No plant or flower is deer proof, but some are more effective than others at deterring deer year round. Deer seldom touch the shrub mugo pine when it is planted in the yard. This attractive evergreen makes a nice addition to the yard and serves a beneficial purpose.
The cone-bearing mugo pine comes in several varieties including dwarf and pumilio. The dwarf version grows about three to five feet tall and spreads up to ten feet wide. This small tree looks nice as either a groundcover or low hedge and can be included in rock gardens and foundation plantings. The pumilio variety is mound-like in appearance and grows eight to ten feet wide. Mugo pines are best grown in U.S. zones three through seven.
Mugo pines do best in conditions of partial to full sun and well-drained soil. Their drought tolerant nature makes them quite popular throughout the country. They grow slowly, but consumers should not be fooled when purchasing these plants, because some types will grow quite tall. If the tree becomes too large, shape the branches by removing the new candles each spring.
These trees require little maintenance other than placing some mulch over the root area. The roots grow close to the surface, so this step will add some extra protection and keep the root area cool. These plants may also be fertilized once per month using organic fertilizer or every two weeks using chemical fertilizer. The plant has a dark-green color all year and it is unharmed by winter burn.
When purchasing the deer resistant plant mugo pine, gardeners should select the variety that will fit nicely within the open space in the garden or yard. Keep in mind that this plant will spread, so it may be best to buy a smaller version than what is really needed. This little tree will provide yearlong greenery and at the same time keep deer away.