Are Knockout Roses Deer Resistant?

As much as we love seeing wildlife such as birds, bees and the occasional large-bodied visitors in our garden, we also hope and cross our fingers that they won’t trample or eat the plants and leave a mess.

That said, you may be wondering, ‘are Knockout Roses deer resistant?’, to which the answer is no. Deer love munching on just about anything, including roses and all its kind. However, there’s a silver lining to this, as Knock Out Roses are known to be tough and can grow back to their usual size with even more beautiful blooms than before.

Do Deer Eat Knock Out Rose Plants?

Are Knockout Roses Deer Resistant?

‘Knock Out’ roses are a group of rose plants that have been made easier to take care of. They’re typically self-cleaning and highly tolerant of drought, and can grow in the shade. More importantly, they can produce endless blooms starting early spring until the first sign of frost.

Aside from needing minimal care, gardeners tend to prefer Knockout due to the variety of different colored blooms, including vibrant red to yellow and even blush. Furthermore, they’re very resistant to diseases that affect traditional rose plants.

All of these things sound appealing, but if you’re thinking of planting Knockout roses and usually see deer nearby, you’re out of luck. The thing is, deer love to eat roses, flowers, stems, thorns and all and won’t be able to resist taking a good chunk out of your garden if left to their own devices.

However, unlike other rose types Knock Out tends to spring right back and get to blooming profusely during its growing season. As long as there’s still signs that your roses are still alive after the feast then you’ll have a good chance of getting them back.

Deer damage to knockout roses are less devastating compared to other rose varieties. However, you should still take steps to prevent them from entering your yard or garden freely.

How to Keep Deer Away From Knockout Roses

Are Knockout Roses Deer Resistant?

The first thing you should know is that when the deer is determined and hungry then there’s very little you can do to keep it away from your roses.

Deer love eating roses in particular and often go for young and tender growth. To add to the problem, they usually arrive in a herd and do most of their eating at night. You’ll know when deer have visited your garden when the damage to the foliage and flowers are ragged and rough, and there are telltale deer tracks on the ground.

That said, there are several methods on how you can try to keep deer away from your Knockout roses, including planting other varieties or installing deer repellents in the immediate area.

A few examples of plants that repel deer are marigolds, coreopsis, butterfly bush and bleeding heart. To this end, you can create a border to surround your knockout roses to ward the deer off.

You can also scatter or spray deer repellents near your rose plants to try and get them to go away, but these need to be reapplied every now and then.

Aside from knockout roses there are some rose types that have been classified as partially deer resistant, including pasture rose, Virginia rose and swamp rose. However, there isn’t any guarantee that deer won’t snack on them if opportunity presents itself.

You can combine different solutions together to try and keep deer away from your rose plants or garden. As a last resort, you can install an electric fence that gives out little shocks to curious animals, and hopefully that should be enough to send them off without your knock out rose getting damaged.

As a side note, the repellants and electronic noise machines may work a while but some deer will grow and get used to them. If this is the case then you can switch up repellent solutions and alternate between putting up deer-resistant plants and fences.

Knockout Roses and Deer

Are Knockout Roses Deer Resistant?

Knock Out roses can literally knock out observers and gardeners and impress them with its tenacity, vigorous growth and carefree maintenance. However, you’ll want to keep an eye out for deer as it can whittle down your prize plants to the ground.

However, there’s a high chance that knock out roses will spring right back and grow more blooms, which is a win-win for all.

Related Article: What is the Ideal Pot Size for Knockout Roses?