Midwestern Native Deer Resistant Shrubs


Many Midwestern residents deal with the grazing and trampling of their shrubs by Odocoileus virginianus or the white-tailed deer. There are many choices of shrubs that are deer-resistant, but here’s a list of North American natives that will work in Midwest. Remember, when the weather is sever enough, deer will eat anything.

Clethra alnifolia = summersweet – A beautiful smaller shrub that can be grown in sun to shade. It blooms mid-summer in either white or pink, and the blooms are fragrant. 3’ – 4’ around.


Hydrangea quercifolia = Oakleaf hydrangea – These work well as screens or as a specimen planting. Large, white blooms occur in summer and it also has a great fall color. 30’

Hypericum prolificum = Shrubby St. Johnswort – A great choice for under windows or smaller garden plots. Bright yellow, fragrant blooms appear in early summer. 2’ – 3’


Itea virginica = sweetspire – A great shrub for a moister area. Fragrant white flowers appear in early summer and the season ends with awesome crimson fall color. 3’ – 5’ around

Pieris floribunda = mountain pieris – Is an evergreen shrub, and works well in a partly shady area that is well drained. Fragrant, white flowers appear in Spring and if deadheaded, will produce twice as many next year. Somewhat hard to find & needs a microclimate. 6’ – 8’


Viburnum = many types – Can be a specimen or container plant, massed, and as a border to entice birds and other wildlife. These bloom white in summer and are fragrant. Viburnum acerifolium = mapleleaf viburnum, Viburnum dentatum = arrowwood, Viburnum prunifolium = Blackhaw.

Thuja plicata – Red cedar looks just like the more common occidentalis, but deer tend to not eat it.

© Ilex Farrell ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

4 thoughts on “Midwestern Native Deer Resistant Shrubs

  1. Pingback: Midwestern Deer Resistant Perennials | Midwestern Plants

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