Javelina Resistant Plants

Javelina Resistant Plants

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“Don’t Call Me Pig” even though I really do eat (and kind of smell) like one.

Please resist the temptation to intentionally feed and/or bathe our hairy, smelly, near-sighted friends, as they are wild animals and should be respected as such.

Javelinas are omnivorous animals. They are browsers and feed on the roots of many plants. The plants listed below are those they USUALLY leave alone; however, there are no guarantees. If you are not in the mood to take any chances, a sturdy barrier (like hardware cloth secured with rebar) is the best solution.


  • Chrysanthemum
  • Cosmos
  • Foxglove
  • Geranium
  • Globe Amaranth
  • Larkspur
  • Marigold
  • Periwinkle/Vinca
  • Salvia
  • Snapdragon


  • Daffodils
  • Dahlias
  • Daylily
  • Gladiola
  • Iris


  • Golden Fleece (Dyssodia)
  • Ivy
  • Rosemary
  • Vinca

Shrubs, Cacti, and Succulents

  • Aloe
  • Barrel Cactus (5 gal. size or larger)
  • Caesalpinia spp. (i.e. Mexican, Red, and Yellow Bird of Paradise)
  • Cholla (Opuntia bigelovii)
  • Creosote
  • Desert Spoon (Dasylirion spp.)
  • Euphorbia spp. (i.e. Gopher Plant, Fire Sticks, Moroccan Mound, etc.)
  • Junipers
  • Lavender
  • Nandina
  • Ocotillo (5 gal. or larger)
  • Rosemary
  • Sages
  • Yuccas

This list was compiled from the collective wisdom of the Garden Wizards at Harlow Gardens and represents decades of experience regarding our desert brand of collared peccary (javelina).

  • I bought a very nice large, round pot at Harloout 3 weeks ago but have been reluctant to plant it as the javelina’s rooted around and killed 1 of the plants I was planning to put in it.
    What would you suggest for such a pot that might not attract the omnivore?

    Thanks, Ann

  • Hello Ann,
    Any of the plants on the Javelina resistant list may work, unfortunately sometimes javelina dig up plants to get water from the roots. They are destructive creatures and hard to predict. You may want to try a physical barrier to keep them out, if possible. Come by and see us and we’ll be happy to show you some of the plants on this list.
    Thank you,
    Cara Bohardt
    Assistant Administrator

  • Is it safe to plant a Indian Hawthorne with javelin around? I no there is no guarantees. Thank you

  • Hello Ruth,
    There has been one official study conducted in AZ on Javelina resistant plants. Unfortunately, Indian Hawthorne was not among the plants tested.
    To our knowledge it is not a favorite of javelina, but as you say there are no guarantees.

    Thank you,

  • A couple more plants I’ve had success with are euryops, coreopsis, lantana, gillardia, russelia (NOT ruellia), erimophyla, desert lobelia, and Salvia clevelandii. Can’t say I’ve found a rhyme or reason for their choices. Can’t narrow it down to smell or bulbous roots or anything else I can think of. Unfortunately it’s a matter of trial and error.

  • We just planted three Bougaville plants. Love where they are. Will Javelina bother them?

  • Hello Marilyn,
    Javelina bother just about anything if they feel like it. There are no guarantees- even with this list, they are resistant plants, not javelina proof plants. The only way to ensure the safety of your plants is to have a physical barrier that keeps javelina out.

    Thank you,

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