Can you suggest fast-growing trees/shrubs/plants that do well in shade and are deer resistant?

Asked February 13, 2015, 12:55 PM EST

Just moved into a new home that is sited within a woods setting. There are very tall oaks and tulip trees - lots of shade. Looking for trees/shrubs/plants that do well in shade and deer resistant. Prefer fast growing. Recommendations from nursery include Allegheny vibernum, mahonia, and nandina. My research finds issues with each. Any suggestions on alternatives, or are these OK?

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

The three plants that you mentioned are seldom damaged by deer. Nandina has only relatively recently been added to the list of invasive plants for Maryland. Look for varieties that do not flower or set fruit and should be OK as we know at this time. If deer are hungry enough they will browse new plantings that are reportedly resistant. So you may want to initially protect them with repellents or deer netting. See our deer resistant list for recommendations at this link: Resistance of Ornamentals to Deer Damage.

Consider native plants in your mix - ferns, pachysandra procumbens, itea, ilex glabra, and American holly. See our native plant list at this link: Native Plants of Maryland.