Deer Eating Flowers

By Ellen Brown

Q: I have flowers at my cottage and the deer seem to be eating the head off certain flowers. What can I do to save my flowers and not hurt the deer? Can I do something that will deter the deer away from them?



A: Donna,

Because you already have well-established plantings, barriers or repellants are probably your best strategies. Fences are the best way to keep deer out, but even they don't work 100% of the time. Small gardens can be fenced off with a four-foot high snow fence (deer dislike small, penned-in areas). For larger areas, a six-foot high wire fence (angled away from the yard) will create a physical and psychological barrier that deer will fear becoming entangled in. The fence must have a 30-degree angle to be effective (deer can jump vertical fences 8 feet high).

A more economical approach is to try spraying your flowers and plants with a bad tasting repellent or placing a strong smelling repellent in an area near your garden:

Hang bars of strong smelling deodorant soaps from nearby trees.

Mix 2 eggs and 1 gallon of water and spray directly on flowers and plants.


This may need to be re-applied a few times throughout the season (beware, it smells).

Hang a mesh bag of non-shampooed human hair (ask your local salons or barbers) near garden or scatter it among flowers.

Predator urine, such as coyote, can also be effective and is available at garden and feed stores or online.

Remember though, very hungry deer will eat almost anything!

About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! 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



Deer Eating Flowers

Urinate around the area you are trying to protect. Bad as it may sound to some, human urine keeps deer from coming close. (07/21/2005)

By kittsparks1

Deer Eating Flowers

Deer Buster Eggnog Tonic Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbsp of Tabasco Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups water

INSTRUCTIONS: Put all ingredients in blender and puree. Allow to set 2 days, then pour or spray it around all the plants you need to protect. Reapply it every week or so (or after a rain) to keep the odor fresh, and deer will head for friendlier territory. This is an exact quote from Jerry Baker's book "Terrific Garden Tonics - 345 Do-It-Yourself, Fix'em Formulas for Maintaining a Lush Lawn and Gorgeous Garden". This book is worth so much more than I paid for it. It really works, deer used to eat my Daylilies. No more. Good Luck. Deer can't stand the smell of eggs in general. (07/21/2005)


By Joan in CT

Deer Eating Flowers

When my husband worked for a lumber broker, he discovered that a huge lumber company did extensive research and came up with the conclusion that deer hate the smell of eggs. We have always just thrown our egg shells in our vegetable garden and they have left it alone. If you have a very bad problem, mix a few raw eggs with some water and spray it on your flowers, reapplying after every rain, but we have never had to do that. The shells (I'm talking quite a few, now) even kept them out of sweet corn. Deer love sweet corn, almost as much as we do. Plus, there is an added benefit of the egg shells in your soil as a mulch and broken shells are supposed to keep slugs from getting to your plants because the shells hurt them as they try to crawl over them. Hope this helps. (07/22/2005)


By Margie M.

Deer Eating Flowers

I tried the Irish Spring soap in a nylon stocking hanging from my 4 trees last Spring. It worked very well to keep the deer away from my newly sprouting tulips. However, this year when I noticed a few tips of the leaves missing on my tulips, I hung new Irish Spring soap in the trees. The deer ate all my tulip buds anyhow, and I had planted about 100. They left three intact. I think I will try the egg recipe next. (05/21/2007)

By Avril

Deer Eating Flowers

Ask your local dog grooming shop for a bag of dog hair. Spread this around the perimeter of your garden. It will keep the dead away. (12/30/2007)

By Margaret L Cass

Deer Eating Flowers

Buy some cheap colorful cd's and use fish line to tie them up. You can put two together back to back so the colorful sides face out. They spin in the wind and reflect light, look nice and they scare the deer away. You need to hang them every 10 feet or so depending on how persistent your deer are. (05/12/2008)


By Jill H

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