem to be silver, it is one of the most common cultivated ferns.

Beautiful Color Japanese Fern

Try Japanese painted fern if deer are a threat in your area. Grayish-green fronds with silver and maroon highlights grow 12 to 18 inches tall on this handsome shade dweller. Japanese painted fern can naturally colonize an environment over time, creating thick clumps. Rich, mildly wet, well-drained soil is ideal for Japanese painted fern.

Above everything, stem and stamen. With its vivid mustard yellow flower spikes in the summer, this vigorous grower will make a statement in your shade yard. A dense clump of broad, heavy, serrated leaves forms.

Above everything, stem and stamen. With its vivid mustard yellow flower spikes in the summer, this vigorous grower will make a statement in your shade yard. A dense clump of broad, heavy, serrated leaves forms.

Ligularia Yellow

Ligularia thrives in shady areas but suffers when rainfall is insufficient. It is grown for both its large dark green leaves and its clusters of bright yellow flowers. Make sure the plants are mulched to keep the soil moist. Use ligularia along the side of a pond, in a rain garden, or along a shady stream line.

Brunnera is one of the most desirable plants for a shade garden because it blooms and grows. The attractive, shiny foliage of the artificial forget-me-not, also known as bogus forget-me-not, is complemented by the petite blooms. The brunnera that is

Brunnera is one of the most desirable plants for a shade garden because it blooms and grows. The attractive, shiny foliage of the artificial forget-me-not, also known as bogus forget-me-not, is complemented by the petite blooms. The brunnera that is

Brunnera Siberian

Brunnera, also known as Siberian bugloss, is admired for its brightly colored heart-shaped leaves and sky blue spring flowers. Deer tend to avoid the plants possibly due to the scratchy nature of the leaves, and they eventually form firm clumps that propagate through rhizomes and self-seeding.

Showy, ornamental, native evergreen Oregon grape holly!

Showy, ornamental, native evergreen Oregon grape holly!

Grape Holly

Oregon grape holly's dense, leathery, very spiny leaves deter deer from eating this lovely, shade-loving shrub. In the spring, it produces yellow flower trusses, which are accompanied by blue-black berries in the late summer. Allow enough space for Oregon grape holly to spread by runners and form dense color colonies.

Skimmia thrives in semi-shaded, wooded settings. It's deer-resistant, and the berries are extremely appealing to hungry songbirds. Continue reading to learn more about this fascinating vine.

Skimmia thrives in semi-shaded, wooded settings. It's deer-resistant, and the berries are extremely appealing to hungry songbirds. Continue reading to learn more about this fascinating vine.

Skimmia Shrubs

While there many shrubs that bloom in the shaded, skimmia will have fragrant spring white flowers in the clusters of red fruits on the fall plants. Skimmia is a deer-resistant broadleaf evergreen shade shrub that makes a fine base planting or flowering hedge. Berry development necessitates both male and female plants. The berries have a unique flavor.

In the winter and early spring, beautiful rosy-pink flower buds open to white, sweetly fragrant flowers. Variegated leaves with a yellow border.

In the winter and early spring, beautiful rosy-pink flower buds open to white, sweetly fragrant flowers. Variegated leaves with a yellow border.

Daphne

Daphne is a better option for part-shade areas where deer are a concern because it is both fragrant and vivid. In the early spring, this attractive, deer-resistant shrub produces clusters of whitish-pink flowers, which are accompanied by small red berries in the fall. Daphne may be used as a base plant or in a perennial border along the north side of your home.

Bottlebrush buckeye is a shrub worth adding to the garden for its well displayed summer flowers and handsome foliage.

Bottlebrush buckeye is a shrub worth adding to the garden for its well displayed summer flowers and handsome foliage.

Bottlebrush Buckeye

Bottlebrush buckeye is one of the finest deer-resistant flowering shrubs for shady landscapes. In the early summer, this native plant produces spikes of nectar-rich white flowers that will draw swarms of butterflies to your garden. The flowers will finally yield gleaming, inedible nuts that will bring interest to the autumn landscape.

The shiny Japanese pachysandra. This perennial evergreen thrives in deep or light shade. It adapts readily to island beds with shrubs, dry shade beneath trees.

The shiny Japanese pachysandra. This perennial evergreen thrives in deep or light shade. It adapts readily to island beds with shrubs, dry shade beneath trees.

Pachysandra

Plants with dense, glossy leaves are avoided by deer. That's why pachysandra thrives in deer country as a shadowy groundcover. This hardy, shade-loving plant easily spreads through underground runners, gradually creating an impenetrable carpet of dark green or variegated foliage. Pachysandra also grows tiny white flowers in the early spring, which is a nice bonus.

Plants were renowned for their medicinal use until epimediums became common as garden plants. The common name for this plant is barrenwort. Bishop's hat is also a popular term for the flowers, which resemble a clergyman's miter.

Plants were renowned for their medicinal use until epimediums became common as garden plants. The common name for this plant is barrenwort. Bishop's hat is also a popular term for the flowers, which resemble a clergyman's miter.

Epimedium

Epimedium, also known as barrenwort or bishop's hat, is one of the finest deer-resistant shade groundcovers. Its vivid heart-shaped foliage and flowers will gradually carpet your garden. Epimedium comes in a variety of colors and patterns, including lavender, purple, and white leaves and flowers.

Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia) is a shade-loving perennial native to the eastern United States and Canada. This small, evergreen, mounding or running groundcover has been  in the home landscape.

Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia) is a shade-loving perennial native to the eastern United States and Canada. This small, evergreen, mounding or running groundcover has been in the home landscape.

Foamflower

Foamflower adds a touch of elegance to every shade border. This little charmer blooms in late spring with masses of pink or white flowers, and its leaves turn a reddish bronze color in the autumn. When grown in a shaded border or woodland habitat, this hardy native makes a perfect deer-resistant shade groundcover.

From mid spring to early summer, Windflower produces masses of pretty white daisy flowers with yellow eyes at the ends of the branches, which look best when planted in groups. The fruit isn't particularly attractive.

From mid spring to early summer, Windflower produces masses of pretty white daisy flowers with yellow eyes at the ends of the branches, which look best when planted in groups. The fruit isn't particularly attractive.

Windflower

Windflower's snow-white or pink flowers, which are born on strong and graceful branches, seem to be humming if there is a gentle breeze. In April and May, this extra-easy annual blooms profusely with daisy-like flowers. Windflower spreads steadily, producing thick mats of attractive foliage and flowers.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Linda Chechar

Start a Conversation!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on April 21, 2021:

Brenda Arledge, are best the beautiful plants!

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on April 20, 2021:

Tobe (or is it Tobz),

Thank you for writing this delightful piece for us.

I love how you say life is gift, a mystery, an adventure.

The things life has taught you are inspirational.

Your poem "Rules for Life" rings so true.

I love how you remind us to leave a little space for ourselves each day and that we shouldn't dwell on the past.

We need to live every day like it's our last.

"Poem About Life"

This one reminds us that no matter what struggles we face in life to keep going,

to pick ourselves up and try again.

I must say your words paint an inspiration for all of us.

Well done!

I will post a link in the word prompt article.

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on April 20, 2021:

Pamela Oglesby, these are beautiful plants. There are some of flowers are the shade plants and deer-resistant in the lots in the home. Glad you like these them!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 20, 2021:

I love these beautiful flowers, but I am not sure what can grow in northern FL. I like each one you showed us and I love to have flowers in the yard. Thank you so much for sharinge thes, Linda.

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on April 20, 2021:

Peggy Woods, this article has shade plants that are the deer resistant. You said the deers munching some of the plants!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 20, 2021:

Even though we do not have to worry much about deer munching on our plants, I enjoyed reading about these beauties that are shade-loving ones that are also deer resistant. Thanks!

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