Experience has shown me that deer-resistant plants generally do not come that way from the nursery. Most plants that depend on aromatic oils and bitter compounds to repel animals need time to build up their natural defenses. After a few months of growing in your garden, transplants will accumulate these deer-resistant compounds in their leaves and stems, and their deer resistance increases greatly. I strongly recommend creating a strategy to deter deer while your plants establish to protect young transplants from being eaten.
Tips for using deer repellent:
- Research on deer eating habits has shown that the most effective way to protect your plants with repellents is to rotate their use so the deer don’t become accustomed to any one repellent formula. Spray deer repellent on new transplants and established plants that are vulnerable to browsing, especially during the fall, winter, and early spring months.
- Be sure and apply deer repellent to new transplants.
- It is also important to remember to re-apply the spray as the plants grow and new leaves appear. So every 10 to 14 days is a good interval to spray the repellent.
- Be sure to reapply as needed to prevent deer from getting a taste of your plants and coming back for more -- especially after rain.