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Do Squirrels Eat Roses? What’s Eating Your Roses and How to Save Them!

I’m an avid nature enthusiast and have spent years observing the behavior of squirrels all over the world. As an expert on these furry critters, I’m here to answer the hottest topic of debate among gardeners: do squirrels eat roses? Let’s uncover what’s eating your roses and how to save them!

Squirrels are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals. While squirrels primarily feed on nuts, fruits, and fungi, they will also eat insects and even small animals like lizards and birds. Roses are not a part of a typical diet for squirrels, however, if given the opportunity, some squirrels may opt to eat rose petals.

Do Squirrels Eat Roses?

Roses are iconic flowers, beloved by many for their beauty and aroma. Unfortunately, they can also be a target of some unwanted visitors – namely, squirrels. While these little critters may seem cute and friendly, if left unchecked, they can cause damage to your garden as well.

So, do squirrels eat roses? The answer is yes. Whenever there is an abundance of food sources outside in nature, it’s possible that the squirrels will be drawn to your rose bushes. In addition, the high sugar and nutrient content in the petals and leaves makes them attractive to many animals, especially during times when natural foods are scarce.

Nutritional Value Of Roses

Rose petals contain many vitamins and minerals that other plants lack. They are rich in vitamin C and contain significant amounts of folate as well as B6. The petals also provide essential nutrients such as minerals like phosphorus, magnesium and zinc. In addition to being a nutritious snack for squirrels, they can also act as a beneficial source of antioxidants.

The leaves contain similar nutrients; however, they have a lower nutrient content than the petals. Both the petals and leaves are rich in fiber which helps support healthy digestion.

What Parts Of The Rose Will Squirrels Eat?


Squirrels will typically go after the rose’s petals first since they are more inviting due to their sweet smell and taste. They may start out nibbling on individual petal edges before devouring entire ones.

Leaves And Buds

If they do not find enough nutritional value from the petals or if more food is needed, then they will likely proceed to eating the leaves and buds of the roses. Leaves provide additional nutrition due to their higher iron content compared to other plant parts. The new buds provide both protein and carbohydrates.

How to Prevent Squirrels From Eating Roses?

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Squirrels may be cute and entertaining, but they can wreak havoc in your garden! They are known to eat the blossoms and petals of roses, as well as other plants. Thankfully, there are several methods you can use to protect your precious rose bushes from these pesky critters.

1. Create A Barrier

The Best Squirrel-Proof Barriers

The most effective way to keep squirrels away is to install a fence around the roses. The fence should be about 4-6 feet high and buried at least six inches into the ground. For extra protection, electric fences are available that provide an additional shock to keep the squirrels from jumping over or climbing the fence. This can be especially helpful if your area has particularly persistent squirrels.

2. Use A Repellent

Mothballs, aluminum foil, and hot pepper wax have all been used as deterrents for squirrels. Mothballs have a strong odor that squirrels find unappealing while aluminum foil will make it difficult for them to climb up the stem of the rose bush. Hot pepper wax is also a great option, as it won’t harm animals or plants but will repel squirrels by irritate their nose when they come close.

3. Garlic Spray

Garlic spray has a spicy flavor that is not welcome in most yards. All you need is some garlic cloves, water and liquid dish soap mixed together in a spray bottle. Be sure to apply this mix directly on the stems of your roses every few days for maximum effectiveness.

4. Scarecrow Sprinklers

Another great way to discourage unwanted visitors is by using scarecrow sprinklers in your garden. These motion-sensitive sprinklers emit a sudden burst of water when they detect movement, providing an unpleasant surprise for animals looking for a snack! If you don’t want to invest in one of these devices, you can always rig up a homemade version with some household items.

5. Ultrasonic Devices

The Best Squirrel Repellent

Ultrasonic devices emit sound waves at frequencies beyond our ability to hear that have been shown to be effective at keeping many pests away from gardens. While these devices may work on smaller prey like mice and voles, larger animals such as squirrels tend to be more resistant. However, some homeowners have reported success with ultrasonic devices, so it might still be worth trying out.

6. Remove Attractants

  • Remove Any Fallen Fruit: Fruit or nuts left underneath trees can attract curious wildlife such as squirrels. This includes fallen fruits and nuts from trees nearby such as pine cones, apples or acorns.
  • Keep Your Yard Free Of Inviting Food Sources: It’s important that you keep food sources away from areas where rodents might hide; this means never leaving pet food outdoors overnight or leaving bird feeders out during nighttime hours when rodents are most active.

7. Unappealing Plants

The Anti-Squirrel Plants

Squirrels are often drawn to roses and other plants because of the sweet smell and attractive colors. To make your roses unappealing to squirrels, try planting varieties with a pungent smell or different shades of green or brown. Additionally, there are natural deterrents like hot pepper wax that can be applied to rose stems to repel squirrels.

8. Large Statues

Large statues can be used to scare off squirrels from rose bushes. The presence of the statues may make the squirrels feel they are being watched and thus deter them from approaching the plants. However, it is important to remember that this is not a fool-proof method, as the statues need to be placed strategically and consistently, in order to effectively frighten off the little critters.

9. Use A Special Ground Cover

A special ground cover can be an effective way to help protect rose bushes from squirrels. By planting dense, thick ground cover near the roses, it will create a physical barrier that squirrels won’t be able to traverse. This can range from mulch and wood chips to gravel or rocks.

Several flowers such as marigolds or petunias are known to repel animals like squirrels, so growing those in the vicinity of your roses could also discourage them from coming near.

10. Provide A Feeder

If you want to keep squirrels away from your rose bushes without resorting to fencing, consider placing a squirrel feeder in your yard. Fill the feeder with seeds and nuts that the squirrels enjoy, and they’ll help themselves while staying away from your roses. That way, you can protect your plants while still letting the pesky critters enjoy a tasty snack.

11. Encourage Natural Predators

Encourage natural predators to your garden to help keep squirrels away from your rose bushes. Install bird feeders, houses and plant flowers that attract birds and other wildlife. Additionally, an owl or hawk decoy may be helpful in deterring squirrels. Be sure to check local laws and regulations before doing so.

12. Grow Plants Squirrels Like More

Grow plants that squirrels are likely to enjoy in addition to roses to keep your garden happy. Plant a variety of nuts, flowers, and berries that attract them. They will be more likely to snack on these than on your beautiful roses. Be sure to include sunflower seeds, peanuts, hickory nuts, safflower seeds, and mulberries. If you want to make the environment even more inviting for these critters, create a water feature in an open area for them to cool off in the summer months.

13. Hot Pepper Spray Repellent

Using an organic hot pepper spray can also make it less attractive for squirrels and other animals to snack on your roses. These special sprays are made from oils derived from cayenne peppers, white pepper, chili pepper conconction and jalapeno peppers mixed with water.

The intense heat emitted by these sprays makes it hard for animals to swallow food covered in such oils which will help discourage them from visiting your blooms regularly. Be sure not to spray too much directly onto the flowers.

14. CDs or Aluminum Pans to Reflect Light & Sound Away from Plantings

Another way to protect roses from animal intruders like squirrels is by using materials that reflect light and sound away from their location. Repurposing old CDs as pinwheels suspended near your flowers can work well for this purpose. Their movement creates flashes of sunlight which startles away flying critters including those looking for a quick bite.

Shiny aluminum pie plates hung around plants also create sudden flashes reflected off the surrounding terrain whenever wind gusts stir up their motion; this serves as an effective deterrent against unwanted visitors.


What is causing the damage to the tops of my roses?

It’s likely that aphids are eating the tops of your roses. These small insects, which measure about a quarter of an inch long, feed on plant tissue. Symptoms of an infestation include black and sticky leaves, decreased flower and leaf production, and general nuisance. If these signs are present, it is likely aphids are the culprit!

What is causing the damage to my rose flowers?

If your rose flowers have started to look less than perfect, it’s likely due to an infestation of aphids. These tiny pests feed off the plant tissue, causing the leaves to turn black and sticky and preventing the development of new blooms. An effective way of tackling this problem is to use specific insecticides that target aphids.

Do squirrels consume flowers and roses?

Squirrels are primarily herbivorous creatures, so they may feed on flowers and roses. However, these fluffy critters often prefer to consume nuts, seeds, fruits, and other plant matter. Depending on their location, squirrels may feast on rose petals or nibble on buds for nourishment. In order to avoid any damage to your prized blooms, it is best to deter the unwelcome visitors by creating a suitable habitat for them away from your rose garden.


In conclusion, do squirrels eat roses? Yes, squirrels can eat roses, especially the petals. If you notice any signs of pests or disease on your roses, contact your local gardening experts for help. Restoration and prevention methods can help protect your beloved garden flowers.

Remember that no matter what is eating your roses, it’s important to act quickly. Diagnosing the problem early can help preserve precious petals and prevent further damage from occurring. Hopefully, thanks to those tips and with the right steps taken in time, you can save your roses!

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