Do Deer Eat Hydrangeas? (And 6 Ways To Keep Them Away)

If you are a gardening enthusiast, you probably already know that Hydrangeas are a type of genus or blanket name for more than 70 species of blooms. Widely found in parts of Asia and America, these plants usually grow as moderately large shrubs and tall trees.

Upon detailed research, you will discover that most hydrangeas, however, grow as shrubs, though you will also find some trees and a couple of lianas. These plants primarily grow during the spring and autumn months and are adored for their ornamental appeal. Hydrangeas also feature bright and beautiful blooms during the summer months.

With that said, how exactly is the relationship between hydrangea and deer? Do these pesky animals like the blooms, or would they consider giving it a pass? Unfortunately, for most of us, deer indeed munch on hydrangeas. So, if you have these plants at home, they are most likely under the threat of deer.

Luckily, all is not that bad, because you can always follow some simple guidelines to ward off deer from your prized flowers. In case you’re wondering how to get started here’s everything you need to know.

Do Deer Eat Hydrangeas?

Depending on the variant, there’s a high possibility of deer feasting on your hydrangeas. Almost all common hydrangea bushes have been preyed on by deer, mostly out of preference. That is why it is crucial to protect your flowers by implementing the right deer-removal strategies.

Do Deer Like Hydrangeas?

As you probably know at this point, yes deer love hydrangeas. It is the beautiful foliage of these plants that attracts them the most. So, if you live in an area that is often frequented by deer, your flowers might be at the risk of getting damaged by deer.

In almost all cases, deer will come hunting for food before finally spotting the beautiful leaves of your plant. They will then immediately try to pull the plants off and feast on them. This naturally affects the new plants that are only a couple of weeks or months old. Others, especially the older ones, manage to survive through the damage.

So, if you have a bunch of new hydrangeas at home, it’s high time you considered protecting them from deer. While we will discuss detailed guidelines in the later sections of this article, you should immediately consider fencing your property or installing deer-resistant wires if you haven’t already. 

See also  Do Deer Eat Hostas? (And How To Keep Them Away?)

Will Hydrangeas Grow Back if Eaten by Deer?

Yes! Luckily, hydrangeas are known to be resilient and they will therefore bloom right back even if deer end up munching on them. This is also because most deer only eat the upper parts of your beloved blooms. Here, the rule of thumb would be to check the condition of the flower buds right after the deer damage.

In case you didn’t know, the buds of hydrangea often act as a major backup, when the deer feasts on its foliage. If you find the buds intact or with less damage after the deer attack, you can expect the shrubs to flower once again.

We would like to reinstate that deer damage on new hydrangeas is significantly higher than the older ones. The easiest way to address this issue is by protecting your new hydrangeas by investing in the right equipment. One such piece of equipment would be a sturdy fence that would serve as the primary and also the biggest deterrent for deer.

How to Keep Deer From Eating Hydrangeas?

If you want to keep deer from eating your beloved bunch of hydrangeas, follow the next few guidelines for best results.

1. Homemade Mixes

Just go to your kitchen and make this simple, non-toxic solution that will keep deer away without hurting them. What’s more, being completely free from chemicals, this mix won’t bother your plants either.

Having said that, even though the mix won’t hurt deer, they won’t return to your hydrangea bush, repelled by the smell. So, how do you make the mix? It’s simple! Just add an egg yolk to 750 ml to one liter of water. Top it off with a tablespoon of baking powder/soda and give the entire concoction a steady mix.

Once you’re ready, transfer it to a sprayer and spray it near your bushes every one or two weeks. You should especially follow this ritual after rainy days to ensure that the impact of the mix remains unaffected. The method works reasonably well in hot and humid areas. And in case you’re wondering, No, as humans we won’t get the ghastly smell of the egg yolk, but the deer will.

2. Use Soap

Even though humans love unwinding with a freshly scented bath, deer aren’t as comfortable with the idea. Since they absolutely hate strong fragrances, soap is one agent that they are completely repelled by.

See also  What is Organic Gardening and How to Start an Organic Garden

So, what’s the catch here? Well, it’s simple. Just get a couple of soaps, cut them into small cubes, and place them near your favorite hydrangea bushes. The trick will work like a charm in keeping deer off your property!

3. Plant Deer Repellant Plants

If you have a garden full of lilies, tulips, hostas, and hydrangeas, you’re probably hanging up a welcome board for the deer. So, should you stop planting these beautiful flowers? Of course not. All you need to do is plant them along with a couple of deer repellant plants.

Most deer repellant plants come with a heady scent, and thanks to this scent, they give deer the idea that they aren’t welcome in your garden. Some good options would be:

  • Boxwoods
  • Lavenders
  • Foxgloves
  • Ferns
  • Poppies

4. Invest in an Electric Fence

In case you have several hydrangea bushes, getting electric fences would be an excellent idea. Just wrap the fence near the bushes and enjoy your beautiful flowers without having to lose your mind thinking about deer.

5. Use Nets

This idea is just as old as time, but it never fails. Several gardening enthusiasts have been successful after using these nets. And almost all varieties of these nets are widely available in both physical and online stores.

The nets happen to be extremely lightweight and are next to invisible. You just need to drape it right on your bushes and get it anchored to the ground with solid wooden posts.

The only downside to this method is that when the plant will grow, it will end up transcending the net, ultimately requiring you to be extra careful when trying to remove leaves and flowers. However, that is nothing compared to the peace of mind you have knowing that your hydrangeas are safe and unharmed.

6. Get Your Radios Out

This might seem weird, but it is certainly a tried-and-tested way to keep deer off your garden. Just get any radio (preferably solar-powered variants) and keep them right in the middle of your garden. You may or may not change the station from time to time. 

The radio and its sound will startle the deer, and they will be up and out of your property sooner than you imagined! 

Do Deer Eat Hydrangea Bushes?

If you’re wondering whether deer eat hydrangea bushes, you are not alone. Many ask the same question in an attempt to figure out if hydrangeas are indeed deer resistant. The answer here would be No. That is because you cannot classify any plant as deer resistant as deer tend to gobble down everything when they are hungry enough.

See also  How To Grow Moss Indoors? (Step-by-Step Guide)

Having said that, it is true that deer prefer a couple of plants slightly more than others and hydrangeas belong to that category. According to several gardening enthusiasts, hydrangeas are often fully or partially decimated by deer. So, if you have hydrangea bushes, it’s high time you considered protecting them from prying deer.

Do Deer Eat Oakleaf Hydrangea?

Reaching up to a height of several feet, Oakleaf hydrangeas are beautiful and a true charm for your garden. Thanks to their massive height, deer cannot reach them right up. What’s more, they do not find this variant of hydrangeas tempting either.

Oakleaf hydrangeas bloom with stunning white or pinkish flowers, and despite the lack of any distinctive smell, deer do not prey on it. If you are planning to get this variant at home, consider using dwarf variants in the beginning. Once you are comfortable enough, you can then switch to full-grown variants.

Do Deer Eat Limelight Hydrangeas?

Limelights are low-maintenance and a highly tolerant variant of hydrangeas that bloom in pretty yellowish clusters. But do deer prefer them? The answer is still not clear because although some people claim to have never faced a deer attack with limelight hydrangeas, others have faced some bad times, where the blooms were almost completely decimated.

To be on the safer side, use a deer repellant even when you are planting the limelight hydrangeas. This will keep the plant safe and you will have peace of mind knowing that your plant is well-equipped to handle attacks (if any).

Deer are known to consume almost everything the moment they are hungry. In situations like these, it is only less likely that they will avoid touching your hydrangeas. That is why it is worth researching the right deer repellant equipment and getting them installed in your homes.

As a precautionary method, you can consider potting a bunch of deer-proof shrubs around your plants. You can also try the other methods we discussed in this article. If all fails, go for an electric fence because they’ve left you with no option.

However, either way, if you follow these guidelines, you’d soon be a step closer to a deer-free garden where your hydrangeas can bloom and thrive without the risks of potential attacks.

Share on:

About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.