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How to Keep Deer Away From Hostas

Noel Zia Lee:

Hostas are large green plants that live mostly in the shade and need little sun. These perennials are popular with many homeowners, since they require minimal care. The plants can vary greatly in leaf color from green to yellow, white and blue and produce trumpet-shaped flowers. Hostas are also tasty treats for deer and other animals, which creates quite a nuisance for gardeners. However, there are different techniques a homeowner can try to repel and scare the deer away, so they will not eat their beautiful plants.

Use deer repellents, which can be purchased from any store selling garden or farm supplies. The repellent does not harm the hostas or the environment.

Plant aromatic herbs such as basil or oregano near the hostas to deter the deer. They do not like the strong smell of many herbs and it should keep them away.

Get a dog if the deer are quite bothersome and causing great damage to your hostas. Deer are usually scared of a loud barking dog, and a canine should do the trick.

Stage a scarecrow--a human figure dressed in old clothes. This may be effective in deterring deer from a garden, especially if the scarecrow is human scented. Deer are typically scared of a human scent because it signifies danger.

Install an electric fence around the garden. Since deer graze and nibble at plants, it is likely they will bump into the fence and run away.

Set up a motion sensor that triggers a flashing or strobe light; one of these options may startle a timid deer from munching on your hostas.


It can be frustrating attempting to keep deer out of your garden. If none of these techniques work in deterring the curious deer, the only solution may be to install a tall fence. If you set up an electric fence, use it only in the backyard, where neighbors and children will be less likely to accidentally run into it.

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