deer resistant shrubs

11 Best Deer Resistant Shrubs for Your Landscaping


There are many types of deer resistant shrubs that can be used in landscaping. This is good news for gardeners who live in areas where deer are a common problem.

Deer resistant shrubs can provide a beautiful, natural barrier against these pesky animals. When selecting a deer resistant shrub, it is important to consider the size, shape, and type of plant that will best fit your needs.

Some of the more popular types include yews, boxwoods, hollies, dogwoods, and barberry. Each of these shrubs has different characteristics that make them resistant to deer.

For example, yews have a thick, leathery texture that deer don’t find appetizing. Boxwoods have a high tannin content, which makes them unpalatable to deer.

Hollies are spiny, making them difficult for deer to eat. And finally, barberry has a bitter taste that deer avoid.

What Are Deer Resistant Shrubs?

Deer-resistant shrubs are a great way to keep your garden looking beautiful without having to worry about deer destroying your plants. There are a variety of deer-resistant shrubs available, so you can find the perfect one for your garden.

Deer resistant shrubs are typically denser and have tougher leaves than other types of shrubs. This makes them more difficult for deer to eat. Deer also avoid certain plants because of the taste or smell.

How to Choose Deer Resistant Shrubs

When it comes to deer-resistant shrubs, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, consider the type of deer that are in your area.

Deer have different browsing habits, so a plant that is resistant to one type of deer may not be resistant to another.

Second, think about the size of the shrub. Some deer resistant shrubs can get quite large, so make sure you have the space for them.

Finally, take into account the climate in your area. Some shrubs may be deer resistant in one climate but not in another.

If you keep these things in mind, choosing deer-resistant shrubs for your landscape should be a breeze.

There are a few deer resistant shrubs that we really like. They are Butterfly Bush, Cranberry Cotoneaster, and Fothergilla.

Butterfly Bush is a deciduous shrub that blooms in the summer and has really pretty flowers.

Cranberry Cotoneaster is an evergreen shrub that has small white flowers and red berries. Fothergilla is a deciduous shrub that has white or cream-colored flowers.

How to Plant Deer Resistant Shrubs

First, make sure to choose the right shrub for your area. There are many different deer-resistant shrubs available, so do your research to find the one that will work best in your particular climate and soil type.

Once you’ve selected the perfect deer-resistant shrub, it’s time to get planting! The best time to plant deer-resistant shrubs is in the fall, before the ground freezes.

This gives the shrub time to establish itself before the winter weather sets in.
When planting a shrub, it is best to dig a hole that is twice as wide as the root ball of the shrub.

This will give the roots plenty of room to grow and establish themselves before the winter weather sets in.

How to Care for Deer Resistant Shrubs

If you live in an area where deer are a common sight, you know that they can wreak havoc on your landscaping.

But there are some shrubs that are deer resistant and can withstand their browsing. Here are some tips on how to care for these shrubs:

– Deer-resistant shrubs are typically native plants. When choosing plants for your landscape, consider deer-resistant varieties that are native to your area.

– Deer-resistant shrubs are typically hardy and require little maintenance. However, you should still water them regularly and fertilize them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

– Deer resistant shrubs typically have a strong scent or bitter taste that deer don’t like.

To further deter deer, you can spray the shrubs with a deer repellent. Some common deer repellents contain putrescent egg solids, garlic, or capsaicin.

You can also make your own deer repellent by soaking rags in a mixture of vinegar and water.

deer resistant shrubs

11 Best Deer Resistant Shrubs for Your Landscaping

Types of Deer Resistant Shrubs

When it comes to deer resistant shrubs, there are quite a few options to choose from. Here are a few of the most popular types of deer resistant shrubs:

1. Boxwood

This is a classic evergreen shrub that is perfect for creating hedges and other structures in the landscape. Boxwood is also one of the most deer resistant shrubs available.

Boxwood is a slow-growing shrub but can live for a very long time. It is an easy shrub to care for and does not require a lot of maintenance.

2. Rhododendron

Another evergreen shrub, rhododendron is perfect for adding color and interest to the landscape. Rhododendron is also quite a deer resistant.

Rhododendrons come in a variety of colors, including pink, purple, white, and red.

They are a popular choice for landscaping because they are relatively low maintenance and can tolerate a wide range of conditions.

Rhododendrons are best planted in areas that receive partial to full sun and have well-drained soil.

3. Hydrangea

Hydrangeas are perfect for adding a pop of color to the landscape. There are many different varieties of hydrangeas, so make sure to choose the one that fits your needs.

They’re also relatively easy to care for, so you won’t have to spend a lot of time maintaining them.

4. Barberry evergreen shrubs

The barberry evergreen shrub is a beautiful addition to any yard or garden. They are easy to care for and require very little maintenance.

Barberries are versatile plants that can be used as hedges, foundation plants, or even as specimen plants. They are perfect for any garden size and can even be planted in containers.

Barberry is a popular ornamental shrub known for its deer resistance. The barberry shrub is native to Europe, Asia, and North America and can grow up to 6 feet tall.

The barberry shrub has small, sharp thorns that make it unpalatable for deer. The barberry shrub blooms in the spring with small, yellow flowers that give way to red, purple, or blackberries in the summer. The berries are often used in jams and pies.

5. Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster is a genus of flowering plants in the rose family, Rosaceae. There are approximately 50 to 60 species of Cotoneaster, and they are native to Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Cotoneasters are shrubs or small trees that have deciduous or evergreen leaves. The flowers are small and white, and the fruit is a red or blackberry.

Cotoneasters are a genus of flowering plants that are deer resistant. While most are shrubs, some cotoneasters can grow to be small trees.

They are characterized by their dense, green foliage and small, white or pink flowers.

Cotoneasters are popular ornamental plants because of their deer resistance, low maintenance, and ability to thrive in a variety of conditions.


6. Juniper

Juniper is a type of coniferous tree that is native to many parts of the Northern Hemisphere. They are characterized by their sharp, needle-like leaves and their cones, which contain the tree’s seeds.

Juniper trees can vary in height, but most are between 20 and 30 feet tall. The oldest known juniper tree is over 2,000 years old!

Junipers are an important part of the ecosystem, providing shelter and food for many animals. Some juniper berries even have medicinal properties and have been used to treat a variety of ailments for centuries.

Juniper shrubs have been used for centuries as a natural way to deter deer from grazing in areas where they are not wanted.

The sharp needles of the juniper shrub deter many animals, including deer, from eating them. Additionally, the strong scent of the juniper shrub can also help to keep deer away.

While nothing is guaranteed to keep deer away completely, planting a few juniper shrubs in your garden may help to deter them from eating your plants.

7. Bluebeard (Caryopteris)

The Caryopteris genus, also known as Bluebeard, is a member of the mint family. This perennial herb is found in Asia, Africa, and Europe.

The plant blooms in the summer and fall with blue or purple flowers. The leaves are opposite and have a toothed margin.

The plant is known to be highly effective as deer resistant. Deer are known to avoid eating the plant due to its high toxicity levels.

The plant has been known to cause severe gastrointestinal distress in deer, including vomiting and diarrhea.

8. Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii)

The Butterfly Bush is a beautiful, flowering shrub that is native to China. It was introduced to the United Kingdom in the early 1800s and has been grown in gardens ever since.

The Butterfly Bush gets its name from the fact that it is incredibly attractive to butterflies, which are attracted to its sweet-smelling, nectar-rich flowers.

The flowers come in a variety of colors, including white, pink, purple, and blue. The Butterfly Bush is a relatively easy plant to care for and can thrive in a variety of climates and soil types.

The butterfly bush is a shrub that has been used for years to deter deer. The leaves are bitter and unpalatable to deer, so they avoid eating them.

Butterfly bush is also very thorny, making it difficult for deer to get through the shrub. This makes the butterfly bush an effective deer deterrent.


The shrub rose, also known as Rosa sp., is a species of rose that is native to Asia, Europe, and North America. This rose is characterized by its shrubby habit, which can reach up to 6 feet in height, and its flowers, which are usually pink or white.

The shrub rose is a popular choice for gardens and landscaping because of its beauty and versatility. This rose can be used as a specimen plant, in mass plantings, as a hedge, or in any other way that you can imagine.

Shrub rose can also be used as deer resistant plant. Although most roses are not deer resistant, there are some varieties that are.

Shrub roses are a good option for a deer-resistant plant. They are hardy and can tolerate some browsing from deer.

10. Daphne (Daphne x burkwoodii ‘Carol Mackie’)

Daphne x burkwoodii ‘Carol Mackie’ is an outstanding shrub for the landscape. It has a long blooming season, is drought tolerant, and has a strong resistance to deer browse.

The flowers are very fragrant and appear in shades of pink, purple, and white. The foliage is dark green and glossy. This shrub can be used as a specimen plant or in mass plantings.

11. Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)

Perovskia atriplicifolia, commonly known as Russian sage, is a member of the mint family. It is a perennial herb that grows to a height of 3 feet and has blue flowers with silvery-gray foliage.

The plant is native to the steppes of Central Asia and is drought-tolerant and deer-resistant. It is an excellent choice for xeriscaping and is also used as an ornamental plant in gardens.

The Russian Sage is a hardy plant that can tolerate drought and poor soil conditions. It is a wonderful plant to add to any garden because it is easy to care for and it is very beautiful.


In conclusion, although there is no surefire way to keep deer from eating your plants, there are some steps you can take to make your garden less attractive to them.

Planting deer-resistant shrubs is a good place to start, but you should also take care to remove any potential food sources from your garden and keep it well-maintained. With a little effort, you can make your garden less appealing to deer and enjoy it for years to come.

Questions People Also Ask About Deer Resistant Shrubs

What type of shrubs will deer not eat?
Mountain laurel, rhododendron, and azalea are all shrubs that deer will not eat. These plants are all part of the Ericaceae family and contain toxins that make them unpalatable to deer.

Are hydrangeas deer resistant?
Hydrangeas are one of the most popular garden shrubs, and for good reason – they’re easy to grow, they come in a rainbow of colors, and they’re tough as nails. But can these garden stalwarts stand up to deer?

The answer is a resounding yes! Hydrangeas are deer resistant. In fact, they’re one of the few shrubs that deer will avoid altogether. So if you’re looking for a plant that can take a beating from deer, hydrangeas are a great choice.

What is the most deer resistant plant?
The most deer-resistant plant is the American holly. The American holly is a prickly, evergreen shrub that can grow up to 40 feet tall. The American holly is native to the eastern United States and prefers shady, moist areas.

Also listed below are plants known to be very effective in deterring deer.
Panicle hydrangea.
Japanese andromeda.
Red twig dogwood.
Purple coneflower.

What is the most deer resistant evergreen?
In general, evergreens that are dense, have a strong scent, and are prickly are less likely to be eaten by deer. Some examples of deer-resistant evergreens include boxwood, cypress, holly, and juniper.

Do deer eat azaleas?
In general, deer will eat almost anything, but they prefer plants that are high in protein and low in fiber. This means that azaleas are not their first choice when it comes to food, but they will eat them if they are hungry enough.

The best way to protect your azaleas from deer is to plant them in an area that is not easily accessible to deer or to build a fence around them.

Are Black-Eyed Susans deer resistant?
Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) are a hardy annual that blooms profusely from mid-summer to frost.

They are deer resistant and very easy to grow in average, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade.

Black-Eyed Susans will self-seed readily if the spent flower heads are left on the plant, so deadheading is not necessary unless you want to prevent them from spreading.

Are hostas deer resistant?
Hostas are a type of ornamental plant that is very popular due to their deer resistance.

Many gardeners choose to plant hostas in their gardens because they do not have to worry about deer eating them.

Hostas are also known for their ability to tolerate shade, making them a perfect plant for gardens that do not receive a lot of sunlight.Juniper

Are emerald green arborvitae deer resistant?
Yes, emerald green arborvitae is deer resistant. They are a type of evergreen tree that is native to North America and can grow up to 60 feet tall.

The needles of the tree are a dark green color and are very stiff. The needles are also arranged in a spiral pattern on the branches.

Are Nandina deer resistant?
Nandina, also known as Heavenly Bamboo, is a popular landscape plant in the southeastern United States.

Nandina is prized for its showy foliage and berries, which remain on the plant throughout the winter. Nandina is also deer resistant, making it a good choice for areas where deer browse.

Is loropetalum deer resistant?
Loropetalum is a type of shrub that is native to parts of Asia. It is a member of the witch-hazel family and can grow to be up to 15 feet tall.

The leaves are ovate-shaped and the flowers are white, pink, or red and bloom in the spring. Loropetalum is deer resistant and can be used as an ornamental plant in landscaping.

Are lilacs deer resistant?
Lilacs are a beautiful, fragrant bush that many people enjoy planting in their yards. While they are not deer resistant, there are a few things you can do to help keep deer away from them.

First, try planting your lilacs in an area that deer don’t frequent. If you have a lot of deer in your area, you may want to consider planting your lilacs in a fenced-in area.

You can also try spraying your lilacs with deer repellent. There are many commercially-available repellents on the market, or you can make your own with ingredients like vinegar and garlic.

Do deer like peonies?
This is a difficult question to answer definitively as deer have different preferences for different types of plants.

However, in general, deer tend to shy away from plants with large, tough leaves, opting instead for the more delicate fare.

Therefore, it’s unlikely that deer would enjoy peonies, as these flowers have thick, sturdy petals.

Additionally, peonies have a strong scent, and deer have a keen sense of smell. The fragrance of the peony might be too overwhelming for the deer, driving them away from the flower.

Are rhododendrons deer resistant?
Rhododendrons are not deer resistant. In fact, deer love to eat them. If you have a rhododendron in your yard, there’s a good chance that a deer will eat it.

There are a few things you can do to deter deer from eating your rhododendrons. One is to spray the plants with deer repellent. You can also try wrapping the plants in chicken wire.

Are roses deer resistant?
No, roses are not deer resistant. According to the website Fine Gardening, “deer will eat just about anything if they’re hungry enough.”

This means that even though roses might not be their first choice, deer will still munch on them if they’re desperate. The best way to keep deer away from your roses (and other plants) is to put up a fence.


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