Will Deer Eat Lavender Plants?
Like any plant, most people who grow lavender put in a lot of time and effort in growing this flower, so it is only natural that you will want to protect it from disease and wildlife that may see your lavender as food.
If you are planning on growing lavender you may want to know if the deer in your area will eat your lavender plants.
So, do deer eat lavender? The truth is, deer may not like lavender, but they will eat lavender if they are hungry enough.
Keep reading for more details, plus tips on how to protect your lavender plants from deer.
Lavender is a sweet smelling flower with flower spikes that rise above it’s gray to green foliage. In fact, it is one of the most fragrant herbs to grow indoors.
Usually planted in the spring after the danger of frost has past, this flowering plant also has culinary and medicinal uses.
Most people think the lavender blooms are light purple, but this flowering plant also comes in blue, pink and white.
Lavender grows well in warmer climates, but certain varieties also grow well in cooler climates as well. Here in the United States, lavender can be grown in hardiness zones 5 through 10.
Lavender is usually planted as young plants rather than seeds and tends to grow best in areas with well-drained soil and a lot of sunshine.
Do Deer Eat Lavender?
With a growing population, humans have encroached on areas where wildlife once thrived, depriving them of feeding grounds and forcing wildlife including deer to come in more frequent contact with humans.
Under these conditions, it is only natural that deer will find your vegetable or flower garden to be a source for supplementing their diet.
However, to answer the question of whether or not deer will eat your lavender plant the answer is that deer won’t eat lavender if they can avoid. The strong floral scent of the lavender plant, which we humans find pleasing, deer find offensive.
Is Lavender Deer Resistant?
In fact, lavender is one of several plants that are considered deer resistant, which means this plant is actually planted near other flowers or vegetables that deer do find appealing. The strong scent of the lavender flower actually so disgusts deer that they avoid any area that this plant grows in.
However, you should never say never because given the right circumstances deer would eat your lavender plants. When deer are near starving they will force themselves to eat food they normally wouldn’t touch.
This most commonly happens in the early spring after a long winter or in the fall when a deer’s normal food sources are in short supply.
Ironically if deer are forced to eat lavender for sustenance, they prefer to eat the younger plants, which are exactly the plants that we tend to plant in the spring.
So while it is likely that any deer visiting your property won’t eat your lavender plants they will do so if they become hungry enough.
How to Protect Your Lavender Plants from Hungry Deer
It is unlikely that any deer visiting your property will be tempted to munch on your lavender. So, the normal ways of protecting plants from becoming deer food will likely be a waste of your time and money.
Provide Alternative Food Source
As I said earlier, deer only turn to eating lavender plants when other more flavorful food sources are absent.
So, the best thing you can do is provide your deer with food they do like during those times when food sources are in short supply or in those times when a sudden increase in the deer population leads to less available food for these lovely creatures.
If you do plan to provide a food source for deer in early spring or late fall then choose an area well away from your own garden plot.
Some of the types of food you can supply to those deer include apples, acorns, sugar beets, carrots, pumpkins that you split open and salt and mineral licks. Many feed stores offer huge bags of apples, beets, and carrots during the fall.
Acorns can easily be collected throughout the summer months and early fall and pumpkins can be purchased cheaply and used in the fall or the insides can be removed and frozen and put out in the spring after a rough winter.
A Bit of Caution!
Do keep in mind that feeding deer even in rough times may lead to the deer becoming dependent on the food you supply.
It is best to only supply deer with supplemental foods for limited periods of time and make sure you check with local laws as some areas forbid deer baiting entirely or during certain times of the year.
Do Deer Eat Lavender Plants? Final Thoughts
The simple truth is that there is very little risk of your lavender plants become deer food so go ahead and plant your lavender and enjoy the sweet scent of the plant as it fills the air.