How to Keep Deer From Eating Plants

As adorable as they are, do not let the fuzzy charm of these mammals lower your guard as a gardener. Deer are capable of wreaking havoc in your garden bed and turning it upside down if they are not deterred. They are a beautiful sight to behold as you sit on your porch with a warm cup of coffee, but they can destroy hours of hard work in the garden. Deer simply cannot help themselves from munching on delicious trees and shrubs and even leafy vegetables. 

5 Best Methods To Keep Deer From Eating Your Plants

After years of trial and error in our own gardens these are the top 5 ways we know to keep deer away from your garden. 

1)Plant Deer Resistant Shrubs

If you live in a region where these white-tailed creatures love to feed on your outdoor plants, one of the best methods to keep them away is to plant shrubs they hate!
If the layout of your yard or garden allows it, we recommend shrubs and trees that deer are more likely to avoid on the outer edge of your landscaping area. That creates an outer barrier between them and the plants they really want!
It isn't going to completely solve the problem but combined with any of the other tactics from our list, it makes deer far more likely to keep walking past your yard towards food they like and don't have to work hard to get access to. 

Best Shrubs To Keep Deer Away

These are our top 4 choices for shrubs that deer hate! Any of them make great choices, or shop our full selection of deer resistant shrubs

Other Great Plants To Repel Deer and Rabbits
You will want to grow plants that have characteristics that do not appeal to deer, such as plants that taste bitter, have an unappealing odor, or are wrapped in thorns. When a deer comes across such a plant their sense of smell will pick up the unappealing odor and it will walk away without trying to enter further into your garden.  The following are deer resistant plants:

2) Use a Deer Fence for the Garden

One of the simplest and most effective solutions to keeping deer away from your precious plants is to put up a deer fence. Understandably, most gardeners may not want to opt for this option as installing a fence is time-consuming and expensive. However, you need to evaluate the damage that deer do to your beautiful plants and determine whether a fence is a worthwhile investment. If you choose to go ahead with setting up a fence, it will protect future plants for years to come. The best part? You will not have to limit the kind of plants you grow. You will be able to grow leafy and sweet-smelling plants without worrying if they are prickly or bitter enough to ward off the local deer population.  
If you have chosen to put up a fence, please note that it needs to be tall enough to deter deer from entering. Some deer can jump over an 8 ft. tall fence without too much trouble.
The most popular choice for a deer deterrent fence is the traditional 4×4 metal bar made from black mesh metal wires.
Note that deer may not be able to see your fence until they bump into it, so consider attaching a neon-colored fabric or colorful piece of cloth. After all, you do not want a deer to get hurt in the process of protecting your plants.

3) Install A Motion Sensor Noise Or Light Device

A fence can make you feel like you are caged in your living space. You may end up locking yourself in instead of keeping the deer out. So if you decide that a fence is not up to your alley, an outdoor motion-activated system may be the solution to your deer problem. Every time there is the motion sensor is activated, you can trigger a light, and alarm, or even trigger a water hose to go off and spray the deer. Depending on your level of DIY skills, you could even combine all three methods. 

4) Use A Natural Deer Repellant

Bar soap is a natural deer repellent that can be used to keep deer away from your precious plants. Head over to the grocery store and buy yourself regular bar soap! Tie bars of soap with wires, ropes, or fishing line and hang them vertically on tree branches or shrubs to repel deer. If you are worried about your hands getting dirty or creating a soapy mess in your garden, you can wrap the soap bars in tissue or netting. The smell of soap tricks deer by making them think there is a predator nearby. Once alerted by its smell, deer will think twice about coming anywhere near your garden and its plants. This trick works like a charm to keep other mammals such as rabbits and mice away from your plants. 

5) Use Deer Sprays

There are plenty of natural and synthetic deer repellant sprays and topical applications available on the market. 
These work by coating your plants or soil with chemicals (either organic or made in a lab) that deer avoid. Its like bug spray for deer. 
But, it's also a chemical on your plant that might not be necessary and could be harmful, so be sure to read the label carefully and perhaps try a natural method first. 


Turning your garden into a deer-proof landscape is an investment, and it can cost quite a bit.  However, depending on how frequently your garden is barricaded with a herd of deer, you may have to take measures of various degrees. Get started on repelling deer from your garden and keep them from eating plants