Spring can be an especially trying time for gardeners as families of rabbits devour the flowers faster than they can be planted. Rabbit populations are high, and the new foliage is much tastier now than later as it begins to harden off. Between increased deer populations and rabbits, what’s a gardener to do? Well, first, to determine if it’s rabbit (or rodent) versus deer damage is easy. Deer browsing leaves a jagged or torn surface on twigs and stems, where rabbit or rodent damage will leave a clean cut surface, at almost a 45- degree angle like they used a new pair of pruners! And rabbits seem to nibble just about anything especially new shoots in the spring. If you’ve determined its rabbit damage, here are a few of the many suggested ways to repel rabbits from your prized plants:
Physical Barriers– Fencing is the most effective way to eliminate rabbit damage. 

Use poultry fencing or something similar, 24-30 inches high, making sure it’s partially buried in the ground. –Netting is another very effective way to eliminate rabbit damage. Using nylon
garden netting, place the netting over desired plants or plantings and anchor it to the ground. Most nettings blend in with the plantings and are not that noticeable. –Constructing framed screened covering (critter covers) resembling tents covered with netting or poultry fencing, and then place those over crop rows or individual plants. Gluing PVC pope together to form the framework is the best way to go.

Rabbit Repellents (start using repellents BEFORE damage occurs) – There are many commercially manufactured rabbit repellents available. Liquid Fence, and Deer Scram, are the most affective. However, repellents need to be reapplied on a semi-regular basis (read the labels). Just like using deer repellents, the best results may come from using different products each time you reapply (to keep changing the scent). –Fox or Coyote Urine is used to simulate a predator deterrent, and is available in bottled form. –Hot Pepper Wax Spray is another repellent available and is also labeled for fruits and vegetables.

Here are a few collected home remedies you may want to try (use at your own discretion: – Mulch around plants with sweet gum balls (stick to fur on rabbit’s feet!). – Dried Blood Meal sprinkled around plants –Talcum powder sprinkled around and on plants. –Human hair, dog or cat hair placed around plants. – Strong smelling hand soap placed around plants. –Distribute lemon peels around plants. –Sprinkling a dried onion/garlic powder around plants. –Distribute corn cobs soaked in vinegar (soak for 20 minutes) around garden every 2 weeks. –Although not labeled for gardening, mothballs have been used (do not use near edibles) with limited success. –Sprinkle crushed dried hot peppers around plants.

Trapping the rabbits may be another option for the frustrated gardener, and there are many critter removal services available to do this. Here at McShane’s, we will be more than happy to assist or give advice about rabbit control. If you have any other questions about rabbit resisitant plants, please contact one of the experts at McShane’s Nursery. They would be happy to help.

Rabbit Resistant Plants


Perenials

Achillea

Anemone

Aquilegia

Artemesia

Aster

Astilbe

Bergenia

Campanula

Cerastium

Delphinium

Digitalis

Euphorbia

Geranium

Helleborus

Hemerocallis

Hosta

FERNS

Athyrium

Dryopteris

Polystichum

Houttuynia

Hypericum

Iris (Tall Bearded)

Iris (Japanese)

Iris (Pseudacorus)

Iris (Siberian)

Kniphofia

Lamium

Liriope

Lobelia

Lupinus

Nepeta

Papaver

Polemonium

Sedum

Stachys

Viola

Yuccca

VINES

Clematis

Hydrangea anomala petiolaris

 

 

Click here to download the PDF

How To Enhance Your Soil

How To Analyze Soil

How To Your Soil For Great Results In the Garden

Benefits of Composted Soil