Plants that discourage deer

Here in the northeast, there has recently been an overwhelming number of deer in spots. The victim of the mass quantity of deers is people’s gardens. Since there is a sparse food source for the deer due to overpopulation, they have to turn to alternative methods. Since a starving deer will eat almost anything, there is no designated “deer resistant” plant. However, deer can be picky eaters. Some favorite plants of deers include arborvitae, rhododendron, hosta, tulips and yews. So be weary of planting those if you have a deer issue. Here is a list of plants that deer find inedible:

  • Butterfly Bush
  • Catmint
  • Clump Bamboo
  • Daffodil
  • Dwarf Alberta Spruce
  • Fern
  • Fountain Grass
  • Ornamental Onion
  • Yucca

While there is deer repellant that is sold in stores, it can be pricey and has to be reapplied many times. This constant reapplication can lead to the repellant getting into ground water. If your deer debacle is minimal (about 1 to 3 deer), home remedies can be useful. You can collect human hair (either from a barbershop, salon, or your own house) and place a few handfuls in mesh bags and hang them in trees 2 to 3 feet off the ground.You can also hang heavily scented soap like Irish Spring in a bag from a tree.

If your problem is severe, the only remedy may be installing a fence. Keep in mind that starving deer can jump a 6-foot fence- you will have to get creative. Either install an 8-foot fence, a 6-foot fence angled out at 45 degrees, or two fences at least 3 feet tall and about 4 feet apart. Deer won’t be able to leap over both sets of fences.

Thank you to Jessica Damiano for the original information. You can read more here.

You can also read more here, in our other article on what plants deers will not eat. 

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