Deer Resistant Plants, Repellents and Fencing  
Deer Resistant Plant Guides 
Also See the Garden Helper
Plants rabbits and deer don't like to eat, Arizona Cooperative Extension in Yavapai County

California More California Information
Deer Resistant Plants for the Garden, University of California Cooperative Extension
Deer-Resistant Plants for the Sierra Foothills (Zone 71), Compiled by Cooperative Extension Nevada County (CA) Master Gardeners
A Gardener's Guide to Preventing Deer Damage [PDF], California Department of Fish and Game 
Master Gardener, U.C. Davis

Deer-Resistant Plants, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension

Connecticut More Connecticut Information
Deer Resistant Plants, Woodstock Conservation Commission: Woodstock, CT

Coping with Deer Damage in Florida,  University of Florida

Georgia More Georgia Information
Deer Tolerant Ornamental Plants  The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service 
Plants not favored by deer, University of Illinois, Extension

Sustainable Management of a Public Resource:The White-Tailed Deer in Indiana, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. Service
USDA Wildlife Conflicts Information

Deer Resistant Landscaping, Iowa City Website 

Deer Damage Control Options [pdf] A publication from Kansas State University

Deer Resistant Ornamental Plants, University of Maine Extension

Maryland More Maryland Information
Deer Feeding Habits, Maryland Cooperative Extension
Less Palatable Landscape Plants, Maryland Dept.

Deer Resistant Plants for the Landscape, Missouri Department of Conservation

A Partial List of Deer Resistant Plants, Montana State University Extension Service
Deer-resistant Ornamental Plants for Your Garden

New Jersey More New Jersey Information
Landscape Plants Rated by Deer Resistance, Rutgers Cooperative Extension 

New York More New York Information
Plant Recommendations for Deer-Infested Gardens, Cornell Cooperative Extension
Deer Proof, HGTV - Cornell University Extension

New Mexico
Coping with Deer in Suburban GardensCooperative Extension Service. College of Agriculture and. Home Economics. 

North Carolina
Deer Resistant Plants,  North Carolina State University

Ohio More Ohio Information
Best Deer Resistant Landscape Plants, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Managing Deer in the Garden Landscape:  Some deer control options and resources.  Information from Ohio State University Extension
Preventing and Controlling Deer Damage, from Ohio State
Gardening in Deer Country:  Currently there are approximately 900 perennials and bulbs, with some tender perennials, on study in our gardens in Athens OH (Zone 6a).
The Ohio Division of Wildlife's "Deer Damage Control" also describes a variety of repellent and fencing options.

Oklahoma  Ornamental and Garden Plants: Controlling Deer Damage [PDF]  OSU

Oregon More Oregon Information
Deer Resistant Ornamental Plants, Oregon State University Extension Service

Pennsylvania More Pennsylvania Information
Deer Resistant Plants, Penn State Cooperative Extension

Rhode Island , 
Reducing Deer Damanage to Your Garden and Yard, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management

South Carolina More South Carolina Information
Deer Resistant Plants for the Grand Strand
Clemson University Extension


Texas More Texas Information
Deer in the Urban Landscape, The Texas A&M University System 
Deer Resistant Plants for Texas, University of Texas at Austin

Deer Resistant Perennials, University of Vermont Extension System

Deer Resistant Plants,  Washington State University Extension

Detailed list of plants and some repellents

West Virginia
Resistance of Ornamentals to Deer Damage West Virginia University Extension 
Deer Control in Home Gardens West Virginia University Extension

Deer proof perennial ground cover;

Allegheny spurge (Pachysandra procumbens) and Japanese pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis)
Blue oat grass (Helictotrichon sempervirens)
Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans 'Atropurpurea') 
Catnip plants (Nepeta cataria) 
Creeping myrtle, or periwinkle vinca vines (Vinca minor) 
Creeping thyme plants, such as woolly thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus) 
Deadnettle (Lamium galeobdolon) 
Liriope or "lilyturf" (Liriope spicata) 
Northern sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium)
Sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum)

Deer resistant hedges:  anything with prickles, American Holly is very deer resistant, Chinese holly, English holly, inkberry and winterberry will sometimes have a little deer damage

Electrode design for deer repellent device January, 2013 KM Betzen - US Patent 20,130,008,390, 2013
An improved electrode design is provided for a baited, shock-producing, deer repellent device deployed in an area to be protected. This device has straight, parallel, positive and negative, un-insulated metal electrodes extending vertically from the top. The electrodes are spaced and sized so that they surround and protect the bait. This electrode design increases the chance that a deer will make effective contact with the electrodes while also allowing easy access to the bait for servicing. This electrode design also decreases the chances of the device collecting ice or snow, and it decreases the chance of discharge of the device by moisture or by contact between the electrodes.

Influence of landscape factors on density of suburban white-tailed deer March 27, 2013 RE Urbanek, CK Nielsen - Landscape and Urban Planning, 2013
...  We assessed the influence of landscape factors on density of suburban deer on 40 forest preserves in northeastern Illinois during 1999–2002 ... Patch density of agricultural land within preserve borders (ω = 0.95; β′ = 0.47), the mean nearest neighbor distance between all cover patches within preserve borders (ω = 0.95; β′ = 0.38), the diversity of patch types within preserve borders (ω = 0.66; β′ = −0.24), and the percent core area of forested land within preserve borders (ω = 0.52; β′ = 0.21) were the strongest predictors of suburban deer density. Natural resource managers should limit agricultural practices, reduce core areas of forest patches, and increase diversity of land cover patches within preserve borders to potentially reduce deer densities and limit deer population growth...

... This study tested whether or not damage to soybean from white-tailed deer could be reduced by field-edge plantings, while increasing the abundance of predatory ground beetles in the same soybean fields and subsequently reducing numbers of soybean aphid, Aphis glycines, on soybean plants... The two treatments in 2013 were: alfalfa + red clover + orchard grass and soybean (control). Deer grazing damage to soybeans was significantly lower in areas adjacent to a legume + orchard grass field edge planting....

Repellents and Fencing

Deer repellents, such as liquid scents, perfumes, and even human hair, may work well for a period of time, but deer may become accustomed to these scents over time. Change scents weekly to maintain these repellents’ effectiveness. Direct spraying of plants with capsaicin, the chemical that makes peppers “hot”, works well, but must be performed frequently, -- rain and dew will wash it away. Soak ground hot pepper in water overnight then spray on the plants.  

Bobbex Reports: As More Deer Move to Suburbia, Homeowners Seek More Effective Deterrents April 16, 2015 Connecticut, 
... the most effective deterrent to keep deer out of suburban areas is a scent-aversion repellent, according to Dr. Scott C. Williams of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. "Our research has proven that this kind of repellent works to protect plants from damage by deer and other animals." ... See test results here  
     Commercial also Liquid Fence has gotten some good endorsements. Deer Away and Ropel are said to be effective, but should be applied to new growth. Also, developed in Sweden and getting good reviews... simply using a surfactant with a deer repellent like Liquid Fence or Bobbex allows the repelling qualities to adhere to the plant thoroughly, giving better and longer control... Use a non-ionic spreader sticker, such as one produced by Hi-Yield.  Deer Off® Deer Repellent is a new scent-based deer repellent from Havahart®.

     Deer Repellent, home brew:  Five parts water, one part milk, for flower and vegetable gardens. Mix well, it is distasteful to 
Another:  Slice bars of Irish Spring soap and hang the slices on a four foot garden stake every 50 feet.  This has been successfully used for small farms (8 acres).deer, apply onto the plants, the mixture dries clear.
     Another home brew:  Mix 1 egg, 1 cup milk, 2 tablespoons cooking oil and 2 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid in a blender. Add a quart of water and store in a spray bottle.  Repeat after a heavy rain or once a week.
      Bar soap is often used as a deer repellent. Hang bars of soap in your trees or place them on stakes throughout your property. 

Hanging tin foil and mobiles is effective.  A book on deer fencing.  A website offering a variety of information:  DeerProofYourGarden.

Deer Deterrent

Predator Guard Electronic Deer Deterrent Protects Gardens from Nightly Destruction  January 15, 2014 SBWire 
... Deer are creatures of habit - once they identify a food source, they will keep coming back unless deterred... The Predator Guard protection system creates this disruption by artificially mimicking the eyes of another predator. The flashing, high-intensity red LED lights create a simple element of the unknown. This is all it takes to protect one’s gardens ...  charges via a solar panel during the day ...

An Egg-cellent Solution for Keeping Deer out of Gardens

... a. Exclosures were baited and monitored for two winters to determine how well they deterred ungulate crossings. Results indicate effective modifications can be made to existing fences for $500 - $1,350 per mile for materials. Different designs proved to 
have varying levels of effectiveness, with six-foot woven wire being 100 percent effective. These fences are a cost-effective way to fence out wildlife in many high-value areas where traditional game fences are not practical.

Deer Netting in the Garden - double click for full screen

HE Johnson, JW Fischer, M Hammond, PD Dorsey… - Wildlife Society Bulletin, 2014
... we investigated 3 temporary, non-lethal exclusion and repellent techniques for reducing deer and elk damage to sunflowers: 1) a polyrope electric fence, 2) the chemical repellent Plantskydd™, and 3) a winged fence... we found that polyrope electric fences reduced deer and elk damage and presence within plots, while the repellent and winged fences did not reduce ungulate activity. Polyrope electric fences may be a suitable tool in areas where wildlife management agencies want to maintain deer and elk populations but reduce seasonal damage by cervids to high-value crops

To protect my new gardening space from deer, chickens, ducks, and children I put in a swale and harvested willows to create a living fence that will fill in and grow tall enough to keep everything out. This is how I do it very quickly in free minutes with special tools or buying anything.

Garden Tour, electric deer fence July 16, 2013 Virginia, Gladwin County Record
... In Virginia we had many years of research with deer fencing protecting high dollar crops like pumpkins, collards, and peanuts... Our deer fence is electric and works on the principle that deer lack depth perception. There are two poly tape fences three feet apart. As a deer approaches the outer fence it stops to contemplate distance between fences before jumping. They either sense the electric or receive a shock and quickly change their mind about entering the garden...

Chicken wire fencing. Laid flat on the ground, the deer don't like the feel of it on their feet, so it helps keep them out of your garden. They can't see what or where it is ...

Deer will not jump over anything they can't see. Several strands of fishing line at a height of two to three feet around a small bed may keep a deer from jumping into the area. The line must be far enough from the plants that the deer can't reach over and eat what is within reach.

Building deer fence for gardens, plans from Cornel University's International Center for Wildlife Damage Management
A guide to deer fencing

Tom recommended the ScareCrow motion-activated sprinkler.  "It explodes to life when wildlife (or the neighborhood kids) pass in front of it," Chris writes. (Within 35 feet, according to the product description.)  Chris also recommends getting a rechargeable 9-volt battery and charger; he goes through a battery every week.  "My plants are coming back, the deer aren't harmed, my investment has been limited to about $80," he writes.

Simple deer fence:  Set strong stakes around your plants. Wrap clear fish line at  at the height of the deer knees and chest.   The deer will feel it, but can't see it, so  will be scared away.

Soap fence- Drill a hole in a bar of soap, tie a thin rope through it and attach a few along another rope.
Rotten egg fence-  Use a pin to poke a hole in the top of a raw egg. Place it upright inside a sock and clip a few to a rope.
Electric fence tape- no electricity needed. Get a few thin plastic posts and run white electric fence tape between them. Build another one parallel to it. Deer have poor depth perception so they won't try to go through it.   

Electric fence- can also be very effective, especially when two fences are installed, with one fence being five feet inside the other 

Deer Electric Fence

A deer fence still is the best remedy October 20, 2013 Oregon, Mail Tribune
... . To make it less expensive and troublesome for homeowners, would it be possible to collar the deer with a unit that responds to a hidden fence system?  ... [response] ODFW wildlife biologist Dan Ethridge. "You'd pretty much have to (collar) every deer in the neighborhood. Just the total cost of something like that is a lot more than anyone can comprehend. That's not likely to ever happen." ...

In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook explains how to deer-proof shrubs. Shopping List for How to Deer-proof Shrubs: - nylon mesh bag, filled with human hair, to frighten deer - human hair, gathered from local barbershop, placed in mesh bag - strong-smelling deodorant bar soap, used to scare off deer - rope, used to hang mesh bag and bar soap in shrubs - nylon-mesh netting, used to cover shrubs - motion-detector sprinkler head, used to spray water at approaching deer - deer-deterrent liquid chemical, odiferous and bitter-tasting liquid that's applied to foliage Tools for How to Deer-proof Shrubs: - garden sprayer, used to apply deer-deterrent chemical - drill and 1/2-inch spade bit, used to drill hole in bar soap

Cuttings from butterfly bush can be placed on top of plants like tomatoes.

A radio set to a talk station with a motion sensor has been used as an effective deer repellent since most wild animals are afraid of the human voice.

Protect young trees up to 3 inches in trunk diameter with a loose cage of boxwire fencing. A strip of aluminum foil about 18 inches wide wrapped around the trunk about 3 feet of the ground can prevent bucks from rubbing on a tree.

Deer Resistant roses

How to build deer-protective cages for young trees

Deer-resistant plants include certain marigolds, daffodils, peonies, yarrow, bleeding hearts, many hellebores, English lavender, weigela, Japanese painted ferns, and ornamental grasses.

Annuals: castor bean plant, floss flower, licorice plant, signet marigold.
Bulbs: Allium, allium giganteum, Blue flowers (Scilla siberica), Crocus, daffodils, Glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa), Grape Hyacinth, Fritilaria, Hyacinth, Lily-of-the-Valley, Netted Iris (Iris reticulata), Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis), summer snowflake
Perennials: yarrow, lady's mantle, hyssop, fringed bleeding heart, foxglove, longspur barrenwort. lupines.   The species tulip, or wild tulip.
Shrubs: groundsel, boxwoods, russian cypress, bush cinquefoil, weigela.
Grasses: Blue Fescue, Golden Hakone Grass, Lilyturf (Liriope spicata), Miscanthus sinensis Gracillimus , Purple fountain (Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum'),  zebra grass ( Miscanthus Sinensis 'Zebrinus)

Building inexpensive deer fencing - double click for full image

New Deer Repellent on the Market June 22, 2011 University of Minnesota, Duluth
Adapting a chemical used to deliver medicines through the skin, NRRI scientist Tom Levar has developed a way to protect plants from hungry deer and mice by delivering a natural hot pepper concentrate through the roots of young plants, making them inedible. Repellex tables can be purchased from various online stores.

Can Milorganite Repel Deer From Food Plots? May 20, 2012, Quality Deer Management, Odin Stephens
... Milorganite is a slow-release, organic fertilizer produced from human sewage ... we concluded that Milorganite is an effective temporary deer repellent for use in food plots. Though the repellent does not eliminate deer damage, and though its effectiveness dissipates with time ...The effectiveness of the repellent is highly dependent on weather — ... less effective in dry weather, while rain seems to enhance or reactivate the odor and the repellent effect...