Things You'll Need
Cayenne pepper sauce
Motion-activated lights, sprinklers or sounds
Aluminum strips or pie plates
Soap, human hair, garlic or cayenne pepper
Signs of animal damage to rose plantings cause concern, especially since you devoted your time and effort to growing and maintaining the plants. Critters, including deer and rabbits, chew rose blooms, buds and leaves, and scratch stems, leaving behind a trampled mess. The otherwise shy and docile pests attack the plants at night or early in the morning, when human activity is absent. Adopt a preventive strategy to keep the animals away from your precious roses.
Mix 2 to 3 tbsp. cayenne pepper sauce in 1 gallon of water and pour in a spray bottle. Apply the repellent over and around the rose bushes to deter the critters from damaging the plants. Alternatively, spray a commercially available contact repellent over the plantings to make them unpalatable and prevent the animals from returning to your garden. Reapply the repellent frequently, especially during the rainy season.
Spray wolf, coyote or another predator's urine around the roses to frighten the critters and keep them from visiting your rose garden.
Trap small pests, such as rabbits, to rid them from your rose garden. Place the traps strategically in your garden along with bait, such as slices of fruit, to lure them in. Once caught, release the rabbit far from your garden. Inspect the trap every few hours and reposition it you fail to catch the animal in a few days.
Fence the area to keep the animals from entering your garden. Dig a trench 2 feet deep and 24 to 36 inches wide if rabbits are damaging your roses, or keep the fence 6 feet high and flush with the ground to prevent deer from jumping over. Install stakes every 4 feet along the area to support chicken wire with 1-inch openings.
Install motion-activated lights, sprinklers or sounds around your garden that suddenly set off when stepped on. Alternatively, strategically place a scarecrow or effigy of a predator in the flower bed.
Puncture a hole through the top of an aluminum strip or pie plate and insert a length of twine through it. Wind the other end of the twine around a low-hanging tree branch or a stake near your rose bush. Hang several strips or plates together to scare animals with their shine or clanking sounds.
Cut a bar of sharp soap into 2-inch sections using a sharp knife and place each in a mesh bag. Alternatively, place human hair, garlic or cayenne pepper into the mesh bag and suspend from a branch near the roses to deter the pests with its offensive scent.
Grow plants the animal does not like to keep it from frequenting your rose garden. For instance, deer avoid snapdragon, dianthus, yarrow, bee balm and vinca, so grow these around your roses to keep the animals away.
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden; Deer Deterrents That Work; Walter Chandoha; September 2005
- Colorado State University Extension; Preventing Deer Damage; C.E. Swift, et al.; April 2008
- North Dakota State University Extension; Questions on Rabbits; Ron Smith
- West Virginia University Extension; Deer Proofing Your Landscape; John Jett; February 2004
Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written numerous articles for various online and print sources. She has a Master of Business Administration in marketing but her passion lies in writing.