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Posted by Todd Thomasson on Jul 6, 2017 9:21:12 AM

deer resistant plants landscape design VirginiaImagine having a beautiful landscape design completed for your home, only to have it destroyed shortly thereafter. In Northern Virginia, where deer are prevalent around many properties, it’s a definite possibility. Deer often like to feed on residential landscape vegetation as it's an easy, nearby meal.

By nature, deer are foragers. They move about and will even travel many miles just to find their food. One of their defense mechanisms is eating on the go and because of that, they are constantly moving. That means that even if you haven’t seen a lot of deer (or perhaps any) on your property, the right plantings just may draw them in. Deer love plants like rhododendron, hostas, and arborvitae and these types of plants can attract them for a meal.

A good landscape designer will have a sense of whether deer are going to be a problem on your property and will already know the kinds of deer resistant trees, shrubs, and plants to install so that this problem can be minimized on your property.

While a hungry deer will eat almost anything, and there is no such thing as a plant that is 100-percent deer proof, there are definitely ones that deer will be less likely to eat than others. Let’s take a look at some of the plants and trees that they tend to avoid so that you can use them in the landscape design of your Ashburn, Aldie, Leesburg, or other northern Virginia home—and in turn keep deer off of your property.

10 Deer Resistant Shrubs

Deer damage to plants is frustrating—and rightfully so. They can cause damage to your ornamentals that are costly to replace. Keep in mind that deer are always looking for a quick and easy bite so if you plant things they don’t like, they’ll be much more likely to move on to a different source.

Deer resistant Common Lilac shrub

Here are some of the deer resistant plants and shrubs that deer tend to avoid.

  1. Boxwood species
  2. Beautybush
  3. Common Lilac
  4. Forsythia species
  5. Button Bush
  6. Bluebeard
  7. Mountain Laurel
  8. Japanese Plum Yew
  9. Mugo Pine
  10.  Chinese Juniper

10 Deer Resistant Trees

Trees can also be an attractive meal for deer, particularly ones that bear fruit such as apple and crabapple species, as well as cherry and plum species.

As mentioned, arborvitae also seems to be deer magnets and since they’re typically used to line your home’s perimeter, to deer they may look like a welcome invitation to your property.

Instead of using fruit-producing trees or arborvitae, here are some deer resistant trees to consider for the landscape design in northern Virginia

Deer resistant Hawhtorn tree

Here are some of the deer resistant trees that deer tend to avoid.

  1. Deodar Cedar
  2. Hawthorn species
  3. Black Gum
  4. Colorado Blue Spruce
  5. Japanese Cedar
  6. Red Buckeye
  7. Sycamore
  8. Crepe Myrtle
  9. Gingko
  10.  American Holly

A Deer Resistant Landscape Design for your Ashburn, Aldie, or Leesburg, VA Home

While it can be overwhelming knowing what to plant—and what to avoid planting—we don’t expect you to retain all that information, or to know where to find these plants. One of the nicest things about having a landscape design professional handle your design is the fact that he or she is already going to know a lot about what trees and shrubs are deer resistant. That is, assuming you’re working with an experienced professional.


landscape with deer resistant trees, shrubs, and plants

Nothing is more frustrating than investing hundreds—maybe even thousands—of dollars in landscape trees and shrubs only to have them destroyed by hungry creatures. Whether you think you have a deer problem or not, a landscape professional who knows their stuff is going to advise you on the best plantings for your area.

At Rock Water Farm we have worked with many clients who have wanted to deter deer from visiting their property. We have even worked with clients who didn’t think deer would be a problem but we knew they were in nearby properties. Whether you already have deer roaming nearby or you’re worried about attracting them, we can help plant a deer resistant landscape that will deter deer from making your investment their lunch.

If you’d like to find out more about creating a deer resistant landscape for your home in Ashburn, Aldie, Leesburg, or other surrounding areas in Northern Virginia, give us a call at 703-327-1636 or schedule a free consultation.

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Image Sources: common lilac, hawthorn       

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About The Author

Todd Thomasson
Todd Thomasson

Todd Thomasson, founded Rock Water Farm Landscapes & Hardscapes in 2005. Having grown up with hard working parent role models and a strong work ethic, Todd put his Landscape & Turf Management degree from Virginia Tech into action as the lead stone mason and landscape designer for the new company. Over the years, the responsibility and opportunity of running this company has been shared with other members of the Rock Water Farm team, launching one of the leading property maintenance companies in Loudoun County. Todd is still rooted in his passion for design/build projects and continues to run the company, working with clients to design, build and maintain perfect outdoor spaces with his team.