Deer Eat Roses – How To Protect Your Rare Roses From Deer? – Gardener Corner

Deer eat roses

The lovely and beautiful deer we saw in cartoons and films love roses. The only problem is that “love” means “love to eat.” Deer love to eat plants in general. Roses just happen to be their favorite food that they hunt down when food is abundant.

Deer can eat every part in your rosebushes. But they prefer the buds, young leaves, stems, and flowers. It is difficult for shrub plants like roses to recover from such damages. The roses you spend a lot of time and effort may die when they are going to bloom.

With a good night vision, when it comes to eating those delicious roses, deer often get in your garden at night. That also makes it harder to notice and stop deer damage immediately. After one night only, you may not be able to recognize your rose shrubs.

Before, we have introduced to you the methods to deter rabbits and get rid of snails and slugs from your garden. Today, we will suggest some deer-proofing solutions for your rosebushes.

How to keep deer away from your garden

There are several ways to stop deer from entering your garden. We recommend three groups of deterrents: dogs, physical obstacle, and scent repellents. These are what we find most effective and harmless to deer because after all, we don’t want to hurt them.


Dogs are a predator, even if they become domestics and tamed by human. Chasing the prey is their instinct. When they became guards for us, they get trained to chase away any trespasser, human or animals.

Deer are on the opposite side. They will run when they are chased. That is why a guard dog will keep deer and various animals (and bad people) away from your garden. They will first bark and then chase after deer if the deer dare to enter the territory.

Some recommended breeds for guard dogs are Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, Rhodesian Ridgeback, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Having a dog as a guard means you have to let it stay outside all night. I know that is hard for some dog lovers.

Physical obstacles

The most common form of physical obstacles is a fence. Many people suggest using electric fences, but I totally oppose the idea. They are dangerous to wildlife and human sometimes.

For our garden, mesh, wood, chain link, or wire fence is enough to keep deer out. Even a tree fence with high density works. You can protect your roses with an individual fence. I won’t do so because it hides the beauty of the flowers. Perimeter fences around the area will do the job.

Deer can jump so your fence must be at least 8-foot high. They also don’t jump if they can’t see what is on the other side, so solid fences with the height of 5 feet are fine. For more details on building a deer fence, check out this publication from the Oregon State University.

Building fences is not a small investment. However, fences last for years, so they are economical in the long term. They are also the most durable and effective way to keep deer away from your garden.

These innocent deer may damage your roses


Scent repellents

Deer are browsers. They possess an acute sense of smell to locate food. There are certain scents that deer do not like and prefer to stay away. We can use them as a spray to deter deer.

There are tons of options in the market for commercial repellants for you to choose from. I, on the other hand, prefer to make use of familiar ingredients or to make my own repellants. Some of them include plants from my magical garden.

Deodorant soap

The deodorant soap that we all have in the house can keep the deer off out rose bushes. You can either hang a bag with a bar of soap inside near tree or the low fences; or spray the deodorant liquid on/around the roses. If you spray it on the rose bush, mix the soap and water with the ratio of 1:50.

Rotten eggs

Who knows those rotten eggs we often throw away can be useful when deer eat roses. The reason to use rotten eggs is that they are stinky. You will need rotten eggs, garlic powder, chili pepper ground, and water.

Mix 4 – 6 rotten eggs, 1-gallon water, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon chili pepper ground together. Spray the mixture around the tree.\


Garlic is not only good for these recipes of vegan kimchi and pickles, but it is also useful when deer eat roses. Some plants use selenium, the chemical that is present in garlic, to defend against being eaten by animals. Spray garlic oil on and around the tree to protect them from deer.

You can see when to plant garlic in your garden in this post.

Quick note

A quick note when you apply repellents is that they do not last forever. Therefore, you need to reapply them every two weeks, or a month, and after the rain. Keep it fresh to make it most efficient. There is a possibility that eventually, deer will get used to with the repellents you use, so you should switch between some types.

Do not let deer eat roses

Roses are delicate and elegant flowers. It can be a challenge to grow a rose bush and see it bloom successfully. You don’t want to lose your rose in the last minutes because the deer eat roses. If you plant to grow a rose in your garden, prepare and plan thing ahead.

With above suggestions, you will be able to watch your roses bloom, smell them, admire their beauty, and enjoy your effort and relax. If you have any question or idea, we would love to hear from you.