Deer Resistant Plants For The North

Deer Resistant Plants For The North

Anyone that marvels at their backyard landscape is almost always also cringing at the natural neighbor nearby-- deer. Any gardener would be a tad annoyed to spend hours planting, pruning and watering their yard just to have a pesky deer or two negatively affect its visual appearance. 

Broken branches, peeled off tree bark and even eaten blossoms-- we see it all the time. You plant to enjoy the outdoors, but yet nature is merely a step away from destroying your peaceful garden. 

Nature Hills knows that instead of running off the deer, and other wildlife, altogether, you would simply just like them to leave your happy plants be and go about their day roaming the woods. 

To do so, we have outlined below five plant varieties that are known to be specimens deer don't particularly enjoy eating and that strive in the Northern growing zones:

Birch Trees

Being one of our top selling trees, Birch Trees are among the loveliest deciduous trees with their exquisite branching, unique bark and attractive foliage. Northern climates are often found using Birch Trees in any landscape they can. 

These Northern beauties are seen gracefully spread out in open meadows in the Northern Hemisphere. However, because of their distinctive bark color and beautiful rustling leaves, Birch Trees are appearing more and more in small space gardens and backyards. 

We can totally see why! With the year-round interest, also comes its deer resistant feature-- rarely nibbled on or back rubbed against. 

Be sure to place it in a site that is full sun or partial shade, with well-draining soil. After digging the hole as deep as the tree’s root system and twice as wide, give it a good watering. Then apply a layer of mulch over the newly established roots. 

To ensure extra wildlife protection, spray a deer repellant upon planting. It’s basically a stinky spray that deer don’t enjoy the smell of, so they stay clear. 

With Birch Trees in the landscape, you’ll never have a dull season outdoors!

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Boxwood Shrubs

Emerald green color and garden structure will always be abundant with Boxwood Shrubs. Across the United States, these shrubs are prized for their ability to bring a clean look to front and back yards. 

The best part about adding Boxwood Shrubs, is their ability to be any shape or even size you wish for. Have a small, dull area that is lacking color? Add in a boxwood. Or, do you have a dying hedge row that needs to be replaced fast? Add in a boxwood. 

Some gardeners get a kick out of creating shapes and figures with their shrubs! You can too with the right pair of shears and a slightly mediocre artistic eye. 

Here at Nature Hills, our favorite boxwood design accent is a well-kept garden with various foliage colors. Use these shrubs for dark green foliage mixed in with lighter shades of leaves. 

Upon plant arrival, you’ll want to dig your hole no deeper than the pot, but twice as wide as the root ball. They prefer well-drained soil and will need frequent watering during its growing phase and in late fall. Be sure to read your specific plant’s care instructions!

And, even though Boxwood Shrubs are eye-catching to us, these are plants that deer don’t prefer for the most part. Therefore, you can keep your elegant green structure for years to come!

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Butterfly Bushes

These flowering favorites are pretty self-explanatory--Butterfly Bushes attract butterflies, not deer! You’ll have everything from Monarchs and Hummingbirds to Bumblebees and even humans admiring your native bushes. 

The joy of Butterfly Bushes comes in the forms of colors. Mix and match or stay with your individual aesthetic. Each garden can look a little different with arched forms of bright reds, pinks, blues, whites, and purples. Not to mention the additional colors shown by the attracted butterflies!

Use Butterfly Bushes in outdoor mass plantings for a garden full of unique blossoms. Or as a filler in one of your shrub borders-- although it will most likely steal the show. 

Others enjoy growing their bush in a decorative container to place as a patio accent that greets their guests. Or, bring the fun indoors as incredible cut flowers that light a room up. 

Deer avoid Butterfly Bushes more often than not even though they are strikingly beautiful. However, we suggest applying a spray repellant on planting day to ensure they stay clear. 

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Arrowwood Viburnums

Arrowwood Viburnums are four seasons of interest shrubs! In other words, they hog the stage year round-- the garden stage that is. 

You’ll notice that these Viburnums are commonly used by professional landscape designers because of their good looks and ability to grow strong for years to come. In your garden, they will work hard for small space landscapes. On the other hand, they can help define a large-scale garden too. 

We like to use our Arrowwood Viburnums as a hedge row for extra privacy. That way we get to admire the blossoms, foliage and attractive berries. 

During the winter, natural wildlife will pay a visit for the colorful fruit that grows on Arrowwood Viburnums. Birds are a top fan, but the berries are not a favorite food source for roaming deer. Never worry about your shrubs being eaten on by them! 

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Feather Reed Grass

Gardeners plant Feather Reed Grass for a stunning vertical accent that most other plants cannot fulfill. With feathery topped stalks, this ornamental grass provides a unique texture. 

In the spring and summer seasons, green foliage shows through. But once autumn hits, an elegant brown takes its place. 

Most people use Feather Reed Grass as a marvelous garden background that adds dimension. Since they can grow taller, Feather Reed Grass will stand silently behind a few flowering shrubs and ground covers, but they won’t go unseen!

You’ll appreciate their low-maintenance care requirements and the fact that deer aren’t the least amount attracted to them. From full sun to partial shade and wet to dry conditions, you have a hardy ornamental grass on your hands.

It’s a staple to have in a landscape! Why not get a grass that is here to stay?

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Nature Hills would like to explain that when deer populations are high and natural food is limited, deer are more likely to browse on any plant-- no plant is labeled 100% deer proof plant.

It is important to remember that when adding any new plant into an area that has a lot of deer, they may sample the newly installed plant just to see if they like it or not. For that reason, it is always a great idea to have Bonide’s Go Away Deer & Rabbit Repellent handy to spray all newly planted plants before going to bed the first night. Just to remind deer that they will not like what has been added to the garden. 

Lastly, remember that in the fall season, deer can cause a lot of damage to younger trees from rubbing their antlers on the trunks.This strips off all of the bark from these young trees causing it to be vulnerable. To help prevent back rub damage on your trees, read How To Protect Trees From Deer Damage

With the 5 above deer resistant plants that thrive in the North, your landscape will never look better year round! Now, instead of running off your natural neighbors-- you can sit back with a hot cup of coffee and enjoy the early morning scenery each day. 

Happy gardening!

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