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October 16, 2020 3 min read

Do Deer eat roses? Sadly, no matter how much we love roses, Deer love them more and can cause heartaches for you. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to protect your precious roses from Deer.

From the gorgeous red to the amazing fragrances, there is so much we love about our rose bushes. Still, it is heart-wrenching to watch animals mowing down an entire rose bushes in just minutes. Therefore, before you decide to cultivate a rose garden, one of the questions you might ask is – do Deer eat roses? Will they damage our roses? What can we do to stop deer damage and restore our rose bushes?

Deer love roses, just differently

Deer love roses. Unlike what we expect, their thorns do not deter Deer from browsing, raving and trampling on roses. They will eat the foliage, blooms, buds, and even the thorny areas. If you have got very young rose bushes, the damage will be horrifying as Deer are especially fond of young plants. Usually, deer eat roses during the night, although you may also see them during the day. Imagine that Deer usually eat at least 5 to 15 pounds of plant materials every day. Combine with the other fact that they eat and move in herds, then you will realize the tremendous damage they can do within minutes. This is why many gardeners have lost entire rose beds overnight.

How to deer-proof your rose bushes?

If you have a fondness for roses and leave in deer county, then you have to be careful about the steps you take to prevent the kind of heartaches deer damage can cause.

Here are the steps to consider:

Use deer-resistant roses

Although deer love roses, they don’t prefer all rose species. Standard roses such as drift roses, knockout roses, miniature roses, hybrid tea roses and David Austin shrub are favorite deer dinner treats. Therefore, you should consider roses such as pasture rose, Virginia rose, and swamp rose because they are more resistant to Deer.

Invest in repellents

You can also use deer repellents to keep them away. We recommend rotating between two and three repellents to ensure that they don’t get too comfortable with the scent or taste of the repellents. You may also need to reapply these repellents from time to time, particularly after it rains.

Use protective deterrents

You can also purchase technological deterrents which will keep Deer away from your gardens by either releasing noise or blasting them with water when motion is detected. However, also bear in mind that Deer can also get used to these gadgets after a while.

Add a protective fence

Fencing is one of the best ways to keep Deer away from your rose bushes effectively. However, you must be strategic about the kind of fence you use. For instance, walls about 4 to 5 foot high will not be effective as Deer can jump over it. It would help if you considered using slanted fences or standard fences about 8 foot high. Parallel fences of about 4 to 5 feet high with 4 foot between them can also keep Deer away. Parallel fences are effective because Deer will not jump over a fence when they cannot see the other side.

Final thoughts

Do Deer eat roses? Yes, Deer eat most rose species and can cause many headaches for you. Consider using deer deterrents, protective fences and repellents to keep them away. However, bear in mind that no one method is enough to keep Deer away. You need to combine them to sufficiently deer proof your gardens.

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