sga62June 12, 2007

I live in a Chicago suburb and have voracious rabbits. Many of my neighbors have rabbits libing under their decks, etc. which give my yard an abundant supply of them. They eat everything in my yard except daylilies, peonies, and iris'. They have eaten hostas, arborvities, etc. Can anyone recommend some plants that i can plant that rabbits won't eat.

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It's a frustrating problem and one that is not easily solved.

My neighborhood had the same problem. I estimate that I lost over $1000 dollars because of rabbits. Waking up to newly planted trees girdled, shrubs decimated, perennials eaten to the crown. When I began the battle against the rabbits, I used pepper spray on a lot of things, but that got expensive as my garden was expanding rapidly. I also used a spray around the perimeter of the yard. (Don't get let that spray get on your skin or clothing. Pew.) One year, I encircled every shrub and tree with wire fencing before winter to save from having to buy everything again in spring.

We also trapped a few. Then we fenced in the yard, but there were still areas where rabbits could squeeze through, so I've blocked those areas with chicken wire. Occasionally, one will find a way in, but now that the rabbits aren't familar with the area, they don't stay long once the dog chases them away.

All my efforts helped, but the absolute best way to get rid of a rabbit infestation, IMO, is to have cats patroling the neighborhood. We started seeing cats at night, then fewer and fewer rabbits. I'm sure my neighbors were as fed up with all the rabbits as I was, and got cats to solve the problem.

Even if the cats get rid of all the rabbits, eventually more rabbits will move into the neighborhood. It's a war that will never end.

I don't have an answer your question. It seemed like the rabbits would taste everything. I can't tell you how many times they'd just snip off branch after branch on a plant, not eating anything, just destroying it. They must be too stupid to tell that if one branch tastes bad, the rest of brances on the plant will taste the same way.

If I sprayed a favorite plant with pepper spray, they'd just move on to another plant. A rabbit will eat almost anything to keep from starving to death.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 8:47AM
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lagrangeny(z6 NY)

Groundhogs are the same as these rascals. Get about 6 or 7 tomatoes and put alot of sugar on them; and put them about 15 feet from their favorite hole. The rabbits will almost immediately be attracted to the feast; then you can shoot them all. If there are zoning regulations against shooting in your locale - shoot them at night when the neighbors are asleep. Most will not 'get up to see what was shot' if the next day is a workday.
If you have rabbits or other varmits living under your shed. you should spook them out and quickly hammer up some lattice all around the shed; you could often take a peek through the lattice to see if those annoying animals have burrowed under the latticework and might be back under the shed. May not want to shoot them while they are under the shed, they may be stuck and too far or too heavy to pull out quickly and if you couldn't pull them out in a reasonable time the smell would be quite powerful and could ruin your summer outdoors.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 10:14PM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

Yes, I recommend "daylilies, peonies, and iris"! ;-)

Its a never ending battle that can be minimized with fences, dogs and cats.

I have used cayenne pepper with some success, but its limited, because unless you are out there sprinkling pepper right after every rainfall the rabbits will eat your plants to nubs, very quickly.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 3:09PM
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I feel your pain. When I bought my house I wound up hosting a rabbit buffet. They ate everything I planted. Things they don't seem to touch: Salvias, Sedum. They also don't seem to touch my delphiniums.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 7:50PM
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lagrangeny(z6 NY)

very simple.

shoot the rabbits. shoot all of them.

they will no longer eat anything that you have planted.

small gun; relatively quiet; very effective.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 11:28PM
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I have lots of rabbits, and they'll eat almost anything, including annual salvias. They ate the May night, too. And - I have lots of deer as well. Makes for an expensive hobby!

Walker's Row Catmint deters them both. They both avoid navajo salvia, the queen salvias, grasses (except in very early spring) lavender, lavender cotton, all the coreopsis I've tried, and most herbs - and so far, that's it. I've got deer eating holly here!

I've surrounded everything with either bacopa, snow crystal allysum, marigolds, or thyme. That seems to have created a generally unpleasant environment for them near the garden, and they've finally all left me alone.

I wouldn't ever shoot them! I love watching them play, especially in spring, and they provide food for the hawks and coyotes.

Somewhere in here I read a post by a man who said "I decided that it wasn't that the animals were wrong, it was that my garden design was wrong for my location." Something like that. I took his words to heart, and planted more native grasses - it's amazing how you can take a bunch of a local weed, put it grouped together in a garden without other plants mixed in, and suddenly they look like an exotic beauty! I've done it several times now and have no idea really what I've planted. But - the bunnies and the deer don't eat them!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 11:54AM
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If you plant what rabbits and deer love, they will come to your garden. And if they are starving they may eat things not on their usual menu. I also have tried to garden with deer instead of against them. Less strees, less money thrown away trying to keep repellents on plants. Then, the rabbits showed up. I'm now trying to figure out what they like in my garden -- dig up those plants and give them to friends.

Nepeta, lavender, thyme, rosemary, basil -- herbs they don't like. When I trim mine, I scatter the stems around flowers that the rabbits like. Those dried herbs stay pungent for a long time and has helped my garden.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 9:11AM
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Okay everyone...kill the idea of shooting! NO SHOOTING! Humans are supposed to be the "intelligent" species. SO...in that vein, if you have hungry rabbits or other rascals that somehow bother you, just plant something they like in an area slightly away from your precious plants. We have gardens, rabbits, deer, groundhogs, etc. and I've always either planted extra for animals to browse and graze or I add rabbit food in the vicinity so they'll eat that rather than my gardens. It works. Work WITH nature, not against her! When we plant saplings I wire the base and tuck it in tightly at top so birds don't fall in and get trapped. I put wire over the centers of my roses and rabbit food nearby. ALSO, there are TONS of herbs you can plant that rabbits and deer will NEVER touch. Just search online! Roses and herbs are a delight. Herbs and veggies are a natural. Herbs and perennials are also beautiful. Please work WITH nature not against her! Much smarter and more logica and more effective! Jeanne

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 12:19AM
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