10 Best Deer-Resistant Shrubs for Landscaping

10 Best Deer-Resistant Shrubs for Landscaping

Maintaining a beautifully landscaped yard comes with a set of challenges, most of which includes adapting to mother nature. As suburban areas take over more of the nearby forests, it’s not uncommon to see Bambi strolling through your yard. While deer are certainly cute and give you the comfortable woodland feel, they may be the culprit behind your destroyed shrub or once-thriving gardens.

Deer don’t have upper incisors, so they tear your plants as they bite. If you notice ragged edges, you may have a deer problem. There are no such things as deer-proof plants. However, there are deer-resistant shrubs. These woodland creatures love to eat leaves, blooms, and stems. However, if there is a hedge of juniper bush safeguarding your garden, they may not bother entering your property at all. Read on for our list of the top 10 deer-resistant shrub additions you can add to your garden to keep the greenery alive.

Top 10 Best Deer-Resistant Shrubs for Landscaping

Deers double in population within two to three years, so you may want to consider adding some precautions to your garden if they’ve been regularly feasting. While a 6-8 foot fence could help deter them, you can also turn to deer-resistant shrubs. These are some of our gardeners’ favourites.

1. Caragana

Caragana is a timeless choice that is often selected because of its deer-resistant nature and uniform look that can make a fantastic hedge. It can reach up to 10 feet in height, offering great privacy for your gardens or backyard space.

You can find the caragana hedge boasting beautiful yellow flowers in mid-Spring, and you’ll love its low-maintenance attributes that allow it to thrive, even in the city.

2. Juniper

Deer will often avoid a shrub if it has a strong odour, like the juniper bush. Humans have 5 million scent receptors that allow us to take in the fresh roses or experience nostalgia from evergreens at Christmas. Deer have around 250 million scent receptors, roughly 1,000 times more than us – which is why they’re such great garden hunters.

Gardeners love the versatility that a juniper bush provides, as they’re available in many forms, from ground covers to more upright shapes. They’re also a tough shrub and provide drought-tolerant and low-maintenance benefits.

Make sure you choose the best juniper bush for your garden, as they come in over 100 varieties, ranging from 6 inches to 130 feet tall.

3. Viburnum

Viburnum is a plant species that gives you a huge variety. With over 150 types of flowering plants and shrubs, you can undoubtedly find one that suits your garden perfectly.

4. Cotoneaster

The peking cotoneaster is a fantastic choice of shrub that has lush, shiny green leaves that will transform to red in the fall. You can expect to see small pink flowers in the spring and black berries in the winter. Even though berries may seem like they’ll be taunting the nearby deer population, they won’t use these plants for food unless they’re desperate.

5. Forsythia

A great landscaping shrub worth mentioning is the Forsythia. They’re fast-growing, low maintenance, and have beautiful yellow flowers in the spring. They come in a large variety and sizes so that you can choose between a 1-foot wall of forsythia or a towering 6 ft shrub.

Gardeners can enjoy its low-upkeep qualities but will want to give it an occasional pruning to keep it looking sharp.

6. Lilac (Syringa)

The mesmerizing lilacs (syringa) come in a variety of blossoms that will add a pop of colour to your landscape. Despite their beautiful appearance and fragrant flowers, deer don’t seek this shrub for eating, but you may find them considering it if they’re desperate.

This shrub has tons of variety since they come in different sizes and colours and can even be used as a privacy hedge.

7. Potentilla

The potentilla is a popular shrub for gardening. It is widely praised for its long bloom, as well as its durability and low maintenance qualities. Drought and pollution are no match for this resistant plant, which makes it an excellent choice for both urban and coastal environments.

You can plant potentilla shrubs as hedges in mixed borders or rock gardens, massed down a hill. For pollinating insects, the flowers provide a significant supply of food, but deer won’t seek them out for their next meal.

8. Dogwood (Cornus sericea/stolonifera)

This loose, multi-stemmed shrub makes an excellent hedge or privacy wall, growing 6-12 feet tall and features red twigs. They’re often emerald green and can have colourful foliage in the fall.

9. Currant (Ribes)

Currants are a great addition to the garden, bringing colour to the landscape. Whether you choose red lake currants, golden flowering currants, or the alpine current, they’re beloved shrubs that can be added to any garden. They grow in the sun or shade, thriving in moist but well-drained soil.

10. Elder (Sambucus)

There are a number of elder shrubs to choose from that deer won’t be looking to snack on and are a great complimentary plant to your garden. It often bears tiny white, fragrant flowers in the summer with lush green foliage throughout the year. The raw flower can make you nauseous if eaten raw, which is why you won’t find deer putting it on their weekly menu.

Pests, wildlife, and nature can completely disrupt your garden plans. You don’t have to give up—only pivot and prepare. Our staff is filled with knowledge from tons of community gardeners, just like you. We’d love to help you with your gardening problem or answer any questions you have about our deer-resistant shrubs options. Visit one of our three locations today!

Have you ever had your garden destroyed? Was it by deer or rabbits? How did you stop the problem? Share your story with our readers that want their garden to thrive again.