What is eating my Knock Out roses?

Written by beth anderle
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What is eating my Knock Out roses?
Deer like to eat roses. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Created to be pest- and disease-resistant, Knock Out roses are a hybrid shrub rose introduced by rose breeder William Radler. Despite their reputation, there are still a number of pests and animals that eat Knock Out roses.


Insects such as aphids, Japanese beetles, sawflies and rose midges can do serious damage to all roses and Knock Outs are no exception. At the first sign of insect damage, begin using insecticidal soap.

What is eating my Knock Out roses?
A Japanese beetle might be eating your roses. (Japanese Beetle image by ssquared from Fotolia.com)

Small Animals

Rabbits, mice, voles and even squirrels like the taste of roses and often damage the lower foliage, buds and blooms. Moles and voles will also eat the Knock Out rose's roots. Try sprinkling predator urine, such as fox urine around the plant; this will often keep the animal away.

What is eating my Knock Out roses?
Rabbits will eat Knock Out roses. (rabbit in the garden image by hazel proudlove from Fotolia.com)

Large Animals

If entire rose buds and blossoms and significant amounts of foliage disappear, larger creatures may be guilty. Deer are particularly fond of roses and even roaming cows will also try them. These animals can strip an entire season of flowers and new growth. If you live in an area where these animals might have access to your garden, you can try predator urine, mothballs or hot pepper spray to discourage them.

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