A Few Kitchen Ingredients Will Keep Deer From Eating Your Hydrangeas

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A Few Kitchen Ingredients Will Keep Deer From Eating Your Hydrangeas

A Few Kitchen Ingredients Will Keep Deer From Eating Your Hydrangeas

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Deer can be a nice garden visitor, but they’re notorious when it comes to nibbling on plants like hydrangeas. Deer are known to go after the buds and leaves of hydrangea, especially on younger plants, so if you grow hydrangeas in your garden, you should also have some deterrents in place to steer any hungry deer away. While you can put up a fence, net, or wire cage to keep deer from getting near your hydrangeas, there are also some homemade solutions you can try involving common kitchen ingredients, such as garlic, onions, and eggs.

Homemade repellents are generally better than commercial products because they’re already at your disposal and you won’t have to make any new purchases, making them more cost-effective. They’re also easier to use since you only need to mix the right ingredients to create your product. Lastly, homemade repellents are natural, meaning they won’t release harmful chemicals into the environment.

Deer-repellent recipes

Person spraying hydrangeas

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To keep deer from eating your hydrangeas, you can mix a quick repellant spray using a few ingredients from your kitchen. One option is to combine garlic cloves, onions, and water, while another involves using whole eggs and water. To create this latter, strong-spelling spray, in a blender, mix 1 egg with a quarter-cup of water, creating a foam. Add the mixture to a half-gallon spray bottle and once the foam comes down, add more water to fill the bottle.

Another method is to combine 1 egg yolk, 1 tablespoon of baking powder or soda, and about 3 cups of water in a spray bottle. Mix well and then spray your hydrangeas once a week, or even every two weeks. This frequency should be potent enough to keep deer away as the Cervidae family member is highly sensitive to the smell of eggs and will be able to perceive the odor for days after application. The exception to this weekly or biweekly schedule is when it rains; when it does, you can spray your plants again right away.

One more homemade method for steering deer clear of your hydrangeas? Soap. Cut up a strongly-scented bar soap and then drop the pieces around your hydrangea plants. As with the kitchen ingredients of garlic, onion, egg, and baking powder/soda, the bar soap’s strong scent should be enough to repel deer naturally and encourage them to seek out their next meal elsewhere.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.