Yes, deer may eat lavender, particularly if food sources are scarce or if the lavender plants are easily accessible. Lavender is not toxic to deer, but it is not their preferred food choice either.
In this article, we will explore the factors that influence deer to eat lavender, the impact of deer browsing on lavender plants, and strategies to protect lavender from deer damage.
Keep reading to learn more about this topic.
Why Do Deer Eat Lavender?
There are several reasons why deer may choose to eat lavender, including:
Hunger: When food is scarce, deer may start to browse on a wider variety of plants, including lavender.
Accessibility: If lavender plants are easily accessible and not protected by barriers or repellents, deer may be more likely to eat them.
Lack of alternatives: In areas where other food sources are scarce, deer may start to feed on lavender and other plants that they wouldn’t normally eat.
Habituation: If deer have previously eaten lavender and found it to be a reliable food source, they may continue to do so in the future.
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The Impact of Deer Browsing on Lavender Plants
Deer browsing on lavender plants can have several negative impacts, including:
Reduced plant growth: When deer eat the leaves and shoots of lavender plants, they can slow down or prevent growth. This can result in smaller, less healthy plants.
Decreased flowering: Lavender plants produce flowers for a limited period each year, and deer browsing can reduce the number of flowers produced, as well as the overall quality of the blooms.
Plant death: In severe cases, repeated deer browsing can kill lavender plants.
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How to Protect Lavender from Deer
There are several strategies that can be used to protect lavender from deer browsing, including:
Physical barriers: Fencing or barriers made from deer netting or mesh can be used to protect lavender plants from deer.
Repellents: There are several types of deer repellents available, including sprays, granules, and electronic devices. These can be used to discourage deer from browsing lavender plants.
Plant selection: Some varieties of lavender are less appealing to deer than others. Consider choosing a variety that is known to be deer-resistant.
Habitat modification: Encouraging the presence of other food sources for deer, such as native plants, can reduce their interest in browsing lavender.
Planting lavender in raised beds or containers: This can make it more difficult for deer to access the plants and may deter them from browsing.
In conclusion, deer may eat lavender under certain conditions, but it is not their preferred food choice. The impact of deer browsing on lavender plants can be significant, so it’s important to take steps to protect them. There are several strategies that can be used to reduce the risk of deer damage to lavender, including physical barriers, repellents, planting deer-resistant varieties, habitat modification, and planting in raised beds or containers.