Gardening With Deer

By Phelan Gardens Published
Gardening With Deer

Oh Deer!

Do you live in an area where you struggle to keep deer from eating your plantings?  Here are some potential solutions! You can try to curtail their efforts three ways.


Create a deer proof barrier.  According to the Department of Wildlife, it must be at least 6’ high.  Others have had luck with placing sturdy fishing line around plantings. One line at shorter height for fawns and one at chest height for adult deer. They can’t see the fishing line, bump into it and are spooked. 

Deer repellent sprays

Repellents make your existing plantings less attractive to deer.  Phelan’s offers several types or  a home remedy of water, egg yolk, and hot pepper may also help.  These must be re-applied after they wear off and again after rain. 

Plant Things They Don't Like

If deer are hungry enough, they will eat just about any type of plant out of desperation. However, you can choose to plant varieties that rank lower on their list of preferred food.  Realizing that no plant is ‘deer proof’, here is a list of plants organized by those that are rarely damaged vs. those that they love to munch.  

Rarely Damaged, and Seldom Severely Damaged categories would be best for landscapes prone to deer damage.  Plants Occasionally Severely Damaged and Frequently Severely Damaged are often preferred by deer and should only be planted with additional protection such as the use of fencing, repellents, etc.