Are Spirea Deer Resistant?

Spirea is a woody flowering shrub found in many landscaping areas. This beautiful blooming plant is both deer and rabbit resistant. Deer prefer to nibble on plants such as Daylilies, Hostas, or English Ivy. Deer tend to stay away from poisonous, fragrant, thorny, or fuzzy plants. Spirea blooms have clusters of fuzzy flowers. 


Photo by Paul, unedited, Flickr, Copyright CC BY 2.0 DEED

According to Rutgers University, Spirea is listed as seldom severely damaged on their rating scale from Rarely Damaged to Frequently Severely Damaged. This includes Japanese Spirea and Bridal-wreath Spirea. If you notice that something is in fact eating your Spirea, it is most likely small insects called aphids.

Rarely Damaged
Seldom Severely Damaged
Occasionally Severely Damaged
Frequently Severely Damaged

How To Keep Deer Away From Spirea?

Although Spirea is seldom severely damaged by wandering deer, it is best to remember that no plant is truly deer resistant. If hungry enough, and no better options are present, deer will eat any plant. Luckily, the fuzzy flowers of Spirea do not appeal to deer and are typically ignored.

Deer tend to stay away from plants with texture. Try planting other tactile plants such as thorny, prickly, or hairy plants near Spirea. Deer are also deterred by scented plants. You can plant garlic, chive or mint near your Spirea plant to keep the deer away. 

Deer are very skittish and can be frightened easily. Movement or sudden noises can scare deer off. Staging wind chimes, scarecrows, or movable garden ornaments nearby can keep deer away from your shrubs. A more drastic option would be to put fencing around the plants or the entire garden area. 


Will Spirea Come Back After Deer Eat Them?

Spirea is a hardy plant that will grow in even poor conditions. If you find that the plant has been nibbled by hungry deer, you need not worry. Your Spirea plant should make a full recovery. A gardener will typically prune Spirea after blooming to contain or shape the fast growing plant. Any damaged branches can be lightly pruned to tidy the shape and promote new growth. 

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

Chris Link Profile Pic

Author Chris Link - Published 10-19-2021