Because of the unpredictable nature of our deer, there are few absolutely "deer resistant" plants. The deer normally travel in small herds in familiar routes or paths. They browse on plants that appear on their path. Thus deer may eat a certain plant in the back yard, but not in the front yard of the same house. As drought and heat conditions worsen, the deer will resort to eating plants not normally eaten just to survive.
From the following list, the plants coded as "N" are plants that are "never or rarely" eaten by deer, so these are the plants most likely to survive. The plants coded as "S" are "sometimes" eaten by the deer, depending upon the many variables of the deer browsing patterns and stress brought on by the weather conditions.
The Butterfly Garden, located on the Upper Trail in City Park, includes many varieties of the plants from the list, as examples of "deer resistant" plants growing in our Hill Country soil.
The following list includes many of the more popular and readily available plants that recent experience has shown to survive the deer browsing. Unfortunately, due to the unpredictability of the deer, we cannot give any guarantees of success.
Bluestem, Big and Little (N); Gulf Coast Muhly (N); Island Sea Oats (S) Lindheimer Muhly (N); Mexican Feather Grass (N); Pampas Grass (N); Purple Fountain Grass (N).
Aloe spp. (S); Bee Balm (S); Chives (S); Copper Canyon Daisy (S); Germander (S); Lamb's Ears (N); Lavender (S); Lemon Balm (S); Lemon Grass (N); Lemon Mist (S); Mexican Marigolf Mint (S); Mexican Oregano (S); Mint spp. (S); Oregano (S); Russian Sage (N); Snatolina, Green (N); Society Garlic (N); Tarragon (N); Thyme (S).
Perennials & Wildflowers
Artemesia (N); Bi-color Iris (S); Blanketflower (N); Bluebonnet (S); Butterfly Weed (S); Cassia spp. (S); Clasping Leaf Coneflower (S); Cleome, Spiderflower (S); Daffodils (S); Dahberg Daisy (S); Damiantia (N); Datura spp. (N); Dusty Miller (S); Englemann Daisy (S); Flame Acanthus (S); Horsemint (S); Indigo Spires (N); Iris spp. (S); Jerusalem Sage (S); Mexican Hat (S); Oriental Poppy (S); Ox-eye Daisy (S); Paintbrush, Texas/Indian (S); Periwinkle (N); Primrose, Pink Evening (S); Salvia, Victoria Blue (S); Salvia Indigo Spires (S); Silver Germander (N); Skull Cap (S); St. John's Wart (S); Zermenia (S).
Trees & Shrubs
Abelia spp. (S); Agarita (N); Agave (N); Boxwood (N); Buddleia (S); Bur Oak (S); Buford Holly (S); Cactus spp. (S); Cedar Elm (S); Cenizo (Texas Sage) (S); Chinese Tallow (S); Chinquapin Oak (S); Conifers (S); Cottonwood (S); Desert Willow (N); Eleagnus spp. (N); Fig, common (N); Fragrant Mimosa (S); Juniper (S); Lantana Camara (S); Lantana Horrida (N); Live Oak (S); Mountain Laurel (N); Nandina (S); Nolina (N); Palms (N); Possumhaw Holly (S); Primrose Jasmine (N); Pyrachanta (S); Redbud (S); Retama (S); Rosemary (N); Salvia Greggii (S); Shumard Red Oak (S); Sumac, evergreen & flame leaf (S); Texas Ash (S); Texas Persimmon (S); Vitex (N); Wax Myrtle (S); Wright Acacia (S); Yellow Bells (S); Yew (Texas spp.) (S).
Vines & Ground Cover
Butterfly Vine (S); Carolina Jassmine (N); Verbena (S); Vinca (S).