The Q&A Archives: Deer-Resistant Shrubs

Question: I'd like to plant shrubs around my house that are not attractive to deer.

Answer: There are quite a few shrubs that deer appear to avoid. Deciduous choices include Berberis thunbergii atropurpurea (Japanese barberry), Cotoneaster apiculata (cranberry cotoneaster), Cotoneaster horizontalis (rockspray cotoneaster), Euonymus alatus compactus (burning bush), Lindera benzoin (spice bush), Picea glauca conica (dwarf Alberta spruce), Spiraea x bumalda 'Anthony Waterer', and Spiraea x vanhouttei. Evergreens include Berberis julianae (wintergreen barberry), Ilex crenata (Japanese holly), Ilex glabra (Inkberry), Juniperis procumbens nana (Japanese garden juniper), Picea abies (bird's nest spruce), and Pinus mugo (mugo pine).

Good luck with your planting and keeping the deer at bay.

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