Zone 7 Deer Resistant Shrubs: What Are Bushes That Deer Don’t Like

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By Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer

Cities have been formed for thousands of years by man’s need to group together and be near each other. In days when nature was much more wild and dangerous, this made perfect sense, as there is strength in numbers. These days, though, many people long for a quiet little cottage in the country or a charming cabin in the woods. Oftentimes, when we get that peaceful dream home away from the city, we realize it’s still wild and not as easily controlled as we thought. Wild animals, like deer, can become a problem. Continue reading for a list of zone 7 deer resistant shrubs.

About Zone 7 Deer Resistant Shrubs

Even in little subdivisions on the edge of town, trees, flowers and shrubs invite wildlife into the yard. Certain plants can be more appealing to certain animals. Birds flock to ripening berries, not caring if it’s the native shrub you planted specifically to attract birds, or your patch of strawberries. Squirrels build nests in large trees and forage for seeds and nuts in your yard, and bird feeders. In the blink of an eye, a hungry deer can strip a large shrub of its foliage or rub huge wounds in a tree’s bark. Fortunately, while certain plants attract certain animals, certain plants are also avoided by them, usually.

If food or water is scarce, a desperate deer may eat any plant it comes across. Deer get about a third of their water from eating plants. In times of drought, thirst can make even the leaves of a thorny plant irresistible to a deer. No plant is 100% deer resistant, but some are less likely to be eaten than others. Deer like tender new growth on plants in springtime, and they also like to treat themselves to certain sweet smelling flowers. They do tend to avoid thorny plants and plants that have strong, displeasing odors.

Deer repellent sprays can help deter deer, if you reapply them often. Even then, the allure of certain plants may be too great for a deer to resist. Just as we plant native berry producing shrubs for birds, we can plant sacrificial plants near the edges of our yards for deer to browse on, in the hopes that it will keep them away from our favorite ornamentals. Still, our best defense is choosing shrubs that deter deer for the landscape.

What Are Bushes That Deer Don’t Like?

Below is a list of deer resistant shrubs for zone 7 (Remember: even resistant plants don’t mean foolproof, as deer will browse anything when regular food sources are limited):

More Information about Zone 7
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