Boxwood is a very popular evergreen shrub throughout North America. All parts of the Boxwood plant are toxic to humans and most animals therefore; it is not a deer’s first landscape snack choice. Deer prefer other evergreens to boxwood and most like more tender broad leaf plants like hostas.
According to Rutgers University, Boxwood is Rarely Damaged on their rating scale from Rarely Damaged to Frequently Severely Damaged.
Keeping Deer Away From Boxwood
In most circumstances, deer will not choose to eat Boxwood. Curious young deer may experiment with eating Boxwood or in extreme conditions, deer may turn to boxwood but that is not likely. Some gardeners even use boxwood as a way to shield other plants from deer damage. In the case of deer damage, spray the plant with deer repellent.
Will Boxwood Come Back After Deer Eat Them?
If deer have damaged Boxwood over the winter, cut the damaged Boxwood branches and foliage off in the early spring and fertilize when the ground begins to thaw. It may take a while for the boxwood to recover though, as it's a slow growing shrub typically.
Sources: Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station ‘Landscape Plants Rated by Deer Resistance’ 2018
Author Katie Endicott - Published 9-28-2021