07 Mar Deer & Rabbit Damage Control

Deer and rabbit damage control questions are some of the most frequently asked at our garden center.

“What plants are deer and rabbit resistant?”

“How do I know if deer or rabbits are eating my plants?”

“How do I stop deer and rabbits from eating my plants?”


Deer & Rabbit Resistant Plants 

Deer and rabbit damage control starts with plant choices. Animals tend to avoid certain plants, but love others. Trial and error could prove to be quite expensive. To increase your chances for a successful garden, plant what they don’t like. Plants such as astilbe, marigolds, primrose, snapdragons, daffodils and peonies as well as the aforementioned onions, garlic and certain herbs are safe bets. Others like arborvitae, tulips, hostas and yews are among the favorites on the menu. Sometimes the same plant will get eaten in one spot of your yard but not others. Often there is something in that area that is scaring them off. Is it noisy? Are there allium or another plant of the onion family close by?  Check out the Rutgers University list of Landscape Plants Rated for Deer Resistance.


Who is feasting?

Deer will eat just about anything. Rabbits tend to prefer plants with tender shoots – for example, bulb plants, new growth and impatiens among other. If your plants have neatly clipped stems, they’ve been munched on by rabbits. If your plants look torn and have rough, ragged edges, then deer are the culprits.


Deer & Rabbit Deterrents

Deer and rabbit damage control continues with deterrents. There are several commercial products available as well as many DIY suggestions from other gardeners. We stock Liquid Fence, Deer Scram and Repels All at our garden center.


DIY Tips

  • Planting onions and/or garlic around the perimeter of your garden tend to discourage rabbits and deer from turning your garden into a smorgasbord.
  • Mint, sage, oregano and thyme are usually not on their menu so mixing some of these herbs amongst your veggies may help. Mint spreads aggressively, so it’s best to plant in containers.
  • Fence the area around your garden. Deer and rabbits can jump so be sure your fence is tall enough.
  • Home made repellents. Want to make your own repellant? Several recipes can be found here.
  • Soap slivers. Don’t throw small pieces of bar soap away. When they get too small to use, thread a string through them and hang in the garden.
  • Motion activated sprinkler.
  • Air fresheners

Deer and rabbits will adapt to repellants, so change is often necessary. If you notice your method is no longer working try something different. There are lots of  other DIY ideas out there. Persistence is often the key.