Crafts, Recipes, Tips,
& Guides
Enter Contests
Share & Vote
Get Advice
Submit a

Deer Deterrents

0 0EmailPrintFollow


How do I keep deer from eating my tulips once they have bloomed?

Cher from Provo, UT



Tulips are a favorite treat of deer (along with hostas and roses). Although nothing exists that will keep deer away from your tulips 100% of the time (short of a 10 ft high electric fence), here are a few ideas that other gardeners have used successfully.

  1. Predator's urine (especially wolf or coyote). This is usually easy to find at feed stores and garden centers.

  2. Fragrant soap. Slip a bar of Irish Spring into some old panty hose and hang it from a tree or fence very close to your tulips. Some people have also had luck hanging bars of soap on 4' stakes at 15' intervals around the perimeter of their property. In either case, soap smells stronger when it is wet, so be prepared to periodically water your soap with a hand mister.

  3. Human hair. It's really all about the smell of predators with deer. Local barbers should be more than happy to supply you with all of the bags of hair you need to spread around your tulip beds.

  4. Egg repellant. Mist one egg per quart of water, and double or triple the recipe until you make as much spray as needed. Spray it where you want deer to stay away. The smell isn't the greatest (that's the point), and you'll have to reapply after a heavy rain. Variations on this recipe include adding Tabasco, cayenne pepper, blood meal, or garlic.

    Remember that no one approach will work for long, especially if deer populations are high and food scarce.

    Good luck!



    About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at


    Recent Answers

    Here are the recent answer to this question.

    By Deborah Emel06/24/2008

    Sprinkle crushed egg shells over and around your plants and flowers - it works for deer and rabbits too! Same principal as the egg solution deer spray - but it is something you already have at home. I also hang net stockings of egg shells in my fruit trees - I think it is working too - but replace 1-2 a year - I think the scent wears off.

    By Kim06/24/2008

    Dog pee. Smells like coyote pee.

    By Dee [1]06/20/2008

    If you are in a more rural setting, try laying a cattle or hog panel down on either side of your plantings. Deer, goats, etc, do not like to walk on the panel. You could also use chicken wire or any other kind of netting but you would want to use something easily lifted to mow under or to cultivate under depending on what else is planted nearby. Good luck!

    By Katastrofy (Guest Post)06/19/2008

    Cayene pepper and Tabasco may work, BUT...did you know that they get in the animals eyes and burn badly? Animals have been known to scratch their eyes right out to stop the burning. Try windsocks and those twirly things that hang from trees. It frightens the deer away without harming them. Got info. from HGTV.

    By POOCHIE (Guest Post)05/09/2008

    I also have a terrible deer predation problem. Today I mixed dish soap and water and literally sprayed every plant. I will wait and see. I also heard that old soap chips in an onion sack has some good results.

    RE: Deer Deterrents

    By ChloeA [10]05/03/2008

    Deer are a big problem where I live. Nobody in my neighborhood even tries to grow tulips! I've found a product called Liquid Fence to be fairly effective on other deer favorites like hostas. It's available from garden stores as well as online.


    Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

    Archive: Deer Deterrents

    Right after planting some small evergreen trees, deer were eating them. A friend told me to ask the local hair salon for hair clippings and sprinkle them around the ground where the trees were planted. I guess they disliked the smell because they didn't eat on them anymore. Now they eat the tender stalk of my yuccas when they start growing in the spring. Win a few lose a few. :-)

    Deer were eating my tomato plants. I had read somewhere to sprinkle them with baby powder and it would repel the deer. It worked. It is safer than a harsh chemical and washes right off tomatoes when you are ready to use.

    P.S. I cut the plants way back after the deer had munched on them leaving hardly any plant. They re-grew and I got a second crop of tomatoes.

    By Gladys Hill

    Read more ideas below...

    RE: Deer Deterrent

    You must live down down south. I live in Canada and if I were to cut my tomatoes down, I would NEVER get a second batch of tomatoes off the same plant later on in the season.

    Try 1 beaten egg in 4 litres of water (16 cups). Spray on your plants. The deer do not like the protein of the egg. Cheap and easy and really works. Reapply after a heavy dew or rain. Baby powder would be so expensive to continually apply, hair clippings you have to make the effort to go and get (gas and time). Eggs are in your fridge already and the solution goes a LONG ways. One "batch" costs 10 - 15 cents depending on if you can get eggs on sale or not. Try it! (11/15/2004)

    By valleyrimgirl

    RE: Deer Deterrent

    Hi valleyrimgirl. There is a product that works very well. It is called ScootDeer. This product contains pepper ingredient that leave deer food source unpalatable to them. It takes to deer as hot sauce. The product is active for 30 days and it's watter resistant. Feel free to read more about our product on the following URL:

    Hopefuly this information is helpul to you. You can also always contact us at 1 800 662 5021 or visit our website @ (11/15/2004)

    By Edgar

    RE: Deer Deterrent

    The best way I have found to keep deer from eating things in my yard is to spray any plants they are eating with a mixture of Tabassco and water. It works and does not need to be reapplied after each rain. However I spray the plants every few weeks if it has rained a lot. (03/16/2005)

    By audrey

    Deer Deterrent

    To get rid of deer and other creatures eating in your vegetable garden, go to the Barber and ask him to save the human hair. Deer especially, will not come near your garden after human hair has been detected.

    By RSocash (05/10/2005)

    RE: Deer Deterrent

    I found a solution at the local hardware store. I bought an organic repellent that could probably could be made at home. It was inexpensive and contained mint, garlic, and egg. It works on squirrels too. I spray it around the perimeter of the garden last thing at night. (not on the plants themselves). It is smelly until it dries but when I come back the next day I can barely smell it and everything is untouched. So far, so good. Since I live in one of the few wooded areas left in central New Jersey, my property is like an animal sanctuary! I have tons of animals that visit. But so far, NOTHING has been at the garden since I started using this organic repellent! (05/24/2005)

    By Crash

    Yarrow as a Deer Deterrent

    If you're having trouble with deer eating up the bushes, shrubs, trees or gardens. Plant Yarrow. This plant will keep the deer from enjoying the scenery in your yard & property. By Terri (08/22/2005)

    By ThriftyFun

    RE: Deer Deterrents

    We just moved to Pooler, GA. & after about 3 weeks the deer moved in and ate all the tops of our pretty pansies & even pulled plants out of the earth.

    Is it true that Ivory Soap or Irish Spring can be used as a detergent? How is it applied?

    Does the hair work to keep them away?I need to know now. Any suggestions for alternative plants which deer don't like? (12/15/2005)

    By Marcie Alba

    RE: Deer Deterrents

    I tried a special mixture of scotch bonnet hot pepper sauce and organic detergent - and it work great.... for a while. I live in Montana where I believe the deer are used to eating things they are supposedly not fond of. They hang around the middle of town feasting on the resident gardens. Now the pepper sauce does nothing for them... Just as I thought it was safe and my tomatoes were growing strong they completed destroyed them. (07/13/2006)

    RE: Deer Deterrents

    They were eating all my tomatoes. I found some ways to deter deer at a site called Repellent Review...

    I ended up buying a scarecrow sprinkler based on their review... I also apply a homemade deer repellent I found at that site. I've used deer out, but making my own is cheaper. They suggested combing the 2 repellent techniques. Well... Its worked great since. No deer problems. (07/25/2006)

    By Bob

    Answer This Question

    Add your voice to the conversation. Click here to answer this question.