Tips for a Deer Free Garden

With spring in the air, homeowners are getting their gardens and landscapes ready for a beautiful summer. Rochester Hills is home to a variety of wildlife including white tailed deer. As neighbors look to design their ideal yard, there are different actions residents can take to garden smart and deter deer.

A fawn and doe stand back to back facing opposite ways in a backyard.
Deer Love the Backyard Buffet – Photo by Michael Dwyer

Keeping your plants from becoming an appealing snack for animals takes a multi-faceted approach. This starts with planting species that deer don’t particularly like. These are often referred to as “deer resistant” plants. These include plants that have prickly foliage, plants with furry leaves, and/or plants with strong scents or tastes. 

Some examples of deer resistant plants include globe thistle, lambs ear, rosemary, and garlic. If a deer is hungry enough they may still eat the plants, but their scents or surfaces make these plants much more unappealing. 

Other steps that homeowners can take include the use of repellents, barriers, and even some scare tactics can be an effective approach to help limit deer activity, especially when you are persistent. If you choose to add a deer repellent, start early in the spring and apply it twice a week. This should also be repeated after rain. 

On the city’s website, residents can find a comprehensive list of plants that are rarely damaged or seldom severely damaged by deer called Deer Resistant Plant information.

The Deer Management Advisory Committee (DMAC) is a group of residents, council members, and city employees that work together to help deer and neighbors coexist in a safe manner. To learn more about the Deer Management Advisory Committee please visit our website or call the Parks & Natural Resources Department 248-656-4673.

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  1. Robert Carpenter says

    Depending on your world view, humans are either created in the image of God, or have evolved to be at the top of the food chain. Until they pay taxes and vote, deer don’t have a right to “coexist”. People who supposedly represent me should be looking out for my interests. The deer damage property and are a safety hazard (particularly to motorcyclists). The only reasonable solution is to reduce the herd, by culling or relocation. Use your brains.

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