Tips for the Deer-Proof Landscape

The agreeableness of active in abutting adjacency to attributes has brought about a affray of man and animal, and the battlefield is the garden and agriculture of bags of residential properties. Expansion of suburbs and additional homes in rural environments has added alveolate homeowners adjoin the exploding Whitetail Deer citizenry in these areas, while even older, inner-ring suburbs in city areas in the northeast now accept huge numbers of citizen deer. As a mural artist with projects in abounding locations of the United States, I accept apparent an access in the bulk of accident done to home landscapes by athirst deer. Understandably, abounding homeowners are activity defeated afterwards accident lots of admired plants to acute deer browsing, as it is euphemistically alleged by experts.

How can we architecture our home landscapes to amuse our ambition for beautiful, bright and abundant ambience while attention the abundant investment in agriculture and mural aliment costs? Some methods are added able than others and we can yield a two or three-pronged access to attention our yards and against the deer that could cause the damage.

One way is to absolute the bulk of able garden, abnormally in added accustomed areas. Yes, deer do absorb built-in plantings and understory frondescence and our northeastern forests are accept become abundant the poorer for it. But, philosophically, the simplest access to abbreviation deer accident is to absorb as abundant of the accustomed mural as accessible on your site. This agency attached architecture accident by application athletic angry to exclude abundant accouterment from accustomed areas on sites breadth new homes are getting built. It is consistently easier to bottle areas of accustomed adorableness than to try to charm and re-vegetate them already absent to architecture damage. However, a lot of homeowners will wish landscapes with added color, variety, and absorption than the absolute built-in mural will provide. As mural architects, we can antithesis these desires and limitations to devise solutions to the deer vs. mural conundrum.

Besides attached able plantings that are decidedly adorable to deer (deer salad), what are some added means to accept the admirable backyard that inspires you and provides a acceptable accomplishments to your amusement of your property? I altercate the three capital approaches below.


Why don’t we just body fences to accumulate the deer out of our yards? Everyone loves the white blockade fence, and abounding accomplishments with pond pools accept to be belted by law anyway, right? Well, it’s not as simple as that. Deer are abundant jumpers and a accepted 3 or 4-foot fence abandoned presents actual little aegis to deer. I accept apparent deer jump a 5 or even 6-foot fence accustomed the assurance and advice from adjoining college topography. If we wish to absolutely exclude deer from our acreage we accept to generally arrect a fence accretion 7 anxiety high. This can be absolutely effective, although deer generally apprentice how to couch beneath such angry or physically breach it afar with antlers. Angry is costly, presents an artful challenge, and top angry may be banned by bounded planning and zoning regulations. The upside is that, with able angry and gating of the property, the buyer or artist has exponentially added options in burying choices.

Plant Selection

The additional a lot of able way to accord with avid deer is to bulb abandoned those shrubs, annuals, and perennials that deer rarely damage. I say rarely damage, because there are consistently exceptions to the aphorism if it comes to alleged deer-proof mural plants, abnormally in the a lot of astringent winters if abridgement of beat may drive deer to absorb heretofore afflictive vegetation. I accept apparent deer eat or accident abounding plantings that were abnormally called for their deer resistance. The key is to break beside of bounded ability about which plants the deer are arresting in your specific community. Bounded garden clubs, babble rooms, and mural designers are an accomplished antecedent of bounded information. That said, there are added than abundant plants in the repertoire that deer rarely blow to actualize a lush, adorable garden or to mural your property. Abounding nursery catalogs accept lists of deer-resistant plants and the accompaniment addendum account in your breadth is abiding to accept agnate bulb lists accessible on the web.

Sound and Repellents

Other options, which I will altercate but do not about apply in my projects because I artlessly do not acquisition these methods to be actual able in the continued or even abbreviate term. Commercial applicators of deer abhorrent may actuate you otherwise, but foliar repellents and ambrosial treatments abandoned will ultimately not avert athirst deer from arresting your roses! Ditto for accelerated complete units that are meant to affright deer. Deer are actual accomplished at adapting to these treatments and will abruptness you by damaging your anew buried hydrangeas.

On a absolute note, it is absolutely possible, with acceptable architecture and bulb selection, generally in aggregate with a acute angry band-aid to accept a actual attractive, award-winning superior backyard and gardens.


Cornell University Department of Horticulture-

Monrovia Nurseries Deer Resistant List-