How to keep deer from eating your flowers — Micheline’s student essay

How To Keep Deer From Eating Your Flowers

You may not know this, but we are at war with the cutest enemy possible. As a resident of the New Jersey Pinelands, I can confidently say I’ve witnessed my fair share of deer as they massacre my grandmother’s moonflowers. 

They are so brazen. They boldly munch on the prettiest flowers, leaving only the weeds to escape their prowess. Deer even have the audacity to watch you with that whatcha-going-to-do-about-it face as they slowly pulverize every colorful delight on your lawn.

You would think that my family knows how to properly repel these flower-eating thieves by now, but unfortunately we are still losing the war. My mother has given up any attempts to grow a garden. My father has tried everything: deer-spray, nets, an elevated garden, to no avail. He even agreed to adopt not one, but two dogs to scare the deer. 

They succeeded at first, but deer are smart. They learned to stay outside of the fence and only come at night, when we’re asleep. They taunt my dogs just as much as they taunt us. After 17 agonizing years of watching the deer ruin my yard, I have decided to finally take matters into my own hands. Grab your gardening tools and load up your deer-spray guns; today I’m going to tell you how to keep deer from eating our precious flowers for good.

Let’s start with discussing weaknesses of the enemy. Certain plants such as foxgloves and poppies are toxic to deer. In addition, deer don’t like flowers with strong scents. One way to keep the deer away is by riddling your flower beds with these toxic beauties-in-disguise and make your garden smells so awful to deer that they don’t dare venture closer. 

These plants include Lungwort, Coneflowers, and Lavender. Experts say that daffodils are in this category too, but the deer in my town haven’t gotten the message. This brings me to my next solution: how do you protect the plants you already have?

How can you protect that rose bush that perfectly matches your front door? There are a myriad of solutions. Most practically you slather it with deer-spray, just make sure you have a trusted brand. You can also try a physical barrier around your plant, such as fencing/netting.

 However, this is not a preferred method as my father accidentally caused a friendly garter snake to become a casualty; he got stuck in the netting. If you are desperate, creative solutions include placing human hair or bars of soap around your plants. The smell keeps deer at bay, and even though your neighbors may think it looks strange, some measures are necessary when fighting a war.

Overall, the best way to keep deer from eating your flowers is to be persistent. Deer are relentless, so you must be too. Spray, cover, and protect your plants everyday, and do not be afraid to use more than one method. Remember, a spray (or two, or maybe even three) a day, keeps the deer away.

Author: Micheline Denn

Student Scholarships

Every year Thrive Pest Control hosts an essay contest and the reward is a 1-year scholarship at a 4-year university in the United States. This blog post is one of those scholarships.