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Old Yesterday, 03:33 PM
 
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I brought this potted rose bush to a closed in porch mid-October before first frost. I watered it last about 5 days ago and it was healthy and doing well indoors. Today it looks like this---leaves chewed and, most puzzling, woody stems chewed down. A couple of these stems are about 1/4 inch in diameter. The leaves I can attribute to some kind of insect, even though it's odd they should appear now, late December. But the stems???? We have a lot of rabbits in the summertime and this is what plants look like after a rabbit chews on them. I assure you there are no rabbits on this porch. Does anyone have any ideas what is chewing the leaves and stems? I am really puzzled. I've had this rose bush overwintering indoors for 3 winters now and this is the first time this has happened. As you can see only one stem with healthy leaves remain. (The plant to the right is a mint.)

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Old Yesterday, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
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If that damage was caused overnight, something four-legged with strong teeth is eating your plant. There are no other options.

To me, that looks like deer damage, but...

Maybe mice or other small rodent? Some dogs will eat plants, but I never heard of one eating roses. There's always a first time.
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Old Yesterday, 03:50 PM
 
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Deer will eat them too. But rabbits are the most likely culprit.
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Old Yesterday, 04:20 PM
 
1,336 posts, read 633,755 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacqueg View Post
If that damage was caused overnight, something four-legged with strong teeth is eating your plant. There are no other options.

To me, that looks like deer damage, but...

Maybe mice or other small rodent? Some dogs will eat plants, but I never heard of one eating roses. There's always a first time.
No dogs here but have caught a couple of mice this winter. I thought the same thing you did--something four-legged with strong teeth. Also something that can navigate a plant with thorns. The container is about a foot tall and the stems rise another 12 inches or so. (Or did until chewed down.) It's indoors in an enclosed porch that is kept about 50 degrees in the wintertime. (It is currently 12 degrees outside.) There are no openings for rabbits to get in or out. What's more this rose bush sits outside all summer and has never been nibbled on by rabbits before as have so many other tasty plants they find in my garden every year to chew on in the summer months. This damage has been caused since the last watering 5 days ago. I guess I'll have to set some rodent traps out there and see what gets caught in them.
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Old Yesterday, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodpete View Post
Deer will eat them too. But rabbits are the most likely culprit.
They were eaten too high for rabbits; that is definitely deer. Deer love roses and about everything else.
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Old Yesterday, 06:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
They were eaten too high for rabbits; that is definitely deer. Deer love roses and about everything else.

The roses are inside in an enclosed porch with the only door to the outside closed and locked. Plus there are half a dozen steps to go up to get to that door from the outside. I assure you, no deer have gotten inside my house. Whatever did this had to be some small animal and I have no idea what. I put out a mouse trap. Will see what tomorrow brings.

Several years ago when I was living in another house but one still elevated off the ground I came home one day late spring day to find three young, just-out-of-the-nest ducklings INSIDE my house with two more running around outside. I never did figure that one out either. Mama Duck was nowhere to be seen.
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Old Today, 04:51 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seagrape Grove View Post
The roses are inside in an enclosed porch with the only door to the outside closed and locked. Plus there are half a dozen steps to go up to get to that door from the outside. I assure you, no deer have gotten inside my house. Whatever did this had to be some small animal and I have no idea what. I put out a mouse trap. Will see what tomorrow brings.

Several years ago when I was living in another house but one still elevated off the ground I came home one day late spring day to find three young, just-out-of-the-nest ducklings INSIDE my house with two more running around outside. I never did figure that one out either. Mama Duck was nowhere to be seen.
In that case you might want to check out possible insects: What Is Eating My Rose Leaves & How to Kill It | Home Guides | SF Gate Let us know if you catch any small animals; I cannot think of one that would do that much defoliation.

Just because you catch a mouse does not mean that mice are responsible; but you never know maybe they evolved? I found this one link where some of the comments suspect voles: Mice ate 3 rose bushes! What to do now?.
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Old Today, 08:23 AM
 
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I have both moles and voles in the yard in the summertime and they are a big pest during the warmer months. But right now there is 2 inches of snow on the ground and the temperature is 9 degrees this morning. What's more this end of the house is elevated a good 4 1/2 feet above the ground and steep concrete steps lead to the one door that opens to the inside of the closed-off porch. The container the rose bush is in is a metal container and all the damage is several inches above the soil line.

I have a suspicion that this will forever remain a mystery just as it is still a mystery how those young ducklings got inside my house one late spring day several years ago. Thanks to everyone who responded. Your comments are appreciated.
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Old Today, 09:04 AM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
31,007 posts, read 38,783,738 times
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Whatever it was will likely come back for a second helping of your other plants. I think mice are the likely culprit. They can get in through very small spaces.
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Old Today, 10:41 AM
 
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Put a couple mouse traps with peanut butter on them between the wall and the pot and I suspect your mystery will be solved within a day.
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