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Thursday - January 28, 2010

From: bardstown, KY
Region: Select Region
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer resistant vines for Kentucky
Answered by: Janice Kvale


Is there a vine I can grow on my garden fence to deter deer?


Generally, deer will avoid plants that have aromatic foliage or have other characteristics deer find unpleasant such as milky sap, hairy or prickly foliage and leaves that are tough. Nevertheless, there is nothing that will deter very hungry deer. That said, when the food supply is plentiful deer are not going to want the following vines that are native in Kentucky.

Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria) is highly deer resistant, maybe because its lovely blossoms smell really nice.

Cocculus carolinus (Carolina coralbead) is moderately deer resistant but quite aggressive. Once established, it is difficult to eradicate. The blossoms may not be impressive but the berries are attractive. 

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) also is moderately deer resistant and has unimpressive blossoms but pretty berries. This deciduous vine has the added advantage of not damaging the structure of buildings or fences as it climbs.

Passiflora incarnata (purple passionflower) is moderately deer resistant and boasts lovely purple blossoms from April until September. 

Campsis radicans (trumpet creeper) is moderately deer resistant and produces gorgeous orange blossoms from June until September. This deciduous vine is quite aggressive and may volunteer where you don't expect or want it. 

Be sure you review the light, moisture, and soil preferences of your choice of vine before planting. You can do so by clicking the above names which are hot links to the Lady Bird Johnson Wild Flower Center site. You may also want to review our entire list of deer resistant plants.

Suppliers for your choice may be located at the Kentucky Native Plant Society, and Plant Native.


Wisteria frutescens

Wisteria frutescens

Cocculus carolinus

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Passiflora incarnata

Passiflora incarnata

Campsis radicans

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