Yes, the pandemic rabbits in the garden are eating everything, including plants supposedly rabbit resistant. Here’s a look at what they’ve devoured so far. Video included.
If I thought that the pandemic rabbits — as I call them — ate themselves silly through my garden last year, I guess I’m in for even more fun this year.
Last Summer, those pesky rabbits ate several of my plants — plants they previously always left alone. Marigolds, Lantana, and Black Eyed Susans took the biggest hit. Here’s some of the evidence left behind:
This year is promising to be even more challenging for me. Our favorite Yucca plants have now become their favorites too:
And our Burning Bush shrubs which have never even been sniffed at, have been used for teething purposes. (I’m trying to joke here, to keep my sanity!)
Rabbit deterrent for rabbits in the garden
Yes, last year I faithfully used Liquid Fence and Bonide Repels-All, and eventually those rabbits just didn’t care. I also used red pepper flakes and powder. They ate the plants and flowers anyway.
But I’m not giving up. I’m in the process of researching and deciding which supposed rabbit-resistant plants to purchase this year and add to my gardens.
And yes, I will most likely still use the products I mentioned above, but I will also figure out how to turn my gardens into a restaurant they don’t want to dine at.
My goal isn’t to somehow get the rabbits to leave — as I am beginning to doubt this will ever happen. Instead, my goal is to plant rabbit-resistant plants and flowers around the ones they feasted on, in the hope this will prevent horrible rabbit damage this year.
What are your plant suggestions that rabbits in the garden don’t eat?
Here’s where you come in. I’d love your feedback on which plants have been working for you — as well as which plants and flowers and shrubs and trees have become rabbit food.
I filmed this video (below) that’s up on my Garden Sanity YouTube Channel, where I show exactly what the rabbits have been eating, including our beloved Yucca plants. I have already received helpful feedback from viewers there.
Feel free to leave your comments either below this article or in the comment section over on YouTube. Either way, I’m very interested in your own experiences.
Feedback I’ve received so far
Here is a sampling of the feedback I’ve received so far on my YouTube Channel.
Rabbits seem to enjoy eating . . .
- Asiatic Lilies
- Barberry — This one surprised me, as mine haven’t been eaten…yet!
- Black Eyed Susan
- Blue Fescue
- Burning Bush
- Catmint — Ugh! This is one of the rabbit-resistant plants I’m going to try!
- Echinacea (Coneflowers)
- Lavender — Haven’t touched mine.
- Paddle Cactus
- Red Twig Dogwood
- Salvia — Another surprise as they haven’t touched mine.
- Yellow Twig Dogwood
Plants rabbits seem to avoid . . .
- Ageratum (both annual and perennial versions)
- Barrel Cactus
- Butterfly Bush
- California Poppy
- Geranium Rozanne
- Russian Sage
Various “rabbits don’t eat these plants” lists out there
I realize there are already many lists of supposed rabbit-resistant plants floating around on the internet.
I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel with another list — however — I’ve seen too many lists include plants which have subsequently been devoured and enjoyed by rabbits in the garden. One example? Black Eyed Susans.
I want to come up with a short list of plants that seem to work for everyone in different zones. So, we shall see how this goes!
So far, I already notice plants appearing on both lists, and it isn’t surprising because if rabbits are hungry enough, they will eat just about anything.
I’m looking forward to reading your comments on what rabbits have munched on in your own gardens. I’m determined to plant truly rabbit-resistant — is there such a thing? — plants this year!
Perhaps together we can reduce the amount of our gardens destroyed by these pandemic rabbits.
I’ve been dealing with rabbits for 8 yrs – they are around all year. I have found the best thing to do is to put a barrier (chicken wire 3 ft high) around my perennials when they are first emerging – then once they get big, I can take them off as rabbits really prefer tender, young shoots of plants. I do this with my hostas, delphiniums, peonies, clematis, small roses, etc. The plants I don’t have to worry about are foxglove, Bluebeard shrub, smoke bush, Shasta daisies, Roxanne geranium, alliums, and daffodils(although sometimes baby bunnies might bite into one and then they spit it out – did this with one of my daffodils and peonies this year.
In the winter they eat my spirea down to the ground but it’s tough and comes back. I cover my climbing rose canes in the winter as they have gnawed on them in past winters. I use the Repels All spray but it only lasts so long.
I’m in Massachusetts, zone 6a.
Another plant they don’t go near is monkshood (it’s a poisonous plant so you have to be careful with it. (Humans and animals). Foxglove is also poisonous but not as bad as monkshood. However the rabbits never bother with those. They also don’t like lambs ear and hellebore plants.
Thank you for this fantastic list of plants, Chris! This is so helpful! I had rabbits bite some of my daffodil leaves this year too, and was relieved they decided they didn’t like them. Your chicken wire solution is indeed something I’ve been considering for the Winter, especially for certain shrubs like my Fothergilla. Although they chewed some of the Fothergilla stems down quite a bit, I am happy to report that the shrubs rebounded and are a nice size this Summer. Still, I need to better protect some of these shrubs and perennials. I grow some of what you grow, but not others…but now they are on my list to consider when I want to add new plants! I really appreciate your sharing this here!
Have had a terrible experience with rabbits on our new property for the last 6 years. Chicken wire has worked in most cases but you really need to bury it a few inches down as the rabbits will start digging under the wire if it just sits on the ground. . At my former house where I had a multitude of plants, the only thing that kept them out of the yard was having a cat. I read somewhere where rabbits respond to something chasing them, dogs, cats. When I had cats, I never ever had a problem in 10+ years. Even after my last cat died, the rabbits never touched anything which I think is because the cat smell still kept them out. Hope this helps someone.
Thanks so much for your suggestion about the cat, Merv! My cats are indoor-only, so the rabbits are lucky in that respect! I’ve read that some people will put out “used cat littler” around their gardens, but I can’t bring myself to do that. Maybe I should try leaving some cat fur around… That’s also a good tip about burying the chicken wire down a few inches too — as yes, those rabbits are diggers. I’m already thinking about the upcoming Winter season, as the rabbits were everywhere last Winter. I saw a fox periodically last Winter after spotting the pawprints in the snow (caught on our security cameras in the middle of the night) chasing the rabbits, but I wish he/she would come around more often and bring friends!
I too have a plague of rabbits eating so many plants they supposedly won’t eat. (Including California poppies listed above.). Some plants they’ve actually left alone: snapdragons, dahlias, peonies, and Shasta daisy
Sorry you’re experiencing the joy of rabbits too, Amanda. I like that you called it a plague, as it sure feels that way. Interesting the rabbits have left your Dahlias alone, as others have said they’ve been eaten. I didn’t grow any Dahlias for that reason, and now I’m wondering if I should try next year. It is frustrating to say the least. Thanks for weighing in — I do appreciate it!