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The Best Deer Resistant Bushes To Plant – 5 Bushes Deer Will Leave Alone!

One of the best ways to keep deer from damaging your landscape is to simply grow what they don’t like to eat – and there is no better place to start than by planting deer resistant shrubs and bushes!

Deer can be extremely destructive to flowerbeds, gardens and anywhere they can find vegetation to their liking. That can be especially true in the wintertime when they have a harder time finding fresh foliage, berries and fruit to consume at will.

Unfortunately, even the best deterrents aren’t always effective. Although homemade hot pepper, garlic and other egg-based deer repellent sprays can help, if they are not applied regularly, they quickly lose their effectiveness. As do commercial repellents. Sometimes, even using at full strength, deer will still consume the plant.

deer resistant bushes
Hungry deer can pose big problems for a home landscape. Even more so when it is filled with the plants they love to dine on most!

One thing is for sure, it can be incredibly frustrating to watch them destroy the bushes and plants around your home. It can also be quite expensive too. Especially when you are replacing costly and expensive perennial bushes and shrubs!

The Power Of Planting Deer Resistant Shrubs

But there is an answer to keeping deer and the damage they cause to a minimum. And it doesn’t have to involve installing costly or tall fencing – or even worse, leaving you entire yard void of plants. Instead, it all starts by planting the bushes and shrubs they simply don’t like to eat!

Filling your landscape with deer resistant bushes can actually do more than just keep deer from consuming those specific plants – it also has the additional effect of keeping other plants that they like to eat that grow nearby a bit safer as well. After all, the less attractive the overall food source is, the more likely it is they will move on to better pastures.

Best of all, just because a bush is labeled deer resistant, it doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful. In fact, as you will see below, there are quite a few excellent perennial bushes that can not only keep deer from visiting, but also add big interest and color to your yard.

With all of those advantages in mind – here is a look at five such bushes that fit the bill!

butterfly bushes - deer resitant
Butterfly bushes are deer and drought resistant. They can add big summer flowering interest that deer have no interest in consuming.

The Best Deer Resistant Bushes To Plant – 5 Bushes Deer Leave Alone!

Lilac Bushes

Lilac bushes are one of the most fragrant bushes around. Especially when they are in full bloom! And all of the bush’s sweet smelling scents are simply too much for deer to be around.

Lilacs are a great bush to help protect nearby plants that deer are fond of. Their fragrance is so sweet, strong and powerful, that deer tend to not want to go anywhere near it. Which, in turn, can provide good cover for the plants growing nearby that they do like.

What really makes lilacs a great plant for your landscape is how easy they are to maintain. With varieties that can grow in zones three through seven, all lilacs need to flourish is fertile, well-draining soil and plenty of sunlight! For more on growing lilacs, check out our article: How To Care For Lilacs

Butterfly Bushes – The Best Deer Resistant Bushes To Plant

One of the most colorful of all deer-resistant shrubs and bushes is the butterfly bush. This fast growing, big blooming perennial can fill your yard with a canopy of light and airy foliage from spring til fall. But in mid-summer, it produces a huge bloom set that can light up the landscape.

lilac bushes
Both butterfly bushes and lilac bushes (pictured above) produce big, colorful blooms. Adding to their allure, they also are both low maintenance, easy care bushes that require little work.

The bush also has the added benefit of bringing a wide range of pollinators in as well. Honeybees, wasps, and yes, butterflies all flock to its blooms. It’s perfect as a stand alone bush, or plant a few in a row for a natural fence block.

Butterfly bushes grow so well that in some areas they can be considered an invasive plant. To help prevent this, it’s always best to plant non-invasive varieties. Affiliate Plant Link: Non Invasive Miss Molly Buddleia 2 Gal, Pink and Red Blooms

Viburnum – The Best Deer Resistant Bushes To Plant

As noted with lilacs earlier in the article, deer are not especially fond of strong scents and fragrances – which is exactly why viburnum is another bush they prefer to avoid. The bush’s scent is quite sweet and yet has a hint of spiciness as well. Both of those qualities are something deer like to stay far away from.

The bush is also extremely versatile in the landscape. With varieties that will grow in growing zones 2 through 9, it can perform well in a wide range of climates. In addition, there are also types that can handle full sun, shade, and everything in between.

One of the most deer resistant of all varieties is Korean Spice viburnum. As its name implies, its spicy fragrance is strong and does a great job of keeping deer far away. It is perfect for planting near other more vulnerable plants to help safeguard them. Affiliate Plant Link: Korean Spice Viburnum

The deep, dark foliage of viburnum is attractive enough, but when in full bloom, its cluster-like flowers really steal the show.

Boxwood – The Best Deer Resistant Bushes To Plant

Looking for an evergreen that can fill your landscape with color all year round? Boxwoods are certainly a great choice for all kinds of climates and landscape needs – and they also happen to be very unattractive to deer too.

Boxwoods are extremely low maintenance. Even better, they bring all kinds of versatility to nearly any landscape design. They can grow as individual shrubs or in small groups to anchor and line entrances and walkways. Boxwoods also happen to be one of the easiest shrubs of all to shape into any design.

There are all types of boxwood varieties for any situation. Many types can even grow in pots and containers, making them a great choice for patios too. When you add in that they can thrive in full sun or partial shade – and are drought resistant, they are a winner on all fronts.

Forsythia – The Best Deer Resistant Bushes To Plant

If you are looking for a deer resistant bush that can bring early color to your landscape, forsythia is a great choice! Forsythia actually flowers before its foliage comes out in the spring, adding its beautiful golden color to an otherwise bare landscape.

This fast growing shrub is also great for bringing pollinators to your landscape. Bees and butterflies both love the bush, as do all types of birds for the cover it can provide. Forsythia prefers more moist, fertile soil for maximum growth.

They can be great for individual planting, or when planting in a long line to form a hedge. The hedges can be perfect for creating a living “deer screen’ to help protect other plants. Affiliate Link: Proven Winners – Forsythia x Show Off Starlet (Forsythia) Shrub

Here is to adding a few deer resistant bushes and shrubs to your landscape this year. Not only will it help keep the deer from visiting so often, it can also help brighten up your flowerbeds and home like never before!

Simple Garden Life

Simple Garden Life is a website dedicated to keeping gardening fun, simple and enjoyable! We publish two new articles each week along with a new garden podcast episode every two weeks. This article may contain affiliate links.