Do deer eat hydrangea plants? Planting some hydrangeas you would be worried about the aesthetics to the garden to be ruined by deer. However, with hydrangeas, you must be concerned about deer attacks.

Do Deer Eat Hydrangea Plants

Sadly, deer will endeavor with hydrangea plants, flowers, and leaves. Hence, you must find ways to stop deer from eating hydrangeas to maintain the garden. We will discuss the ways to keep deer away from hydrangea varieties.

Do Deer Eat Hydrangeas?

Yes, deer eat hydrangeas, whenever they don’t find any fruit or vegetable to eat, so the strong sweet smell attracts these creatures by night time to come and eat the flowers. When they do not find any food, they will go towards the hydrangeas and bite it off.

Why Do Deer Eat Hydrangeas?

Deer eat hydrangeas for different reasons, such as because it is available for them when they are hunting for food, in addition, due to the smooth texture of the flowers, and because of the sugar level that it has in addition to the sweet fragrance.

– Availability

The easy availability of the hydrangea plants is the premium reason. Hydrangeas are available widely in most gardens. So, deer don’t need to look here and there to find their meal.

– Smooth Texture

Moreover, hydrangeas don’t have thrones and sticky leaves like other plants and fruits. Also, the big hydrangea bush offers a great grazing option for deer. They love the flowerbed, stem, leave, and all the other parts of hydrangeas.

– High Sugar Levels

However, tender hydrangeas have high sugar. So, deer find it an excellent delicacy for their palate. You will also see deer finding hydrangeas as an easy meal. It becomes even more prominent during the winter season. When the snow starts falling, hydrangeas still thrive in the rough weather. On the other side, deer don’t hibernate.

Thus, they will look for anything to eat to survive the winter. Since hydrangeas persist in the snowy winter, deer will eat them for survival. Sure, they find the flower and leaves tastier too.

Another reason for deer eating hydrangeas is their sweet flavor and fragrance. Deer dislike the strong smell of plants. Conversely, hydrangeas have a sweeter fragrance. So, deer find it highly attractive. It lurks them in eating the hydrangeas cheerfully.

What are Some Signs of Deer-Attacking Hydrangea Plants?

Some signs of deer-attacking hydrangea plants are seeing the edges of the flowers cut, especially the ones that are located on higher stems, and bite marks. In addition to this, you would also see some hoof prints on the soil, which would be an evidence that it’s a deer.

You should look at the deer damage on hydrangeas carefully. Deer will usually leave significant damage marks on the stems and leaves of the ornamental plant. They won’t eat the leaves with clean cuts, likewise the rabbits.

– Bite Marks

Deer will eat hydrangea leaves, flowers, stems, and plants. However, smooth hydrangea, aka wild ones, is one of the least favorite meals of deer in their natural habitat. They will nibble the leaves and flowers as they find hydrangeas an easy meal. But, smooth hydrangeas have fuzzy leaves to keep deer away. You will clearly spot this through the bite marks.

– Cut Edges

When you look closely, hydrangea leaves and stems will have jagged edges. It happens because the tall palate teeth of deer can’t cut the leaves cleanly. So, it leaves jagged edges after the deer eat the leaves.

Also, deer damage on the hydrangeas will be on the highest side of the ground, as you would spot these cut edges. If rabbits and squirrels attack the hydrangeas, the damage will be close to the ground. On the other hand, deer will attack the top part of the hydrangeas.

Deer have a habit of nibbling anything within their reach. As hydrangeas will mostly be two to three feet tall, deer can find them within their two front legs. They will, thus, eat hydrangeas without any resistance at all. These animals tend to eat everything that they can accommodate right between their two front legs without stretching it further.

– Hoof Prints

Another easy way to observe the deer attack is to look for the hoofs. If the garden soil is soft or moist, you should easily find deer hoof marks on the soil. Deer have extremely hard hoofs, and they will easily be visible on the ground.

Hoof Prints

You may use security cams outdoors to inspect the deer attack too. It will help you quickly find the deer in the garden. Hydrangeas are easy prey to many animals. So, when you plan to protect them from deer, ensure that it’s the deer attacking them. It is crucial because your entire plan may fail if other animals feast on the hydrangeas instead of deer.

How to Stop Deer From Eating Hydrangeas?

>To stop deer from eating hydrangeas, you should use deer repellant and spray the plants, you can use a commercial one or a homemade one. Lastly, an amazing way to protect would be to install a fence that they cannot reach towards.

Hydrangeas grow in abundance in gardens. Unfortunately, the faster they grow, the faster deer will eat them. So, you must stop deer if you indeed plan to enjoy the colorful flowers of the hydrangeas.
It will yield a better blooming of the flower. Also, protecting the deer from eating hydrangeas means you also safeguard other vegetables and fruity plants in the garden.

– Use Deer Repellant Plants

One of the best ways to protect hydrangeas is to choose deer repellant plants. You may plant the following trees in your garden for this purpose. Such as a vast number of lavenders, verbenas, buddleia, and even some boxwood.

They can be surrounding the plants that are being eaten, or even a bit farther away from them. Through the aroma, they will be safely guarded.

Although ironical, panicle hydrangeas, with their wood stalks, are highly deer resistant. They grow fast, and deer don’t like their woody stalks. So, they will hardly come close to the panicle hydrangeas. Its beautiful flower also improves the aesthetics of your garden.

Use Deer Repellant Plants

On the other side, lavender has a strong smell that keeps the deer away from them. You can use it as the first layer of security against the deer. You may grow boxwood and verbena around the edges of your garden.

Plus, the intense aroma of both boxwood and verbena is a big turn-off for the deer. So, with these flowers in the garden’s perimeter, the strong aroma will shun deer away from your favorite garden space.

What’s more, these deer repellant plants are easy to grow and maintain. They grow in different shade zones and offer versatility in the garden. So, you should find them equally helpful in deterring deer and enhancing the aesthetics of the landscape.

– Commercial Repellant

There needs to be more than planting deer resistant trees and flowers to deter deer from the garden. It requires an extra layer of protection. Thus, you must additionally spray deer repellants over the hydrangeas. They’re both homemade and commercial deer repellant sprays you can choose from, surely.

Sadly, these are only misconceptions. Deer love eating hydrangeas. So, you must find ways to stop them from eating the beautiful blooms. It implies finding the importance of the right deer repellant plants to safeguard hydrangea flowers. You can simply apply these commercial repellents, and they won’t approach any longer.

– Homemade Repellant

You can choose homemade prevention method, and deer-resistant plants to protect the hydrangea from deer eating them.

Smelly spray is an option that you can choose by simply mixing one-beaten egg with one tablespoon of cooking oil and dish soap to prepare this mixture. You will also need 16 ounces of a spray bottle full of water and half a cup of milk to add to the mixture.

The egg and dishwashing soap react with the milk’s chemical bonding to form a smelly fragrance. It successfully keeps the deer away.

Furthermore, you can also opt for some essential oil spray, alternatively, mix essential oil of rosemary and peppermint to prepare the spray to resist deer. You can mix them with an equal ratio for this spray.

You will also need 16 ounces of water. After mixing the ingredients in a spray bottle, shake them to blend them adequately.

Once the sprays are made, you can apply them to the hydrangea plants and surroundings. You may even store them for use in the future.

– Install Deer Fencing

The best way to protect hydrangeas from deer is to apply deer fencing around your garden. There are many types of fencing for deer to prevent them from entering the garden. As you choose the fencing, ensure that it has at least 8 feet in height. Otherwise, deer can quickly jump over the fencing and enter your garden to feast on the vegetables and flowers.

You can have different options to choose from, you can always choose the metal wire fencing. This fence is made of metal wires with a heavy-gauge design. The gauge forms rectangle shapes and successfully keeps deer away. If you make the rectangles in small shapes and put half a foot of the fencing underground, it might also deter rabbits.

Install Deer Fencing

There is also another way to protect such as using a polypropylene mesh fencing, if you need an affordable option, choose polypropylene mesh fencing. It is plastic fencing and improves garden protection quickly. No animal will be able to jump or reach towards your beautiful flowers.

Lastly, you can also install a wood fencing, which is basically a fences made of wood keep the deer away and add privacy to your personal space. Also, with colorful woody fencing, it enhances the aesthetics of the landscape too.

What Type of Hydrangea Resist Deer?

The type of hydrangea that are resistant to deer are the climbing hydrangea, big leaf, oak leaf, limelight hydrangeas. These are the ones most likely that they wouldn’t approach. Unfortunately, deer eat all varieties of hydrangea plants without any resistance.

These find it easy to catch and eat hydrangeas. So, one night you may go to sleep seeing the beautiful blooming and wake up only to find the hydrangea plants and flowers have vanished. But there’s a catch. There’re a few deer resistant hydrangeas. The top three hydrangeas’ deer-resistant for your garden include the following ones.

However, you must be aware of their vulnerability against deer. If your area has deer in the locality that roams freely in herds, you must think twice about planting hydrangea flowers. Hydrangeas aren’t deer-resistant plants. Yes, we understand that many people mistakenly consider deer-resistant hydrangea exists. They think that deer don’t like the harsh leaves of the hydrangeas.

– Climbing Hydrangeas

Climbing hydrangeas are large vines climbing high on the trees. So deer can’t reach them even if they want to eat them. As they fail to reach the climbing hydrangea vines, they won’t eat them either. These varieties of hydrangeas grow mostly on tall trees, walls, and structures.

Climbing Hydrangeas

Thus, it remains well out of the deer’s reach and blooms safely. However, its blooming is less attractive than the other hydrangeas. Also, you must wait to allow the climbing hydrangea to reach more than five to six feet from the ground. Until then, you must fence it for protection.

– Bigleaf Hydrangeas

Bigleaf hydrangeas have fuzzy and thorny leaves. So, deer won’t like these fuzzy leaves. Also, these flowers will bloom later in the season. When the flowers bloom late in spring, deer will find their natural food sources.

Bigleaf Hydrangeas

So, deer won’t mulch on the bigleaf hydrangeas as they do with other variations in the early time of the season.

So, the bigleaf hydrangeas’ late blooming and fuzzy leaves go in their favor. Both features ensure deer don’t eat them.

– Oakleaf Hydrangeas

Oakleaf hydrangeas are moderately deer resistant, thanks to their tallness. These hydrangeas deer will grow well over 3 to 4 feet. So, deer can hardly reach the top of these hydrangea plants to eat them. Yes, the deer can reach the lower buds and feast on them.

Nonetheless, they won’t reach the flower on the topmost part of the plant. So the deer won’t eat the flowers. On top of it, deer dislike the thick and multilayered leathery leaves of oakleaf hydrangeas. So, they won’t care about the leaves either. This way, these beautiful flowers, and leaves protect them from deer damage.

– Limelight Hydrangeas

Limelight hydrangeas are moderately deer deterrents, with their slightly fuzzy leaves and intense aroma. You can grow them to deter deer away. The chartreuse flowers also add visual appeal to your garden. So, you will enjoy 2-in-1 purpose from these flowers.

Limelight Hydrangeas

Alternatively, you may choose smooth hydrangea, aka Annabelle hydrangea. It has a moderate deer repellant facility. So, it works fine for your garden and protects other plants there too.


Do deer eat hydrangeas? Yes, deer eat hydrangeas because of their easy availability. However, deer don’t eat the fuzzy leaves of bigleaf and oakleaf hydrangeas. There’re other options to protect these plants from deer.

  • Apply deer resistant plants and homemade sprays to keep deer away. Smelly eggs and essential oils can be perfect for a small garden. For large landscapes, choose commercial sprays.
  • You can plant smooth hydrangea and limelight hydrangeas to deter deer. They have an intense odor with fizzy leaves. So, deer don’t like eating them at all.
  • If the deer attack is too powerful, use deer fencing. You may choose mesh, wiring, metal, and wood fences with different visibility and toughness.

As you see, deterring deer from eating hydrangea requires hard labor and careful selection of suitable repellant and fencing. So, you must be choosy in the fence and deer-resistant plant and spray selection to help hydrangeas grow and bloom sufficiently. Only then, you may enjoy the beautiful blooming.

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