Deer resistant trees and shrubs include: bottlebrush, boxwoods such as Morris Dwarf and Green Gem buckeye, dwarf nandina, Japanese kerria, heather, leucothoe, rugosa rose, sweetshrub, and Virginia sweetspire.
Shrubs: Abelia, Autumn olive, Burning bush, Butterfly bush, Boxwood, Beauty Berry, Berberis (Barberry), Chinese holly, Cotinus (Smoke tree), Cotoneaster, Elderberry, Flowering quince, Forsythia, Harry Lauder’s walking stick, Heath, Heather, Inkberry, Itea (Virginia Sweetspire), Japanese barberry, Juniper, Leatherleaf viburnum, Leucothoe, Lilac, Mahonia (Oregon grape holly), Nandina,v Privet, Pyracantha, Rose of Sharon, Rugosa rose, Russian arborvitae, Russian olive, St. John’s wort, Spicebush, Spirea, Sweetshrub, Weigela and Winter jasmine.
Trees — American holly, beech, Colorado spruce, crape myrtle, cypress, Eastern red cedar, ginkgo, dogwood, hawthorne, honeylocust, linden, Norway spruce, red buckeye, river birch, sassafras, service berry, smoke tree, sweet gum, sycamore and witch hazel.
Deer Resistant or Not. Blandy Experimetal Farm, State Arboretum of Virginia, UVA
There are a few generalizations that can be made about plants that deer do not like: Plants with aromatic foliage, Plants with thorns or sharp foliage, Toxic plants, Fuzzy leafed plants See Meadows Farms for a list.
Panicum virgatum Northwind is a deer-resistant selection of Virginia's native switchgrass. Big puffs of bloom appear late summer; foliage stays upright in winter, providing shelter for birds.
Mother Lode juniper, or Juniperus horizontalis Mother Lode (zones 4-7). Creeping, flat evergreen has brilliant gold foliage that goes bronze in winter. Deer-resistant, it spreads 6 to 8 feet but stays 4 to 6 inches tall; it needs full sun and tolerates drought.
Virginia Cooperative Extension recommendations: American holly, barberry, boxwood, daffodil, butterfly bush, mahonia, river birch, ferns, rose of Sharon, spurges, herbs, hyacinth, iris, lamb’s ear, marigold, dusty miller, false cypress, peony, poppy, rhubarb and hellebore.