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Please can someone let me know if there is any way to deter deer from eating my plants? It has now finished off my tulips, and I am wondering if it is worth planting anything for summer. Someone must have some tips!!

Fencing, dogs, guns or all three! Or just plant things they don't eat which isn't much.

First find out which type of deer is doing the damage, probably roe or muntjack. This tells you how high your fence and how fine the mesh needs to be. You would need to fence your whole property to the same standard as they will happily come through your neighbours gardens and walk up the road to get to yours.

Deterent sprays are a waste of time and money as you need to keep re-applying all year round.

Vanessa Wagstaff

grow climbing plants they can't reach, I find when I pruned roses too low they got eaten, but left to grown higher, the young deer can't reach them. So stick to climbing plants/roses honeysuckle up supports. Alliums might be safer, garlic plants etc? They eat my sedums, and roses and nip all the top of the geraniums in one year, but the snow must have killed some, fewer next year. Maybe have tulips in pots near the front door/back door, they are wary of getting too close. But I did notice some will come up at 6am to within 3 foot of the door.....!

Thanks, I did wonder about Allium type plants.  It has actually eaten tulips from the pots right at the doorstep.  Can't really do the fence thing, but did wonder about a kind of low mesh tunnel/cage. Also thought of the gun thing, but only when I first noticed it had happened!!  Thanks for your help guys.

Emma Crawforth

Hello Penny 57,

If you've seen your deer and they're about the size of a large dog, then they're muntjac. Have a look at James' blog on them. Richard has also written about deer in his blog. You'll see that both of them are thinking along the same lines as you! In a garden where I worked we had muntjac visits. They were especially fond of bulbs, but a very simple low fence made of bamboo and plastic mesh around the bed kept them off. It was only about 1m high. Not very pretty, but as it was a trial bed it didn't matter. However I'm sure you could find a more attractive material!

Emma team


Hi Penny 57,   I used a spray called <a title="Grazers" href="" target="_blank">Grazers </a> last year and it was pretty effective to stop roe deer munchings.    You will have to respray new growth - i think it lasts through a certain amount of rain though.  I used it on things that are particularly tasty to the deer - (rose leaves and other things) which i couldn't fence off in other ways as Emma above suggests.  


We have Roe deer, and I have found Grazers good too.

Even better is to find things they don't eat.  I have been trying for a few years now and the list is getting longer.  Try primroses, pieris, alliums, lavender, lupins, hydrangeas, daphne, euphorbia, hellebores, daffodils, centaurea,  ....

A good guide is anything toxic to humans.

I plant a sacrificial offering and if it is still standing after six months I plant lots more!

Does anyone have any others to add to the list ?

I've read that stringing fishing line between posts can do the trick, because the can't see it when they walk into it they spook and run off.  I've not tried this yet, just wondered if anyone has.


Electric boundary fence might do the job, tends to keep the cattle next door confined or maybe some thorny hedging to discourage them cattle grids can be helpfull. Place I lived in was getting renovated

 So the cattle grid was up for a day. This was the result.

Thinking about it some more how about some pvr activated lights or a cheap transistor radio just to make them a little wary of being in the area and startle them a little. I guess they might be a bit too bold but it might deter them. 



True Pennine Petal, there should be an alternative food source for them, maybe a few hay bales located away from the flower beds might tempt them. An easier source of food might be the real solution. Hopefully one cheaper than tulips



They don't like hay !  We tried that a few winters ago when we were feeling sorry for them in the snow - but they left it alone. Was still picking bits of it up months later. They much prefer young shoots or bark from young trunks/branches.  And tulips are their favourite !

We have now fenced off a small section of our garden for flowers, and then plant things they don't eat elsewhere.  Despite the destruction, I still get a thrill from seeing them wandering round the garden.

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