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Tuesday - April 28, 2009

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Deer resistant privacy fence for shade in Hill Country
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I am looking for a shrub to plant along a privacy fence that gets 8+ feet tall, fast growing, preferably native, deer resistant, and can tolerate mostly shade. I reside in the Hill Country area. Thanks for your advice.


The shrub that fits all your requirements doesn't exist, sorry. We can come close with several shrubs, but before you commit a lot of money and effort to planting, make sure you know if the plants you choose will be able to survive. To begin with deer resistance, deer will eat almost anything if their natural forage has been reduced due to drought or disturbance of the area by urbanization. They are said to dislike aromatic plants, and avoid thorny plants, but not all of those are suitable for your area. The second problem is the shade. We are assuming that this shade is from trees in the area along your property line. All shrubs are going to need some sun. If they are identified as being for "part shade" that means they need 2 to 6 hours of sun daily. You need to be aware, also, that many trees exhibit allelopathic qualities, in which they exude substances that serve to discourage competition beneath them. And, finally, are you going to be able to water the plants when they are newly planted, and for several months, especially if our Central Texas drought continues? Any plant needs extra water and attention when it has just been put into the ground.  We will, of course, recommend only shrubs native to Central Texas, which are best suited in terms of climate, rainfall and soils. If you still feel your privacy shield will be able to thrive in the conditions you can provide it, here are some suggested shrubs. You can follow the plant links to the individual page on each plant to see what other requirements that plant has. We will do our search in our Deer Resistant Species database, in hopes that will come closer to what you need.

Shrubs for privacy shield in Central Texas

Larrea tridentata (creosote bush) - evergreen, 3 to 5 ft., blooms yellow March to September, deer resistance high

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush) - evergreen, 3 to 6 ft., blooms white, pink, violet January to December, sun, part shade, deer resistance high

Mahonia trifoliolata (agarita) - evergreen, 3 to 6 ft., blooms yellow February to April, deer resistance high

Rhus aromatica (fragrant sumac) - deciduous, 6 to 12 ft., blooms yellow April to June, deer resistance high

Larrea tridentata

Leucophyllum frutescens

Mahonia trifoliolata

Rhus aromatica




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