do deer eat boxwoods

Do Deer Eat Boxwoods?

Written by: Gemmali Dizor

Yes, deer are known to eat boxwoods. These shrubs are a popular choice for landscaping and gardening, but they can also be a food source for deer. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the reasons why deer eat boxwoods and what you can do to protect your plants from these hungry herbivores.

What Are Boxwoods?

Boxwoods (Buxus spp.) are evergreen shrubs that are native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa. They are commonly used as hedges, borders, and topiaries, as well as for ornamental purposes. Boxwoods are hardy and low-maintenance, making them an ideal choice for gardeners and landscapers.

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Why Do Deer Eat Boxwoods?

Deer are herbivores, meaning they feed on plants. They are known to eat a variety of shrubs, including boxwoods. In the wild, deer will eat what is available to them, including leaves, bark, and twigs. They may turn to boxwoods in residential areas if their natural food sources are scarce.

When Do Deer Eat Boxwoods?

Deer are most likely to eat boxwoods in the winter and spring, when other food sources are scarce. During these seasons, deer will eat the tender new growth of boxwoods, which is especially attractive to them.

How to Protect Boxwoods from Deer

If you have boxwoods in your yard, there are several ways to protect them from deer. Here are some tips to keep in mind:


Fencing is an effective way to keep deer away from your boxwoods. A sturdy fence that is at least 8 feet tall will prevent deer from accessing your plants. Be sure to bury the fence at least 6 inches below ground level to prevent deer from digging under it.


Deer repellents can be sprayed on the leaves of your boxwoods to keep deer away. Some common ingredients in deer repellents include eggs, garlic, and hot pepper. Repellents work by creating a smell or taste that deer find unpleasant, so they will avoid the plants.

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Planting Alternative Food Sources

Another way to protect your boxwoods from deer is to plant alternative food sources in your yard. This will give the deer other options besides your boxwoods, reducing the likelihood that they will eat them. Consider planting shrubs and trees that are less attractive to deer, such as yew, holly, or rhododendron.


In conclusion, deer do eat boxwoods, and it is important to take steps to protect your plants if you live in an area where deer are abundant. Fencing, repellents, and planting alternative food sources are all effective ways to keep deer away from your boxwoods. By taking the time to protect your plants, you can ensure that they will continue to thrive and provide beauty and interest in your yard for years to come.

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