12 Deer-Resistant Plants For Fall Color

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We're 'falling' for these deer-resistant plants!

As the leaves transform into fiery reds, golden yellows, and deep oranges, our gardens can become a kaleidoscope of colors during the fall. However, deer have a knack for snacking on our carefully cultivated garden plants, leaving a trail of destruction. You don’t have to sacrifice gorgeous autumnal hues to keep the deer away when designing your garden! So, grab your gardening gloves and join us as we list some of our favorite deer-resistant plants for fall color. 

Brandywine™ Witherod Viburnum

(Viburnum nudum)

Brandywine™ Witherod Viburnum is one of the first plants that come to mind when discussing stunning fall colors. Gorgeous red berries take the stage during late summer, then ripen to blue-purple in the fall, just as the foliage shifts from vibrant green to deep orange and red. While it may attract gardening novices, viburnum is deer-resistant. 

Brandywine Viburnum berries
bright red stems of Arctic Fire Red Red Twig Dogwood

Arctic Fire® Red Red-Twig Dogwood

(Cornus sericea)

Arctic Fire® Red Red-Twig dogwood showcases a different look depending on the season. This shrub features green leaves cascading upwards on the shrub that transition to a gorgeous burgundy color during the fall. As temperatures continue to drop, what’s left is beautiful red stems that stand out in the landscape. 

Vanilla Spice® Summersweet

(Clethra alnifolia)

Are you looking for a deer-resistant shrub for the shade? Vanilla Spice® Summersweet features fragrant white flowers and glossy green foliage that turns bright yellow in fall. Shade or shine, this summersweet is low maintenance and deer-resistant.

Orange and brown Sugartina® 'Crystalina' Summersweet foliage during the fall
yellow plumes of feather reed grass

'Karl Foerster' Feather Reed Grass

(Calamagrostis x acutiflora)

‘Karl Foerster’ feather reed grass is a compact ornamental grass with a significant impact on the landscape. Its long-lasting blooms look good in nearly any season and add contrast and texture to a fall garden. Great Garden tip: Add your feather reed cuttings to a large standing vase with other autumnal hues to bring the beauty indoors!

Winecraft Black® Smokebush

(Cotinus coggygria)

The unique texture of Winecraft Black® Smokebush makes it a focal point in the garden. With the showy seed heads, pink smoky plumes, and deep purple fall color, you’ll have onlookers who can’t take their eyes off this showy shrub! But don’t worry; deer generally tend to avoid smokebushes.

Purple foliage from Winecraft Black® Smokebush during the fall
Orange leaves from Kodiak® Orange Diervilla during the fall

Kodiak® Orange Diervilla

(Diervilla hybrid)

Looking for color longevity from your deer-resistant shrub? Look no further than Kodiak® Orange Diervilla from Proven Winners. This shrub can thrive in nearly any level of sunlight, shade or full sun, and has colorful foliage from spring through fall. Expect a pollinator frenzy after planting!

Teton Firethorn

(Pyracantha 'Teton')

Teton Firethorn features vibrant yellow/orange berries that emerge in the fall and are reminiscent of the harvest season! It’s fast-growing and heat-tolerant, making it a wonderful deer-resistant shrub for southern gardeners.

Teton Firethorn orange bush
Burgundy flowers of Autumn Joy Stonecrop in front of yellow foliage plant

'Autumn Joy' Stonecrop

(Hylotelephium syn. Sedum)

Spring, summer, fall; ‘Autumn Joy’ stonecrop (Sedum) truly looks good no matter the season! The giant flower clusters bloom pink, then transition to a deep rose-red as they enter fall. This stonecrop is also adored by butterflies and other pollinators but resistant to deer.

'Caramel' Coral Bells

(Heuchera villosa hybrid)

The rich apricot-amber foliage from ‘Caramel’ coral bells is reminiscent of a fall day filled with cider and apple orchards! We love adding these deer-resistant perennials to shady borders, containers, and more. Coral bells are also extremely low maintenance and an excellent choice for beginners.

Carmel Coral Bells foliage.
Boston Ivy climbing a brick fence

Boston Ivy

(Parthenocissus tricuspidata)

The fast-growing addition of Boston Ivy to your garden will ensure gorgeous orange-red hues will scale walls and arbors come fall time. The best part? This perennial is easy to maintain and you won’t need to worry about deer-damage!

'Brilliance' Autumn Fern

(Dryopteris erythrosora)

While shade garden favorites like hosta attract deer, ‘Brilliance’ Autumn fern is an excellent deer-resistant addition that also looks fabulous in containers. Discover more deer-resistant plants that thrive in the shade HERE.

Bronze foliage of Brilliance Autumn Fern
Little Henry® Sweetspire during the fall

Little Henry® Sweetspire

(Itea virginica)

This native shrub features fragrant white flowers that pollinators love in the spring and summer, then foliage transitions to gorgeous red hues come fall. Sweetspire is also deer-resistant and heat-tolerant, making it an excellent addition for gardeners in southern growing zones.

Deer-Resistant Plants For Sale:

Spend less time worrying and more time gardening with these deer-resistant perennials! The vibrant hues of fall don’t need to be compromised: buy deer-resistant perennials, shrubs, and trees at Great Garden Plants now. Note that the hues a plant takes on depend on environmental conditions in the planted growing zone. Find your growing zone HERE.

Questions, comments, or concerns? Let us know! We have an experienced, knowledgeable staff ready to make sure your garden turns out perfect. Or check out our other blogs, here.