Deer Behavior

Do Deer Eat Geraniums? Tips to Keep Them Safe

Buck Venwood

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Do deer eat geraniums? Deer have a wide variety of plants they enjoy munching on, but geraniums usually aren’t one of them. These beautiful flowers produce a scent that deer find unappealing, making them less likely to be targeted by these graceful creatures.

Let’s explore why geraniums may be less appealing to deer than other plants.

Key Takeaways

  • Deer typically avoid eating geraniums due to their strong aroma, bitter taste, and, in some cases, toxicity.
  • Protecting geraniums from deer can be achieved through various strategies, including fencing, repellents, companion planting, and natural deterrents.
  • Planting deer-resistant companions like lavender, rosemary, and yarrow can create an unappealing environment for deer and safeguard your geraniums.
  • Properly installed fences and barriers, along with regular maintenance, are effective ways to physically deter deer from accessing your geraniums and other garden plants.

Do deer eat geraniums? How to keep deer away from geraniums.

Do deer eat geraniums - Geraniums Flowers in Pots

To protect your beloved geraniums from hungry deer, it’s important to implement effective strategies that deter these animals from feasting on your garden. By exploring various methods and following practical tips, you can keep your precious flowers safe and untouched.

Implementing Effective Strategies

  • Install a Fence: One of the most effective ways to keep deer away from your geraniums is by installing a sturdy fence around your garden. Make sure the fence is at least 8 feet tall, as deer are known for their impressive jumping abilities.
  • Use Deer Repellents: There are many commercially available deer repellents that can be sprayed directly onto your geranium plants. These repellents usually have a strong odor or taste that deters deer from approaching them.
  • Plant Deer-Resistant Plants: Another strategy is to surround your geraniums with plants that deer tend to avoid. Some examples include lavender, marigolds, and daffodils. This creates a natural barrier that discourages deer from getting too close.

Exploring Various Methods

  • Motion Sensor Sprinklers: Motion sensor sprinklers are a great way to startle and deter deer from entering your garden. When the sprinkler detects movement, it releases a burst of water, scaring away the intruders.
  • Noise-Making Devices: Hang wind chimes or use noise-making devices in your garden to create unexpected sounds that frighten off deer. The sudden noise will make them think twice before venturing near your geraniums.
  • Reflective Objects: Deer are often spooked by reflective objects such as CDs or aluminum foil strips. Hang these shiny items around your garden to create an unappealing environment for deer.

Practical Tips for Keeping Your Flowers Safe

  • Maintain Good Garden Hygiene: Remove fallen fruits, vegetables, and other debris regularly as they can attract deer. Keeping your garden clean and tidy reduces the chances of deer being lured in.
  • Time Your Watering: Deer are most active during dawn and dusk when it’s cooler. Avoid watering your geraniums during these times to reduce the likelihood of attracting hungry deer.
  • Consider Natural Deterrents: Some gardeners have found success with natural deterrents like human hair, soap bars, or predator urine. These scents can make deer think there is a potential threat nearby.

Remember, no method is foolproof, and what works for one person may not work for another. It may take some trial and error to find the best strategy that keeps deer away from your geraniums.

Natural Defenses of Geraniums

Geraniums possess certain characteristics that act as natural deterrents for deer:

  1. Strong aroma: The distinctive fragrance emitted by geranium leaves can help keep deer at bay. This scent is often too strong for their sensitive noses, discouraging them from feeding on the plants.
  2. Bitter taste: Geranium leaves have a slightly bitter taste, which makes them less palatable to deer. When these animals take a nibble and encounter this unpleasant flavor, they are more likely to move on in search of tastier treats.
  3. Toxicity levels: Some species of geranium contain toxins that are harmful or even poisonous to animals, including the deer population, if ingested in large quantities. While this isn’t an issue for humans who handle geraniums with care, it serves as another reason why deer might avoid consuming these plants.

Other Factors That Make Geraniums Less Appealing

Apart from their natural defenses, there are additional factors that contribute to the unpopularity of geraniums among deer:

  1. Texture: The texture of geranium leaves can be off-putting for grazing animals like deer. Their rough and hairy surfaces make it less enjoyable for these creatures to eat compared to smoother foliage found on other plants.
  2. Color: Geranium flowers come in vibrant hues, which may not be as attractive to deer as other plants with more muted or earthy tones. Deer are known to be drawn to plants with softer colors that blend in well with their natural surroundings.
  3. Availability of alternative food sources: Deer have a wide range of food options available to them in their natural habitats. If there are ample alternatives nearby, they are less likely to bother with geraniums.

Creating an unappealing yard for deer.

Making your yard less attractive to deer

If you want to protect your precious plants like geraniums from the hungry mouths of deer, it’s important to make your yard less appealing to these animals. By implementing some simple landscaping techniques, you can discourage deer from entering your property in search of food.

One effective method is to create a barrier around your yard using fencing or hedges. Deer are agile creatures, but a tall fence or dense hedge can make it difficult for them to access your yard and munch on anything they find. Consider adding prickly plants like thorny bushes or cacti near the perimeter of your yard. These unpleasant obstacles can deter deer from attempting to enter.

Discovering landscaping techniques that deter deer

In addition to physical barriers, there are other strategies you can employ to make your yard less inviting to hungry wildlife. One technique is planting flowers and shrubs that deer find unappetizing. While geraniums may be a favorite snack for these creatures, there are plenty of other options that they tend to avoid.

Some examples of plants that are typically unappealing to deer include:

  • Lavender
  • Daffodils
  • Marigolds
  • Rosemary
  • Yarrow

By incorporating these types of plants into your landscape design, you can create an environment that is less enticing for deer.

Implementing simple changes throughout the year

Deer are persistent creatures, so it’s important to maintain a consistent approach in deterring them from entering your yard. Throughout each season and year-round, there are steps you can take to keep these animals at bay.

During the spring and summer months when vegetation is lush and plentiful, it’s crucial to remove any fallen fruit from trees or berries from shrubs in your yard. This eliminates potential food sources that could attract hungry deer.

In the fall and winter, when food becomes scarce, it’s important to be mindful of your yard’s appeal. Avoid leaving out bird feeders or other sources of food that may attract deer. Consider using motion-activated lights or sprinkler systems that can startle and deter deer from venturing too close to your property.

Using repellents to deter deer.

Repellents Can Keep Deer Away

If you’re tired of deer munching on your beautiful geraniums, repellents can be a game-changer. These products play a crucial role in deterring hungry deer and protecting your plants from damage. By exploring different types of repellents available, you can find effective ways to keep these animals at bay.

Exploring Different Types of Repellents

There are various options. Let’s take a closer look at some common types and their effectiveness:

  1. Scent-based repellents: These products use strong odors that deer find unpleasant, such as rotten eggs or predator urine. The smell is designed to deter them from approaching your garden.
  2. Taste-based repellents: These repellents make the plants taste bad to deer, discouraging them from feeding on them. They often contain bitter or spicy substances that deer dislike.
  3. Visual deterrents: Some repellents use visual cues like reflective surfaces or scare tactics (such as fake predators) to startle and frighten deer away.
  4. Mesh or netting barriers: Physical barriers like mesh or netting can physically block access to your plants and prevent deer from reaching them altogether.

Proper Application for Maximum Efficiency

To maximize the efficiency of repellent products, it’s essential to apply them correctly:

  1. Read the instructions: Always read and follow the instructions provided with the specific product you choose. Each type of repellent may have its own application guidelines.
  2. Apply before damage occurs: It’s best to apply repellents before any signs of damage appear on your plants. This proactive approach helps prevent deer from developing a taste for your geraniums in the first place.
  3. Reapply as needed: Depending on weather conditions and product recommendations, you may need to reapply repellents periodically. This ensures a continuous deterrent effect.
  4. Consider multiple methods: Combining different types of repellents can provide added protection against deer. For example, using both scent-based and taste-based repellents may create a more effective barrier.

Pros and Cons of Using Repellents

Like any method, using repellents to deter deer has its pros and cons:


  • Provides an immediate solution to protect your plants from deer damage.
  • Can be cost-effective compared to other preventive measures like fencing or professional services.
  • Offers flexibility in terms of product selection and application methods.


  • Effectiveness may vary depending on the specific product, local deer population, and environmental factors.
  • Some products may need frequent reapplication for long-lasting results.
  • Repellents may have an odor or taste that is unpleasant for humans as well.

Remember, while repellents can be effective, they are just one tool in your arsenal against deer. It’s important to consider other preventive measures such as creating an unappealing yard for deer or using physical barriers if you live in an area with a high deer population.

Companion plants that are unattractive to deer.

To protect your cherished geranium beds from hungry deer, you can strategically plant certain companion plants that act as natural deterrents. These plants are unappealing to deer and can help safeguard your garden.

Natural Deterrents for Deer Protection

By incorporating specific companion plants alongside your geraniums, you can create a barrier that makes it less likely for deer to target your precious flowers. Here are some resistant plants that can help keep deer at bay:

  1. Lavender: Known for its fragrant blooms, lavender is a beautiful addition to any garden. However, its strong scent is unattractive to deer, making it an excellent choice as a companion plant for geraniums.
  2. Rosemary: This aromatic herb not only adds flavor to your culinary dishes but also acts as a natural repellent for deer. Planting rosemary near your geranium beds can deter these browsing wildlife.
  3. Sage: With its distinctive fragrance and textured leaves, sage is another plant that deer tend to avoid. By placing sage strategically around your geraniums, you can provide added protection against unwanted visitors.
  4. Yarrow: Yarrow is a hardy perennial with feathery foliage and clusters of colorful flowers. Its pungent aroma makes it less appealing to deer, making it an ideal choice for companion planting with geraniums.
  5. Catmint: As the name suggests, catmint is beloved by feline friends but disliked by deer. This low-maintenance plant produces beautiful purple flowers and has a strong scent that repels browsing wildlife.

Benefits of Companion Planting

Companion planting offers several advantages when it comes to protecting your garden from pests like deer:

  1. Natural Deterrence: By strategically placing resistant plants alongside your geraniums, you create an environment that is less attractive to deer. This can help prevent damage to your flowers and preserve the beauty of your garden.
  2. Biodiversity: Companion planting promotes biodiversity in your garden by attracting beneficial insects and pollinators. These insects can help control pests naturally, reducing the need for chemical interventions.
  3. Enhanced Growth: Some companion plants release compounds into the soil that can enhance the growth and health of neighboring plants. By choosing compatible companions for your geraniums, you can promote their overall well-being.
  4. Weed Suppression: Certain companion plants have dense foliage that helps suppress weed growth around your geranium beds. This not only keeps your garden looking tidy but also reduces competition for nutrients and water.
  5. Visual Appeal: In addition to their practical benefits, companion plants add visual interest to your garden. The combination of different textures, colors, and heights creates a visually appealing landscape that enhances the overall aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space.

By incorporating resistant plants as companions to your geraniums, you can create a more deer-resistant garden while enjoying the numerous benefits of companion planting.

Protecting geraniums with fences and barriers.

If you’ve been wondering how to keep those pesky deer away from your beloved geraniums, look no further! Fences and barriers can be your secret weapon in protecting your precious plants. Let’s explore some effective ways to safeguard your geraniums and keep those hungry deer at bay.

Types of Fencing Options and Protective Measures

There are various types of fences and barriers you can consider. Here are a few options to explore:

  1. Traditional Fencing: Installing a sturdy fence around your flower beds or garden area can create a physical barrier that deer find difficult to penetrate. Opt for a fence that is at least 8 feet tall, as deer are skilled jumpers.
  2. Electric Fencing: Electric fences emit a mild shock when touched, deterring deer from approaching your geraniums. Be sure to follow safety guidelines and check local regulations before installing electric fencing.
  3. Netting or Mesh: Using netting or mesh around individual plants or flower beds can provide protection against deer browsing. Ensure the mesh has small enough gaps to prevent deer from reaching the geraniums.
  4. Scare Devices: Consider using scare devices such as motion-activated sprinklers or noise-making devices like wind chimes to startle and deter deer from entering your garden area.

Proper Installation and Maintenance

Once you’ve chosen the right type of fencing or barrier for your geraniums, it’s essential to install and maintain them properly for long-lasting protection. Follow these steps:

  1. Proper Placement: Position the fence or barrier around the perimeter of your geraniums, ensuring there are no gaps where deer could squeeze through.
  2. Secure Anchoring: Make sure the fence is securely anchored into the ground so that it cannot be easily knocked down or pushed aside by deer.
  3. Regular Inspections: Regularly inspect the fencing or barriers for any damage or signs of wear and tear. Repair or replace any damaged sections promptly to maintain their effectiveness.
  4. Height Adjustments: If using a fence, periodically check for any areas where deer may have attempted to jump over. Adjust the height if necessary to prevent them from accessing your geraniums.

Additional Tips and Considerations

Here are a few extra tips to enhance the effectiveness of your protective measures:

  • Companion Planting: Surround your geraniums with plants that deer find unappealing, such as spirea, sage, or rozanne. This can further discourage deer from venturing into your garden area.
  • Human Presence and Scents: Regular human activity in the vicinity of your geraniums can make deer wary and less likely to approach. You can also try using scented deterrents like predator urine or soap shavings around the perimeter of your garden.

Remember, different methods may work better in different situations, so it’s essential to assess your specific landscape and choose the most suitable options accordingly. By implementing these protective measures, you can enjoy beautiful geraniums without worrying about them becoming a tasty snack for hungry deer!


Can I use homemade repellents to keep deer away?

Yes, homemade repellents can be effective in deterring deer from your garden. Some popular DIY options include garlic spray, hot pepper spray, or even hanging bars of soap around the perimeter of your garden. However, it’s important to note that the effectiveness of homemade repellents may vary depending on factors such as local deer populations and individual preferences.

Are there any specific companion plants that work well with geraniums?

Yes, several companion plants are known to be unattractive to deer and can help protect your geraniums. Some examples include lavender, marigolds, catnip, yarrow, and daffodils. Planting these alongside your geraniums can create a less appealing environment for grazing deer.

How high should my deer fence be?

To effectively deter deer, your fence should ideally be at least 8 feet tall. This height is generally sufficient to prevent most deer from jumping over. However, if you have a particularly persistent population of deer in your area, consider adding additional deterrents such as electric fencing or angled extensions on top of the fence.

Can I use commercial deer repellents alongside other deterrent methods?

Absolutely! Using commercial deer repellents in combination with other deterrent methods can increase their effectiveness. Repellents create an unpleasant scent or taste that discourages deer from approaching your plants. By using them alongside physical barriers and companion planting, you create multiple layers of protection for your geraniums.

How often should I reapply repellents to keep the deer away?

The frequency of reapplying repellents depends on various factors such as weather conditions and the specific product used. Generally, it’s recommended to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for optimal results. Some repellents may need to be reapplied after rainfall or every few weeks, while others may provide longer-lasting protection. Regularly inspect your plants and monitor deer activity to determine when reapplication is necessary.

Are there any natural alternatives to fencing for protecting my geraniums?

Yes, there are natural alternatives to fencing that can help protect your geraniums from deer. One option is using netting or mesh covers specifically designed to keep out wildlife while allowing sunlight and airflow through. Another alternative is planting thorny shrubs or installing prickly branches around your garden perimeter as a physical barrier that deters deer from entering.


Buck Venwood

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