Is Chamomile Deer Resistant? [+Tips for Keeping Deer Away]

Unfortunately, suburban gardens provide deer with a veritable gourmet buffet filled with tasty, green, juicy treats.

These gentle creatures are tempted into our gardens and peacefully feast on our hard-won horticultural victories without realizing the damage they cause.

It’s frustrating to watch our efforts become the surrounding wildlife’s dinner; after all, gardening is hard work! 

As if we plant parents don’t have enough to deal with, protecting our plants from bugs and pests can quickly become practically a full-time job. 

Is chamomile deer resistant? Chamomile is considered to be deer resistant. This is because this daisy-like herb is highly aromatic and strong tasting. Deer do not care for the intense flavor and will avoid eating it and often any neighboring plants as well. While it is deer resistant, it’s not 100% deer proof.

It’s tough enough trying to protect your plants from disease, bugs, and pests; read on for some handy tips to keep the deer at bay! 

Deer-Resistant Chamomile

The chamomile herb belongs to the Asteraceae plant family and has been cultivated for centuries due to its beneficial medicinal properties.

As such, gardeners wanting to grow this beautiful plant and looking to keep deer out of the garden face one dilemma: would Roman or German be a better option? 

Is Roman Chamomile Deer Resistant?

Chamaemelum nobile, otherwise known as Roman chamomile, is a short, perennial plant that can be used as lawn or ground cover.

It is also commonly called English chamomile as its often found growing in British gardens as lawn or edging.

Its strong scent and aromatic flavor are too intense for the taste buds of deer, and therefore it is deer resistant. 

Is German Chamomile Deer Resistant?

German Chamomile, or Matricaria recutita, is a taller version of Roman chamomile, displaying the same daisy-type flowers.

Many gardeners consider this to be wild chamomile. It can grow to approximately 2 feet in height and is also deer resistant. 

Why Deer Tend To Dislike Chamomile

Deer feed primarily on forbs (non-woody plants) and woody plants that exude delicate or soft flavors. In addition, they enjoy fruit, vegetable, and your prize roses! 

In fact, anything is on the menu when it comes to deer as their culinary choices extend to more than 600 species of plants.

However, they tend to avoid pungent-smelling, aromatic plants such as chamomile.

This is excellent news because this herb is known for its strong scent and robust flavor, both of with are naturally distasteful to deer. 

5 Tips for Keeping Deer Away From Chamomile Plants

Russian chamomile in full bloom on a sunny day.

While distasteful to deer, chamomile may still make it onto the menu if there is nothing else to eat.

This especially happens in the winter when deer are foraging for anything to satisfy their hunger pangs, including chamomile!

Read on for some easy tips for keeping deer away from your chamomile plants. 

Fencing

If your deer presence is significant, installing a fence or netting is an excellent option to protect your plants.

Plastic deer netting is inexpensive (this 100-foot roll is a bargain)  and will not cause any damage to deer or surrounding wildlife.

Attach some blue and green string or ribbon to the net as these colors are easily detected by deer who tend to have poor eyesight.

This netting is suitable for protecting small trees and plants. Ensure the netting is attached to the ground as the deer will reach underneath to find any tasty treats. 

Gardening Techniques

While chamomile is naturally deer resistant, planting it with other deer-resistant plants will further prevent hungry deer from resorting to a nibble.

Select plants that have a distinct smell, such as rosemary, mint, lavender, or hyssop, to grow alongside chamomile; they have excellent deer-repelling properties.

Noise Deterrents

Deer are easily startled and will make a quick escape at the slightest noise. Hang wind chimes from the low branches of trees and shrubs or on the fence.

Alternatively, create your own noise deterrent using old tin cans, pebbles, and some string, then hang this from shrubs or tree branches.

Whistles and flags are also very effective noise deterrents. 

Strong Smells & Tastes 

Make your own organic repellent using garlic, rotten eggs, and hot sauce, and spray it onto your plants liberally to deter the sensitive taste buds of returning deer.

In addition, garlic clips (find them here) are an excellent deterrent; each clip emits a pungent garlic aroma which repels deer easily.

Clip them onto nearby plants or shrubs to prevent your chamomile and other plants from becoming a deer buffet.

While there are many commercial deer-deterrent sprays on the market, an organic approach is recommended for the safety of the surrounding plant and wildlife. 

Lure Them Away

Plant a deer garden, using their favorite food choices, far away from your prized vegetable, fruit, and flower beds.

While this may seem counterproductive, it will ensure that hungry deer have access to food without needing to venture further into the garden.

Related Questions:

What Can I Plant With German Chamomile?

Planting German chamomile with certain vegetables and plants can improve their health and flavor and deter certain pests.

German chamomile is often called the “doctors plant” because ailing plants revive when planted nearby.

In addition, vegetables such as onions, cabbage, carrots, squash, tomatoes, and many more benefit both health-wise and taste-wise when planted alongside chamomile. 

What Can You Not Plant Near Chamomile?

Chamomile is the perfect companion plant for absolutely every plant in the garden. Grown alongside vegetables and flowers, it provides the ideal tonic required to keep your plants happy and flourishing.

Moreover, its pest- and deer-repellent properties make it even more popular among savvy gardeners looking to protect their plants from disease and hungry tummies. 

Conclusion

While deer may find chamomile a rather distasteful snack, there are many added benefits from planting this aromatic herb in the garden.

Firstly, it provides impressive health benefits for delicate plants, improving health, growth, and flavor.

Secondly, it attracts the insects you want in the garden, for example, hoverflies, wasps, and bees, which are good pollinators and predators.

Thirdly, it also collects healthy nutrients from the soil, such as potassium and calcium, which are then redistributed into the ground as it grows.

As you can see, chamomile certainly provides the perfect all-round defense when grown in the garden and may help to deter deer from your other plants as well.