List of Deer-Resistant Bushes & Flowers

Many gardens and yards are like buffets to herds of hungry deer. There is nothing worse than spending money on plants to see them eaten down to the stem. If you live in an area where there are deer, avoid planting hollies, rhododendrons, yews and arborvitae. Instead, plant deer-resistant bushes such as forsythia, hydrangeas and flowers, such as day lilies.


Forsythia is a flowering shrub suited for zones four to eight. Its yellow flowers bloom in the spring, covering the entire stem long before leaves sprout on the trees. The bush can reach a height of 10 feet with a spread ranging from 10 to 12 feet, according to "Trees & Shrubs For Dummies" by Ann Whitman and the editors of the National Gardening Association. Forsythia can get out of hand, so it needs to be pruned right before it flowers. The bush tolerates urban conditions and any type of soil, but prefers full sun.


Hydrangeas are deer-resistant flowering shrubs. There are two dozen species of deciduous and evergreen shrubs and climbers. The big-leaf hydrangea reaches a height of 6 feet and a spread of 8 feet, according to the "Shrubs," by Kathleen Fisher. The smooth hydrangea cultivar is a fast growing shrub that reaches 3 to 5 feet. The oakleaf hydrangea is named for its leaves that can grow to 8 inches and turn brown in the fall.

Day Lilies

Day lilies are deer-resistant flowers. They are mostly single, large, funnel-shaped flowers although there are hundreds of hybrids in every color except blue, according to the "Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to Gardening." Different varieties have different blooming times, from early to midseason or late bloom. Different heights are available, as well. Plant the day lilies in full sun or partial shade.

Keywords: deer resistant bushes, deer resistant flowers, deer resistant plants

About this Author

Caroline Fritz has more than 18 years of writing and editing experience, mainly for publications in Northwest Ohio. She is currently an editor for a national technical magazine focusing on the construction industry. She has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.