what vegetables will deer not eat

what vegetables will deer not eat

What vegetables will deer not eat

Deer are selective in what they eat, preferring to dine on an array of leaves, twigs, nuts, and fruits. Unfortunately, when these animals wander too close to a garden, their eating habits can be detrimental for a gardener’s plants. The following vegetables are typically not on a deer’s preferred feasting menu.


Cabbage, either in its traditional head cabbage shape or its looseleaf variety, will leave deer uninterested. This includes other Brassica vegetables, like broccoli or kale.

Chile Peppers

The hotness of these vegetables generally is off-putting to deer and they don’t fancy them. In addition, many garden centers and nurseries sell sprays made with capsaicin (the heat-producing stuff in chile peppers) that you can use to further discourage deer from venturing too close to your garden.

Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic, two of the most common vegetables in our kitchens, will also deter deer from eating in a garden. They generally don’t care for the strong odors of these vegetables.

Herbs and Flowers

Unfortunately, deer do love flowers and many herbs contains in huge amounts like Marjoram and Spearmint – and will happily nosh away the petals and foliage. But, they typically steer clear of the following herbs and flowers:

  • Basil – both sweet and Thai
  • Chives
  • Garlic chives
  • Lavender
  • Fuchsia
  • Roses – certain varieties, like rugosa and heritage

In some cases, deer visiting gardens may be tempted to try a vegetable such as cabbage or kale. Repellents created from garlic, pepper, and other ingredients can be used in the garden to keep deer away. Additionally, fences, netting, and sprays can also be used to protect more vulnerable veggies from deer.

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