Natural Deer Repellent Guide
How to Naturally Deter Deers from Your Garden
Watching deer lope through your backyard may have once been central to your dream home environment, but if they take a long stop, chewing away on your prized garden, you might think twice about this scene. Don’t worry, though, the following tips and tricks will provide you with a handful of natural deer repellent ideas that you can use safely around your garden.
Plants that attract deer to your garden
If deer have become a nuisance, slowly eating up your garden, then you may have one fundamental problem: you’ve chosen plants that attract deer. The simplest solution for this problem is to avoid plants that deer love, such as:
- Crab Apple Trees
If your garden has any of these plants, you’ll need to ask yourself one basic question: are you willing to put up with the hassle of deterring deer from these plants, or would you rather have a stress-free gardening experience? If the latter, then give these plants away to a friend and start new. If the former, then use the following tips to help keep deer out of your yard despite the tasty treats you’ve planted there.
Deer repellent plants
A safe bet for creating a deer-proof landscape design is to include species of plants that are known to be disliked by deer. Of course, under extreme duress and starvation, deer will eat almost anything, but by and large, these varieties are deer-proof and can serve as natural deer repellents:
- Acanthopanax (aralia)
- Aconitum (monkshood)
- Agastache (hyssop)
- Ajuga reptans Atropurpurea (Bugleweed)
- Berberis (barberry)
- Buddleia (butterfly bush)
- Buxus (boxwood)
- Caryopteris (bluebeard)
- Chasmanthium latifolium (Northern sea oats)
- Creeping groundcovers
- Dicentra (bleeding heart)
- Digitalis (foxglove)
- Euphorbia (spurge)
- Galium odoratum (sweet woodruff)
- Hilictotrichon sempervirens (blue oat grass)
- Holly shrubs
- Iris Sibirica (Siberian iris)
- Lamium (spotted dead nettle)
- Lavandula (lavender)
- Liriope spicata (Liriope or lilyturf)
- Narcissus (daffodils)
- Nepeta (catmint)
- Nepeta cataria (catnip)
- Opuntia compressa (prickly pear cactus)
- Ornamental grasses
- Pachysandra procumbens (Allegheny spurge)
- Pachysandra terminalis (Japanese pachysandra)
- Perovskia (Russian sage)
- Potentilla (bush cinquefoil)
- Salvia (meadow sage)
- Sedum (stonecrops)
- Sempervivum tectorum (hens and chicks)
- Stachys byzantine (Lamb’s ears)
- Thymus (thyme)
- Vinca minor (creeping myrtle or periwinkle)
Repel deers with physical barriers
Physical barriers are another great option for keeping deer out of your garden. By creating a carrier that surrounds your precious garden, you will deter them naturally by making it more difficult for them to enter your space. Though not always foolproof, this method can be incorporated into your landscape design with the following options:
- Fencing: Needs to be eight feet high and made with woven wire, by conventional wisdom. Slanted fences can be lower when installed at a 45 degree angle. Double fences with a six foot gap in between can also be shorter.
- Electric fencing: These give deer a little electric shock to keep them from straying onto your property, though this is an expensive option.
- Shrubs and bushes: Using tall-growing plants around the perimeter of your yard can help keep deer away.
- Netting: Covering small trees with netting in the fall/winter will help protect them.
Deer repellent with movement
Another great way to naturally deter deer is to create movement that sends deer running away. These are not violent or harmful options, but they can be very effective:
- Motion activated sprayers: These give out a quick burst of water when deer get near.
- Moving, noisy objects: If you don’t mind the sight of them, you can hand aluminum pie plates, tin cans, rattles, wind chimes, and other noisy items around your yard.
Deer repellent with natural scent
In addition to physical barriers and moving objects, there are certain scents that deer abhor that have been known to work as deterrents in gardens. Try out a few of these natural deer deterrents:
- Commercial anti-deer sprays such as Plantskydd or Milorganite (which is actually a manure-based organic fertilizer)
- Fabric softener sheets (hung from trees)
- Garlic (crushed or bruised in cheesecloth bags or nylon stockings)
- Blood meal (in bags hung around the garden)
- Predator urine (from coyotes, foxes, bobcats, and the like, can be purchased from PredatorPee)
- Hot sauce and dish soap mix (sprayed on plants)
- Human hair (in bags hung from trees)