5 Deer-Resistant Bulbs for Spring Blooms

Tired of watching your tulips come up in spring, only to be eaten back down to the ground? Plant these deer-resistant spring bulbs instead.

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Does this sound familiar? You wait all winter for your spring bulbs to poke through the frozen soil, and when they do, deer munch them right back down to the ground before they even come close to blooming. So what’s a gardener to do? Some people try fences or deer repellents, but these don’t always work. Instead, try planting these deer-resistant bulbs, and fill your yard with blooms each spring! Before you get started, make sure you read our ultimate guide to planting spring bulbs.

Allium flowersCourtesy Brenda Doherty

Allium

Zones 4-9

These members of the onion family seem to be distasteful to deer and rabbits. The globe-shaped flower clusters are beautiful, and as an added bonus, they attract butterflies, too! Try Persian Blue allium for large purple-blue blooms. Learn more about growing alliums.

daffodilsVia Breck's

Daffodils

Zones 3-8

Daffodils are the king of deer-resistant bulbs. They contain an alkaloid called lycorine that is distasteful and even poisonous to deer, rabbits and other mammals. And if you think daffodils are all the same yellow blooms, you haven’t been keeping up! Daffodils come in an array of striking types and shades, from creams and oranges to peach and pink, with ruffled cups and even double blooms. Different varieties bloom at different times during the spring, so plant a mix of early, middle, and late-blooming bulbs to keep the season going. Check out 10 of the best daffodil bulbs to plant this fall.

hyacinthCourtesy Christina Emfinger

Hyacinth

Zones 3-8

If you believe the best spring flowers are the fragrant ones, then hyacinths are the deer-resistant bulbs for you. Just one spike of these flowers is enough to fragrance a whole room, and they do well as cut flowers if brought in just as the flowers begin to open. This fragrant mix from Michigan Bulb Co. has a great variety of colors. Check out 7 sensational sources for flower bulbs.

double snowdropsVia Breck's

Snowdrops

Zones 4-7

If you’re looking for the earliest possible blooms, snowdrops (Galanthus elwesii) are the way to go. These deer-resistant bulbs are the first to pop up, often before the snow is even gone. You’ll love these double snowdrops from Breck’s for their unusual green-and-white flowers. Here’s 8 more early-blooming flowers for spring.

spring starflowerVia Breck's

Spring Starflower

Zones 5-9

This cheerful little spring bloomer is closely-related to alliums and daffodils, so deer will leave it alone. Spring starflower isn’t planted as widely as other spring bulbs, but makes an excellent choice for an area you’d like to naturalize. The flowers are available in blue, white, and pink, or try this mix of all three colors from Breck’s.

Jill Staake
Jill lives in Tampa, Florida, and writes about gardening, butterflies, outdoor projects and birding. When she's not gardening, you'll find her reading, traveling and happily digging her toes into the sand on the beach.