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How To Keep Deer From Eating Hostas?

Deer are large pests and people have to come up with new methods and tricks to control them. The damage that these animals can cause is very significant, so you need to take care of it.

Deer like to eat hostas, they can eat both the leaves and the stems of the hosta. To keep deer from eating your hostas, spray the leaves with deer repellent and sprinkle cayenne pepper around the bush.

There are also many other ways to prevent deer from eating a hosta. For example, fencing the hosta with netting or installing motion detectors.

All of these methods will be discussed in more detail in this article. You will also learn what to do if your hosta is injured.

Do Deer Eat Hostas?

Deer repellent for hostas

Deer repellers are quite common means of controlling these animals. The working principle is that a substance has a smell that is unpleasant for the deer and it is kept at a distance.

The first thing that is referred to as a repellent is the liquid fence. You can buy a canister or bottle of liquid repellent and spray your hostas. You can also treat other plants and objects in the garden. The disadvantage of this type is that the rain will wash it off relatively quickly.

The second type is repellents that are made as tablets or balls. They also have an unpleasant odor for deer. The advantage of this product is that it is almost not washed away by rain and lasts much longer than liquid fencing.

All of these repellents are relatively effective. In some cases, they can keep your hostas safe. However, there are many examples of deer ignoring this type of protection and still damaging plants.


Fencing is the surest way to protect hostas from deer attack. If the fence is high enough, deer won’t be able to jump over it or get past it in any other way. Also, a fence can keep other animals away from your yard.

It is best to install a metal fence that is six to eight feet high. This will give you peace of mind that your plants will be safe.

Low ornamental fences that are 1 to 2 feet high will not do any good. Animals will easily overcome them so avoid it.

A budget option for fencing can be garden netting. It is usually made of plastic and easy to install. You can only fence your bed of hostas.

Although the plastic netting does not look very strong, but the deer will not be able to move through it in anyway. This option is an effective alternative to expensive metal or wood fencing.

do deer eat hostas


A dog is able to keep deer away and prevent them from approaching your garden. A dog can also protect your yard from other unwanted guests such as rabbits or squirrels. These pests, as well as deer, can eat your hostas.

Get a large or medium-sized dog. A German Shepherd, for example, is best suited for this purpose. Dog breeds that are comparable in size are also suitable.

Avoid getting a miniature breed of dog because it is unlikely to scare the deer. Dogs the size of a cat won’t do anything to a large animal.

The disadvantage of dogs is that some of them can damage your flowerbeds. Sometimes it happens that dogs dig holes in the garden and thus can ruin the landscape. However, proper training can help avoid this.

Motion detector

Motion detectors are quite an effective means of protection against animals, although not as effective as a fence. Depending on what the detector is connected to, you can achieve different results.

If a light comes on when a deer approaches your garden, it will do you some good. The light will not scare the animal too much and it will get used to it after a while. Therefore this method is not very effective.

The second way is to connect a garden sprayer to the motion detector. Jets of water can scare the animal very much and create conditions that it will not be able to be in the garden. This is quite an effective way.

There are also ultrasonic deer repellers. They are also triggered by movement. This device creates some discomfort for the animal, but it is rarely possible to repel the pest completely.

Plastic tape

You can get good results by fencing your hostas with plastic tape. The height at which the tape should be installed should be about 3 to 4 feet. It is best to attach it to poles stuck in the ground around the bed.

When the deer try to approach the hostas it will bump into the tape. Some deer will be stopped by this barrier and will not go any further.

You can also tie empty cans to the tape so they touch each other. They should be attached in pairs or three pieces in a bundle.

When the deer will hit the plastic tape the cans will make a metallic sound like bells. The deer do not like this sound because it means that a human is approaching.

As a result, deer will run away from this sound. This is a quite effective and cheap way to get rid of these creatures.

How to keep deer away from hostas naturally?

how to keep deer from eating hostas

To keep the deer away from your hostas, naturally, sprinkle the ground surface around the hostas with cayenne pepper. This will give an unpleasant odor and discourage the deer. If there are rocks or other elevations in the hosta bed, sprinkle small piles of pepper there.

Also, tie bells or other things that make a metallic sound near your hostas. This may do a good job of scaring the deer. If necessary, set up posts to attach tinkling objects to them.

Make a homemade liquid deer repellent and use it in the garden.

Homemade deer repellent for hostas

Homemade deer repellent is an affordable and simple remedy. Anyone can find the right ingredients at home and make it himself.


  1. One chicken egg;
  2. Half a gallon of water;
  3. A glass of milk;
  4. Two tablespoons of garlic powder;
  5. One teaspoon of cayenne pepper.

Thoroughly mix it all in a container and cover it with a lid. Allow this mixture to infuse for 4-5 days.

When the repellent is ready use it. But do not apply it to your hosta leaves as it can damage them. Also, the rain will wash the mixture off the leaves rather quickly.

It is best to insert a few sticks around the hosta bushes that need to be protected. Next, take a cotton fabric and cut it into narrow pieces.

Soak the pieces of fabric well in a repellent mixture. Then tie these pieces to sticks at the height of the hosta bush or slightly higher.

The fabric will hold the repellent well and exude an unpleasant odor even after it rains. If you followed my previous recommendation and installed poles with jingling stuff, you can tie the soaked fabric to these poles.

Don’t forget to wet the fabric in the repellent from time to time.

Will coffee grounds keep deer away from hostas?

Coffee grounds can keep away deer from eating the hosta if used in combination with other remedies. This product has a rather pungent smell that can be unpleasant for deer.

However, the smell of coffee grounds alone may not be enough. Therefore, use plastic tape, ringing objects, and other repellents. All of these together can give good results.

In addition, you need to regularly renew the coffee grounds around your hostas because their odor quickly disappears.

Also, don’t forget that coffee grounds make the soil a bit acidic especially if used frequently. If your soil is neutral or alkaline, you’re fine. However, if your soil is acidic, you should avoid adding coffee grounds to it.

Which hostas do deer not eat?

There are no hostas that deer will not eat. All species and varieties can be damaged by deer and you should have no illusions in this matter.

Sometimes dishonest sellers label their hostas as deer-resistant. This is probably the origin of the misconception that some hostas are not eaten by deer. You need to be sober and not trust everything that marketers write on their products.

Some varieties of hosta are less tasty to deer than others. This applies to hostas with a lot of yellow color. Deer are looking for greenery, so they are more likely to eat green hostas than variegated ones. Also, varieties with hard leaves are less likely to be damaged than varieties with soft leaves.

However, don’t think that yellow or hard-leafed hostas are completely safe. If the deer are hungry, they will eat them too.

Will hostas grow back after deer eat them?

will hostas grow back after deer eat them

Hostas will recover from deer damage. This could happen either this year or next year.

If a hosta is damaged early in the season, it may still produce a few new leaves. However, it will not be the same again until next year.

To give it strength, water it once with a liquid multipurpose fertilizer. Also, make sure the soil around it does not dry out more than 2 inches. Provide as much shade as possible.

If the deer have not damaged the petioles, do not cut them back. Even without the leaves, the petioles will nourish the hosta.

In case the deer have eaten the hosta in the second half of the season, you don’t need to fertilize it so that the hosta will hibernate better.

Only the following year will the hosta fully recover if it is properly cared for.