Do Deer Eat Pepper Plants? (Not all of them, but..)

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When you are not attracting deer to your food plot, you need a repellent, and pepper is said to be among the best vegetable plants you can use to keep deer from your vegetable farm, but the question is do deer eat pepper plants? Deer seem to have a mixed reaction when it comes to eating pepper plants. While some may eat other forms of pepper, others will avoid the same types at all costs. Deer always tend to avoid hot peppers and sweet peppers. However, they only occasionally stay far away from green peppers. 

One of the productive ways of protecting your garden against deer is to plant vegetables that deer abhor.  This method is effective and less costly as you won’t have to invest in expensive fences or even be at the garden time most of the time chasing away deer. 

Does Red Hot Chili Pepper Spray Repellent Keep off Deer?

Using Red Hot Chili Pepper spray repellent is an effective way of keeping the deer away from your vegetable garden. While pepper is a proven natural way of controlling the deer attacks on your farm, you do not want to fill your farm with pepper and other deer-repellent plants. 

You can still plant your favorite vegetables and protect them from being eaten by deer using chili pepper spray repellent on your veggies.

Making such a repellent is easy, and you can do it at home with the right ingredients. Here’s how to go about it.

While doing this, remember to take extra care as hot chili can be disastrous. Start your blender from the lowest speed to avoid splashing the mixture on your face.

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How to Make Homemade Pepper Spray Repellent for Deer


  • A quarter cup of water.
  • Four Habanero Peppers.
  • Olive or vegetable oil (Measure two tablespoons of either).
  • Milk or yogurt (Measure three tablespoons of either).

How to Prepare

  1. Add the peppers in water then blend to form a liquefied mixture.
  2. Pass the mixture through a coffee filter or cheesecloth into a clean container. This step is crucial as jumping would mean you will have to contend with clogs in the opening of the spray bottle. 
  3. Add the olive or vegetable oil and the milk or yogurt. These two will make the mixture sticky and enable it to remain on the plant once dry. The casein protein found in milk products helps the mixture to stick on the plant.
  4. Dilute with enough water to attain a ratio of 1:10 where one measure of the mixture goes with ten measures of water.

How to Use Red Hot Chili Pepper Spray Repellent Effectively

After making a perfect mixture of red hot chili spray, you need to understand how and when to use it on your plants to keep away deer. You should:

  • Kick-off these activities in early March when deer start building on their feeding patterns. When the gardens are not palatable for them right from the beginning, the deer won’t return to your garden the entire season.
  • Do this every week and every time after rainfall since rain washed the spray away.
  • Use the spray only after the dew has formed in the early morning.

Applying repellents on leaf surfaces is more effective than when applied to other parts of the plant. Most farmers get the best results from repellents when they apply them consistently.

What Other Plants Should You Use to Keep Deer Off?

Deer will most likely visit your garden when conditions in the wild aren’t that good for them. Some seasons will indeed have many deer attacks on your garden, while others will record near-zero attacks. Similarly, some vegetables will attract deer any time of the year regardless of the environmental conditions out there, while others will not.

You should know what types of vegetables to plant to keep deer off apart from the normal pepper plant. These vegetables have varying effects on deer. Here is a collection of some garden vegetable deer loathe to eat.

Root Vegetables

Root vegetables are vegetable plants whose roots are edible to humans. Deer are most likely to avoid root vegetables such as carrot roots, turnips, yam tubers, ginger, and taro corms, among others. Deer avoid these vegetables because accessing the edible part involves digging, which deer prefer to avoid.

Prickly Vegetables

Prickly vegetables are unusual vegetables that even humans would need extra care when handling them. Prickly vegetables that deer will avoid include cucumbers, squashes, and kohlrabi, among others. Their hairy leaves mostly prick the deer’s tongues, making it uncomfortable for them to feed on these plants.

For example, Kohlrabi has edible fruits, stems, and leaves, which should make it an admirable plant for deer to feed on. However, deer will not risk the pricks to have the benefits that come with this vegetable.


A cultivar could generally mean any plant sampled out to be bred for a specific purpose by man. They range from fruits, vegetables, grains, among other crops. The most common ones are vegetables, and these may see a herd of deer roaming your farm searching for something to deal with their hunger.

However, unknown to the deer is that some of these cultivars, such as onions, garlic, and fennels, have strong odors that are unpleasant to them. In the end, you remain with your crops safe as the deer move on to the next farm for palatable veggies.  

In as much as deer stay off most of the cultivars, they only do so when they are not completely hungry. However, when they are starving, the strong odor won’t keep them off your tomatoes or onion plants easily. So you shouldn’t get surprised when you find the top bud of your cultivars cut off and eaten by deer.

Final Verdict

Most deer will always keep off your garden immediately when they sense the presence of pepper plants. However, this should not make you relax the fight against the deer invasion as there are exceptions to this fact. With time, the deer develops a tolerance to the pepper plants and easily eats them without a second thought. 

So you should not just rely on using pepper plants alone. You should consider using multiple methods to keep your farm safe.

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