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Do Deer Eat Boxwood? (Read This First!)

Deers choose their food very carefully. They will not eat anything that they have access to. Deers are rather selective in their food habit.

So if you live in an area that hosts a lot of deers, it is only natural that you will worry about the food habit of deers as they have a tendency of invading gardens, yards, and orchards in search of food.

In this article, we will discuss whether deers eat boxwood plants. We will dive deep into the details of their food habit and how they might act toward the boxwoods in your garden.

We will then discuss the steps that you might take in order to keep deers away from your boxwood plants.

Do deer eat boxwood?

Deers do not prefer eating boxwood plants. They are not particularly not fond of these plants. They would prefer a range of other plants over boxwood. The leaves are not quite as tender or juicy. But when given limited choice, deers will munch on boxwood leaves as a snack.

Boxwoods are evergreen shrubs that are largely grown around North America. These plants are popular among a range of animals. But not deers. Deers are not particularly fond of boxwoods.

Deers will eat boxwood when they are running short on food. But they are not particularly drawn to these plants. The leaves of boxwoods are not as tender as deers would like. Nor are the leaves as juicy as they prefer.

So deers will not eat boxwood leaves under normal conditions. There is a range of other plants that deers would prefer to boxwood, including tulips, turnips, alfalfa, and more.

But deers will eat boxwood leaves when they are given limited choices. Deers are quite picky in their food habit, but only as long as there is an abundance of food.

As soon as there is a shortage in the natural food supply, deers will start eating almost anything that they can come across, as long as it is not harmful for them.

Winter gem boxwood:

Deer’s do not enjoy eating the Winter gem boxwood. The leaves of Winter gem boxwood feature alkaloids that appear to be distasteful to deers. They are not drawn to these plants for this reason.

However, they will not be as picky in choosing their food when there is a shortage of food.

Green velvet boxwood:

Deers do not indulge in Green velvet boxwood. They do not eat the leaves of Green velvet boxwood because the leaves contain a moderate level of alkaloids.

Albeit the alkaloids come at a moderate level, they are still distasteful to deers. So they are not fond of these boxwood plants.

Green mountain boxwood:

Deers do not eat Green mountain boxwoods. They are naturally repelled by these plants because the green mountain boxwood plants come with some alkaloids in their leaves. This bothers the deers.

While it is not toxic for deers, they do not enjoy eating the leaves of this type of boxwood. So they will avoid it if they have other alternatives. Deers prefer other shrubs as a snack to this type of boxwood.

Dee runk boxwood:

Deers do not eat dee runk boxwood. The leaves of these plants come with a low level of alkaloids. While it will not hurt the deers, they are bothered by the taste of it. So deers are not fond of the leaves of dee runk boxwoods.

English boxwood:

Deers do not eat English boxwood for the same reason. They find the leaves of these plants to be quite bothersome. So they will prefer other shrubs over this plant.

Japanese boxwood:

Deers do not eat Japanese boxwood plants. They will only eat these plants when there is a serious food shortage in the area. Otherwise, they will avoid the plant.

This is because the leaves of this plant come with a moderate level of alkaloids in its leaves, which bothers the deers.

Do deer like to eat boxwood?

No, deers do not like to eat boxwood. Deers are generally fond of plants that have a very bland taste. They also prefer leaves that are tender, soft, and juicy. The leaves of boxwood plants do not have any such feature.

So deers are not naturally drawn to the boxwood plants. They would prefer any other shrubs over this plant as long as they have tender leaves. There is a range of shrubs that they would prefer over boxwood plants.

Another reason why deers do not like boxwood plants is that their leaves contain natural alkaloids. This appears distasteful to deers. They do not enjoy munching on leaves that have alkaloids. So this feature naturally rules out the boxwood plants for deers.

2 reasons why deer don’t eat boxwood

Deers are not fond of boxwood plants. There are many reasons behind it. Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent reasons why deers do not eat boxwood:

Presence of alkaloids in the leaves:

Boxwoods are evergreen shrubs. And it is common knowledge that deers like to munch on shrubs. So what about boxwood is putting them off? This is a rather common concern among gardeners and breeders of deers.

The leaves of boxwood plants contain natural alkaloids. While these are not too high in quantity, deers still find the leaves of boxwoods to be distasteful. This is one of the major reasons why deers do not eat boxwood.

Deers are repelled by these plants because they do not have a good time munching on the leaves of boxwoods.

They will pick other shrubs over the boxwoods because of this. However, deers will choose the boxwood plants when they are presented with limited choices.

Hard leaves:

The leaves of boxwood plants are not as tender as deers would prefer. They do not enjoy munching on the leaves of boxwoods because the leaves are quite hard. In addition, the leaves lack the level of juiciness that deers enjoy.

Are boxwood deer resistant?

Boxwoods are somewhat deer resistant. At least this is what homeowners and gardeners have found out. The leaves of boxwood plants do not attract deers.

Deers are not particularly fond of boxwood plants. So they will steer clear of these plants as long as they have other alternatives available to them. Deers will choose other shrubs over boxwoods.

However, if there is a shortage of food, deers will no longer stay away from this shrub. When they have limited alternatives available to them, deers will feast on boxwood.

Are all boxwood deer resistant?

Yes, almost all boxwoods are deer resistant. Let’s take a look at some of the most common boxwood plants:

Boxwood shrubs:

The boxwood shrubs are deer resistant. The leaves of these shrubs contain a moderate level of alkaloids, which keeps deers away from them. Deers do not find these leaves to be tasteful.

Boxwood bushes:

Boxwood bushes are deer resistant as well. The leaves of boxwood bushes are quite hard and lack juiciness. So deers do not enjoy munching on the boxwood bushes as long as they have other choices.

Boxwood hedges:

Yes, boxwood hedges are deer resistant as well. Deers find the leaves of boxwood hedges distasteful due to the presence of alkaloids in their leaves.

How to keep deer away from boxwood?

There are several steps that you can take in order to keep deers away from boxwood. Read ahead to learn more about it:

Install a fence:

In order to keep deers away from boxwood, make sure that you have a tall enough fence around your garden. The fence should be made of strong materials. It should be about 6-8 feet tall.

Easy Gardener 6050AZ Netting and Fencing, 7 ft X 100 ft, Black

Place soap bars:

Deers are repelled by soap bars. You may place soap bars at the base of boxwood shrubs, bushes, or hedges. Deers will not approach your plant if they find soap bars underneath it. They are repelled by the smell of soap bars.

Keep human hair around the garden:

If you’re worried that deers will eat your boxwood shrubs, you should keep human hair around your garden.

Deers find human hair to be an alien object. They are not familiar with human hair and the smell of human hair keeps them away.

So you should scatter a few handfuls of human hair around the boundary of your garden. You can use socks for the job as well. If you insert the human hair inside socks and place them around the garden, it will have a longer-lasting effect.

Final Thoughts

Deers do not eat boxwood unless they are running short on food. They do not enjoy eating the leaves of boxwood because these are not as tender as they would like. The leaves of boxwood are hard and lack the level of juiciness that attracts deers. They also contain alkaloids that deers do not like.