Nature, Uncategorized

Do Deer Eat Sage?

Deer do not eat Sage because it has pungent leaves. They stay away from plants with a strong fragrance. Also, they stay away from certain kinds of poisonous plants such as poppies, foxgloves, and daffodils. The plants that give away stronger scents include sage, lavender, ornamental salvias, etc.

Deer Resistant Garden

There is nothing worse than walking in the garden only to find out that deer have damaged your favorite plant. Repeatedly using repellents and installing tall fences isn’t going to resolve the issue for sure.

However, planting deer-resistant plants might be helpful because deer don’t eat them. They avoid bitter tasting and toxic plants.

List of flowers they do not like:

  • Silver Sage
  • Achillea
  • Bleeding Hearts
  • Dutchman Breeches
  • Catnip
  • Echinacea
  • Lavender
  • Bee Balm
  • Rosemary
  • Salvia aka Sage
  • Valerian
  • Tickseed
  • Yucca
  • Wall Gerander
  • Lenten Rose


Also, the flowers such as bearded irises and peonies appear stinky to deer as well. The sage plants or commonly called salvia include a variety of species. And, most of those species are considered deer-resistant because they stink hard. In short, deer stay away from aromatic herbs including sage.

Sage is a low shrub that gardeners like to plant. It grows about 2 feet tall. It contains thujone which is a chemical that can be poisonous to people. Small amounts are used as medicine or spice. It is an herb with strong flavor.


Deer like to eat plants, leaves, and flowers. Also nuts and fruits, dog food, sunflowers, grapes, clover, and peanut butter.

In rare cases, even if they eat one of those plants that give away strong fragrance, they would choose to eat the flowers instead. Of all the types of salvia, the common garden sage and other ornamental species are popular. Because sage is less palatable to deer, you can have them in your garden.

List of types of sage:

garden sage
Purple garden sage
Golden sage
Tricolor garden sage
berggarten sage
pineapple sage
scarlet sage
mealycup sage
anise scented sage
blackcurrant sage
clary sage
mexican bush sage
blue sage
sonoma sage
south african sage
meadow sage
jerusalem sage
white sage
greek sage
woodland sage
cleveland sage
baby sage
hummingbird sage
black sage
azure sage