Ferns are a good choice for a deer proof garden. I grow about 15 varieties of hardy outdoor ferns and the deer seldom touch them. My favorite fern is the Japanese Painted Fern (pictured here) which has beautiful silver and burgandy coloring.
Ferns thrive in moist shady conditions. A mulch such as well-rotted leaves or cedar chips under and around your ferns will help keep the moisture in the soil. Ferns will also grow in dry shade but will not be as lush.
Here is a list of ferns that are reliably deer proof in the landscape.
|Common Name||Latin Name|
|Christmas Fern||Polystichum arcostichoides|
|Cinnamon Fern||Osmunda cinnamomea|
|Hayscented Fern||Dennstaedtia punctilobula|
|Holly Fern||Cyrtomium falcatum|
|Japanese Painted Fern||Athyrium goeringianum (nipponicum)|
|New York Fern||Thelyptens noveboracensis|
|Ostrich Fern||Matteuccia struthiopteris|
|Royal Fern||Osmunda regalis|
|Sensitive Fern||Onoclea sensibilis|
|Wood Fern||Dryopteris marginalis|