How to Repel Deer

How to repel or deter Deer from your garden and flower beds.

Repelling Deer is a gardeners worst nightmare. If Gardeners had their choice, they'd rather battle weeds for days, rather than Deer. There are some things you can do to deter them and keep them away from your favorite plants or shrubs.

According to the University of Vermont a Deer's sense of smell is what will deter them first. Scent is the first warning a Deer will get that something is wrong or that a predator is near. That is why if you have ever visited the deer hunting aisle you will see several different types of deer urine for hunters to use. To disguise human scent.

One that has a track record for working for gardeners, is strong smelling soap. I remember years ago hearing that Irish Spring is one of the strongest smelling soaps on the market and the one to buy in bulk. You can cut one bar in half and hang it in trees or on fences using cheese cloth or burlap. 

A decorative option would be to buy thrift store tea cups and saucers and glue the cups to the saucers and then glue that to the top of a garden stake. Fill it with a half a bar of soap and leave it near your beloved plants. Or try putting soap in fake birdhouses. Function has to also be pretty at my house.

It has been said though, soap could attract raccoons or rodents possibly, so don't hang it directly on the shrub you're trying to protect, or on your patio! Also do not use soaps that contain coconut oil. Coconut oil attracts deer.

Mint oils are becoming increasingly popular. I have been using spearmint oil to keep my dog from doing his business on my gravel patio. But it has to be reapplied weekly or after a rain. Larger garden supply stores have a rodent and deer aisle that you can visit for your choice of products. One of the most popular and all natural is Repel All. They have one for each infestation you're trying to get rid.

If you have fruit trees, you're going to want to harvest all your bounty as soon as possible. Leaving fruit around is ringing the dinner bell for animals. Another trick you can use is fabric softener. Apparently they don't like that smell either.

How to repel or deter Deer from your garden and flower beds.

You can also use other animal smells. Deer will stay away from predators at all costs. So if you're desperate you can use coyote urine.

Other deterrents are ammonia, fish products, sewage products, garlic to name a few. But I know I do not need to tell you that these smells also deter humans. You may not want to leave your house. Moth balls can also be used, but they evaporate quickly and will need to be replaced. Moth balls are also toxic to fish and pets and are flammable also. So be warned.

Another fun fact about deterring deer is they do not like fuzzy or bristly textures on their tongue. Lambs Ear, Lady's Mantle, Brunnera are of these deer do not like. Prickly foilage can also be a deer stopper. Plants such as Bear's Breeches, Thistle, Sea Hollies to name a couple.

How to repel or deter Deer from your garden and flower beds.

Shrubs and Plants that will deter Deer

Allegheny pachysandra, is a true work horse in the garden. Giving us color all 4 seasons even in Winter climates. It has quirky spring flowers and attractive mottled leaves that deer don’t like and won't touch.

How to repel or deter Deer from your garden and flower beds.
Morton Arboretum

Salvia, Dead Nettle, Lavender, Tansy, Bee Balm, Blue Mint Shrub, Cat Mint, Hyssop are other plants you can have without fear of deer making a buffet out of them.

There are herbs that you can plant that will deter deer:
  • Artemisia
  • Tansy
  • Yarrow
  • Mint
  • Thyme
  • Tarragon
  • Oregano
  • Chives
  • Dill

How to repel or deter Deer from your garden and flower beds.

You can buy motion activating sprinklers. One thing deer really do not like, is things that are new. Getting hit with a spray of water would be it. 

If your deer problem is serious then the best method is to rotate what you do and what you use. Using products and sudden sounds in an alternating method would help. Deer are smart and learn very quickly, especially if you are only counting on one thing to keep them away forever. A dog would also scare them easily along with a fence. However Deer can jump about 6 feet, so unless your City Code's allows you to have an 8 foot fence, a dog may be your best bet.

Deer Resistant Shrubs & Trees

Grape Holly
Japanese Plum Yew
Russian Olive
Clumping Bamboo
False Cypress
Drooping Leucothoe

Trees & Shrubs Deer Love to Eat

Ponderosa Pine
Crab Apple
Deer Brush
Bitter Cherry
Gold Currant
Nine Bark
Salmon Berry
Vine Maple
Mock Orange
Most Fruit Trees

I hope one of these tricks or a combination of them aide you in having the garden of your dreams and keep the deer at bay.

How to repel or deter Deer from your garden and flower beds.