Do Deer Eat Rosemary? (and How to REPEL Deer from Your Garden)

Deer pose a serious challenge to every gardener. That’s why I have always been interested in how to prevent deer from damaging my garden. While doing my research, I stumbled upon a fascinating question: do deer eat rosemary? The answer is not straightforward, but with some knowledge and the right techniques, it is possible to use rosemary and other herbs to repel deer from your garden. Read on to discover some helpful gardening tips.

Deer do not typically eat rosemary. It is considered to be a deer-resistant plant due to its strong scent, bitter taste, and tough texture. However, it is important to remember that in times of extreme hunger, deer may eat almost anything that is available. Therefore, while rosemary is generally safe from deer damage, it is not entirely foolproof. Other deer-resistant plants include lavender, daffodils, and iris.

Do Deer Eat Rosemary?

If you’re an avid gardener, you know how troublesome it can be to deal with deer that are always looking to munch on your favorite plants. Deer have an insatiable appetite, and they aren’t picky eaters. They’ll eat just about anything, including many herbs.

You must be wondering if deer eat rosemary. Well, the good news is that rosemary is considered a deer-resistant plant, and for good reason. With its strong scent, bitter taste, and tough texture, deer typically stay away from this herb. However, in extreme cases of hunger, deer may resort to munching on any plant they can find, including rosemary. Therefore, it’s best to take precautionary measures.

What Smells Do Deer Hate The Most?

Deer are sensitive creatures and have a powerful sense of smell. They are attracted to certain smells, while others will make them stay away. So, what smells do deer hate the most? Sage, borage, mint, and rosemary are some of the smells that deer loathe. Strategically planting these herbs around your garden can help deter deer from snacking on your plants.

  • Sage
  • Borage
  • Mint
  • Rosemary

Why Does Rosemary Repel Deer?

While deer are herbivores, they don’t eat just any plant. When it comes to rosemary, the herb is too pungent for their taste. Its scent is overpowering, and the taste is bitter, making it an unattractive option for deer. Additionally, rosemary has a tough texture that deer don’t enjoy eating. By planting rosemary around your garden, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by repelling deer without resorting to toxins or chemicals.

Features of Deer-Resistant Plants

Deer-resistant plants have some defining features that make them unappetizing to deer. Strong scents, bitter tastes, and tough textures are some of these features that help deter deer from eating them. Plants with prickly or spiky foliage also make it difficult for deer to eat. Incorporating these plants in your garden will not only keep your plants safe but also maintain the beauty and aesthetics of your garden.

  • Strong scent
  • Bitter taste
  • Tough texture
  • Prickly foliage

12 Deer Resistant Herbs

Deer-resistant herbs are a great solution for gardeners who live in areas with high deer populations. These herbs are known for their strong scent, which repels deer, and their ability to thrive in various growing conditions. They are also easy to care for and make a lovely addition to any herb garden.

Here are 12 deer-resistant herbs:

Rosemary Oil to Repel Deer

If you’re looking for a more concentrated approach to repelling deer, rosemary oil is a great option. With its strong scent and bitter taste, rosemary oil can be sprayed onto plants to deter deer from munching on them. Additionally, you can use rosemary oil in diffusers around your garden or sprinkle it on the ground to create an invisible barrier that deer won’t cross.

Deer can be frustratingly persistent in their search for tasty plants to eat, but there are ways to protect your garden from their depredations. Here are three effective methods to try:

Adding Features That Deer Dislike

One way to deter deer from your garden is to add features that they don’t like. For example, deer tend to be afraid of heights, so you can try surrounding your garden with tall, spiky plants like barberries, cacti, and ornamental grasses. Another option is to add motion-activated sprinklers or noise-makers that will scare deer away.

Using Companion Planting to Protect Plants

Companion planting is a technique that involves planting a variety of different crops together to improve their chances of growing successfully. In the case of deer-resistant gardens, you can plant herbs and flowers that deer don’t like alongside your favorite vegetables. For example, planting garlic, onions, and chives alongside your tomatoes will help to keep deer away from your garden.

Mixing Plant Varieties

Deer can easily destroy a garden, but there are ways to protect it. One effective method is to mix up the plants in your garden. Rather than planting the same type of plant in a large group, planting different types of plants can prevent deer from decimating your entire space. Try planting at different heights to create layers that are difficult for deer to access. Planting deer-resistant herbs is also a great solution for a beautiful garden that requires less maintenance and frustration.

Other Ways to Protect Your Garden From Deer

Deer are known to wreak havoc on gardens by eating or trampling on plants. To prevent them from destroying your hard work, here are some methods you can use to protect your garden:

1. Fencing

Installing a fence around your garden is one of the most effective methods of keeping deer out. The fence should be at least 8-feet tall, made of sturdy materials like metal or wood, and dug into the ground to prevent deer from digging under it.

Also, keep in mind that a fence where deer can’t see what’s on the other side are much more effective at preventing them to jump.

2. Using Wireless or Electric Deer Fencing

Another effective way of protecting your garden from deer is by installing electric or wireless fencing. These types of fencing emit a small electric shock when touched, which sends a mild shock throughout the deer’s body without harming it. It’s a humane way of keeping deer at bay and keeping your garden safe.

3. Netting

Another effective method is to drape netting over your garden to protect plants. Make sure the netting is taut and secured to the ground to prevent deer from crawling underneath.

4. Repellents

There are many natural and chemical deer repellents available on the market that work by emitting a smell or taste that deer do not like. These can be sprayed directly on plants or surrounding areas to create a barrier.

5. Scare Tactics

Using scare tactics such as placing motion-activated lights, wind chimes, or even a fake owl in your garden can help deter deer from entering. However, these methods may lose their effectiveness over time as deer become accustomed to them.

If instead you prefer a more technological solution, then you can use ultrasonic repellent devices. Those motion-activated devices will emit ultrasounds when deer are nearby. As a result, deer will move to a quiter area.

6. Watering

Deer are less likely to enter a garden that is consistently watered. This is because they prefer to graze in spots where water is available naturally, such as by streams or rivers.

7. Use Multi-Level Landscaping

Deer are more attracted to flat, even ground, where they can graze and run. By incorporating multi-level landscaping, you can make it more difficult for deer to access your garden. Create different levels by using raised beds or planting around slopes. This will make it more challenging for deer to get to your plants and make them less likely to try.

8. Combination

Using a combination of these methods can be the most effective way to protect your garden from deer. For example, using a combination of fencing, repellents, and plant selection can create a multi-layered approach.


So, do deer eat rosemary? According to most gardening experts, rosemary is generally considered to be a deer-resistant plant. Thanks to its strong scent, bitter taste, and tough texture, rosemary can help keep pesky deer away from your garden. However, it’s always important to remember that in times of desperation, deer may eat almost anything, including rosemary. So, while rosemary is a great option for repelling deer, it’s not entirely foolproof.

But fear not, dear gardener! If you want to keep your garden safe and secure from deer, there are plenty of other deer-resistant plants to choose from. Why not try planting some lavender, daffodils, or iris? Not only will these plants add some lovely color and fragrance to your garden, but they’ll also help keep those deer at bay. So, go ahead and use some herbs to get your revenge on those pesky deer!

You may also be interested in reading: