Problems with VOLES in the Rose Garden

I have about 135 roses in my rose garden in New Jersey. I grow many modern shrubs, floribundas and some hybrid teas. Generally I can’t keep miniatures because of the rabbits who keep nibbling on the minis in my garden. This spring I lost five beautful roses due to volesthat settled in over winter and destroying all the roots of those roses in that bed. I found this horrible problem while I was pruning the roses in early April. What a disaster—all five roses had not roots at all and the canes were dried up. While I have been fighting back- I am not sure I am winning this battle. I keep seeing holes in the mulch around the roses and I keep using two different products to get rid of the nasty voles. Does anyone have this problem in their garden? HELP.

Hi Iliana,

Cyndy Scalf here. Remember me from West Jersey? I live in North Carolina now, but I had terrible vole issues in Hainesport, NJ. Since moving here, I have discovered a nice little vole remedy. Available on Amazon, there are flexible wire cages in many sizes, and you just plant any vulnerable roses in these cages. I think the company is Vole King, and they are located in NC. I have used these cages in our county Rose Garden and they have been a great success.

I know this doesn’t help you with already planted and established roses, but as you replace and add new roses, you might want to give these cages a try. They’re easy to use and do the trick.

Good luck! I know voles is a heart breaking problem. I have them here in my new gardens but my roses are in raised beds with hardware cloth nailed in the bottom. This was done after I lost many roses to voles coming up through he bottom of the raised beds. Live and learn!

Again, good luck,

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I have dealt with both moles and voles in my garden over the years. I found the castor oil mixture sprayed on soil to be effective. Here’s some info:

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Hi Iliana!

My army of cats has been the effective remedy for the vole problem. They take care of both voles and rabbits in my garden. Grow some catnip in a large container and you can attract all the feral cats in the neighborhood to be your army against the voles.

A rosarian once told us that diatomaceous earth spread around the plants prevents vole activity. If you do spread it, don’t inhale it. Good luck!


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Hello Cindy,
Great hearing from you. These voles are a real menace. They destroyed five of my established roses last winter. I did not notice till I was pruning in April.
Now I am fighting back. I think I may have deterred some damage.
But these critters are persistent. I keep finding holes in the mulch under the roses and perennials in my garden.
I will try the cages, I have six new roses to be planted. Thanks so much.
By the way. I was in Ashevile, NC at the Builtmore Estate and toured the gardens. Awesome is not strong enough a descriptor. Terry, my sister and I had a grand time there
Loved those Blue Ridge Mts. And the folks we met were super friendly.
Glad you are still growing Roses. Regards from your NJ rose friends.

Iliana :heart: :rose:

Hello, Thanks so much for the valuable information and articles
I am fighting back. If I continue to see damage I may have a professional service come into my garden to make a plan of action. This vole problem is worse than any rose disease in the garden.
Thanks again.
Iliana Okum

Hello Suni,
THANKS so much for your ideas and sharing your experience with these awful critters. I am fighting back.
I spoke to a neighbor and he says there are feral cats in the neighborhood. So I may try to attract them to my garden.
Although my dog does not like cats. Last week we had a fox come into our backyard. I think it may have been looking for the bunnies and voles.
I’m hoping to stop this problem soon.
Wish me luck.