The Q&A Archives: Deer proof plants

Question: Are there any climbing roses that are deer proof!

Answer: Deer love to eat roses. Rugosa roses are very durable and can grow in a variety of conditions. The strong clovelike fragrance of the flowers is a deterrent to browsing deer. Also the rose canes are usually very thorny and bristly. The leaves are usually leathery and rough. Even roses with terrible thorns have susceptible new growth before the thorns have had time to harden. Supposedly the new growth tastes best to the deer, but it is more likely that the deer prefer it because of the softness and the increased amount of nutrients in new growth. New growth can be sprayed with an odor type deer repellent to make sure that deer don't browse at all on the roses. Good luck with your roses.

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