How to Keep Deer Out of Your Garden : Lawn Fly

Team McFly Sep 07, 2023
6 People Read

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. 

Essential Tips for a Beautiful and Deer-Free Landscape


Deer can wreak havoc on any garden, turning flowers and bulbs into an all-you-can-eat buffet. But there are ways you can keep deer at bay without losing its aesthetic appeal.

Fences can help, but they're not the only solution. A combination of methods, including plants, sprays, and scare tactics, should help deer avoid your garden.

Plants Deer Dislike

Deer do not like eating garden plants with aromatic or strong-flavored aromas or strong flavors; or plants with unappetizing textures like furry leaves and spiny stems. Perennial aromatic herb plants will work effectively against deer such as thyme, mint, lavender, rosemary, and sage; rue, chives, and onion also work to ward them away.

Irises and peonies that bloom later in the season, like rue, will deter deer; they also hate plants such as arborvitae occidentalis and western arborvitae (Thuja plicata) which emit pungent smells, which put deer off eating these species! Deer also dislike plants emitting pungent odors, such as rue, chives, and onion emitting pungent odors like rue, chives, or onion emitting pungent smells such as rue; deer have also been known to deter deer.

Foamflowers (Tetraria spp.), commonly called black snakeroot or bugbane, add drama and excitement to shade and woodland gardens with striking spikes of pink to purple flowers that naturally deer-proof them. Ornamental onions also thrive as deer-resistant flowers that spread quickly - you could try planting annuals in cooler climates while perennials in warmer regions.

Marigolds (Margoracea) have an astringent scent that deters deer, as do the spicy scents of tansy and wormwood (Artemisia dracunculus). Use these low-growing perennials in mixed planters or groundcover settings. Fern barberry (Berberis juvenile) also works to repel deer while making for attractive additions in landscape settings that feature evergreen trees.

Deer are naturally attracted to the bright green leaves and pungent aroma of sage (Salvia officinalis) and lavender (Lavandula angustifolia). Plant these herbs as groundcover or containers - they add an eye-catching border!

Outsmart deer with visual and physical barriers. For instance, simple wind chimes hung from tree branches or filled troughs with rocks will startle them and force them away. Deers also dislike motion, so a motion-triggered spray that emits loud noise and light will help deter them.

Cover vegetables, fruit trees, and bulbs with deer-resistant netting to safeguard them from curious deer. This will allow them to continue receiving vital nutrients without falling prey to hungry jaws.


Deer Scram granules provide long-lasting protection while biodegrading into high-nitrogen organic nutrients for added benefits to your garden. When selecting the product you need, select one which does not wash off easily after rainfall and requires minimal maintenance - like their non-toxic granules that biodegrade into organic nutrients - making a choice easy and sustainable!

Another option for deer removal from your yard is psychological deterrence. Most stationary deterrents use perceived threats to make deer uncomfortable, but this doesn't always work; once deer learn that predatory models don't move, they may ignore it and continue eating your plants. Therefore, motion sensors that squirt water or emit noise when activated by deer activity could provide effective deterrent solutions.

A fishing line is easy and low-cost if you want an economical deterrent solution. Horticulturist Gene Lorainne recommends stretching out a line 15-30 inches above the ground and 3 feet from any garden beds or beds you want to protect over an area where deer frequently frequent. She then anchors this row to stakes or trellis and repeats this process several times around her garden's perimeter - spacing each row approximately one foot apart.

Deer are naturally attracted to plants with strong scents such as lavender, rosemary, oregano, and thyme; therefore, it's wise to purchase plastic bags of predator urine and soak rags with it to hang from trees or fences above areas where you want to deter deer.

Predator urine's potency means deer cannot detect its flavor while being deterred by it alone or combined with other barriers; deer will avoid such plants' leaves that have unpleasant odors like these and are less likely to consume plants with sticky or hairy foliage such as fuzzy lamb's ears, barberries or cleome.


Deer are stunning animals, but letting them loose in your garden can be devastating. From delicate tulips and pansies to rose bushes, azalea bushes, and berries, deer can devour everything from delicate flowers such as tulips and pansies to roses, chrysanthemums, rosebushes, and berries. Deers have an incredible eight-foot leap, meaning fences may not be enough to keep deer out; many gardeners find using multiple strategies best when deer proofing their gardens from deer attacks.

Plant blocking combines plant selection, deer-repellent plants, and physical barriers into an effective plan to keep deer away from your garden plants. For example, if you want to grow Hydrangeas but worry that deer might nibble them, plant them alongside plants that repel deer, such as ferns and perennial flowering herbs that deer don't like.

Aromatic foliage can olfactorily confuse Bambi and make her less inclined to explore it for nibbling purposes. Instead, try planting aromatic herbs such as sage, thyme, lavender, or oregano where you want to deter deer; these plants add color and texture to the landscape while simultaneously deterring their wandering eyes.


Deer are known to prefer soft surfaces like velvet. To deter them from munching your plants, try rubbing bristly or fuzzy materials against their cheeks or using motion-triggered devices that release water squirters or emit an irritating high-frequency noise to scare away deer. Unfortunately, deer quickly learn whether noise or movement poses any real threat, so these methods must be employed repeatedly for maximum impact.

Barking dogs are effective deer deterrents, provided they can roam free within their yard or be on a long rope. Liquid predator urine may also prove useful; however, the application must occur at regular intervals - as frequently as once per week in large areas. Even monthly refills for larger areas may be needed for maximum efficacy. A less costly alternative would be applying a granular form of predator urine at regular intervals for maximum effectiveness.

Decorating with "busy" decor will also help deter deer. For example, wind chimes that spin, whistle, and rotate and decorations that wiggle, jiggle, or move with the wind are great visual deterrents for deer. Incorporating loud talk radio into your landscape may also work, although these tactics must be used frequently to be effective.

Electric Fencing

Many gardeners rely on electric fencing to keep deer away from their vegetable gardens, fruit trees, and flower beds. This fencing can be highly effective when properly installed and maintained, especially during spring and fall when deer are most active. Before embarking on any fencing installation project, however, be sure to contact local utility companies as underground lines could run through your area - failing which fines may apply if damage occurs to them.

For those who wish to spend less time and expense building an entire fence, one alternative could be surrounding their garden or vegetable plot with a rock garden. Deer are known to avoid areas containing rocks; therefore, this approach could serve as an effective deterrent. When selecting rock sizes, ensure that deer can't easily walk over them.

Deer are known to avoid gardens where marigolds have been strategically planted as they dislike their pungent scent. However, other gardeners have had success by surrounding vegetables and flowers with plants deer don't like, such as mint and oregano. Home-made repellents like hot pepper sprays, garlic mixtures, or ammonia-soaked cloth bags have also proven successful. However, multiple rotations may take before these repellents prove effective against deer.

Signs that deer have visited your garden include nibbled produce, buds and blossoms that have gone missing, hoof prints in the soil, and small piles of round black droppings. Scrape marks on tree trunks, woody shrub branches, and torn leaves can also indicate deer are nearby.

You may consider installing motion-activated devices that squirt water or emit loud, startling noises (some even flash or light up!). Also, try scaring deer away with devices that squirt or emit loud, startling noises - or scare them away using motion detector devices that squirt or emit loud alarms to scare away deer.

Deer are drawn to gardens by various attractants such as ripening produce and fresh manure, so a comprehensive strategy should include eliminating these sources and keeping a watchful eye on it for signs of deer activity to act promptly before any lasting damage is done.

Recent Feature Articles:

The Optimal Time to Water Grass Seed: A Comprehensive Guide
Easy Article Search - Lawn Care: Gardening: Products
How to Keep Cats Out of Your Flower Beds

Disclosure:  Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.