Explore Plants

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - April 12, 2010

From: Milford, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Deer-resistant, shade tolerant evergreens for privacy in Milford MI
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I'm looking for deer resistant evergreens that will be planted in the shade. I need the evergreens to hide an area I don't want to see from my home. Hence, they need to go tall. Can you give me a recommendation?

ANSWER:

This is what we call a "designer tree." Many gardeners believe that if they describe what they want completely enough, we will find it. Wish we could. Finding shade tolerant, evergreen and deer-resistant shrubs or trees, in southeastern Michigan, Zone 5b to 6a, is going to be tough. We have a list of Deer-Resistant Plants, which we will sort by looking for Michigan natives, trees, shrubs (on separate searches) and  part shade and shade. And you do realize that deer don't read well, but they do eat indiscriminately, and will as soon eat your list as avoid your trees.

As we suspected, there was exactly one shrub/tree that fulfilled all your requirements - Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar). It is common in your part of the state, grows in sun, part shade or shade and is on the deer-resistant list. However (there is always an "however"), junipers are difficult to transplant, unless they are very small. They ordinarily grow to 30 to 40 ft. tall, but can get as much as 90 ft. tall. The deer do not like the junipers because they are aromatic and prickly. It is hardy from USDA Hardiness Zones 2 to 9. The only description of growth rate we could find was "moderate," whatever that means. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:

 

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Native grasses for shady yard in Austin
September 04, 2011 - I was looking at your research on native grasses to be used in a yard. I want to plant your native mix of seeds, but worry that there is too much shade in my yard. I live in central Austin and wante...
view the full question and answer

Native shade-loving container plant for Austin
May 02, 2009 - What is a good plant that works well in a container, is shade-loving and produces some blooms?
view the full question and answer

Drought-tolerant plants for deep shade in Florida
June 23, 2012 - I am looking for indigenous, drought tolerant, leafy dense plants (kind of hosta like) that will grow in deep shade (under a tree that gets little sun) in Jacksonville, Florida.
view the full question and answer

Tough grasses for shade
November 24, 2010 - What kind of grass/groundcover can I put in our backyard that is shady/dry and has 50 lb. high energy dog traffic? Was considering Horse Herb but not sure, as it sounds like you can't get rid of it,...
view the full question and answer

Grasses for shady area with sandy soil
September 23, 2008 - We have very sandy soil, is there any type of grass that will grow well. Also, very shady.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.