Lavender, also referred to as Lavandula, is a herbaceous perennial plant that morphs into an evergreen shrub. It’s categorized as a flowering plant in the Lamiaceae family characterized by woody stems that continue growing for several years.
Gardeners have found this plant beneficial thanks to its sweet fragrance and essential oils. Lavender has antibacterial properties, and history has it that the plant was used to treat wounds during the turbulent times of the 19th century.
It appears it is not only beneficial to man, but animals have also found it to be a useful edible plant to satiate their hunger and nutritional needs.
We dug deep to find out animals that feed on lavender. Just in case something has been feeding on your potted plants, you will know what. Let’s get rolling.
Animals That Feed On Lavender
Most animals eat the lavender plant for the very reason that it’s the only food source available. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Generally, the strong scent of lavender appeals less to wild animals.
While the primary food source for rabbits is vegetables and grasses, they never mind a bite of herbs occasionally. They usually eat the greens and flower buds of the lavender plant.
Other herbs your rabbit is likely to eat include cilantro, rosemary, sage, dill, tarragon, oregano, peppermint, and balm.
In most cases, rabbits will avoid eating the lavender plant. However, you can add some buds or leaves to their veggie mix for some flavor.
Monitor your bunny to know if it is in distress after eating lavender.
Another animal that will happily munch lavender is the goat. Goats are browsers by nature and are known to browse about, tasting a little of one plant after the other.
Your goat may bite a lavender along its browsing path. A little of it in the goat’s system is mildly toxic because of the chemical compound S-linalool.
However, this isn’t going to affect your goat’s health, provided it has a relatively strong immune system.
You could also feed dry lavender to your goats as hay. Combine it with other dry plant parts and see whether your goat finds it palatable.
The pungent taste and odor of lavender are a real threat to domesticated animals and critters. Deer are no exception which makes lavender acquire the designation of a deer-resistant plant.
That being said, if food becomes scarce and the deer becomes famished, they will have no second thoughts about gorging lavender to fulfill their hunger.
The plant is relatively safe for deers to consume unless eaten in large quantities.
Plants with strong scents deter rodents, lavender being one of them. Growing the plant also stops them from burrowing under the soil.
While there have been no reports of squirrels destroying entire lavender yields, there is no conclusive evidence that the plant effectively keeps them out.
In fact, food-deprived squirrels are likely to eat through your lavender plants to access other food sources in your garden.
Grasshoppers are known to consume vegetation which helps to explain their naming partly. Though they contribute to the ecosystem, hoppers will attack your lavender plant if they run out of grass and other food sources.
The pests can completely chew off your lavender plants, destroying the whole yield within days.
Most pollinator insects love flowers by nature because of the sugary nectar.
One of those insects is the bees. They love lavender in bloom to collect nectar for their honey-making process.
Bees always have a preference for large lavender cultivars like the Lavandula Angustifolia.
7. Bearded Dragon
The bearded dragon is omnivorous, which means it can feed on animals and plants. The dragon occasionally feeds on lavender as a treat rather than staple food.
Other Animals Attracted By The Lavender Plant
Numerous other animals find the flowers of the lavender plant attractive. The typical ones include the moth and butterflies, hummingbirds, ladybugs, caterpillars, and hedgehogs.
Lavender is a striking herbaceous plant with beautiful purple flowers. Thanks to its strong scent and essential oils, the plant finds a special mention amongst herbs.
Its strong scent is a deterrent to wildlife and domesticated animals. However, regardless of its ability to repel animals, some animals don’t mind having an occasional bite to supplement their diet.