Are Juniper Deer Resistant?

Juniper is a plant that is known to be deer resistant. Junipers have a strong scent, bitter taste, and sharp needles. Deer tend to ignore plants with these attributes. Junipers make a great screening or privacy plant if you live in an area with deer pressure. 

According to Rutgers University, this plant is Rarely Damaged or Seldom Severely Damaged depending on the species on their rating scale from Rarely Damaged to Frequently Severely Damaged.

Rarely Damaged
Seldom Severely Damaged
Occasionally Severely Damaged
Frequently Severely Damaged

How To Keep Deer Away From Juniper?

While junipers are not the first choice for hungry deer, they will eat almost anything during harsh winters. The best way to keep deer from dining on your junipers is to install 8 foot high temporary plastic deer fencing around them. Deer can easily jump over shorter fencing, especially if deep snow makes the leap shorter. Also, consider planting species that deer are less likely to eat.

Most likely established juniper like the one shown below aren't going to be a deer favorite. The bark shown and the branches and berries aren't very high on their menu.



Will Juniper Come Back After Deer Eat Them?

If the destruction is limited to new spring growth, your juniper may recover. Damage to the older needless portion of the stems will result in permanent bare spots. Unfortunately, new growth will not sprout from older stems.

Sources: Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station ‘Landscape Plants Rated by Deer Resistance’ 2018

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Author Erica Browne Grivas - Published 11-15-2021