Why do deers eat roses: 8 (Reasons + Quick Fixes)

There’s nothing more disappointing for a gardener than seeing a hungry deer tear up a beautiful rose garden.

Even though these animals are beautiful and graceful in the wild, they can cause a lot of damage to domestic landscapes because they love rose bushes.

But don’t worry, because there are many ways to keep rabbits from eating your roses.

This detailed guide will give you a deep look at effective ways to keep rabbits from eating your roses.

Let’s look at why do deers eat roses and all the ways to keep deer from eating your roses, from natural repellents to fencing, and scare tactics to picking plants that deer don’t like.

Why do deer eat roses?

Roses are some of the most sought-after plants in many parks, thanks to their lush leaves and sweet flowers.

For deer, they both look good, but that’s not the only reason they like them. There are a few things that make deer come to these beautiful plants:

1. Preferences:

Just like people, deer have certain things they like to eat more than others. There may be chemicals or flavors in roses that make their taste buds happy. This makes roses a snack that they want to eat.

2. Water Content:

Roses have a lot of water, especially in their young shoots and blooms. In dry places or during times when water might be hard to come by, roses can be a source of both protein and water.

3. Survival instincts:

When food is scarce because of urbanization or changes in their environment, deer become less picky about where they eat. Even though roses might not be their first choice in the wild, they are an easy-to-find and healthy food source in cities.

4. Lack of Natural Predators:

Because there aren’t many natural predators in many suburbs and cities, deer numbers can grow. This can cause more animals to look for food in fields, which can hurt roses and other plants.

See also  Do Deer Eat Dahlias? 15 Ways To Keep Deer Away

5. Seasonal Changes:

Deer can have a hard time finding natural food sources at certain times of the year, like early spring and late autumn. Because of this, they have to look for other ways to get food, and gardens and roses are easy targets.

6. Attraction through the senses:

Rose petals and leaves might also be appealing to deer because of how they feel. Deer might find it easier and more fun to eat the soft, often velvety petals and tender new shoots than harder, wilder leaves.

7. Nutritional Needs:

Because deer are ruminants, they need a variety of foods to stay healthy. Roses might meet some of these needs because they have fibers, water, and possibly trace nutrients. This is especially true when other sources are not available.

8. Behaviour learning:

If a deer finds roses in a yard and finds out they taste good, it may look for roses in other places as well. Because of this learned behavior, some places with roses may be more likely to be visited more than once.

Understanding these things can help farmers understand why deer do what they do and find ways to keep them from eating their prized roses.

Understanding Deer Behavior

To keep deer from eating your roses, it’s important to know how they act.

Deer are creatures of habit, so when they find a good place to eat, they usually go back. They are also great jumpers and can easily jump over high walls.

How to prevent deers from eating roses

So, successful ways to get rid of deer must change their habits and put up barriers they can’t get past.

1. Natural Deer Repellents: Repellents Based on Smell

Deer have a strong sense of smell that helps them find food and warns them of danger. You can use this to your advantage by using smell-based repellents.

These work by making a smell that deer don’t like. Some famous homemade repellents include:

Garlic and/or Eggs: Both garlic and eggs smell bad to deer, so a spray made of garlic, eggs, and water can keep them away.

Hot Peppers: Capsaicin, the chemical that makes hot peppers spicy, can be spread on plants with water to keep deer away.

Soap: Deer will stay away from your roses if you hang bars of soap with a strong smell from branches or spread flakes of soap on the ground around them.

For best results, remember to repeat these repellents often and after it rains.

2. Repellents Based on Taste

Taste-based repellents stop deer from eating your roses by making them taste bad.

Odor-based repellents work by making your roses smell bad. Most of the time, these repellents are put right on the plants.

See also  Do Deer Eat Poppies (15 Surprising Ways To Repel Deer)

But they should be used with care because some of them might be poisonous or dangerous to other animals, pets, or even people.

3. Deer-Resistant Landscaping

Even though there is no plant that deer can’t eat, some are less tasty than others.

By putting these plants in your yard, you can keep deer away. For example, deer often stay away from plants with leaves that are sharp, rough, or fuzzy.

4. Uses of Fear

You can also try to scare the deer away.

Sprinklers, lights, and noisemakers that turn on when animals move near them can scare deer away and make your yard less appealing.

It’s best to move these devices around often because deer can get used to the same ways to scare them.

5. Fencing

Most of the time, the best way to keep deer out of your yard is to build barriers.

To keep deer from going over the fence, it should be at least 8 feet high. A double fence, an electric fence, or a fence that slopes can also work.

6. Deer Repellent Plants

Some plants can be put in your garden in a way that keeps deer away.

Deer can be kept away from your yard by planting plants that they don’t like. Even though deer can eat any plant, some are less tasty to them. Here is a list of the best plants to keep deer away:

  • Lavender (Lavandula) has a strong smell that people love, but deer don’t.
  • Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) is a beautiful plant that deer don’t eat. It has tall spikes of purple or blue flowers.
  • Boxwood (Buxus) is a plant that is often used as a fence and that deer usually avoid.
  • Lamb’s Ear (Stachys byzantina): Deer don’t like its soft leaves very much.
  • Yarrow (Achillea millefolium): Deer tend to stay away from this flowering plant, which comes in different colours.
  • Bleeding Heart, or Dicentra spectabilis: This is a permanent plant that likes to grow in the shade. Deer don’t like heart-shaped flowers or fern-like leaves.
  • Foxglove (Digitalis): This plant is beautiful, but all of its parts are poisonous, so deer tend to stay away from it.
  • Barberry (Berberis): Deer stays away from it because it has spiky stems and tastes sour.
  • Butterfly Bush (Buddleia): This sweet plant is a draw for butterflies, but deer tend to stay away from it.
  • Mint (Mentha): The strong smell of mint makes many pests, like deer, stay away.
  • Ferns: Most types of ferns, like ostrich ferns and fall ferns, don’t attract deer.
  • Catmint (Nepeta): Not to be confused with catnip, catmint has beautiful blue-violet flowers and a strong smell that keeps deer away.
  • Salvia: The smelly leaves and bright flowers of many types of salvia don’t make deer want to eat them.
  • Marigolds (Tagetes) are often used to keep pests away because of their strong smell.
  • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis): Deer usually stay away from this herb because it has woody stems and smelly leaves.
See also  What Attracts Chipmunks To Your Yard: [11] Ways To Control

do deers eat roses FAQs

Q: In the winter, do deer eat roses?

Yes, in the winter, deer will eat roses. When food is hard to find because of the cold and snow, deer will eat anything they can find, even roses.

During the winter, their natural food sources are limited, so they often eat things like roses that they wouldn’t usually choose.

Q: How do I make a deer repellant for roses that I can make at home?

One easy way to make your own deer protection is to mix 1 egg, 1/4 cup of water, and 1 tablespoon of cooking oil.

Spray this on your roses by putting the mixture in a spray bottle. The egg’s smell will keep deer away. Make sure to repeat the mixture after it rains or gets a lot of water because it can be washed away.

Keep in mind that homemade repellents can work differently based on what deer in your area like to eat and how many other food sources are nearby.

Q: Why do deer like to eat my roses?

Roses are full of good things for you, so deer love to eat them.

Q: Are there rose types that deer avoid?

Deer don’t like rugosa roses as much as other kinds of roses.

Q: Can deer jump over my yard fence?

A: Deer can jump high and may be able to jump over walls under 8 feet high.

Q: How often should I use a repellant for deer?

Use repellents often and repeat after it rains or you water the plants.

Q: What other plants will keep deer away?

Certain plants, like lavender, mint, and marigolds can repel deer.

Q: Is there a way to get deer to leave?

You can scare people away with things like motion-activated lights or showers.

Q: Can someone be hired to keep deer away?

Yes, hiring a professional to get rid of wildlife is a better way to solve the problem.

Related Topics


Even though it can be hard to keep deer away from roses, the ideas above can help.

Remember that the best way to keep deer out of your yard is to be persistent and try different things until you find what works best.

You can protect your roses and keep them blooming beautifully if you plan ahead and use more than one strategy.