How to Keep Deer from Eating My Flowers

Is your flower garden a target for curious deer? Want to keep them away from your blooms? Find out how to deter deer effectively and keep your garden safe.

Deer often cause trouble in gardens, munching on everything from veggies to flowers. But don't worry. You can make your garden less appealing to them.

Choosing plants that deer don't like is a smart first step. Go for species like Lambs Ear, Marigold, and Rosemary. These plants have features that deer avoid, such as prickly leaves or strong smells. Picking deer-resistant plants cuts down on the chances of them eating your flowers.

Scare tactics work well too. Deer are skittish, so scarecrows or plastic owls might keep them away. Placing these scare items in your garden can stop deer from eating your flowers.

Using motion-sensing lights is also a good strategy. Deer don't like sudden lights or movements. Adding these lights can startle them, helping to protect your garden. Plus, it increases your garden's security at night.

Homemade repellents can be a good choice for naturalists. Mix garlic and hot pepper with water to create a spray. This will cover the plants with a smell and taste deer don't like.

If you prefer something ready-made, there are commercial deer-repellent sprays. These sprays make plants taste and smell bad to deer. They're easy to use and quite effective.

For the best protection, consider physical barriers. Fencing, with a minimum 8-foot height, stops deer from reaching your flowers. Make sure the fence is solid so they can't get through. This step can really safeguard your garden.

Now armed with these tips, you can make your garden a deer-free zone. Combining strategies like choosing the right plants, using scare tactics, and installing fences will help. Your garden can stay beautiful and protected from deer all year round.

Choose Deer-Resistant Outdoor Plants

Protecting your garden from deer is key when choosing outdoor plants. Though deer may eat almost anything when food is scarce, certain plants do not attract them. These are called deer-resistant plants. Using them helps keep your garden safe and beautiful.

One good way to pick plants deer won't eat is to choose ones with prickly or fuzzy foliage. Deer don't like prickly or fuzzy textures and find them hard to eat. Plants like lamb's ear, with its soft, fuzzy leaves, are good choices.

Heavily fragranced plants also deter deer. They have a strong sense of smell and dislike certain scents. Fragrant flowers such as sages, lavender, and peonies make your garden a place deer avoid.

Remember, deer in each area may have different tastes. For the best results, pick plants that deter deer in your region. Talk to gardening experts or do some research to find the best choices.

Here are some examples of deer-resistant flowers and shrubs to include in your garden:

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Deer-Resistant Flowers for Shade
Deer-Resistant Plants for Sun
Bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis), Astilbe, Coreopsis, Echinacea purpurea
Coreopsis, Liatris spicata, Echinacea purpurea, Salvia x sylvestris, Leucanthemum x superbum
Certain deer-resistant perennials can adapt to zones 2-8

These are only a few examples. There are many more deer-resistant plants. Options include yarrow, monkshood, and lavender, among many others.

Using deer-resistant plants makes your garden both beautiful and unattractive to deer. It helps shield your garden from heavy feeding, especially in winter. Try different plant textures and fragrances, focusing on plants known to deter deer in your region.

deer-resistant plantsPin

Place Bar Soap Near Outdoor Plants

Deer can be kept out of a garden with simple bar soap. When you place a bar of soap near plants, it lets off a strong smell. This odor messes with a deer's sense of smell and keeps them away.

People in Utah have found this trick to work well against deer. They suggest using a bar soap with a strong smell. The more fragrant the soap, the better it is at scaring off deer.

You may wonder, how do you put soap to use against deer? You can hang soap bars from tree branches or put them on stakes. This way, the soap's smell spreads around, forming a protective ring around your plants.

Using bar soap is good for the environment and keeps gardens deer-free. It's a simple solution without needing any harmful chemicals. Try it out and watch your garden thrive!

deer deterrence with bar soapPin

Note: Bar soap is a good deer deterrent, but there are more ways to keep deer out. For extra tips, read on in this article.

Scatter Human Hair Around Outdoor Plants

Scattering human hair is a great way to keep deer out of your garden. The strong smell of human hair deters these animals. Ask your local barber or hairdresser for clippings and toss them around your yard. You can also put clippings in pantyhose and hang them where deer might come in.

Deer rely a lot on their sense of smell. Human hair messes with this sense, making your garden unappealing to them. Place the hair near your plants to form a natural barrier against deer.

deer deterrent with human hairPin

Human hair is readily available and can be obtained from barbers or hairdressers.
The effectiveness may diminish over time as the scent of the hair fades.
It is a natural and environmentally friendly method of deer deterrence.
If not applied properly, it may not be as effective in preventing deer damage.
Human hair is a cost-effective solution compared to other commercial deer repellents.
Some deer may become accustomed to the scent over time and ignore it.

Apply a Deer-Repellant Spray to the Outdoor Plants

If you want to keep deer away from your outdoor plants, try deer-repellent sprays. These products, both store-bought and DIY, work by making plants smell and taste bad to deer.

Many types of these sprays are sold, each with its own mix of ingredients. You might find sprays with things like garlic, peppermint, or hot pepper. Deer don't like the smell or taste of these ingredients.

It's crucial to use these sprays correctly. Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. You should spray them around the edges of your garden. Make sure to protect your most delicate flowers well. And, remember to spray again after it rains.

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If you rather make your own, there are easy recipes to try. For example, you can mix water, hot sauce, and a bit of dish soap. Or try rotten eggs, garlic, and water. These mixes are good at repelling deer too.

When you spray, don't miss any of the plants. The leaves and flowers are what deer like the most. But be careful not to hit the flowers directly. Some sprays might hurt their color or shape.

With the right spray, you put a strong barrier between your plants and deer. This can stop them from eating your garden greens. Whether you buy or make your sprays, using them often is key. This practice will keep your flowers and plants safe from deer.

YouTube video

Benefits of Deer-Repellent Sprays
Creates a foul scent and terrible taste to deter deer
Convenient and easy to use
Provides long-lasting protection when applied regularly
Available in commercially-made or homemade options
Offers a variety of formulas and scents to suit individual preferences

Add a Motion Sensor Near the Outdoor Plants

Gardeners are constantly exploring new ways to protect outdoor plants from deer. Motion sensors have become a popular choice. These devices work on solar power and can detect movement. They then trigger a response that scares deer away.

There are motion sensor units that spray water when they sense movement. This sudden water burst surprises the deer, making them run off. The deer learns to avoid the garden, associating it with danger.

Some devices also play a live radio broadcast when something moves near them. The noise and voices from these units can scare deer away, by making them think people are nearby.

These motion sensors are a good way to protect gardens from deer without hurting them. They encourage deer to stay away by using gentle but effective methods.

Advantages of Motion Sensors for Deer Deterrence
Considerations for Using Motion Sensors
  • Effective in scaring away deer
  • Solar-powered for eco-friendly operation
  • Does not harm the deer
  • Can be easily installed and adjusted
  • Provides round-the-clock protection
  • May startle other animals or pets
  • Requires battery replacement or recharging for solar-powered devices
  • Water-squirting devices require a water source
  • Regular maintenance to ensure continued effectiveness
  • Potential false alarms triggered by wind, plants, or other non-deer movements

Physically Protect Your Garden Plants Against Deer

Protecting garden plants from deer involves using physical barriers. Options include plastic netting, floating row covers, and tall fences. Each method is effective in its way.

Plastic Netting

Plastic netting is both cheap and adaptable. It works by enclosing your plants, blocking deer's access. Ensure the netting is at least 8 feet high to keep deer out.

Floating Row Covers

Floating row covers are made of lightweight fabric that breathes. They shield plants from deer while permitting sun, air, and water passage. These covers are great for small plants and seedlings.

Tall and Sturdy Fences

Tall, strong fences are an effective deer deterrent. To stop most deer, make sure your fence is at least 8 feet high. A solid stockade fence also hides potential jump points.

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How to Keep Deer Out of Flower Beds

In cases where high fences are not an option, two shorter fences can be effective. Placing them 3 feet apart adds to deer deterrence.

Remember, while these barriers work well, they aren't 100% guaranteed. Deer can sometimes find a way past them. So, it helps to combine physical barriers with other deer deterrence methods for better garden protection.

Plastic Netting
Floating Row Covers
Tall and Sturdy Fences
Very high

Understanding Deer Behavior

Deer are interesting creatures. They have unique habits and behaviors. To keep them out of your garden, it's key to know what they eat and how they act.

Deer eat a lot, about 6 to 8 pounds of food daily. They live in areas where forests and open spaces meet. This lets them find many different types of food.

Deer often find their way into gardens because of the plants there. They follow their strong sense of smell to tasty plants. They love eating herbaceous perennials, veggies, and fruit trees.

Some gardeners have luck keeping deer at bay. They use things that smell bad or taste bad to deer. Homemade mixes can be very effective.

Deer are easily scared. Noises like wind chimes or devices that move when they do can scare them off. These methods make your garden seem unwelcoming to deer.

Deer can jump very high. They can clear barriers less than 8 feet tall. So, tall fences are best. Putting up two fences close together or using electricity can also keep them out.

How you lay out your garden is important too. Planting things that smell strong like lavender, sage, and rosemary can help. These plants can form a barrier that deer don't like.

By understanding how deer act and using different methods, you can protect your garden. Combining smells that deer don't like, tall fences, and thought-out plant placement can make your garden a place they avoid.


To keep deer away from your flowers, you need a combined set of strategies. Picking certain hydrangea types like Endless Summer and Limelight is a smart move. They don’t attract deer as much as others.

Putting up fences or nets around your hydrangeas can also stop deer. Fences should be at least 8 feet high. And it's important to check them often to ensure they're working properly.

Using deer repellents is essential too. These can be homemade or bought. They should be put on again after it rains. This keeps the hydrangeas protected.

Planting things like lavender, sage, or yarrow can hide the scent of the hydrangeas from deer. Items like cloves or garlic near the plants can also help. They create a bad-smelling barrier for deer.

Choosing plants deer dislike, such as boxwood, catmint, or salvia, for your garden is another step. They help defend your hydrangeas.

By following these steps and knowing about deer habits, you can make a garden that's unfriendly to them. This way, your flowers can bloom safely and beautifully.

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