List of annuals that rabbits wont eat, and what they do eat

linnea56(z5 IL)May 29, 2008

Anyone know where to find such a list? Annuals only, not perennials. If there is none, maybe we can make one here from our own experiences. (Sure would save me and probably others time and effort). A separate list could be made for what deer eat, etc. My only problem is rabbits, so I would like to keep them separate.












Dusty miller

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I agree with your list and have the following additions
Rabbits eat -
Phlox -annual

Rabbits will nibble on but usually not totally destroy-

Rabbits don't like -

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 12:25PM
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Rabbits eat...Gazania. Don't know about the flowers as the little buggers wouldn't let them get big enough to flower before munching them down to little stumps.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 1:39PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

Bumping: need more contributions! Would be useful for many, judging by recent posts.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 11:49AM
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Rabbits ate the dianthus I planted this season.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 5:22PM
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they haven't eaten these in my garden:

Osteospermum (African daisy)
Nierembergia (cup flower)
tithonia (Mexican sunflower)
snapdragons (already mentioned)

For some reason, they leave my petunias alone (dark purple and dark rose Wave petunias).

Do they eat Rudbeckia 'Goldstrum'? I blame it on the deer due to the hoof marks, but I also see bunnies around those.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 6:05PM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Rabbits eat anything their little wiggley nose bumps into.
They eat all my petunias...but eat the pink ones first, they eat snapdragons, dianthis...big time eat idanthus! They eat big thorny stems of roses, old dried up fronds of Boston fern, hosta, lupin, tulips

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 8:45PM
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I have had issues before with RABBITS chasing them around the house with rabbit spray. This year I learned 2 things. They don't like larger plants so anything above their nose they didn't eat but also a slices of a scented bar soap(Irish Spring) around the plants will keep them away. I only lost a few plants this year but they were smaller. I applied the soap 3 different times because of the rain we had this spring.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 8:33AM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

Soap: I never thought of that! Have you tried it with anything but Irish Spring? Does the dissolving residue hurt the plants, though? That would last longer than the dried blood Ive been using so far, which has to be replaced every time it rains.

They have been doing more than chewing and eating what they could reach this year. I have had lilies and other plants bitten off a few inches above the base and the stem just left lying there.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 10:23AM
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alisande(Zone 4b)

A good gardener told me just this week that she grates scented soap (from the dollaar store--the smellier the better) around her plants to keep deer and rabbits away. She says it doesn't hurt anything.

I can add Lavatera to the list of rabbit candy. I used to grow the beautiful "Silver Cup." No more! But maybe now that I know about the soap . . .

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 11:36AM
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I haven't been here in ages - but used to post several
years ago. I came today to see what experience you
have had with the Rabbits. I am in a different
State now, and thought I was rid of the rascals.

I read the first list - and already see that my
rabbits are crazy. My Salvias, Dusty Millers were eaten
and they destroyed impatiens hanging over a pot, and
nipped off my Sunflowers (about 5 inches tall).

Someone told me to scatter used kitty litter around - but
that isn't something I want to think about. LOL

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 10:37AM
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I include perennials, because in reading through I have seen other questions regarding them.

Rabbits have been eating:

tulips(before they could bloom)
stargazer lillies
rudebekia(black eyed Susans)
meadow sage (small)
perennial that looks similar to dusty miller
woody shrubs including: salix integra, concorde barberry, purple smoke bush

Have not been eating:

Day lillies
blue clip campanulas
bee balm
large perennial sage
blue festucia ornamental grass
snap dragons

rabbits usually don't eat (but have been tasting off and on this year):

dusty miller

-Have tried Jerry Baker's hot bite spray, worked for a while, but I guess the bunnies aquires a taste for cayenne pepper, baby shampoo and ammonia.

-Have fenced a few things off, that works but looks ugly.

-Cat litter doesn't deter.

-I am now trying Shot Gun Repels All animal repellent(bought at Lowe's); it should work, it smells so bad, I don't want to go into my yard.

-I have also heard that if you scatter hair around bunnies will stay away. I figure I may save my next haircut and give it a try.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 11:28PM
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newbie_in_nj(6b E/Central NJ)

Shot Gun Repels All worked like a champ on Tulips this spring. Not one was nibbled or eaten. First time in 20 years there were tulips in front of my father's house.

Had switched to Liquid Fence and Deer Off because we had it in the garage already and I didn't want to spend another $12. for more Repels All. LF and DO haven't worked remotely as well with garden plants but were pretty good on bushes during winter when deer decimate everything.
Then again, I ignored the application instructions and sprayed every week during winter and on the tulips. My hands were cramped from so much spraying...LOL.

Critter Ridder shaker was a $20. bust. What a rip off.

My little baby Sweet Alyssum seedlings haven't been touched by any critter. They aren't blooming yet but guess I have to be patient. They grew like wildfire in the germinating mixture and then seemed to stall when I put them in the ground a few weeks ago. Just fed them yesterday and they seem like they perked up. Who am I kidding...they're probably growing right on schedule from germination but I don't know it since I've never grown a single thing in my life before this year...LOL.

Something is ripping the Coleus in the shade bed. Not nibbling or holes from insects/bugs but just ripped leaves. Could be all the rain we've had so I shouldn't blame critters, I guess.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 9:32AM
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our bunnies do not eat the punkin/gourds/squash/cucumbers/tomaters

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 10:52PM
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newbie_in_nj(6b E/Central NJ)

Rabbits are eating Alyssum around Zinnias which they are decimating. Alyssum was just "in front of their nose" around alyssum so why not eat?

Ate one quarter Nicotiana but not destroyed.

Cosmos all gone before one single bloom showed...50 seedlings used to try and get some to bloom after each destruction. Hope sprang eternal after seeing other people's photos of flowing cosmos.

Gomphrena eaten to nubs repeatedly. After 3 months they're still 1-3" tall trying to regrow each time they're eaten down.

Someone is getting past chicken wire fence on stairs to deck and eating basil, marigolds and alyssum. Put up chicken wire after looking out sliding glass doors to see groundhog dragging mangy body across herb pots, crushing most plants, to get to marigolds.

Tithonia has been eaten back to nubs 4 times...that's with chicken wire 3 feet high secured around huge, deep tub container. Anyone's guess if it's rabbits or groundhogs.

Someone's even eating Echinops in fenced butterfly garden.

As far as I'm concerned, once the mammalian pest population gets to certain point there's nothing they won't eat...or flatten on their way to whatever they want to eat.

Someone asked sage question on some forum...why can't they all eat Garlic Mustard that's proliferating at alarming rate in spite of pulling til the cows come home?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 5:08AM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

I was weeding the garden yesterday and pulling out mostly great handfuls of pesky yellow woodsorrel (or oxalis, looks like little shamrocks). I had big mounds of weeds laying on the grass outside the raised bed. I took a break and came back to find a baby bunny nibbling on my piles. I was able to get quite close to this innocent and wanted to see what he ate. He alternated between the grass and the weed salad bar. At one time I saw him eating the yellow woodsorrel, and I whispered coaxingly, "Good bunny! "Good bunny!". Now if I could only get this little guy trained.

But Ill just bet he went home and Mom told him, "You silly baby, you ate the wrong thing."

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 2:47PM
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Rabbits have no interest in my allysum or strawflowers, but they adore my dahlias and gerber daisies. I just ripped up some dead dahlias Sunday and replaced with marked-down torenia. No more dahlias for me, this is my second failed attempt. :-(

I'm trying Plantskyyd this summer. Lord it smells awful, and it's hard to be sure yet when so many of my plants were already nibbled to bits. But I have my fingers crossed, since all the other ideas -- hair, soap, etc. -- have failed miserably. And my bunnies think most repellants are condiments.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 4:22PM
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Ah, one of the joys of having indoor/outdoor cats.....

That being said, I watched groundhogs in my back yard sit up on their haunches, reach up and pull a stem down so that it can eat the blossom from something or other, so it doesn't have to be close to his nose....

And baby deer will and do try everything. I've used Liquid Fence, but the smell ruins the garden for me, it smells so bad.

Pretty good year, this year, though. Saw lots of daylily flowers, and the hosta lasted longer than usual. Even with a family of 2 baby deer which adopted my property.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 1:15PM
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We have rabbits in our yard too. And deer. The groundhog moved next door thank heaven, probably because we have a superduper dachshund girl who wants to CATCH something!!
The zinnias suffered--looked like a weedeater had mowed them all to a uniform height when they first budded out.

Nothing has touched my beloved nasturtiums, although I am just guessing because they are so rampant everywhere and it is hard to tell when leaves or flowers are missing. The rabbits nor deer have not bothered my ornamental chartreuse
sweet potatos either. SOMETHING took the middle of one of my coreopsis plant out, big chunk, but the plant recovered.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 10:26PM
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newbie_in_nj(6b E/Central NJ)

Ordering seed for next year and trying in vain to cross lists of annual seeds that are "resistant" to rabbits, deer, groundhogs & slugs!


Went through this exercise last year and still lost so many plants/blooms but have to grow something to fill gardens with blooms.

Seriously considering chicken wire fence around bed right smack in front of father's house (hear that yowling already? LOL) from Feb./March right up until annual plants get larger while Spring bulbs are blooming into May. Can see bright tulips from street but chicken wire is imperceptible from that far away. It'll look like hell close up but I can live with it. That should also help with keeping very early sown Poppies and other plants from being trampled by deer.

These buggers seem to plague me all year round right from planning stage but maybe I should just accept they're going to stay around and I can't agonize over trying to find flowers that give me false hope...LOL.

Gotta have flowers, though, no matter what.

My dream is to have a lot surrounded by 15' deer fencing with small grid fencing overlayed on bottom to keep out rabbits and groundhogs. Add some more sun and I'd be perfectly happy just dealing with flying, crawling and slithering pests...LOL. Birds, butterflies and even squirrels welcome!

One can always, back to reality.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 7:36PM
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this year I learned two things with rabbits. they do not like scented soap and rabbit spray does work. I also found out they will not eat on plants taller then the nose. I have a front yard that is open to the rabbits and when i planted my flowers the smaller plants i placed irish soap around them and they survived. I had used the rabbit spray the previous year andit worked but soap is much cheaper.Other plants that were taller were left alone

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 9:34AM
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How far apart can you place the slivers of soap? Also, just put the soap on a piece of cardboard if you're worried about it leaching into the soil.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 10:07AM
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I find that if the rabbits don't eat a plant then the groundhogs love it and if both won't eat is then the deer do. The big stupid groundhogs will walk over everything they don't eat, such as my alyssum. Eventually the garden looked like a state prison with fencing and large rocks and bricks along the bottom the deter digging under. Eight foot posts with fishing line strung between them to deter deer jumping over. Only missing razor wire and I would have a prison workout yard back there. I am going to grow a "poison" garden next year. Floxglove etc. also it seems nothing eats eggplants besides people.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 2:46PM
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Rabbits ate all my taller marigolds this year! Right to the ground...little boogers.
I learned that baby rabbits were the culprits, they apparently eat anything and everything when they are young. Things like soap, hair (dog hair works well), pepper and egg solids spray, all work but it helps to keep switching it up a bit. They are smart and catch on quick if you just use one deterrent!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 4:16AM
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As far as rabbit deterrants go, high velocity lead has always worked real well for me.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 9:54PM
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They are eating everything in sight - deer will dig through snow to eat anything that grows. And moles are decimating everything else. A whole lily bed was wiped out this spring by moles.

I found in the warm months when tulips emerge to use Liquid Fence. It works, smells bad only until dry, but you HAVE to reapply it after rain. Moth balls work, as does soap but moth balls smell so bad all the time.
I found I wasn't using enough of the spray and did lose some tulip heads. Now I spray the whole plant and surrounding area about 3 feet out from those plants I want to deter deer and rabbits from eating. Seems squirrels and chipmunks don't mind and have been munching my new bed of ferns! Guess it's back to english ivy and grass.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 10:48AM
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If you use soap gratings or slivers and have an automatic sprinkling system or a hard rain, don't you end up with a yard full of bubbles?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 9:23AM
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Are petunias safe from rabbits if they are in a hanging basket?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 10:44AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Susan, they should be. When I lived with bunnies, my potted plants would be safe on a chair seat.

Here's what I had in my notes (not totally sure it was bunnies that did all the eating, but the yard where I took these notes over about 4 years didn't have chippies, groundhogs, or many squirrels, so I gave rabbits the credit. Some are tropical perennials sold as annuals up north.)

Not eaten:
Abutilon - flowering maple, variegated
Acalypha hispida chenille plant
Ageratum ageratum (blue & white)
Begonias, wax
Celosia - cock's comb
Geranium, zonal type
Jasmine sambac
Jasmine sambac
Mirabilis jalapa - 4'o'clocks
Oxalix triangularis - red leaf shamrock
Ruellia - mexican petunia
Strobilanthes - persian shield

Abutilon - flowering maple, NOT variegated
Helianthus - sunflowers
portulaca - moss rose

Maybe some duplicates, don't live with the little munchers anymore so I didn't read through.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 1:18PM
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I find that rabbits LOVE anything just planted/tender. I haven't been able to grow a sunflower or coneflower since I've lived here. Several autumns ago I got a great deal on red coral bells. I planted them, and never saw them again.
I had beautiful morning glories growning us a trellis guessed it.
I haven't had any problems with annuals. I'm wondering how to get the rabbits to go to my neighbor's yard...

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 8:42PM
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Lots of good info on the bunnies delights and dislikes. However, I haven't seen mention of pentas either way. Anybody know which list they should be on? I prefer the zinnias but they have appeared at least twice as "bunnies like" list unfortunately :(

Also, the soap, hair and Shot Gun Repels (from Lowes) as deterents seem to have mostly good reviews with a recent post stating no luck. Should I just use all at the same time? We have over 100 flats of either pena or periwinkles going in and I really don't want to see all that money go to waste.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 4:01PM
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My experience with hair & soap is that you'll have to keep reapplying it and naturally, when you slack off a bit is when the rabbits or deer come back. In one night they can nibble or with deer pull out new plants easily sampling along the area.

I wish I could say I can keep the deer & rabbits away from what they like to eat, but it's really not true.

I've not had them eat vinca minor or vinca major if that's what you're calling periwinkle.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 1:55PM
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I live just east of the mountains in northern Colorado. We have LOTS of bunnies and they are voracious.
They don't eat:
winter savory
chives of any sort
basil when in a pot with other plants
lemon balm
raspberry canes (but raspberries yes)
summer or winter squash
perennial geranium
annual geranium
day lilies
creeping flox
russian sage
red hot poker
bishops weed
vinca major or minor
grape hyacinth
oriental poppies
marigolds (smelly ones)
various ivies
shrub roses

They do eat:
every other annual including
all other garden vegetables and flowers
and probably anything else with a carbon bond.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 7:33PM
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For what it's worth, as I type our pet rabbit is munching happily on our geraniums - the flowers that is, not the leaves. Not sure if there's a difference between wild vs. pet, but I was surprised to see geraniums on every list given our little gal's appetite for Martha Washington geraniums.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 6:56PM
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I rarely see a rabbit on my heavily wooded property. For some reason I have had one chipmunk around for three years. I thought they multiplied like crazy? Maybe he's a hermit as much as I am. I see deer now and then on the other side of my creek. Squirrels? About a half dozen at a time.

Perhaps it's the noise of my creek? If one stands next to it that person can't hear another fifty feet away. The only real damage were some mounding petunias last year and I have tons of annuals around the place.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Gardens Over The Years

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 8:32AM
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My rabbits will eat anything depending on the climate.

They seem to ignore Geraniums entirely until it begins to get really cold. Then they eat them to the stump.

In the spring they will go after the smaller hostas if they are hanging out in that area. They seem to ignore the mature ones that grow huge overnight. Same goes for the ferns, you snooze, you lose. Slow growers will not be allowed to bloom unless you block it off right away somehow.

Liquid Fence absolutely does not work for my rabbits. I tested it by spraying it on a few plants. My yard stunk so bad, the next morning those plants were literally GONE. It's like salsa to them. They had a fiesta all night long, I'm sure.

Squirrels are almost as bad as rabbits. They have no idea where they buried their stupid nuts, so they dig all the plants up thinking they left it there.

It's a love hate relation ship. My yard is literally a Disney movie, but you have to keep watch on the plants or it'll turn into chaos.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 3:48PM
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the bunnies decimated my impatiens
and zinnias and some baby rudbeckia & a cone flower.

It's rained so much liquid fence has not worked.

I'm going to try to fill in with some begonias.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 9:53AM
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Jeepers, get a havahart trap followed by a trashcan full of water or a .410 shotgun! Why suffer. Lol

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 10:28AM
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Jeepers, get a havahart trap followed by a trashcan full of water or a .410 shotgun! Why suffer. Lol

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 10:29AM
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