Rabbits can look cute and cuddly and are fun to watch as they rummage around fields. However, as an avid gardener or farmer will tell you, once you have rabbits in your garden, they can undo all the hard work you have done.
Different types of rabbits have very different eating habits. Jackrabbits are born, and within a couple of days, they are already adept at foraging. Another type you may see are cottontails, and these can tend to live and breed around one small suburban area.
This means that once growing season begins, these rabbits will quickly find a host of flowering plants and vegetables.
From the spring with tulips and the likes of pansies to lilies in the summer and toward the fall, they are into your Asters. None of this even includes any vegetables you may have.
With this in mind, you can use this guide to find rabbit repellent plants. You can use these for a different garden display or strategically place them to help protect other plants and veggies around your rabbit resistant garden. (Read How to Keep Squirrels Out of Garden)
What Prevents Rabbits from Eating Flowers?
In many ways, rabbits have eating habits similar to deer. Rabbits tend to avoid plants with foliage or plant growth; you can class as spicy, bitter, woody, bitter, or rough.
What Flowers are Toxic to Rabbits?
Here are some of the more common plants rabbits won’t eat.
Rabbits don t like plants, which are woody and are more into tender plants. Any kind of Buddleia plants they will not eat. A Butterfly Bush will offer many new shoots in the spring after it dies back to ground level in temperate climates.
Come summer and full sun; you will find honey-scented panicles and blooms to attract butterflies. To thrive, they like full sun in average soil.
Rabbits love early-blooming crocus come early spring. Hellebore, or Christmas rose, is an early blooming alternative, rabbits avoid. Old-fashioned hellebores are demure for the spring flower show and present a downward-facing flower and stems rabbits hate. (Read Can You Eat Potatoes With Sprouts)
Just keep them out of the light of the full sun and in well-drained soil in zones 3 for the best white blooms.
You may love the delicate appearance of these short-lived perennials, yet these are plants that rabbits keep away from.
The great thing is, even though rabbits avoid them, they thrive in the same environments, such as light shady woodland gardens with partial shade and alpine foliage gardens that are cool from too much heat.
You have different types, so make sure not to pick tree peonies because these can be frequented by rabbits. White and blue flower Peony hybrids are seldom bothered by rabbits.
However, tall tree peonies are frequently checked out by rabbits. If you are unsure of the type of peony in your garden, watch the plant in the winter.
You will see herbaceous peonies die back while tall tree peonies retain woody stems above the surface. Both of these can live for decades, be sure to erecting a tall exclusion fence around the plant, and make sure they have well-drained soil. (Find the Best Pet Safe Weed And Feed)
Snapdragons look to fit the profile of a rabbit-pleasing plant. Yet the bitter taste of Antirrhinum turns them away, and they are deer resistant as well.
Plant in full sun with rich soil that offers good drainage. You find these sold with annuals, and snapdragons may arrive in zones 5 and warmer protective mulch. While not too tall, they do stand up enough on their stems to present a bloom you can see from anywhere.
Rabbits avoid sage plants, as oils in the leaves and foliage are natural repellents. Russian sage has fuzzy leaves and tough texture rabbits don’t like. These are a go-to choice for a low-maintenance perennial border.
Plant in full sun in zones 4 to 8 and wait for bee-friendly blooms early summer well into fall, and they will last many years.
Rabbits love dining on impatiens, although a rabbit or deer will pass this ground cover lookalike vinca plant, with leathery leaves, tough stems, and little blue flowers. Vinca is disease-resistant plants which bothered other impatiens in many gardens.
Plant these annual flowers in zones 3 to 8 in full sun or shade areas and well-drained soil for vigorous plants and lots of blooms. Vinca are drought tolerant flowers but exhibit the best flowers with a slow-release fertilizer in the soil at planting time.
When you look at toxic plants rabbits won’t eat, Nicotiana sits alongside Foxgloves, Nightshades, Jimsonweed, and Belladonna. The foliage of the Nicotiana plant has irritating hairs that repel them, and rabbits won’t eat them, even if there is nothing else.
You can plant these easy to grow flowers in fertile soil with part shade and let them grow for years without any contact. They will bloom and self-seed and need light attention, though one should be careful which variety as they can be toxic to pets and children.
What Flowers Can My Bunny Eat?
If you happen to have a pet rabbit and want to feed a natural diet, you can provide them a mixture of things, although these won’t be flowers from your garden.
In the wild, rabbits will strip bark from trees and chew soft twigs, fruits and seeds. However, the majority of their diet is grass and leafy plants. Yet, rabbits have favorite foods.
Hay is the most vital part of a rabbits diet as it helps keep their teeth healthy and provides vitamins. It is possible to cut non-toxic brass from your yard, although never feed them grass cuttings. It is also possible to feed them fresh vegetables. (Read How to Get Rid of Ground Moles)
The above is just a few of the best plants to repel rabbits. Although a rabbit may not be too fussy, once you use some of these in your garden and plant a perennial border, they may decide to leave your garden well alone rather than venture inside.
The great thing with these is that you can still get plenty of blooms on each flower come full sun, and they serve another purpose. Many of these plants can cope with the heat, so you will find the leaves won’t wilt and lose their effectiveness through the late summer and into the fall. (Find out how much sun for roses are needed)