Will Deer Eat Lemongrass? Proven Tips for Protecting Plants

One interesting fact about gardening is that fragrant plants can actually act as a deterrent for wildlife, specifically deer. The more potent the fragrance, the less attractive the plant is to deer.

You can turn this to your advantage by planting aromatic plants such as lemongrass in the garden to repel wildlife. 

Will deer eat lemongrass? Deer will generally eat anything in the garden except for lemongrass. However, if there’s nothing else to eat and the deer is hungry, it may nibble on lemongrass. It’s rare that deer will damage your lemongrass beyond repair. They might eat a handful of leaves, but they’ll grow back in a few days.

While the fragrance and aroma of the lemongrass are good deterrents for deer, they’re no match for hunger.

Read more to find out how to protect your lemongrass against the occasional raid by a hungry deer.

Is Lemongrass Deer Resistant?

In normal circumstances, deer will not go near your lemongrass. They will usually circle around it looking for less fragrant plants to eat, but if lemongrass is the only plant in the garden, a hungry deer will stoop so low as to feed on the juicy stems and lush leaves regardless of how strong their flavor.

Why Deer Usually Avoid Lemongrass

Lemongrass has an extra acidic flavor similar to bitter lemon. The biting taste repels deer, which usually prefer juicy stems and leaves that are rich in protein.

Lemongrass leaves lack the necessary nutrients that appeal to deer. So for the most part, the animals will avoid lemongrass and go looking for milder plants that are easy on the tongue.

When Deer May Eat Lemongrass

Acidic fragrance or not, nothing stands in the way of hunger. When a deer is starving for food and lemongrass is the only plant in sight, it will suppress its natural distaste for its lemony flavors and eat as much as it can to give it energy.

However, once the deer has a few stalks and leaves of lemongrass in its belly, it will usually stop eating and keep looking for other food. 

Does Lemongrass Repel Deer?

Although deer will only eat lemongrass as a last resort, the plant itself doesn’t repel the animals. If you plant lemongrass in the garden, that will not stop deer from coming in and sampling the other veggies you have there.

Between the munching and trampling, the garden is not safe from deer even with a large lemongrass patch growing there. If you’re looking for ways to keep deer off the property, lemongrass is not a good choice.

Will Lemongrass Recover From Deer Grazing?

For the most part, lemongrass will not sustain heavy damage when a hungry deer is grazing.

After a few mouthfuls of the acidic leaves and stalks, the deer will stop eating and will go looking for other food. Lemongrass will grow back and replace the missing leaves and stems in a short time.

Tips For Protecting Lemongrass From Deer

Although the chances of a hungry deer ruining your lemongrass are low, there are ways to protect your lemongrass against such damage, even if it’s minimal.

Here are a few strategies you can adopt to protect your lemongrass.

Grow Lemongrass Indoors!

One of the easiest ways to keep deer from eating your lemongrass is to keep the fragrant plants indoors.

This might complicate the task of caring for the plant and providing the ideal growing conditions to keep it growing successfully, but it’s the surest way to keep deer from grazing or trampling on the lemongrass.

Utilize Other Plants That Deer Dislike

If lemongrass won’t repel deer, other plants do a better job keeping these wild animals from entering the garden.

Some of the potent deer-repellent plants include daffodils, marigolds, chives, Russian sage, lamb’s ear, bee balm, oregano, and bleeding heart. They all have strong aromas that deer smell from far away and avoid going near.

Bobbex Deer Repellent

Bobbex Deer Repellent is an unscented spray that combines different natural ingredients that deer find both distasteful and unpleasant.

Once sprayed, the repellent odors stay on the surfaces for a long time and won’t wash away in the rain or when you water the plants.

Because it has natural ingredients, the spray won’t damage the plants or cause any health hazards to your pets or children.

Motion-Activated Sprinklers

Another, more creative, solution to the deer problem is to chase them away with water.

After installing the motion-activated sprinklers, when a deer walks into the garden, the sprinklers will spray it with water to chase it away. It also works against other wildlife like rabbits, foxes, voles, and even birds.

Ultrasonic Deterrent

This hi-tech solution uses ultrasound sound when it detects movement in the garden. This will scare the intruding deer and chase them off the property. 

Homemade Deer Repellent

To make an effective homemade deer repellent, mix 8 ounces of white vinegar, 4 drops of rosemary essential oil, and 6 drops of peppermint essential oil.

Spray the lemongrass as well as the entry points in the garden. The strong odors of this repellent will keep deer away.

Growing Lemongrass Indoors

You can grow lemongrass indoors to keep it safe from hungry deer. Here’s how to do it in easy steps.

  1. Fill a small pot with a potting mix about 1 inch from the edge. Tamp the potting mix to push out air pockets.
  2. Sow the seeds of lemongrass a quarter inch deep, and space them 1 inch apart. Cover with a thin layer of soil.
  3. Water the soil to get it moist, and keep the pot in a sunny spot.
  4. When the seeds germinate and the seedlings have two sets of true leaves, transplant the plants into a large pot.
  5. Water regularly to keep the soil damp but not wet.
  6. Feed the plants with a mild nitrogen-high fertilizer once every two weeks.
  7. When the lemongrass is 1 foot tall, you can harvest the leaves. This will trigger the plant to grow more leaves.

Related Questions:

Will Rabbits Eat Lemongrass?

Rabbits enjoy the taste and flavors of lemongrass. So, the best thing that you can do is to protect your plants from rabbits with repellents or motion-detected sprinklers.

What Is the Most Effective Deer Repellent?

A deer repellent that contains petrified eggs is very effective.


Although deer will only feed on lemongrass when there’s no other food available, you still need to protect the fragrant plants against hungry deer.

You can use ultrasound deterrents or motion-activated sprinklers, or simply grow your lemongrass indoors.