Is Heather Deer Resistant?

Heather is a flowering evergreen shrub that adds bold color to a landscape year round. Flowers in shades of purple or white cover the branches of this easy-care bush. Heather is low maintenance, making it an appealing choice for many gardeners. This bush is also not favored by foraging animals, so it is a good option in areas with large animal populations.


According to Rutgers University, this plant is Rarely Damaged on their rating scale from Rarely Damaged to Frequently Severely Damaged. Heather is non-toxic to humans and dogs, so it is a safe option for families with young children or curious puppies. 

Rarely Damaged
Seldom Severely Damaged
Occasionally Severely Damaged
Frequently Severely Damaged

Keeping Deer Away From Heather

Deer and other foraging animals, like rabbits, are likely to leave Heather alone. This perennial shrub is an evergreen, so it has foliage all year long that could be susceptible to foraging, but it is simply not preferred by animals. It is not necessary to take steps to keep deer and other animals away from heather because they tend to avoid it.


Will Heather Come Back After Deer Eat Them?

In the rare event a Heather bush is damaged by animals, it will likely come back. Plants that lose more than one-third of the foliage may struggle to recover. Plants that sustain less damage will push out new growth the following growing season and recover fully.

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

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Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 08-16-2022