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December 31, 2020 3 min read

Do you wish to add hydrangeas to your garden? Then you might ask – do deer eat hydrangeas? You must protect your hydrangeas from pests, and understanding deer feeding habits is a good start.

There are dozens of hydrangea species around the world. We often plant them because they are gorgeous additions to our gardens. Deer is crazy about hydrangeas, especially when tender and young. They will most often ignore older branches searching for young budding shoots. Deer can also make do when really hungry. Such damage at an early stage can cause many difficulties for you. To give your hydrangeas a better chance of survival, here are some ways to stop deer from eating them.

How to protect your hydrangeas from deer damage

Use wire cages

Consider using wire cages around younger hydrangea shoots. If you are growing tall hydrangea trees, then these wire cages can come in handy. Deer don’t just damage young shoots; they typically rub against tree trunks, injuring the tree in a way that can kill it. Therefore, you can use wire cages in such cases to keep them away from the tree trunks.


A full-on fence is one of the most effective ways to keep your hydrangeas from becoming deer fodder. The right height is an 8 feet tall fence, but you can make it out of wire, electricity, or wood. Also, make sure that your fence will be firmly rooted to the ground or not too far from it to prevent deer from going underneath it.


Some gardeners also blend their hydrangeas with other leafy plants that deer do not find desirable. Plants you can use include poppies, butterflies, daffodils, boxwood, lavender, and spirea. However, this method only works if the deer population isn’t high, and they have abundant food sources. Otherwise, they might feed on your other garden plants meant to protect your hydrangeas.

Deer repellents

Deer repellents also work well, at least for several weeks. Most gardeners consider using shavings of bath soap or shafts of human hair. However, you can purchase repellents from your local stores. We recommend alternating between two to three repellents at a time to keep deer from becoming too familiar with them. You may also have to reapply after it rains.

Deer netting

Besides cages, many gardeners also boast of deer netting. Deer netting is inexpensive, lightweight, and somewhat invisible. Just ensure you anchor them firmly to the ground to keep deer from pulling them away. There is, however, a small problem with this method. As your hydrangea grows, it may go through the netting. You may need to remove them during fall carefully, but it is a small price to pay for keeping deer away from them. However, you should also consider other deer deterrent methods during fall and winter because that’s when deer get desperate enough to try every kind of food.

Concluding thoughts

Do deer eat hydrangeas? Yes, they do. They will eat all parts of the hydrangea bush, destroying all your hard work in the process. Use these deer deterrent methods we mentioned above to stop deer from eating your hydrangeas. However, one method alone isn’t enough. You need to combine different methods to keep them away effectively.

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