How do I keep deer away?


Just planted a new tree hydrangea. The deer seem to think the new growth is very tasty. What can I spray to keep them away? There's tons of green around here! They don't need my new plants!

  7 answers
  • Oliva Oliva on May 15, 2019

    Liberally zpray with Liquid Fence, which comes as a concentrate. Shake very well, then mix with water, as directed. Shake again, very well.

    Apply with a garden sprayer or good quality 32 ounce spray bottle.

    Spray on a wind free day when no rain is expected for a few hours.

    Cover leaf surfaces thoroughly (top and bottom), as well as branches and surrounding ground area.

    Spray weekly, the first month or two, then monthly, thereafter.

    Best to spray in evening, as it smells of rotted eggs for a few hours, but really works well, especially on hydrangeas.

    The sooner you apply it, the better luck you'll have keeping deer away.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on May 15, 2019

    Human hair spread around will keep them away. You can probably get it at a local hair dresser for free.

    Irish spring shredded will keep them away.

    Liquid Fence as Oliva mentioned, as well.

  • Morgan McBride Morgan McBride on May 15, 2019

    Human urine keeps deer away :)

  • Flipturn Flipturn on May 15, 2019

    Speaking from personal experience, I would say do not waste your money on products or any other schemes that claim to 'deter' deer. I've tried them all. Any odor there is will be short lived, as it will quickly dissipate into the air.

    Deer love to eat new flowering plants and have an incredible ability to know where they are and how to get at them.

    Only netting will keep the deer from accessing your plants. It is a one-time cost when purchased and is maintenance free in almost all weather conditions.

  • Sue Sue on May 16, 2019

    well, I went out this morning and they have done alot of damage to that poor plant. I think I will try the netting. My neighbor tried the stinky spray, and it worked for a very short time, but the critters were back quickly. Tree hydrangeas are not an inexpensive plant. I have to do something or there won't be any leaves left. they are even breaking the branches off.

    Thanks for everyone's suggestions.


  • Flipturn Flipturn on May 17, 2019

    Yep, sounds like normal deer to me.

    Netting, or tall fencing are the only solutions that will really work.

  • M M on May 09, 2021

    Best to do some research before you go out and purchase plants. Learn which are native to your area AND which ones deer do not prefer to eat. I have a pro landscaper's old catalogue, and they rate their plant's 'deer resistance' into 3 categories:

    1-rarely want to eat this plant

    2-probably will not eat this plant

    3-they will eat anything when hungry, including this plant.

    So -- buy the most deer resistant plants you can find that are native, or will survive easily in the soil and amount of sun & moisture you have.

    Deer tend not to eat things with strong odors, fuzzy leaves, prickly leaves or thorns. That said, when a herd is hungry, all bets are off. There are many lists on the internet you can look up to start your search of plants.

    Next thing to try is a deer fence, but imagine a deer stands 12 to 15 hands high (about 4 to 5-feet, to top of it's shoulder), then imagine how much taller that animal is when standing on its' back legs! Yep -- they do that, especially when they find that delectable tree! Where I live, they will jump that 8-foot hurdle -- so 'low' 8-ft fences are not guaranteed -- but you could try a 10-to-12 foot high fence.

    Fences are more expensive than plants. I'd go with the proper plants, first.

    One last thing - make sure you are blaming the correct varmint -- if the branches or leaves appear torn, it's from deer damage. It the branches (of lower plants) appear cut, that's rabbit damage.

    Good luck!