Plants That Will Naturally Keep Deer Away from Your Garden

Has Bambi been traipsing all over your garden, destroying or eating your plant life? It’s discouraging when this happens, as nobody likes to see their hard work stomped under hooves. Fortunately, it can be as easy as planting a few seeds to keep them a safe distance away. Consider utilizing certain types of plants, which have been time-tested and gardener-approved as a natural deer repellent to keep deer from where they aren’t wanted.

Utilize Plants That Deer Don’t Like

Deer aren’t completely indiscriminate eaters, despite how opportunistic they are. There are some plants that do not suit their tastes and will generally keep them away. This natural method of deer repelling has been used by savvy gardeners for a very long time.

Consider the addition (or even exclusively planting) of plants that have these properties:

A Fuzzy, Prickly or Hairy Texture

Deer absolutely despise the texture of hairy or fuzzy things on their tongues. Hairs don’t have to be especially coarse. In fact, they can be quite soft to the touch. There are many plants that possess this property, but here are a few of the most common options utilized today:

  • Lamb’s Ear
  • Siberian Bugloss
  • Flowering Tobacco
  • Poppies

Though some deer learn how to eat around the prickly parts of plants, they generally avoid plants that have spines or thorns. Thistles are commonly ignored by deer, for example, because they are uncomfortable to eat.

Strong Aromas

If your flowers have a very powerful smell, it will confuse the deer and make them feel disinclined to eat. Mint, lavender, thyme and many other flowers and herbs are incredibly fragrant, making them a great addition to any garden.

This approach is quite effective because, just like us, deer “eat with their noses” before they eat with their mouths. If food smells unappealing, we don’t want to eat it. The same is true of deer that have wandered into your garden.


Out of instinct, deer will avoid plants that are toxic to them, such as bleeding hearts and most types of ferns. There is one major drawback to this method, however. A plant that may be toxic to a deer may also be toxic to humans or pets in the area. Make sure to conduct your research before planting anything that’s toxic to deer.

Ornamental Grass

Most deer cannot and do not like to sustain themselves solely on grasses. If there is an abundance of grass in your garden or the area surrounding it, they’re less likely to try and feast on your yard.

Fibrous Plants

If a plant is especially “leathery” feeling or otherwise difficult to chew and digest, deer aren’t going to want it. There are quite a few options that you have here, including:

  • Peonies
  • Elephant Ears
  • Irises
  • Dragonwing Begonias

Making use of these plants is a time-honored method of keeping deer away. It is also one of the safest approaches possible. Consider making these additions to your garden if deer are becoming a problem for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *