do deer eat basil

Do Deer Eat Basil?

Written by: Gemmali Dizor
Last updated on:

The answer to the question “do deer eat basil?” is yes, deer can and do eat basil. However, this does not mean that every single deer will eat basil, or that basil is a preferred food source for all deer. The likelihood of deer eating basil depends on various factors, including the availability of other food sources and the age and size of the deer population in a specific area.

In this article, we will delve deeper into the topic of deer and basil and provide you with all the information you need to know.

Why Do Deer Eat Basil?

Deer are known to be generalist feeders, which means they will eat a variety of plants, including basil. The reason why deer might eat basil is that they are looking for a source of nutrition. Basil is not a high-energy food source for deer, but it does contain some vitamins and minerals that deer need to survive.

However, in most cases, deer will only eat basil if it is the only food source available to them. If there is a plentiful supply of other, preferred food sources available, such as leaves, twigs, and other vegetation, deer will not be as likely to eat basil.

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How To Prevent Deer From Eating Basil?

If you have basil in your garden and you do not want deer to eat it, there are several methods you can use to prevent deer from accessing it. Some of these methods include:

Fencing: One of the most effective methods of preventing deer from eating basil is to install a fence around your garden. The fence should be tall enough to prevent deer from jumping over it and sturdy enough to prevent them from pushing through it.

Repellents: There are many commercial deer repellents available that can be sprayed on your basil plants to deter deer from eating them. These repellents often contain ingredients that are unpleasant to deer, such as hot pepper or garlic.

Netting: Another option is to cover your basil plants with netting. This will prevent deer from being able to reach the basil and will also protect it from other animals that might be interested in eating it.

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Planting in Raised Beds: If you have a raised bed in your garden, you can plant your basil in it. This will make it more difficult for deer to reach the basil, and it will also provide a more controlled environment for the basil to grow in.


In conclusion, deer can and do eat basil, but it is not a preferred food source for them. If you want to prevent deer from eating your basil, there are several methods you can use, including fencing, repellents, netting, and planting in raised beds. By following these tips, you can ensure that your basil plants stay healthy and protected from deer and other animals.

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