Rabbits

jenna1(AZ)April 27, 2013

I'm sure this has been asked over and over again but I can't find an answer.

What DON'T rabbits eat?

We moved to Lake Havasu City about 4-5 months ago and had our front and back yards landscaped. I've since added other plants only to find that the rabbits are enjoying their own personal salad bars. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr......

I've tried spraying with homemade pepper spray but my husband and I now think that these are Mexican rabbits because they seem to love the plants I've sprayed. Thinking that maybe the 'sauce' wasn't strong enough I doubled the amount of hot peppers when making it but that hasn't helped. A friend of ours who grows Scotch Bonnet's sent us a large package with dried SB's and that hasn't helped at all either. I've also read about buying dried coyote pee but one of our neighbors has told us that smells to high heaven.

Anyone have success with growing plants that rabbits don't like, other than cactus?

Jenna

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GeeS 9b

The main issue now is that you've introduced a lot of new plants into the rabbits' stomping grounds, so naturally they're going to investigate, all to your chagrin, of course. There is little you can do other than wrap those plants most in need with chicken wire for the time being. With summer coming on it may get worse before it improves, but by autumn you should be able to remove the chicken wire as things settle down. Next spring, it should be much better, unless you continue to introduce new plants and pique the rabbits' curiosity. In the end, they should leave many/most of your plants alone, but continue to nibble a few favorites. You'll have to figure it out as you go along. For now, just understand that it's your recent landscaping efforts that brought this on, and that it will pass.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 5:02PM
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Fascist_Nation(9b)

Fencing, netting, dog provided it doesn't dig up your garden.

Rotten eggs if you can stand the smell.

Could try scarecrow provided it can be set sensitive enough to detect rabbits.

Here is a link that might be useful: scarecrow

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 5:47PM
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1212dusti(9)

I have set out a smorgasbord of plants for rabbits over the years. They even ate plants, local nurseries assured me they would never touch. But cactus, larger agave, orange and yellow Mexican bird, aloe, orange and yellow bells, pink bower vine, bougainvillea, Russian blue sage, and all sage, salvia, vinca, and most lantana, although one year I planted several, and the rabbits ate all but one plant. I have lots of these plants in the yard and the rabbits leave them alone.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 8:57AM
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GeeS 9b

Rabbits will and do munch on Agaves. They don't attack them indiscriminately but a single rabbit can inflict great damage when it finds one it likes.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 10:20AM
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aztreelvr

Here's some information on preventing damage from rabbits and other pesky 4-legged critters.

Here is a link that might be useful: rabbit prevention and control

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 12:21PM
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kriklaf

I *think* I'm seeing rabbit damage in my garden, but I'm not positive (haven't seen footprints or pellets). It's definitely not javelinas - I've had those before and they definitely leave footprints. What else might delicately defoliate all of my peppers, beans and cukes?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 6:26PM
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GeeS 9b

You need to determine when it's happening. Rabbits are largely crepuscular, while wood rats are nocturnal. There are plenty of insect pests that could be responsible as well.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 6:45PM
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toucan(9)

How about lavender.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 1:31PM
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GeeS 9b

^ We're filthy with rabbits here (and lavender), and none show any interest.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 4:38PM
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jenna1(AZ)

Thank you all!

We're actually kinda laughing about this. Gardening here is oh-so much different than where we used to live.

Regarding lavender, while speaking with the owner of a local nursery I asked him about this. He said that French lavender would be better than the others. But he did caution that once a rabbit decided he or she liked the taste that all bets were off.

My husband found something at Wal Mart that so far is helping. I'm sorry but I can't remember the name off-hand but it's a spray that smells to high heaven. Let's put it this way, after standing downwind of the first spraying I had to take a shower as my dog and two cats wouldn't come near me, with one cat hissing at me. DH, bless his little heart, also bought wire for caging because he's not all that hopeful that this spray will continue to work. He also reminded me that Arizona is a right to carry arms state and that I could sit out on the front patio at night armed to the teeth. Of course, he was laughing as he said that.

1212dusti, I actually did plant a couple sages/salvia out front that they haven't (yet) touched, as well as red yucca and Mexican red BOP that all seem to be doing ok so far. Probably because the rabbits just haven't gotten over to them yet. Two of my favorite plants in our last yard was Artemesia 'Powis Castle' and Russian sage but didn't think that they would do well here so didn't dig any before moving. Will have to look into getting some online because I haven't yet seen any here at either the nurseries or at Home Depot or Lowe's.

I think the worst plant to have in our front yard has been any hibiscus. Every single one of them are down to the nubs. I think that I'm going to buy some silk hibiscus flowers and tape them to the sticks that haven't been eaten yet.

Thank you all again for your input. We'll be gone most of tomorrow but if I remember when we get home I'll look at the brand of spray that we're 'testing' as a repellent and post it. Maybe it will help others.

Jenna

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 2:53AM
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jenna1(AZ)

As promised I went out and wrote down the repellant spray that my husband had found at Wal Mart.

It's called REPELS-ALL and the manufacturer is BONIDE. It has dried blood, putrid (the label uses a longer word) egg solids, garlic oil as well as a few other things. It isn't deadly but does irritate their noses plus leaves a smell of a predator. It's supposed to help with all sorts of critters. The spray bottle is white with a purple spray cap and handle and the label is yellow and purple. Altho it seems to be helping right now in our front yard I can't guarantee it will help against all animals in different areas.

Jenna

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 12:39AM
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lazy_gardens

"What else might delicately defoliate all of my peppers, beans and cukes?"

Quail? They annihilated my raised bed one year when the bird netting blew off. Nothing left but stubs.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 12:20PM
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mrs.mcgregor

I have found that caging new plants while they are young with chicken wire is necessary to prevent the rabbits from destroying them. the rabbits don't like fragrant plants. I have success with texas sage, dwarf myrtle, lantana, orelanders, ruellia and cassia. If I plant flowers I make sure they are in pots or raised flower beds tall enough to keep rabbits out.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 10:58PM
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pat1867

I planted flowers in two medium sized pots and found to my dismay, that rabbits were using them for a sleeping bed! a neighbor suggested moth balls, which I tried, and it worked like a charm. You might try placing some around your plants...just a thought!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 11:39AM
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