do deer eat roses

Do Deer Eat Roses? Tips to Keep Them Away

Here is everything you might need to know if you’re a gardener who is sick to the death of roses from deer attacks.

Are your roses being eaten by something? If that is the case, you might be having trouble identifying the offender. If you reside in a rural or suburban area where deer are present, it’s possible that a whitetail is raiding your garden. Do deer eat roses? In short, the answer is yes, deer do eat roses. They not only consume them but also find them to be mouthwatering.

Knowing that deer eat roses, we encourage you to read on to learn what you can do to keep deer away from your roses. And here are some other plants that may be eaten by deer, like mums, Peonies, Ferns, and Pansies.

Do Deer Eat Roses?

Roses can and frequently are eaten by deer. They are not deterred by the thorns and have been known to consume almost the entire plant. If you want to grow roses, you must take precautions to keep them safe from deer and other animals.

Thorns on rose bushes are designed to serve as a natural defense. Despite these thorns, deer have no trouble eating roses. It’s a common misconception that only rose bushes that are young and have fewer thorns are potentially dangerous. Because deer can digest a wide variety of foods, they can consume even mature rose bushes with sharp thorns.

Do Deer Eat Roses? Tips to Keep Them Away

Therefore, there is no intrinsic reason why deer shouldn’t consume roses. As a result, your rose bushes may be in danger if you leave them unprotected in an area where deer are present. To prevent your roses from becoming a deer’s next meal, you must take preventative measures.

Why Do Deer Like Roses?

As with humans, deer are probably attracted to the fragrance of roses. And if they are ravenous enough, the scent may ultimately tempt them to eat the bush. As a result, you’ll have a rose bush that’s been partially consumed and covered in twigs.

It’s crucial to determine at this point whether deer are actually munching on your rose bushes or if another animal is to blame. It’s important to keep in mind that deer have several unique characteristics, one of which is their small size, which makes it simpler for them to access your property and eat the roses.

There are ways to identify the presence of deer in your vegetation even before you see obvious signs of damage. Deer frequently leave hoof prints and deer droppings on your lawn when they are considering visiting it, making them one of the simplest ways to spot this.

It is also important to keep in mind that not all deer will visit your lawn. Black-tailed deer and mules are typically known for carrying out the deed. The colder months, when it is nearly impossible for deer to find food, are when deer are most likely to visit your lawn. On the other hand, deer can be a year-round problem if your yard is close to a breeding area.

How Do I Keep Deer Away From My Roses?

Do Deer Eat Roses? Tips to Keep Them Away

You may want to try some deer repellants. You will need to reapply this from time to time, so keep that in mind. After significant rain, you will always need to reapply it. You can use some natural and homemade remedies as well.

To find out which ones work for you, you will have to experiment. The issue is that occasionally deer will grow accustomed to whatever you use and disregard it, still attacking your rose plants. Because of this, occasionally switching up your method will probably lead to better results.

Go High Tech

You can investigate available specialized mechanical devices if you still experience issues. These are safeguards that deter. A device that detects the presence of a deer nearby and activates a sprinkler or makes a loud noise to frighten the animal away is an example.

You will occasionally need to switch up the positioning and device, just like with the other strategies. Once accustomed, the deer will eventually succumb to your roses’ allure once more.

Create a Buffer With Perennials Deer Hate

Another strategy is to surround your roses with vegetation that deer find repulsive. There are some plants that are known to be resistant to deer or to deter deer. These include:

  • Columbine
  • Coreopsis
  • Ageratum
  • Astilbe
  • Dusty Miller
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Marigolds
  • Bleeding Heart
Do Deer Eat Roses? Tips to Keep Them Away


An electric fence might be a possibility if all other measures fail. The cost and investment of this are obvious. It will need to be quite tall, so keep that in mind. If it’s too short, deer will just jump over it and enter your garden. You could also just fence your property the conventional way. But once more, confirm that the fencing is tall enough.

Homemade Deer Repellent

You can experiment with homemade deer-repellent recipes. One call for the following ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/3 cup of liquid dishwashing soap
  • 1/3 cup hot sauce (Tabasco is a popular choice)

Once this mixture is ready, pour it into a sprayer (like a gallon tank sprayer). Water should now fill the sprayer’s remaining space. Each week, apply this to and around your roses.

Make sure you do this thoroughly so that the deer can definitely smell it. This method, according to gardeners who have used it, won’t harm your plants.

Final Thoughts: Deer Love to Eat Roses

The majority of rose species are eaten by deer, who can also give you a lot of headaches. To keep them away, take into account using deer deterrents, fences, and repellents. However, keep in mind that no single strategy will suffice to deter deer. To effectively deer-proof your gardens, you must combine them.

With a little more knowledge about deer (and other animals that eat roses), you should be better equipped to defend your plants. It’s crucial to find a solution that not only keeps your plants safe but also maintains their aesthetic value. Stick with it even if some tweaking and trial-and-error are necessary.


Are Some Roses Deer Resistant?

Are Some Roses Deer Resistant?

That said, the following roses are considered to be more resistant to deer: Swamp rose (Rosa palustris) Virginia rose (R. virginiana).

What Animal is Eating My Roses at Night?

Rabbits, squirrels, and deer eat rose buds and shoots.

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