Do Deer Eat Lavender? PROTECT Your Garden!

Are you wondering: do deer eat lavender? As a nature lover and an enthusiast of all things deer, I can confidently say that while lavender is deer resistant, deer may still consume it in certain specific circumstances.

Do Deer Eat Lavender?

Deer are known to be herbivores and have a diverse diet, consisting of various plants and leaves. While lavender may not be a part of their preferred food (lavender is deer resistant), deer may still consume them in the absence of other readily available options. The strong lavender scent of lavender is known to repel these herbivores, making it less likely for them to consume the plant. Gardeners and homeowners may use various methods to deter deer from eating their plants, including planting lavender in their garden, installing physical barriers and using deer-repellent sprays.

Overview of Deer Damage

Deer can cause severe damage to gardens and lawns by feeding on flowers, foliage, and bark of various plants. The extent of damage caused by deer depends on several factors, including the number of deer in the area, the types of plants present, and the time of year. Springtime is usually when the damage is the worst because the plants have just started to grow and are at their most vulnerable.

However, you don’t have to give up on creating a beautiful garden just because deer are around. There are plenty of deer-resistant plants to choose from that can help protect your garden and still provide aesthetic appeal. Lavender is one of those plants!

Benefits of Deer-Resistant Plants

Deer-resistant plants are a perfect solution for gardeners who want to enjoy beautiful outdoor spaces without worrying about deer damage. These plants are designed to be unattractive to deer, meaning they are less likely to be eaten, uprooted, or damaged. By using deer-resistant plants, you can also save money and time that would be spent on repairing damaged plants or installing barriers.

Furthermore, deer-resistant plants can enhance the beauty of your garden. These plants come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, making it easy to create a stunning and diverse outdoor space. Deer-resistant plants can also add valuable texture and contrast to your garden, adding to its overall appeal.

Characteristics that Make Plants Deer-Resistant

Understanding What Deer Like to Eat

Deer are not picky eaters and will eat almost anything when they are hungry. However, they do have food preferences, and these preferences vary depending on the season, climate, and region. Generally, deer prefer to eat plants with soft foliage and tender young stems, such as leaves, flowers, and fruits. They also like plants that are easy to access, such as those growing at the edge of a forest or near a fence.

Types of Deer-Resistant Plants

Deer-resistant plants are those that deer tend to avoid or eat sparingly. They are mostly plants with thick, rough, or fuzzy leaves, and those with strong smells or bitter tastes. Some popular types of deer-resistant plants include lavender, peonies, yarrow, daffodils, and alliums. It is essential to note that no plant is entirely deer-proof, but choosing deer-resistant plants can significantly reduce the damage caused by these herbivores.

Comprehensive List of Deer-Resistant Plants

Here’s a comprehensive list of deer resistant plants that you may want to spread around your garden to deep deer away:

  1. Lavender: Lavender is an aromatic, evergreen herb that is easy to care for and deer-resistant. It has beautiful purple flowers, which are known to repel deer with their strong scent. Lavender thrives in well-drained soil and can tolerate drought conditions. It is also a valuable plant for pollinators.
  2. Peonies: Peonies are herbaceous perennials that produce stunning pink, red, and white flowers in late spring to early summer. They have thick, bitter leaves that deer do not typically like to eat. Peonies prefer full sun and well-drained soil.
  3. Yarrow: Yarrow is a perennial plant that has white or yellow flowers and feathery leaves. It is naturally deer-resistant due to its strong scent and bitter taste. Yarrow thrives in full sun and well-drained soil.
  4. Russian Sage: Russian Sage is a perennial plant that has silver-gray leaves and produces purple-blue flowers. It is highly deer-resistant due to its strong scent and bitter taste. Planting Russian Sage in your garden can help keep deer away from other plants that they may be attracted to eating.
  5. Coneflowers: Coneflowers are perennials that produce striking purple or pink flowers that bloom from mid-summer to autumn. They have spiky leaves that are unappealing to deer, making them a great addition to any garden. Coneflowers are also drought-tolerant and attract a variety of pollinators.
  6. Butterfly Weed: Butterfly Weed is another deer-resistant plant that produces vibrant orange or yellow flowers and has tall, slender green leaves. Its unpalatable taste and scent keep deer away, while its attractive blooms attract butterflies. Planting Butterfly Weed in your garden can help keep deer away from other plants that they may be attracted to eating.
  7. Boxwood: Boxwood is a popular evergreen shrub that has a bitter taste and strong fragrance, making it unpalatable to deer. It is a slow-growing shrub that is easy to maintain, making it perfect for hedges, borders, or as a topiary. Boxwood can grow in full or partial sun and prefers well-drained soil.
  8. Cedar: Cedar is another evergreen shrub or tree that deer typically avoid due to its fragrant smell. It is a low-maintenance plant that can grow in a variety of soils and light conditions. Cedar can be used for hedges, privacy screens, or as a windbreak.
  9. Juniper: Juniper is an evergreen shrub that produces fragrant foliage that deer typically avoid. It can be used for ground covers, hedges, or as a topiary. Juniper prefers full sun and well-drained soil.
  10. Rosemary: Rosemary is a fragrant and flavorful herb that is also deer-resistant. It is an easy-to-grow plant that can be used for cooking or as a topiary. Rosemary prefers full sun and well-drained soil.
  11. Thyme: Thyme is another fragrant herb that is also deer-resistant. It is a low-growing plant that can be used for cooking or ground cover. Thyme prefers full sun and well-drained soil.
  12. Fescue: Fescue is a type of grass that is typically deer-resistant due to its coarse texture and bitter taste. It is easy to grow and maintain, making it a good option for landscaping or ground cover. Fescue prefers full sun and well-drained soil.
  13. Barberry: Barberry is a deciduous shrub that produces thorny branches and small, red berries. The thorns and bitter taste of the leaves make it unattractive to deer. Barberry can grow in full or partial sun and prefers well-drained soil.
  14. Spirea: Spirea is a deciduous shrub that produces cascading clusters of flowers in the spring and summer. It has a bitter taste that makes it unappetizing to deer. Spirea can grow in full or partial sun and prefers well-drained soil.

Examples of How to Use Some of these Plants in Garden Design

  • Lavender is an excellent plant to use in borders or as a low hedge. Its bright purple flowers provide a striking contrast to other plants and can add texture to any garden design.
  • Peonies look beautiful when planted in groups and can be used as a focal point in garden beds. They also pair well with other perennials, such as irises and phlox.
  • Yarrow is perfect for cottage gardens or wildflower meadows. It can also be planted in groups as a groundcover or used in containers as a beautiful trailing plant.

Planting and Maintenance Tips

Soil Preparation

Before planting lavender or any other plants, it is important to ensure that the soil is properly prepared. Lavender thrives in well-draining soil, so it is important to amend the soil if necessary. Adding organic material such as compost can help improve soil structure and drainage. Additionally, it is important to test the soil pH to ensure it is within the optimal range for lavender. If necessary, lime can be added to raise the pH or sulfur can be added to lower it.


Watering is crucial for the growth and maintenance of lavender plants. In the first year, it is important to water the plants once a week with one inch of water in the absence of rainfall. Deep, thorough watering is best, as it encourages root growth and reduces the risk of shallow roots. It’s also important to avoid watering the plants from the top, as this can lead to the development of fungal diseases. Using a soaker hose at the base of the plant is an effective way to deliver water directly to the roots without wetting the leaves.


Lavender plants don’t require a lot of fertilization, but it is important to provide them with the necessary nutrients to promote growth and flowering. A balanced fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium can be applied once or twice a year in the spring and fall. Additionally, adding a layer of organic material such as compost around the base of the plants can help provide nutrients and improve soil structure.


Pruning is important for maintaining the shape and health of lavender plants, as well as promoting new growth and flowering. It’s best to prune the plants in the early spring just as new growth begins to appear. Dead or damaged stems should be removed, and the plants should be lightly pruned to maintain their shape. Deadheading spent blooms throughout the growing season can also encourage the production of new flowers. However, it’s important not to prune lavender too aggressively, as this can lead to reduced growth and flowering in the following season.


Which flowers are deer-resistant?

For gardeners who are worried about deer munching on their plants, it’s important to choose flowers and herbs that will repel these grazing animals. Some of the most effective plants include those with strong scents or flavors, as deer tend to avoid anything that’s too pungent or bitter. For example, many types of herbaceous plants like yarrow, lamb’s ears, and agastache are excellent choices because of their fragrant leaves and flowers. Additionally, flowers like black-eyed Susans, coneflowers, and salvia are also great options because their slightly fuzzy or rough foliage doesn’t usually appeal to deer.

Here are some beautiful deer resistant flowers:

  1. Yarrow
  2. Lamb’s ears
  3. Agastache
  4. Black-eyed Susans
  5. Coneflowers
  6. Salvia

Can vinegar deter deer?

Wondering how to keep deer away from your garden? There are a few natural solutions you can try. One option is to use strong-smelling plants like herbs, lavender, or peonies. Another idea is to create a homemade spray by combining ingredients like vinegar, garlic, or mint. These scents can all help discourage deer from approaching your plants.

  • Are there any effective ways to repel deer?
  • Can strong smells deter deer from eating my plants?
  • Is vinegar a natural deer repellent?

In answer to the question of whether vinegar repels deer, the answer is yes. Vinegar can be an effective natural deterrent for these animals, thanks to its pungent scent and taste. When sprayed on plants or around your garden, vinegar can help keep deer away and protect your crops from damage. Other smells that may work include eggs, garlic, cloves, and predator-related scents like wolf urine.

Which scent is most repellent to deer?

Deer tend to avoid certain aromatic plants that have strong scents, such as certain herbs, flowers like peonies and bearded irises. Additionally, scents like vinegar, garlic, and mint can also deter deer. They tend to stay away from predator-related scents, like those of wolf urine. In general, strong and overpowering smells tend to be the most effective in deterring deer.

How to repel deer?

If you’re looking to keep deer away from your plants, consider using lavender or herbs with strong scents, as well as vinegar, eggs, garlic, or predator scents like wolf urine. However, be aware that raccoons may also be a problem, as they tend to devour entire lavender plants, including the flowers and stems.

What animals consume lavender?

Lavender plants may be at risk of consumption by certain wild animals. These creatures are known to include raccoons, who will devour every part of the plant. Other wildlife, such as deer, tend to avoid consuming plants with strong fragrances. Some effective ways to deter deer include planting aromatic herbs and flowers and utilizing scents like mint or wolf urine. Additionally, substances like vinegar, eggs, and garlic can also keep deer at bay.


So, the burning question on every gardener’s mind is: do deer eat lavender? The answer is yes, they can. However, it’s not their favorite food, and the strong scent can actually repel them. But, if there’s nothing else available to munch on, your lavender plants might become a tasty snack for these cute yet pesky herbivores.

Thankfully, with a few simple tricks, you can protect your beloved lavender from becoming a deer’s next meal. From physical barriers to deer-repellent sprays, there are plenty of methods you can use to keep these animals from ruining your garden. So, whip out those tools and get creative – it’s time to keep those deer at bay and let your lavender flourish!

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