boxwood hedge

Best Deer Resistant Evergreen Shrubs and Trees for Privacy Hedge (Full Sun/Shade Options)

Are you looking to build a hedge for privacy? Then you need deer, resistant evergreen shrubs or trees for your privacy hedge. I never understood why some privacy hedge are from deciduous shrubs. What happens when the foliage go bare during the winter months? It’s best to plant evergreen shrubs or trees as privacy hedge because it stays green all year long. Also, since it’s a privacy hedge, you need deer resistant shrubs and trees. After all, it’s no longer a privacy hedge if you have portions of your hedge chewed on by visiting deer.

However, in my quest for finding the best shrubs to plant for privacy hedge, I’ve realized it’s not easy to find evergreen shrubs that are deer resistant. I asked the experts from Planting 101 to give me some advice on the best deer resistant, evergreen shrubs for privacy hedges.

Below I’ve listed down 5 deer resistant, evergreen shrubs that you can plant as a privacy hedge. On the list below, you will find an assortment of evergreen shrubs and trees- some are shade loving while some needs full sun. I’ve also included some fast growing evergreen shrubs and trees, that way you don’t have wait long for it to grow into a dense privacy hedge.

5 Best Deer Resistant, Evergreen Shrubs and Trees for Privacy Hedge

Below you will find deer resistant, evergreen shrubs that will grow beautifully into a privacy hedge.

Boxwood (buxus)

Boxwoods are great if you are looking for a more formal, manicured privacy hedge. Boxwoods are evergreen shrubs so you don’t have to worry about your boxwood looking bare during the winter months. Plus the boxwood foliage are dense so it’s a good shrub to use for privacy hedges. You do have to prune boxwoods to maintain it’s shape and keep it from looking unruly so it’s not a low maintenance privacy hedge. The good thing about boxwoods is that it is slow growing so you have time to work on pruning your boxwoods. One thing to note is that boxwoods are susceptible to winter damage. You should avoid planting your boxwoods in very windy locations and direct sunlight. Evergreen and deer resistant, boxwoods are a favorite for hedges. I like these Sprinter Boxwoods since they are evergreen, deer resistant and fast growing at a rate of 24 inches per year.

If you are building a hedge with boxwoods, I recommend using this Boxwood Spacing Calculator from

boxwood hedge

Boxwood Rate of Growth: Boxwood are slow growing shrubs. Growing at a rate of less than 12 inches per year.

Boxwood USDA Hardiness Zone: 6-8

Boxwood Height: American boxwoods (B. sempervirens) can grow 10 to 15 feet tall. While the little leaf or Japanese boxwoods (B. microphylla) will only grow until 4 feet tall.

Boxwood Sun Requirement: Boxwoods will grow best in full sun. It can tolerate some partial shade however the foliage won’t be as lush if you plant your boxwood in partial shade. It’s best to plant boxwoods in full sun.

Boxwood Soil Requirement: Boxwoods should only be planted in well-drained soil. Avoid planting boxwoods in areas where water accumulates such as near downspouts.

Boxwoods Plant spacing for privacy hedge: Depending on the type of boxwood you are planting, the dwarf boxwoods should be planted 1 foot apart to build a hedge. While the American boxwood should be planted 2 feet apart as ideal spacing for a privacy hedge.

Green Giant Arborvitae (Thuja standishii x plicata)

Green Giant arborvitae is a good option if you are looking for a tall privacy hedge that is deer resistant. You can plant your green giant arborvitae close together to create a good screen. Green Giant arborvitae are fast growing evergreen trees, so you can quickly have a privacy hedge.

In ideal conditions, your Green Giant arborvitae can grow 3-5 feet in a year! And once established, green giant arborvitae are drought resistant. It is also a low maintenance hedge because it does not require pruning to keep its shape. Green Giant arborvitae grows best in full sun but it can also grow well in partial shade receiving at least 4 hours of direct sunlight daily.

One thing to note, Green giant arborvitae is different from the popular Emerald Green arborvitae. Green giant arborvitae is deer resistant while Emerald Green arborvitae is not deer resistant. The shape of both arborvitaes differ as well with Green Giant arborvitae more of a pyramid shape while the Emerald Green arborvitae grows into a more conical shape.

green giant arborvitae
Photo: Amazon/Florida Foliage

Green Giant Arborvitae Growth Rate: Green Giant Arborvitae are fast growing evergreen trees and can grow 3-5 feet per year.

Green Giant Arborvitae USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-7

Green Giant Arborvitae Size: Green Giant Arborvitae can grow 50 to 60 feet and spread at 12-20 feet at maturity.

Green Giant Arborvitae Sun Requirements: Green Giant Arborvitae prefers full sun to partial shade. It will grow well with a minimum of 4 hours of direct sunlight per day.

Green Giant Arborvitae Plant Spacing for privacy hedge: Plant your Green Giant Arborvitae 5-6 feet apart for hedges.

Spartan Juniper (Juniperus chinensis ‘Spartan’)

Spartan Juniper are deer resistant, evergreen trees. When lined up in a row, it makes an attractive privacy hedge. The spartan juniper does not grow as tall as the green giant arborvitae so it is ideal for smaller yards. It’s a low maintenance hedge that does not require pruning to maintain it’s columnar shape. Spartan Juniper does not grow as fast as the Green Giant arborvitae, its rate of growth is slower- growing at a rate of 12 inches per year. It grows best in full sun and well drained soil.

spartan juniper
Photo: Amazon/Florida Foliage

Spartan Juniper Growth Rate: Spartan Juniper does not grow as fast as the green giant arborvitae. Spartan Juniper grows at a rate of approximately 12 inches per year.

Spartan Juniper USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-9

Spartan Juniper Size: Spartan Juniper grows to 15 feet with a spread of 3-5 feet.

Spartan Juniper Sun Requirement: Spartan Juniper grows best in full sun.

Spartan Juniper Soil Requirement: Spartan Juniper prefers well-drained soil.

Spartan Juniper Spacing for Privacy Hedge: Space your Spartan Juniper 5 feet apart to build a hedge. If you want a dense screen, you can space your Spartan Juniper 3 feet apart.

Holly (Ilex aquifolium)

Holly plants are an excellent choice if you are looking for a deer resistant, evergreen shrub for your privacy hedge. There are many varieties of holly plants. Silver Holly and English Holly have prickly leaves while the Japanese Holly have the more rounded leaves. All are great choices for privacy hedge since they are deer resistant, evergreen shrubs. The red berries provides color and a nice contrast to the holly foliage. Holly shrubs does require pruning to keep it from looking unruly so it’s not a low maintenance shrub. The good thing about Holly hedge plants is that it will thrive in partial shade so you can use it in locations that does not get full sun.

english holly privacy hedge

Holly Growth Rate: Holly is a slow growing shrub, grow approximately 4 to 8 inches a year.

Holly USDA Hardiness Zone: 6-8

Holly Size: Holly grows to 15 feet with a spread of 8-10 feet wide.

Holly Sun Requirement: Holly grows best in full sun but it can also tolerate partial shade.

Holly Soil Requirement: Holly prefers soil with good drainage.

Holly Spacing for Privacy Hedge: Space your holly 1.5 to 2 feet apart for privacy hedge.

Shop for Holly Shrubs at

Rhododendron (Rhododendron)

Rhododendron are deer resistant, evergreen shrubs that produces beautiful flowers in a variety of colors. It’s a good option to use as a privacy hedge if you are planting it in a location with partial sun, under the shadows of tall trees. Rhododendron will thrive when planted in shaded areas. The only thing about using rhododendron as a privacy hedge is that the foliage are not as dense as the other shrubs and trees on this list. However, if you want an evergreen, deer resistant hedge with beautiful flowers, you can’t go wrong with rhododendrons. There are many varieties of Rhodendron, if you need a tall hedge with a wide spread, you can’t go wrong with the broad leaf, tall Rhododendron such as the Rhododendron Catawbiense.


Rhododendron Growth Rate: Rhododendron is a slow growing shrub, growing approximately 6 to 8 inches a year.

Rhododendron USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-8

Rhododendron Size: There is a wide variety of rhododedron, some can grow 5 to 10 feet all.

Rhododendron Sun Requirement: Rhododendron grows well in partial shade.

Rhododendron Soil Requirement: Rhododendron prefers soil with good drainage.

Rhododendron Spacing for Privacy Hedge: Space your rhododendron 1.5 to 2 feet apart for privacy hedge.

This post is powered by Planting 101.

evergreen deer resistance shrubs infographics

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