Do Deer Eat Roses?

Many new gardeners ask a common question: “Do deer eat roses?

Well, my friend, the answer to this question is yes, they do! In fact, deer probably eats a lot of the plants in your garden. However, there are ways to protect your roses and keep deer out of your garden.

Deer Eat RosePin

In this article, you’ll learn some tips for deterring wildlife from eating your rosebushes.

If your roses are being eaten, then it’s probably by deer.

Deer love to eat plants like rosebushes and will often come into yards when food is scarce.

They can easily jump over short fences, so keep that in mind when trying to keep animals out of your yard.

Why Do Deer Eat Roses?

Deer eat roses for several reasons. One is that they are hungry.

Deer are herbivores and get their nutrients from eating plants. They also like the taste of roses, which can be sweet or sour depending on the variety.

It also gives them a little roughage in their diet, similar to how humans need fiber.

Roses have been cultivated for centuries, so it’s no surprise that deer are attracted to them.

Deer love the taste of roses, and their tender young leaves make for an excellent snack.

Although there are many rose bush species, most rose types have similar nutritional value.

Rose petals are mostly water and contain some carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamin C.

You would think they would avoid rosebushes because of the thorns, but they eat the petals, leaves, and some of the stalks, thorns, and all.

So as lovely as they are to see in your garden, they can do a lot of damage to your plants.

Do deer eat rose bushes because they are tasty or simply because it is available?

A deer will eat pretty much anything in its path that looks like it might be edible.

If your yard is full of beautiful ornamental trees and shrubs, you can expect them to be stripped bare during winter when food sources are scarce for deer.

If they can get to it, they will eat it.

What Is The Deer’s Preferred Food?

What do deer eat besides rosebushes?

Deer are opportunistic feeders that eat many types of plants but prefer those with high protein content, such as:

  • Alfalfa
  • Clover
  • Grasses
  • Legumes

They also eat acorns, seeds, and nuts when available in the fall and winter months.

Deer will also eat shrubs, trees, fruits, berries, and many other plants.

How to Keep Deer Out Of The Garden?

There are several ways to keep deer out of your rose garden.

The first is to plant them where they can’t reach them.

The second is to use fencing or other methods to keep the deer away from your plants.

Here are the six tips to keep in mind:

1. Plant Roses Where Deer Can’t Reach Them

Planting roses where the deer can’t reach them may be the easiest way to deal with this problem because it doesn’t require any special equipment or techniques.

Simply plant your roses among other shrubs and plants too tall for deer to jump over.

This also provides added protection from rain, wind, and other elements that might cause damage to your plants.

2. Put Fencing Around Your Garden

Fencing is another common method used by homeowners with problems with deer-eating roses.

You can keep deer out of your garden in several ways without harming them.

One way is to use wire or plastic mesh fencing, but you’ll need to check the fence regularly to ensure the deer or other animals do not break it.

3. Try An Ultrasonic Deer Repellant

Another method is to use an ultrasonic deer repellant device. These devices require electricity, so be sure to have batteries or an outlet close to using one.

They emit high-frequency sounds that humans can’t hear, but animals do and will avoid that area.

4. Try Liquid Spray Repellents

Deer repellant can be purchased at most home and garden stores, but you can also make your own concoction and spray it around the area and on the leaves of the bushes.

Deer dislike anything with a strong odor, so the smellier, the better.

Ingredients like apple cider vinegar, garlic, oregano, sage, rosemary, and rotten egg make for a stinky mix.

DIY Deer Repellant:

Here’s what you can do:

  • Add 1 cup of milk, one egg, and a tablespoon of dish soap to a one-gallon milk jug.
  • Fill the remainder of the jug with water and leave it outside in the sun for several days.
  • Next, fill a spray bottle with the liquid and spray around your plants, rose bushes, and shrubs.
  • Repeat often, especially after it rains.

You can also grate a bar of Irish Spring deodorant soap and sprinkle it around your plants.

Deer dislike these odors and should stay away.

Dog urine can also be used as a deterrent. Take your dog out and have them do their business near the rose bushes.

Human urine is good as a fertilizer but, unfortunately, will not scare away deer.

5. Make A Scarecrow

Another way to protect your roses is by making a scarecrow.

You can buy one online or at a local hardware store. You can also make one yourself with some old clothes filled with hay or straw.

These can be fun to make and scare away any animals in your yard.

This is also an excellent use for your old Halloween Grim Reaper motion-activated door guardians.

6. Install Motion-Sensor Solar Lights

Regular outdoor lighting might not do much to deter grazing deer. However, a sudden bright light that will startle them might do the trick.

Install a couple of bright LED lights that shine around the entrance to your garden area.

Ones with solar panels charged by the sun will last a long time and require very little maintenance.

Flashing lights may also be effective.

Overall, deer will eat roses and anything else they can find. However, you can protect your rose bushes from deer by following some of the suggestions above.

You can also plant flowers that repel deer around your rose bushes.

You might also consider planting grasses or flowers they like, and ones that you won’t mind eating, in the opposite direction of your garden.

That way, you can still enjoy the beauty of nature and the deer!


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