How Can I Stop Deer From Eating My Hibiscus Plants?

Deer are stately creatures that have been the subject of artwork, film and literature, but they also are voracious eaters who will nibble your hibiscus plants when you aren't looking. Deer definitely have their place in nature, but it's not around your hibiscus. You can use several methods to keep the deer from eating your hibiscus and other garden plants.

Things You'll Need

  • 12 rotten eggs
  • Cheesecloth
  • Empty gallon jugs
  • Spray bottle
  • 2 posts, each 3 feet long
  • 2 pieces of 12-inch yarn
  • 2 clean aluminum pie pans
  • hammer
  • 2 nails
  • Mesh netting
  • Fishing line

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Remove bird feeders from the yard before you go to bed for the night. Deer may come into the yard at night or in the early morning and feast off the fodder you've put out for birds. When deer find a convenient food source, they return to it -- and then they may discover your hibiscus plants.

Mix 12 rotten eggs into 5 gallons of water to create a pungent liquid that naturally deters the deer. Strain the liquid through cheesecloth and store it in gallon jugs. Spray the mixture onto your hibiscus plants two to three times a year.

Spread another type of natural deer repellent on the soil near hibiscus plants as a supplement or alternative to your rotten-egg mixture. Soap, human hair, cayenne pepper and mothballs all emit odors that deer often will avoid. Change your natural repellent weekly so the deer don't get used to one type. Reapply natural deer repellents after heavy rains, strong winds and other weather phenomena.

Build a fence around your property or around your hibiscus plants. Two-wire electric fences with one wire 30 inches above the ground and the other 15 inches off the ground will keep deer away.

Sink two 3-foot posts into the ground on either side of your hibiscus plants. Poke a hole in each of two clean aluminum pie pans. Thread a piece of yarn approximately 12 inches long through the hole in each pan. Hammer a nail into the top of each post and tie the pans to the nails. The pans flash in the sunlight and moonlight, scaring deer away from your hibiscus plants.

Place several yards of mesh netting over your hibiscus plants to keep the deer from eating the foliage and flowers.

Locate the path that deer are using to reach your plants. If deer are entering your property through a break in trees, landscaping or fencing, string clear fishing line across the path to create an invisible fence. Deer will bump into the line, get confused, and leave your plants alone.

Place plants that deer find repellent near hibiscus plants. Deer are not attracted to spicy-smelling plants, ferns and ornamental grasses. Plant daffodils, narcissus, thyme and boxwood to keep deer away.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not place cayenne-pepper extracts directly on food crops; it will affect the taste.


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