Should I be Worrying About Deer Eating Onions?

Do deers eat onions?

As a gardener or a homestead owner (like me) we love to care for all kinds of home-grown vegetables. But the last thing we want is a deer breaking into your vegetable garden to have a quick meal! But the question is, if you have an onion patch, will this attract or deter these deer? Do they eat onions or not? If you have been wondering this, I hope to clear up a few things today 🙂

So, do deer eat onions? Well, to know about it, read through the article here.

Do Deer Eat Onions?

No, deers do not eat onions. Though they find onions in the garden, they might try them, but it is not a palatable food category. Deers usually avoid root vegetables or prickly vegetables like cucumbers and squashes. Also, foods with a strong smell like garlic or onion are usually avoided by all animals, including deer.

Will Onions Repel Deer?

Yes, deer are repelled by the pungent odor of onions in a garden. When deer eat, they keep a constant eye on their surroundings for threats. Because it covers the smell of nearby predators, the perfume of onion plants interferes with a deer’s alarm system. This is one primary reason why deer avoid onion to a great extent.

Do Deer Eat Raw Onions?

Yes, in the wild, deer may sometime eat raw onions. They can pluck the onion directly from the garden and enjoy it. But the instances are quite low. Also, the pungent smell of the onion is known to repel deers, so the chances of deer consuming raw onion are quite low.

What Do Deer Not Eat?

If you love gardening, this might be the first question that comes to your mind. Deer can cause damage to the garden, so knowing what things deer will not eat and help avoid the damage. The things that deer do not eat include:

  • Poisonous plants

Deer are very intelligent animals and tend to avoid toxic plants in nature. The most common ones include daffodils, foxgloves, and poppies.

  • Plants with a strong fragrance

All animals tend to avoid plants that have strong smells or pungent smells. The most common ones include onion, garlic, mint, fennel, sage, thyme, rosemary, peppers, and others.

  • Prickly plants

Deer also avoid prickly plants or those plants which have hairy leaves. The most common plants included in this category include cucumbers, rhubarb, lambs ears, and others.

  • Few flowering plants

There are a few flowering plants that the deer will not consume. The common names include bleeding heart, coneflower, corydalis, daffodils, lavender, lungwort, and others.

  • Ground cover plants

A few plants cover the ground and are avoided by the deer. These include Japanese pachysandra, lady’s mantle, lily of the valley, and others.

Do Deer Eat Tomatoes?

Yes, deer do eat tomatoes, but they enjoy the stem and leaves of the plant more than the fruit itself. Deers will eat any foliage that they get when they are hungry, making tomatoes also one of the food items on their list.

What Garden Vegetables Do Deer Eat?

Deer will want to stay in your garden if you cultivate beets, cabbage, apples, berries, beans, or broccoli. Lettuce, leafy greens, peas, spinach, turnips, cauliflower, carrot tops, kohlrabi, peas, strawberries, plums, sweet potatoes, and sweetcorn are favorites of deer. Avoid these delicacies if you want to keep deer out of your garden.

What Vegetables Will Deer Not Eat?

The deer avoid various vegetables. Rhubarb, onion, garlic, fennel, tomatoes, peppers, carrot roots, eggplant, asparagus, leeks, globe artichokes, and other similar veggies are useful to grow in your garden to keep deer away. Like squash, deer do not like thorny vegetables, such as cucumbers and vegetables with hairy peels.

Are Onions Harmful To Deer?

Yes, to some extent, onion is harmful to the deer. The enzymes in the onion can lead to various issues like lethargy, stomach issue, decreased stamina, loss of appetite, and others. Since this is not a palatable diet for deer, the chances of such issues are comparatively high.

What Can I Put In My Garden To Keep Deer Away?

If deer are causing a mess in your garden and you want to protect it, a few tips can help a great deal.

  • Plant deer-resistant plants

Growing the plants that a deer do not eat can help prevent deers from entering the garden. It can include plants with a pungent smell like onion or garlic, prickly plants like cucumbers, or even flowers like daffodils and lavenders.

  • Right kind of fencing

The second solution to prevent the deer from entering your garden is to create the right kind of fence. A high fence that a deer cannot pass through is a great solution in the same respect.

  • Use deer repellant

There are various deer repellants available on the market. You can spray them in your garden, and their smell will drive away deer from there.

  • Try double fence

You can even try to build the double fence, as this will make deer less interested in jumping across.

  • Shrubs near fence

Growing shrubs near the fence will make deer fizzy about where to land while jumping. In case of uncertainty, there are chances that a deer will not cross your garden border.

  • Use Irish Spring soap.

Shave slices from the bar of soap and scatter them about the places where you wish the deer to stay away. After the soap has dissolved, repeat the process.

What Animals Eat Onion Sets?

There are various animals as well as pests that eat onion sets. Squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, dogs, cats, groundhogs, moles, birds, deers, snakes, slugs, snails, and even rats are many species.

What Is Poisonous To Deer?

Certain plants poison deer. These include:

  • Annuals

Bee plant, blue cardinal flower, comfrey, datura, dusty miller, nicotiana, poppies, prairie flax, Texas bluebonnet, and tulips.

  • Perennials

Blue larkspur, Datura species, Joe-Pye weed, Lindheimer’s senna, night-blooming jasmine, red-hot poker variations, two-leaved senna, windflower, and woolly paperflower

  • Deer are poisoned by century plants, larkspur, lupine, narcissus, and daffodils.

What Is A Natural Deterrent For Deer?

A spray comprised of putrid aromas, such as eggs, garlic, and chili peppers, is the most effective natural, homemade deer repellent. Spray the mixture on your plants, and deer will avoid them due to the foul odor.


Do Reindeer Eat Onions?

No, reindeer also do not eat onions. The reindeer do not like the pungent smell of onion, and it falls under the category of non-palatable meals for reindeer.

Do Deer Eat Cucumbers?

No, deers do not eat cucumbers. Thorny vegetables, such as cucumber, and vegetables with hairy peels, such as certain squash kinds, are disliked by deer.

Do Marigolds Keep Deer Away?

Yes, marigolds can keep the deer away. The strong, spicy aroma of marigolds repels deer. On the other hand, signet marigolds have a brighter lemony scent and flavor, making them popular in the kitchen.

Are Hydrangeas Deer Resistant?

No, hydrangeas are one of the least-deer resistant plants at the garden center. They are liked by deer and are not an effective solution.

Does Onion Keep Raccoons Away?

Yes, raccoons have a keen sense of smell, which they employ to locate food sources. Raccoons are repelled by aromas such as hot pepper, garlic, peppermint oil, onion, and Epsom salt.


Cultivating onion in your home garden is a great choice if you wish to repel deer. Being one of the plants with a pungent smell, it is not liked by the deer and so will repel them. Additionally, growing a row of onions with other vegetables in your garden can help you keep your garden safe without any additional remedies.


Alice is a writer who grew up on a beautiful homestead in rural Old England. She now lives in New England with her fur babies and is on a mission to return to the land for a simpler, greener, and all-round kinder existence.

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