Homemade deer repellant for hostas

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Winning the battle with deer each growing season can be tiring and overwhelming. This is especially true when your yard has hosta plants.

Since you can’t always be there to defend your yard against these gentle, but hungry, creatures, you need to find repellents to keep them away from your hostas. Yet, store-bought deer repellents may contain chemicals that can be toxic to your plants.

The alternative is to make homemade deer repellent for hostas to make them unappealing. So, we rounded up some of the most effective recipes to keep hungry deer away from your plants. The best part is that these recipes are safe for all your plants, so you can reapply them often to get optimal results.

Take a look.

Deer running in a park

5 best homemade deer repellents for hostas

Deer are known for their keen sense of smell (as well as for their love of eating hostas). So, the one common factor all these recipes have in common is that they’re made from natural ingredients known for their potent aromas.

For making deer repellant at home, you’ll need a 1-gallon jug, a spray bottle, and a blender or handheld mixer. Once you combine the ingredients, you can spray them around the hosta plants, as well as other plants that deer love to munch on. Then, reapply once a week.

Let’s get mixing.

1.   Clove spray

You need essential oil of clove to make this recipe work. Combined with other scents, clove leaves a lingering odor that will keep deer far away from your hostas for up to a couple of weeks.

In a blender, combine one cup sour cream, two beaten eggs, and 1/4-teaspoon liquid dish soap. Mix until well blended, then add 20 drops of clove essential oil. Place the mixture in the jug, put the top on, and shake all the ingredients together. Then, carefully pour the mixture into the spray bottle.

Keep in mind that this mixture is thick. So, you’ll need to give it a nice shake every time you spray it.

2.   Spicy spray

Deer hate strong, spicy scents, which makes this recipe a clear winner. Place three raw eggs in the blender and three tablespoons of minced garlic.

Next, add three tablespoons of hot sauce. You can use any type you like, but the hotter it is, the more effective the results.

Blend everything together until they make a smooth paste. Place the mixture in the jug, then fill it up with water.

Close the jug and give it a good shake. Next, pour some into the spray bottle and apply on and around the hosta plants.

Garlic cloves in a bowl on wooden board

3.   Garlic spray

We all know how potent garlic can be. So, it’s no surprise that this is one recipe that’s sure to keep deer away for good. Even better, the longer the spray sits, the more pungent the smell will be.

The downside is that this recipe needs around 24 hours to stew and ripen. So, while nothing says you can’t use it right away, it just won’t give you the results you’re looking for. So, it’s better to make it ahead of time and leave it to sit, so it gets extra smelly.

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons milk or yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • A strainer

First, put all the ingredients listed below in the blender. Puree them into a paste, then strain them into the jug. Next, add warm water to fill the jug and shake thoroughly.

4.   Egg spray

This is a basic recipe that requires only a few simple ingredients. Plus, it doesn’t take time to prepare, making a great choice when you’re short on time.

Start by mixing an egg, a tablespoon of cooking oil, a tablespoon of dish soap, and half a cup of milk in the blender. Next, place the mixture in the jug and shake it well.

Then, pour some into a spray bottle and apply it around your yard, focusing on areas surrounding the hostas.

This mixture is a bit runny and washes away easily. So, in addition to reapplying once a week, you’ll need to reapply every time you water your plants.

Top view of bottles with essential oil and herbs

5.   Peppermint and rosemary spray

Like clove, peppermint and rosemary are two strong-smelling essential oils. Not only do they carry a potent scent, but they’re also long-lasting.

You can easily make this recipe in small batches. So, get a spray bottle and pour in eight ounces of white vinegar. Next, add six drops of peppermint and four drops of rosemary essential oils.

Cover the bottle well and give it a nice shake. Then, start spraying the areas around the hostas. Reapply once every 7–10 days.

More about making homemade deer repellant sprays

The best part about making DIY repellents is that you avoid dealing with any toxic chemicals found in insecticides. With these five recipes, you can make your very own homemade deer repellent for hostas.

Whatever you end up using, you can rest assured knowing that your yard is in safe hands this growing season.

Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a gardening expert and founder of Home for the Harvest. She's also a professional engineer, certified permaculture garden designer, and master gardener in training. Mary Jane has been featured by publications such as Real Simple, Mother Earth News, Homes & Gardens, Heirloom Gardener, and Family Handyman.