Best Ways to Create Deer Resistant Landscape Design Plans for Gardens

Last Updated on May 8, 2022 by Gary Stephen

We often pay to watch their natural habitats and sanctuaries because deer are beautiful creatures. Catching a glimpse of them around our house becomes an exhilarating affair. However, having them around our premises may spell doom over your decorated gardens. No matter how subtle-looking these creatures may be, they can wreak havoc in your yard. They have an appetite and an attraction for show plants. Essential fencing cannot curb their feasting on your flowerbeds. They can cross high boundaries in a single leap. This may result in ruining your garden’s appearance and cause damage to its landscape. Having a Deer Resistant Landscape Design Plans for Gardens needs immense patience, time, effort, and a large sum of money. The very thought of its destruction can be horrifying and heartbreaking.

Ways to create deer-resistant landscape design plans for gardens

The fear of destruction caused by deer might develop a disdain for the animal. You may also wish that the locality would ban them. It would help if you kept in mind the importance of deer protection. After all, they are harmless and hungry creatures who break into gardens only searching for food. The threat posed to your property by them is profound. You cannot always keep an eye for deer walking into your garden. Even if you do, tackling them alone is impossible and may cause serious injury to you and the animal(s). Do not worry, as several benign methods keep deer away from your garden.

In this article, we have compiled a variety of harmless deer-proofing measures. Guard your months of hard work from the damage of hungry deer by making a few changes or additions to your garden. Read on to find out more about efficient deer-proofing and creating deer-proof gardens.

Below is a list of novel methods to turn your garden into a deer-resistant landscape.

Deer repellents | Ways to create deer-resistant landscape design plans for gardens

Deer Out deer repellentThe use of pungent repellents will keep deer away from your property. Their sense of smell is around 10000 times stronger than that of average human beings. The repellents make use of this aspect to create formulae that keep pests like deer at bay. There are many such deer-proofing chemicals available on the market. My personal favorite is the Deer Out deer repellent. A generous amount of these in and around your garden is enough to generate a stench that repels deer. It will drive out animals from your yard without causing any harm to them. Some of these inexpensive deterrents may be unpleasant to your senses too. Other varieties are not vile to the human nose, which often turns out to be much more effective.

deer b goneThese deer repellents such as liquid fence and I must garden contain natural ingredients. These ingredients are putrescent egg solids, fish oils, and garlic extracts. The lesser pungent alternatives like Deer Out and deer b gone. They use peppermint oil, clove oil, rosemary extracts, thyme, and cinnamon oil. You can buy these repellents in the form of powder, granules, and sprays. You will then need to apply a definite quantity of these to the target areas. It will have the desired effect that can last up to 2-3 months and help you create deer-proof gardens.

Water sprinklers | Ways to create deer-resistant landscape design plans for gardens

HoontDeer are nervous creatures and are sensitive even to the slightest movements. The installation of motion-sensing water sprinklers will drive away plant-eating animals. It involves the automated sprinkling of water from where it tracks any movement. This method will not only fend off pests but also water your yard. To carry out this method, you need two things. A long anti-leakage water pipe and an advanced motion-activated water sprayer attachment. Hoont and Abco Tech are some of the good quality motion sensor sprinklers out there. There are many other similar products available at the market at a wide price range. You can select equipment according to your budget and your garden’s size. My personal favorite is the Orbit 62100.

Water Sprinkler For Deer-Proof Gardens | Ways to create deer-resistant landscape design plans for gardensThe installation procedure of motor sensing water sprinklers:

  • Select a target area for fixing the sprinklers. Determine the distance covered by the water sprinkler and the size of the garden.
  • Find out the number of sprinklers required depending upon the surface area.
  • You then have to attach the sprinklers to a sturdy base.
  • Angle them according to the size of animals frequenting your garden.

Deer-proof fences | Ways to create deer-resistant landscape design plans for gardens

Water sprinklers and deer repellents may turn out to be not very effective to keep away a starving deer. In such cases, you will need a durable solution to your problem. You can only achieve this by enclosing your garden within a permanent structure. There are some other ways to create deer-resistant landscape design plans for gardens. For example, the most common type of fence material used for creating deer-proof gardens is wire netting. A thick wire mesh is held together by wooden or metallic railings. Walling up your garden with wire or vinyl screening is not enough. You must keep a few things in mind before implementing these expensive options. Be aware of the behavioral pattern of deer frequenting your locality. Some of the animals are high jumpers. Others sneak around and push their snouts through the nets. According to this information, you can choose from two different kinds of fences:

  • To keep away deer that can jump high, installing a fence of 8 to 10 feet will be enough. Make sure that you slant the fence so that it becomes even more difficult for them to cross a greater surface area.
  • In case the deer have a tendency to barrelling through the wires, opt for the electric fencing system. These structures are harmless as they only use a non-lethal amount of electricity. So if a deer tries to meddle with the fence, it will receive a shock of around 2 to 3 watts. This will befuddle them and they will stay away from the fence, thereby paving the way to deer-proof gardens.

Remove the delectable items from the yard

Most of us dislike using repellents because of their stench. Deer-proof fences are also not a preferable solution because they look odd. There is a smarter and easier alternative to these methods. All you have to do is find out which of the plants in your garden gets munched on by the animal most of the time. Then you can move them to more secure areas like inside your house or the terrace. We have prepared a list of a few shrubs that attract deer into your garden. Keeping them away will help you create deer-proof gardens:

  • Tulips 
  • Knockout roses
  • Indian hawthorn
  • Blueberry
  • Tulips 
  • Knockout roses
  • Indian hawthorn
  • Blueberry
  • Daylilies
  • Violas
  • Chrysanthemums
  • English ivy
  • Azaleas
  • Pansies
  • Euonymus
  • Hostas
  • Aucuba (Japanese)
  • Pittosporum (Japanese)
  • Yew (Japanese)
  • Japanese Arborvitae

These are a few of the show plants that often get ravaged by deer. Apart from this, they prefer all fruits and vegetables. So it will be better on your part to rid your garden of them as well. This method is free of cost and very effective at making your garden deer-free.

Home Remedies | Ways to create deer-resistant landscape design plans for gardens

In some areas, the local wildlife may sneak around your garden once in a blue moon. There is no need to waste large sums of money on expensive deer-proofing methods. There are some tried and tested home remedies to keep deer from eating away from your garden. You may use these tips and tricks to enhance their effects. Basic home remedies are best suited for areas that are not very prone to deer infiltration. Given below is a list of homemade deer repellents. These also include other remedies with their respective instructions and utility.

1. Chilli powder

This is one of the most effective methods to prevent your plants from getting eaten by the local wildlife. Sprinkle a considerable amount of chili powder over the plants. This will overpower the plant’s smell and deter it from reaching the deer.

Chili Powder for Deer-Proof Gardens | Ways to create deer-resistant landscape design plans for gardens2. Deodorized soap bars.

The smell of deodorized soap bars like Irish spring soap is useful in restricting animals like deer from sneaking around your plants. This is because they find the smell of perfumed soap offensive. Cut the soap bar into pieces and disperse them around your yard for the best results.

3. Talcum powder.

This has the same impact as cakes of soap. The only difference is that the effect of talcum powder is less overpowering. Thus, the perfume is quick to vanish.

4. Hair.

Skittish animals like deer fear human beings. They stay away from places where they can detect the human scent. Sprinkle some strands of hair or hair clippings around your yard. The smell of human hair will scare away several pests, including deer.

5. Train your dog to bar pests.

This is one of the best methods of keeping pests away from your garden. If you own a pet dog, then train it to guard your garden. Dogs are adept at chasing away animals, and a single bark is enough to drive away nervous animals like deer.

Trained Dog for Deer-Proof Gardens - Ways to create deer-resistant landscape design plans for gardens6. Noise and flashlights.

The deer are very sensitive to noise and light, and you could use the same to drive them off your garden. Tying wind chimes at the entrance and target places may seal the deal. You could even hang old CDs, metal spoons, and forks to make clanking sounds. The noise and light produced by these will scare away the skittish animal.

7. Egg and water

This is a homemade variant of the commercial deer repellents. You can make it by mixing egg and water in a ratio of 2:8. Transfer the concoction into a spray bottle and use it on a regular basis for the best effects.

Deer resistant plants | Ways to create deer-resistant landscape design plans for gardens

A large part of the deer population has habituated the urban residential areas. This is due to the loss of their natural habitat.

The maintenance of deer-proof gardens in such areas is a challenging task. Some ways to create deer-resistant landscape design plans for gardens include the use of repellents, high-rise vinyl or wire fences, and basic home remedies may be useful. But we are always open to cheaper ideas. Hence, the basic maintenance of ornamental gardens costs a fortune.

The white-tailed deer do not prefer Landscape shrubs, but they will eat them if starving. If the damage is cosmetic, then the plant will revive. If the plant is all chewed up and uprooted, then it is a loss of all your efforts and money. Applying foul-smelling repellents and enclosing gardens with nets are repulsive and lackluster. You can avoid these unpleasant deer deterrents. Instead, take up the smarter alternative of planting plants disliked by deer.

In the next section, we are going to provide you with a detailed assessment of plants that deer aren’t attracted to. You can choose from the vast collection of deer-resistant plants. Thus, you can design your garden according to your preferences. So read on to determine the best plants for your yard.

1.River birch

Like all other birch trees, the river birch has an innate charm and beauty that makes it stand out in a garden. It has a distinctive peeling bark of several shades of pink tan and red. Thus, it enhances its attractiveness. This also resists the nibbling of deer and the other damages caused by it. Birch trees’ wood is also known for its fragrance and the perfume and cosmetic industry uses them. It is the existence of scented wood that causes repugnance in deer. Hence, they avoid the river birch tree at all costs. Having this tree in our garden will fill your yard with its sweet aroma. It will also serve the purpose of repelling deer.

2. Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley is a ground cover plant that yields fragrant white bell-shaped flowers in spring. The reason deer steer clear from this plant is because it is poisonous. It also produces bright colored red berries, which are also poisonous. It causes extreme discomfort even if ingested in small amounts. Animals can detect their presence by their sense of smell, and no deer will try to eat this. This plant grows in the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. The scented flowers are also used for perfume making. It is a wonderful choice for ornamental purposes.

3. Juniper

It is a cone-bearing shrub that is suitable for garden landscaping. Also, it is a good option for filler plants. The shrub gives out a strong odor that deer finds offensive because of the animal’s sensitive sense of smell. It is a slow-growing, low maintenance plant that only requires occasional pruning. Planting it around your garden like hedgerows will prevent deer from entering your property. It is high enough to screen the garden from a deer’s eye-level. The bitter taste of its bark and the thorny stems will ensure that juniper is the last meal resort to a hungry deer.

Juniper | Ways to create deer-resistant landscape design plans for gardens4. Arrow-wood Viburnum 

This deer-resistant shrub is a good supplier of nectar for birds, butterflies, and bees. It is not only the least preferred food for deer but is also suitable for being grown as a hedge plant. Since it has dense foliage and can grow up to 15 feet, it can screen your garden from the local wildlife. The shrub produces white blooms in spring, followed by the yield of toxic bluish berries. Deer dislike munching on this particular shrub because of its scaly bark. The arrow-wood viburnum is seldom damaged by deer.

5. Andromeda

Andromeda is a flower-bearing evergreen shrub with dense and glossy leafage. It emits a strong aroma, especially during its bloom time in spring. As strong-smelling plants repulse deer, they avoid eating the Andromeda. This plant also has a high ornamental significance. Not because of its showy spring blossoms, but also its colorful foliage. The leaves change color from dark green to purplish-pink or dark orange. This remarkable feature makes it a wonderful show plant for the decorated garden. It is easy to maintain shrub that requires occasional pruning to maintain its shape.

Andromeda | Ways to create deer-resistant landscape design plans for gardens6. Bluebeard

Also known as the blue mist, the Bluebeard shrub is a small perennial plant. It produces purplish-blue flowers at the end of summer and stays until the onset of autumn. The Bluebeard shrub has a distinctive heavy scent that drives away deer. Though deer detests the plant’s odor, it attracts pollinators like butterflies and bees. It grows well in full to partial sunny spots. Thus, you need to prune it in spring to make space for the forthcoming blossoms. You can depend on the Bluebeard shrub to ward off deer and also improve the appearance of your garden.  

7. Butterfly Bush

The Buddleia Davidii variety of this plant has striking ornamental qualities. It will stand out in your garden with its conspicuous clusters of bright pink flowers. It has a very strong honey-like fragrance that deer recoil from. The fragrance intensifies during midday and lingers on for a long time. This wonderful plant comes with thick panicles of scented blossoms. It attracts butterflies and other pollinators. These are winter hardy plants and need proper trimming in summer. Pruning the plant every summer ensures the cutting off of dead and decayed parts. You can maintain and grow this deer-resistant plant without much effort.

8. Rosa Rugosa

Rosa Rugosa is one such variety of rose that is capable of repelling deer. They are available in a wide range of vibrant colors, from white, orange, pink, and different shades of red. Deer dislike this rose shrub because of its overwhelming scent and thorny exterior. Like other plants, the Rugosa rose is the last option that a hungry deer would resort to. This plant is native to Asian regions and needs full to partial sun to grow. It is a summer-blooming plant that needs regular pruning. Hence, at least once before the blooming season arrives.

Rosa Rugosa - Deer-Proof Gardens | Ways to create deer-resistant landscape design plans for gardens9. Garden Verbena

Verbena Bonariensis are annual plants that produce flowers in spring until winter. Deer don’t like them because of their fragrant flowers. Apart from its deer-resistant properties, the verbenas are also suitable show-plants for gardens. It has tall eye-catchy stems with gaudy clusters of purplish blossoms. These sweet-smelling blossoms attract butterflies and hummingbirds. They will make your garden a thriving zone for pollinators. It is also a good companion shrub for other ornamental and tall show-plants. Beautify your garden with its vivid colors and protect your garden from the invasion of deer.

10. Signet Marigold

Marigolds are sun-loving plants that that are high in both ornamental as well as curative properties. Signet marigolds are allopathic. They generate chemicals that are toxic to parasitic bodies. Deer do not eat these plants because of its bitter taste and a strong medicinal smell that they recoil from. Having this plant will enhance the appearance of your garden. Another beneficial quality of this plant is that the strong scent emitted by it not only wards of deer. But, also to other harmful insects. A bunch of signet marigold shrubs can also protect the other garden plants from pests.

11. Snapdragon

This annual plant with panicles of unique two petaled flowers is a smart choice. Its sweet aroma wards off grazing animals like deer that have a sensitive sense of smell. The plant and flowers’ bitter taste also aids in driving hungry deer away when they try to munch on them. It is a fast-growing plant that produces a considerable amount of foliage. The plant’s density is enough to screen your garden from deer in search of pastures. The snapdragon plant also has a colorful range to choose from. Thereby, decorate your garden.

12. ‘Carol Mackie’ Daphne

You will find this Carol Mackie Daphne in deciduous, semi-evergreen and evergreen varieties. The thick clusters of light-colored flowers from this bush have an intense scent. The flowers strong smell combined with its poisonous berries is repugnant to deer. You have to be very careful with the maintenance of this plant. Keep the toxic fruits away from pets and children. As its ingestion may cause serious ill-health. This glamorous plant requires regular pruning and well-drained soil for better growth. It is one of those plants that is challenging to grow but has immense benefits when it comes to resisting deer.

Ways to create deer-resistant landscape design plans for gardens

13. Rainbow Fizz Spirea

These are a variety of winter-hardy plants that are native to the regions of japan. This shrub bursts into bright-colored clusters of seasonal blossoms. Plenty of these eye-catchy flowers gives rise to an overwhelming fragrance. It can put off deer with insatiable appetites due to the strong scent of the Rainbow Fizz Spirea. They tend to go away without sneaking around your garden in search of food. Since it is a fast-growing plant, it needs pruning on a regular basis to restrict its wild spread. Its colorful foliage coupled with vibrant flowers will enhance the ornamental factor of your garden.

14. English Boxwood

Are you in search of deer repelling evergreen trees for garden landscaping? Then the English Boxwood, with its versatile features, is an excellent option for you. This sturdy hardwood tree grows well in cold regions. They also grow from the spots that receive full to partial sunlight. The English Boxwood produces alkaline chemicals. These chemicals come with neutral to acidic properties that are repulsive to deer. It is a low maintenance plant with dense foliage of lush green leaves. It makes the tree attractive and suitable as hedgerows. You can trim the tree to any shape of your choice. This feature heightens its ornamental significance to a whole new level.

15. Bella Bellissima Potentilla

If your garden gets ample sunlight, then the best deer repelling shrub for you would be Bella Bellissima Potentilla. This sun-loving shrub yields a good amount of vibrant flowers. Thus, they darken when time passes. It is a winter-hardy shrub that can thrive in the harshest of climates. The plant is a summer bloomer where butterflies swarm throughout the blossoming period. The strong smell of these flowers is rather repulsive to the whitetail deer. This shrub is easy to maintain with its deer-resistant properties. It will help to lower the infiltration rate of your garden.

16. Northern Bayberry 

The northern bayberry shrub is not only pleasing to the eye but is also very fragrant. This does not hold for deer and its other furry counterparts. They steer clear out of the plant’s sight due to its overwhelming smell and bitter taste. The berries produced by this plant are a little toxic, and so all animals stay away from it. Its voluminous growth serves as a good option for landscaping. Apart from this, the plant is of a hardy variety that can withstand all harsh weather conditions. This ensures the fact that the semi-evergreen northern bayberry will ward off pests throughout the year.

Northern Bayberry | Ways to create deer-resistant landscape design plans for gardens17. French Lavender

French lavender is a flowering plant that also serves the purpose of repelling deer. It’s the plant that suits places with moderate climatic conditions and dry weather. Its sweet-smelling flowers elevate the ornamental quality of any garden. This fragrance, which is rather pleasing to our senses, is repulsive to deer. The plants thrive well in regions having a mild climate. Growing them only needs the least well-drained soil and too much sunlight. Their blooms will dominate your lawn with their bright colors. Thus, will remain on the plant from early spring to the onset of autumn.

18. Heather

Heather is one of the sturdier varieties of evergreen deer repelling shrubs. You will find it growing in the wilderness across vast stretches of the United States and Europe. These low growing plants will brighten up your garden with its bursts of pink and white blooms. Its aroma will keep deer at bay and will please your senses at the same time. These flowers darken with time but will stay bloomed throughout the year. This not only ensures all year round deer resistance. It also increases the plant’s evergreen beauty. Heather grows in warmer locations. So make sure that it receives ample sunlight and moisture.

19. Russian Sage

Russian Sage serves as an excellent option for garden landscaping. Its vibrant lavender colored blooms cover the entire shrub during the blooming seasons. This sturdy shrub can ward off plant-eating pests like deer by the power of its strong fragrance. Its unique shape and color make it a brilliant choice for hedgerows. There is no specific duration or season for its plantation and you can plant it at any time of the year. This sturdy plant grows well in all sunlight conditions. Hence, it can thrive even in arid as well as unfertilized soil. All these features make the Russian sage a beautiful and sturdy deer deterrent plant.

20. Vernal Witch Hazel

The Vernal Witch Hazel belongs to the deciduous variety of deer repelling shrubs. Its huge size and fragrant winter blooms will not only screen off your garden from stray deer but also ward them off. This shrub is best suited for tropical regions, and you need to plant them in the shade. It is a beautiful and attractive shrub that can grow up to 20 feet high. You need to prune it also on a regular basis to keep it well-aligned with your personal preferences. It is a versatile shrub that can be also used as filler plants. The Vernal Witch Hazel can also be the major highlight of your garden.

Wrapping Up | Ways to create deer-resistant landscape design plans for gardens

Ornamental gardens are for pleasing our senses. Losing them to the ravages inflicted by deer can be frustrating. Our article offers an insight into the various ways of keeping deer away from your gardens. The fail-proof methods, techniques, and tips will help you keep your garden lush green and healthy. Our guide to building deer-proof gardens will help you achieve your dream yard. You can go through all the sections of this article and decide which deer-proofing method is best suited for your garden. We hope this article helps you to protect your gardens from deer, so that it remains charming and verdant for many years to come.


Gary Stephen
Gary Stephen

Hi, I am Gary Stephen. I have been gardening for a long time. Gardening gives us much benefits and pleasure. Many of us desire to have a garden, but it cannot fulfill the desire for the proper guide or instruction of gardening. So, I am eager to help them. For this purpose, I have developed the website to make a garden with the proper guide. So, you will get me beside you if you want to know anything about gardening.