Deer eat a wide range of plants and usually visit the garden between dusk and dawn. Sometimes the deer have a particular taste for flowers and will eat tulip blooms, but usually it is whole shoots that are lost. Tree trunks and branches may also be damaged from males rubbing their antlers against the bark.


Deer tend not to eat thorny, poisonous or plants that taste simply awful such as Rhus, Cotoneaster, Berberis, Juniperus, Digitalis and Solanum. They are agile creatures and though fencing is a good option for keep them out it must be at least 2m tall. Fencing the area with thorny plants, except roses as they eat these, is usually another solution. Deer are also deterred by dogs, hanging aluminium foil, mirrors and noise makers. Some other old-fashioned repellents may work, such as human hair, blood and bonemeal and mothballs. No repellent is 100% effective there are a lot of deer or they are very hungry.

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