Types of Deer-Resistant Shrubs

Deer often like to graze on shrubs and bushes. Deer-resistant shrubs often have a repugnant odor or spiny foliage. Gardeners should select deer-resistant shrubs according to their hardiness zone as well as the plant's mature size, potential problems and intended use. Many varieties perform well in the United States.

Hancock Snowberry

The hancock snowberry shrub (Symphoricarpos x chenaultii) does well in United States Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 4 to 7. This spreading shrub reaches from 18 to 24 inches in height and 6 to 12 inches in width. Pink flower clusters bloom in June and July, followed by pink berries that ripen in the fall. This member of the Caprifoliaceae plant family grows well in various types of soils that receive partial to full sun. This hardy shrub suffers few disease or pest problems. The hancock snowberry shrub works well as ground cover and an erosion-control plant.

Carolina Silverbell

Carolina silverbells (halesia carolina) naturally occur in the American southeast and prefer acidic, well-drained soils in partly shady locations. This deer resistant shrub bears clusters of white flowers in April, followed by brown fruits in the autumn. The yellow-green leaves turn yellow in the fall before dropping. Carolina silverbells reach from 30 to 40 feet in height and 20 to 35 feet in width. Gardeners in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 8 often plant Carolina silverbells in woodland gardens and shrub borders.


The spicebush (Lindera benzoin) ranges from 6 to 12 feet in both height and spread. Winter hardy in USDA Zones 4 to 9, this member of the lauraceae plant family prefers moist, well-drained soils in partial to fully sunny locations. Fragrant, green-yellow flowers bloom in March, followed by red fruits on female plants. Aromatic, pale green leaves turn yellow in the fall. Spicebushes work well in moist woodland gardens, shrub borders and native plant gardens.


The bluebeard shrub (Caryopteris x clandonensis), also called the blue spirea, typically performs well in USDA Zones 5 to 9. A member of the verbenaceae family, the bluebeard forms mounds ranging from 2 to 4 feet in both height and spread. Fragrant, light to violet-blue flowers appear from July through September. This shrub prefers loamy, well-drained soils in full sun positions. Crown rot often occurs in continuously wet soils. This deer-resistant shrub works well as hedges and shrub borders.

Shrubby Cinquefoil

Shrubby cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa), a shrub in the rose family (Rosaceae), forms mounds reaching 4 feet in height with slightly larger spreads. Small, yellow flowers bloom from June through September. This deer-resistant shrub prefers fertile, well-drained soils in fully sunny locations. The shrubby cinquefoil tolerates poor soils and partial shade. These shrubs often suffer from powdery mildew in humid environments. Gardeners often plant shrubby cinquefoil in borders and foundation plantings.

Keywords: deer resistant shrubs, deer resistant bushes, deer resistant shrubbery

About this Author

Cat Carson has been a writer, editor and researcher for the past decade. She has professional experience in a variety of media, including the Internet, newspapers, newsletters and magazines. Her work has appeared on websites like eHow.com and GardenGuides.com, among others. Carson holds a master’s degrees in writing and cultural anthropology, and is currently working on her doctoral degree in psychology.