Don't let their cute faces fool you; rabbits can do a lot of damage to your garden when your back is turned. It only takes a couple to completely decimate a vegetable garden or flower bed.
How to Identify Rabbits in your Garden
Rabbits are voracious eaters and leave clean–cut damage. Check the leaves and stems of your plants for cleanly cut damage; insects and other pests usually leave jagged edges on damaged plants.
These low mowers graze close to the ground and sniff out the first tender young shoots and crop them short. They love to munch on flowers, clover, peas, lettuce, beans, and more. Once your plants have passed the seedling stage, they are usually safe from rabbit damage.
How to Get Rid of Rabbits
- It's best to keep rabbits from crossing into the garden to begin with, and many old-time remedies rely on spreading various products around the perimeter of the garden such as dried blood or dried blood meal or human hair. “Sprinkle dried blood on the surface around all your plants as early in the season as you can, and repeat after a heavy rain,” advises Riger-Hull. Note: If you have dogs, don't try this method because they might be attracted to the scent and start digging up your garden.
- As their twitching noses indicate, rabbits sniff a lot. Try sprinkling dried sulfur around or on your plants. Rabbits also dislike the smell of onions, so try planting these around your garden to further deter the furry creatures.
- Irish Spring soap shavings placed in little drawstring bags around the garden will also help to keep rabbits away.
- Spray your plants with a mixture of 1 teaspoon Lysol and 1 gallon of water.
- Some people protect plants with individual “collars” of tin cans or screening so that the plants may reach a less vulnerable size. Put the collar around each stem for protection.
- Some of the deer techniques related to odor are also said to work against rabbits. Deter rabbits with commercially-available deer repellents that contain a mixture of dried bovine blood, sulfured eggs and garlic.
- Do not rely on repellants alone. The most effective way of keeping out rabbits is chicken wire fencing. A ¾–inch wire mesh fence should work; bury it 8 to 12 inches deep and it needs to be only about 30 inches high.
Plants That Rabbits Dislike
Rabbits find the same type of plants unpalatable as deer do. Choose plants such as forsythia, lilac bush, marigolds, zinnias, daffodils, lavender and snapdragons. This will reduce your rabbit population. Here are more plants that rabbits dislike:
Azalea (Rhododendron sp.)
Boxwood (Buxus sp.)
Bush cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa)
Butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii)
Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster sp.)
Japanese maple (Acer palmatum)
Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia)
Rhododendron (Rhododendron sp.)
Tatarian dogwood (Cornus alba)
Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)
Adam's needle (Yucca filamentosa)
Creeping phlox (Phlox subulata)
Foam flower (Tiarella cordifolia)
Lamb's ear (Stachys byzantina)
Meadow rue (Thalictrum rochebrunianum)
Peony (Paeonia hybrids)
Perennial salvia 'East Friesland' (Salvia x superba)
Primrose (Primula x polyantha)
Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
Sedum 'Autumn Joy' (Sedum)
Speedwell (Veronica sp.)
Spring cinquefoil (Potentilla verna)
Stokes' aster (Stokesia laevis)
Four o'clock flower (Mirabilis jalapa)
Geranium, zonal and bedding (Pelargonium x hortorum)
Mexican ageratum (Ageratum houstonianum)
Pot marigold (Calendula officinalis)
Spiderflower (Cleome hasslerana)
Vinca (Catharanthus roseus)
Wax begonia (Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum)
Daffodil (Narcissus sp.)
Hyacinth (Hyacinth orientalis)
Persian onion (Allium giganteum)
Do you have any tips for controlling rabbits in your garden or yard? Please post below!