deer eating roses

foskey17April 30, 2012

Ok so I had some beautiful roses only to go out one morning to find deer had eaten leaves and buds, i was so mad. Anyone know what to do to keep them from eating them.

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I hope we get some good suggestions----the deer come right up to my window and nibble whatever is in their way--

Bambi isn't so cute when he is chewing up our precious blooms----


    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 10:04PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

I've had some success with Deer Off. It's a hot pepper/rotten egg spray. It makes the plants smell bad to the deer (you will be able to get a slight wiff of it). It does have to be applied every few weeks or sooner if you have a lot of rain. And don't get it on your hands, the pepper spray can burn your hands/face/eyes.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 10:22PM
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charleney(8a PNW)

WE HAVE AN 11' FENCE!Over the last 10 yr. have tried it all. Once the deer have spotted you, you are doomed without a fence. We even had them coming in under the fence. Would not have believed it if I hadn't seen it. It was a 7' at the time. Husband lowered it and put deer netting above it. I have had roses untouched for the last 4 yr. It is absolutely heartbreaking when you walk out to your skeletonized yard.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 10:29PM
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Foskey -- probably the only thing that is failsafe is fencing your yard. The same thing happened to me a few time, and I finally have my front yard, which is where my roses are, fenced. I still need to have a gate installed for the stairs that lead to my front yet, and for now I block the stairs using deer fence or pastic sheet every night.

Short of that, try make your yard smelly. First, the good kind. Grow things that have a strong smell, such as lavendar, carnation and garlic (or poisonous, e.g., foxglove). Second, the bad kind. On this forum, you saw people talking about peeing in their yard as deer are supposed to shun the smell. To "block" their movement, I use a bag of dehydrated manure, strategically placed at where they HAVE to pass in order to get to my front yard. Next up: I wills throw a few son's diapers, those particularly productive ones, at selected spots in my yard.

They are beautiful, but I have declared war on them after they pretty much wiped out my garden a couple of times. They are primarily responsible for the ubiquitous (and boring) evergreen landscaping in my neighborhood. Except for a few knockouts planted near road, I have never seen any roses in my neighborhood, which I guess have a lot to do with Bambis.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 10:32PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

I think the main deer who was getting my roses is the one killed in a car accident she caused in front of my house :( They are so dangerous, too.

That year I had a big problem, I was able to keep the deer away from certain roses by putting my strongest-smelling basil right by the rose. Other roses and plants still got nibbled, but it did shield a few.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 4:01AM
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My hubby also bought Deer Off or something similar. Trust me, it smells HORRIBLE. He sprayed it once near a window and I thought I would pass out. But it worked! We live hear a wooded area filled with deer and they have stayed away from our plants since he started spraying.

You only need to spray every few days unless it rains. Supposed to work for other animals too but the groundhog doesn't seem to mind it.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 9:49AM
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thanks for the suggestions, I had a flirtatious rose covered in roses only to look out this morning and not a rose in sight. Sick at heart

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 10:09AM
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At a recent rose club meeting, someone said that three automatic water sprinklers do an excellent job of keeping the deer away.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 10:40AM
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We have nocturnal urban deer - they walk down sidewalks, cross streets in the crosswalk (I am not making this up!), and like to visit our garden, even though it is only 3 blocks from the downtown of our city. Sometimes they sleep in the wild part of our garden in the daytime. I do spray new, tender roses that I am trying to get going. Also I put them in deer cages until they get large. Most of my roses are either climbers, or teas that get huge, and once they get really big a few nibbles from deer (ours are on desert by the time they get to our house) don't really bother them. Our deer are small, and lazy, and only eat things right at or below their head height, so anything taller than about 3 feet is safe. So, we coexist with the deer, and I am actually fond of them. One doe would park her fauns in the back of our property, and leave them for hours before coming back - they had obviously been told to stay put, and even when we would walk right past them to get to where the cars were, they would just stare at us with those big eyes.....


    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 12:57PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

Jackie, that would be so cool! I want to still like the pretty deer, and I have a lot they are allowed to nibble. I wish I had your deer family :)

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 6:09PM
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I agree with Jacqueline about the big climbers----most of my roses are rather old huge climbers and the deer can't reach them----When they were little I kept them fenced in---

I remember when my Mac Cartney rose was just getting started and it had one gorgeous bud that I was anxiously waiting for the bloom- and lo and behold the deer had it for a treat---needless to say I was upset---they also like the buds on my Camellia bushes---I have some really ugly fencing around them to preserve the blooms.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 11:05PM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

What kind of roses are they. You can make a lot of people happy with "deer eating roses". Those are some roses

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 11:35PM
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If hunting them in your area is not legal, get permission from what ever law enforcement or gov. officials handle vermin control and get permission to eradicate them.

Dead deer are preferable to dead people.

In the past five years I have hit two and a friend of mine has hit the same number.

Too me they are no different than rats.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 11:58PM
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Maybe the silicon treatment mentioned in a rabbit thread will help.

Here is a link that might be useful: silicon treatment mentioned in a rabbit thread

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 4:28PM
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After years of losing almost everything we planted, not just roses but fruit trees, garden veggies and all the ornamental plants, we fenced in our 2.5 acres. It was either that or get 2 big dogs that stayed outside all the time. We had tried all the sprays and other methods but the problem with deer is they get use to something then it doesn't bother them so you have to keep trying something new. Sometimes it would work and sometimes not. Got tired of the constant battle. We get the occasional big buck that will jump our 8 ft. fence but it is rare.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 8:12PM
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buford(7 NE GA)


My first year growing roses, I was out one evening looking at all my roses budded out. This was in May, the first flush. I was so excited. The next morning I went out and there was nothing left! And my beds looked all messed up. I was sure someone had vandalized my property. I actually called the police. Yup, dumb city slicker didn't know about deer and roses....

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 9:14PM
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