Are Roses Deer Resistant? 5 Ways to Keep Them Away From Your Flowers

Written by August Croft
Published: March 30, 2024
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Regardless of where you live, deer are prolific throughout North America and beyond. If you’re an avid gardener hoping to keep your plants and flowers alive throughout the year, there’s a particular enemy you should always be on the lookout for. 

Deer are insatiable and stubborn animals when it comes to food. There’s no stopping the average deer from munching on your recently planted springtime flowers or bushes. But do deer eat roses? And are roses generally considered deer resistant? 

Today, we’ll discuss this very question as well as what you can do to prevent deer from eating anything growing on your property. Let’s get started! 

Are Roses Deer Resistant?

are roses deer resistant

Generally speaking, roses are not deer resistant.


Unfortunately, roses are not considered deer resistant. In fact, deer are known to eat any and all types of roses as well as every single part of the rose plant. While thorns and leaves are always on the menu to a hungry deer, these hooved pests prefer budding, newly blooming rosebuds over all else. 

One of the primary reasons that deer often prefer to eat roses is because of how roses are grown. These beautiful blooms typically require a great deal of fertilizer, water, and extra care to make them thrive. Deer feed on plants that are often catered to in this way, gaining the most hydration and protein from flowers grown using fertilizer in particular. 

As you can no doubt imagine, living in an area full of hungry, grazing deer can make it extremely difficult to grow anything in your garden or on your property. Even simple landscaping bushes or flowers, such as roses, will be consumed by deer if you don’t make an effort to protect your plants. 

But what are some of the best methods of protecting your roses from deer, especially considering the fact that they seem to be a prized plant for these ravenous ungulates? 

5 Ways to Keep Deer Away From Your Roses

are roses deer resistant

If a deer wants to eat your roses, good luck stopping it.


Prevention is key if you want to keep your roses and rose bushes thriving despite the presence of deer in your neighborhood. Here are five simple but effective ways to keep deer away from your flowers and roses in particular. 

1. Utilize Commercial Deer Repellent or Make Your Own

A deer’s sense of smell is powerful. That’s why certain scents are ideal for deterring them. Consumer grade or commercial deer repellent products base their formulas on certain smells that deer detest, smells that may keep these pests away from your flowers. While deer are most certainly drawn to the smell of roses just like humans are, you may want to surround your roses in a less pleasant scent to keep them safe. 

The good news is, many smells tend to deter deer, both man-made and natural. There are many different types of deer repellents available in local hardware stores or garden centers. These formulas are typically full of essential oils and other fragrant blends. They are made specifically for deterring deer without disrupting your landscaping or affecting the health of your plants. 

If you want to save some money, you can always make your own deer repellent out of natural, household products. Ironically, Irish Spring Soap is one such product that deer seem to dislike. Other simple ingredients you may want to utilize in your homemade deer repellent include:

  • Garlic
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Dill
  • Onions
  • Fish oil
  • Manure
  • Cayenne
  • Ammonia

2. Protect Your Roses With Physical Barriers and Fencing

are roses deer resistant

Deer can’t get past fences, which may keep your roses safe.


Sometimes, the most obvious method is the most effective. One of the best ways to protect your roses from deer is to surround them with a fence or physical barrier. There are many different types of wire netting, fencing, and barrier products available at your local hardware store or garden center, products specifically designed to help your plants thrive even when in use. 

It’s important to keep in mind the growth habits of your roses. This is especially true if you have a unique or sensitive cultivar. Some roses grow taller than others, while some may need more room to spread out as their growing season progresses. Be sure to never wrap your rose bushes too tightly in wire or fencing if you opt for this option as a means of protection. 

If you choose to install a large-scale fence around your property to prevent deer from entering your garden area, remember how high deer can jump. You’ll need to ensure that your fence is at least 6 to 10 feet tall so that all of your hard work doesn’t go to waste the moment a young buck leaps over your fence with ease! 

3. Surround Your Roses With Plants Deer Don’t Like

While roses aren’t exactly deer resistant, there are many other plants that are. Just as certain scents prevent deer from nosing around your property, plants that carry strong smells will do the same work year after year. This saves you from having to reapply deer repellent. Plus, most of these plants make excellent options for pollinators and landscaping alike! 

Some flowers and plants that tend to repel deer include:

  • Lavender
  • Peppermint or other mint varieties
  • Catnip
  • Catmint
  • Yarrow
  • Chives
  • Sage
  • Thyme

4. Find Ways to Scare Deer Away From Your Roses

The phrase “like a deer in the headlights” exists for a reason. Deer are naturally fearful prey creatures, easily spooked by a variety of things. So long as these options don’t interfere with the aesthetics of your landscape or home, you may decide to get creative and install certain items around your rose garden to make deer wary of entering. 

Anything shiny, human-shaped, or otherwise reflective and imposing make great additions to any garden you want to keep deer away from. While there’s no hard and fast rule for what these things may be, many gardeners in areas with high deer populations utilize old CDs, shards of mirrors, and even scarecrows to keep their plants safe. 

It’s important to keep in mind that the average deer is persistent and capable of learning. If you live in an area with a stable and consistent deer population, you may find that your DIY tricks only work for so long. Chances are high that the deer in your neighborhood will recognize all of the ways you try to scare them and eventually adapt! 

5. Let Your Pets Deter Deer Naturally

are roses deer resistant

If your dog is willing to chase, they may make one of the best deer deterrents around.

©Mindaugas Dulinskas/iStock via Getty Images

Unlike CDs and scarecrows, utilizing your dog or cat may help prevent deer from eating your roses. The smell of household pets is often enough to deter deer from the average garden or backyard– though you may not want to keep your dog’s business left to the elements for too long! 

The best option when it comes to deterring deer from your property is to have a dog willing to chase them away. Deer are typically fearful of dogs and won’t stick around to find out whether or not Fido is a friend to them! 

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Anan Kaewkhammul/

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About the Author

August Croft is a writer at A-Z Animals where their primary focus is on astrology, symbolism, and gardening. August has been writing a variety of content for over 4 years and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theater from Southern Oregon University, which they earned in 2014. They are currently working toward a professional certification in astrology and chart reading. A resident of Oregon, August enjoys playwriting, craft beer, and cooking seasonal recipes for their friends and high school sweetheart.

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