Deer Oh Deer – The Solution

Deer Oh Deer – The Solution

We hear so much about problems people have with deer. The last few years, deer have started eating plants they’ve never touched before… It’s not uncommon to hear of 10-15 deer roaming through neighborhoods in the central Virginia area.

Deer often take the blame for damage done by other animals such as rabbits, squirrels, and ground hogs. Damage down close to the ground is likely not a deer. Taller plants and plants with the top eaten out is probably deer.  Regardless, we don’t want our plants destroyed by wildlife and deer are becoming increasingly problematic for gardeners.

The solution:

Generally, what will keep one animal away will keep most if not all animals away. Plants that one animal will not eat most animals will not eat. Nothing seems to work all the time. There is no hard and fast rule. 


  • Sprays Such as Liquid Fence

Rain Resistant but must be applied monthly for best results. Also, remember to spray new growth.

  • Plant Fragrance

    Lavender in full bloom

The stronger the fragrance, the better. Most herbs such as Lavender act as a repellent. Marigolds are also a popular repellent. Add these to your mixed pots, flower beds, and garden plots to help deter deer.

  • Deer Fencing

While usually not a first choice, fencing typically does the best at keeping deer off your favorite flowers and vegetable garden. Most deer fencing is thin and generally not visible from a distance.

  • Plant Deer Resistant Flowers and Plants

Here’s a quick list of some of the more popular deer resistant flowers and plants.

Annuals: Marigold, Vinca, Lantana, Zinnia, Heliotrope, Snapdragon

Tickseed (Coreopsis) Orange Bloom
Tickseed (Coreopsis)

Shrubs: Japanese Holly, Nandina, Gardenia, Abelia, Barberry, Butterfly Bush, Lilac, Crape Myrtle, Spirea

Perennial Flowers: Bee Balm, Catment, Coneflower, Tickseed, Butterfly Weed, Hellebore, Hardy Geranium, Salvia, Sage, Allium, Bleeding Heart, Yarrow, Dianthus, Astilbe, Red Hot Poker, Peony, Foxglove, Coral Bells, and most herbs.

Animals have tastes just like people do. What they eat tonight they may walk right by tomorrow night. What they don’t eat in your neighbor’s yard, they may totally destroy in your yard.

Don’t let the deer or other animal decide what you are going to plant. Plant what you like where you like it but plan accordingly. Use a little prevention and planning and the damage can be minimized.