Are Snapdragons Deer Resistant?

By Paul Smart •  Updated: 02/05/22 •  6 min read

Are Snapdragons Deer Resistant? Snapdragons are one of the most popular plants that is used in the cottage garden today. The plant produces a beautiful display of flowers through the summertime in a range of colors and is an asset in any garden. However, if you live in an area with a large deer population can you successfully plant this flower without it being eaten?

Snapdragons are considered a relatively deer-resistant flower that is rarely eaten according to the New Jersey Agricultural Experimentation Station website. However, this does not mean that the plant is completely immune to deer attack but rather that it is not among their favorite foods. So in times when food is scarce deer may occasionally eat the plant. As such it can be planted in the outer part of the garden and it will normally be ok. 

“Snapdragons in front of Cracker Barrel, North Charleston” by Martin LaBar is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Do Snapdragons Deter Deer?

While snapdragons are not among the deer’s favorite food there is no evidence to suggest that it actually acts as a repellent as it is occasionally eaten. However, there are other plants that have been known to deter deer from entering the garden which are typically either highly fragrant, plants such as lavender and rosemary, poisonous plants such as euphorbias and foxgloves, and also prickly plants such as cacti.

If you are intending on using these plants as a method of deterring deer it is best to plant them in the outer part of the garden to ensure that these are the things that they encounter first. This is more likely to deter them from entering the garden in the first place and finding something that is a little bit more appetizing.

Conversely, plants that are known to be among the deer’s favorite should be planted close to the house as your day-to-day activities will act as a deterrent to scare off deer and minimize the time that they spend in your garden.

What Can You Do To Stop The Deer Entering Your Garden?

Deer are an extremely persistent pest that will come back time after time which means that there is only one method that is 100% effective which is in excluding them entirely from the garden by erecting and 8 ft fence.

The height of the fence may seem excessive however deer are known to be excellent jumpers and are capable of clearing a 6-ft fence easily according to an academic study carried out on whitetail deer. To learn more about this read here.

However, for many people erecting a large fence is impractical and cost-prohibitive, so what are the other options?

There are two types of deer repellent systems that are generally used chemical repellents, and mechanical repellents.  Chemical repellents are generally more effective than mechanical ones according to a range of academic studies.

Chemical Repellents

The chemical repellents that are available on the markets can be divided into 3 major types fear-inducing, pain-inducing, and general repellents that generally discourage deer from coming into your garden by smell or taste. Of these types, the most effective according to research that has been conducted is the fear-inducing types.

Fear-inducing chemical repellents are usually based on things like coyote urine, blood, or putrified egg. The putrified egg works because the smell that it emits is very similar to some odors that are emitted by common predators of deer.

However, even the most effective repellents typically only last around 10 to 12 weeks before their effectiveness starts to wane even if they are reapplied as per the manufacturer’s directions. It is believed that the reason for this is the deer become accustomed to the smell over time and progressively begin to disregard it.

As such we recommend that you purchase at least two deer repellents to apply to your garden throughout the year. The two that we recommend a deer out and plantskydd because they are both fear-inducing repellents that are based on different ingredients and therefore smell different. Alternating the repellents over time reduces the chances of the deers becoming accustomed to them.

Mechanical Repellents

Like chemical repellents, there is a range of different mechanical repellents that are available on the market that can be divided up into motion-activated sprinkler systems, ultrasonic devices, and predator eyes which are devices that mimic the eyes of predators at night.

Of these devices, the motion-activated sprinklers are the most effective, however academic research does suggest that they need to be used sparingly as deer also become quite acclimatized to them over time. So they are a useful tool in your defenses but they will not stop the deer in isolation,

To get the most out of these sorts of devices it is important to reposition them regularly within the yard and also turn them on and off periodically so that the animals do not become acclimatised to them. They can be used strategically at critical times of the years to bolster your defenses which would include periods in which your favourite plants are in bloom or there is a large crop on its way.

The second type of device that is offered extremely widely is ultrasonic systems which are recommended for a range of animals including deer, squirrels, rodents, and domestic dogs and cats. However, there has been a large amount of research completed on the use of these types of devices by a range of different groups in academia which indicate clearly that these devices do not work well. Several researchers have stated that they simply do not work as such we do not recommend that you purchase a device of this nature.

The third type of mechanical device which is commonly offered is predator eyes. This device has not had anywhere near the same degree of research conducted. However, I have looked in detail at a range of reviews on these types of products having not used them personally.

There is an overwhelming sense that most people that purchase these products are disappointed with their performance saying that they do not work well. Some people that have purchased them have also included footage at night showing deer feeding right next to these devices which suggests that they do not work particularly well.

I hope you find this article useful and are able to have great success in your garden. If you have any additional questions or comments please leave them in the section below.

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Paul Smart