Lily Eating Rabbit

katlynn719(8b)February 6, 2006

I need some advice. I planted a few stargazer lilies last year and they did exceptionally well. I fell in love! The only problem I had was that a wild rabbit loved them as much as I did. He ate all the leaves off of the stalks as high as he could reach. It didn't kill the plants or hurt the flowers, but they looked so...naked. I was wondering if anyone else has had this rabbit problem and how you handled it? What is the best way to repel these wascally wabbits??? Thanks for any input.

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I had this happening in spring only. I put wire mesh around the lilies. I remove the mesh once the lily gets about 8" tall. I have heard that it is the tender foliage & once the foliage gets a little older the rabbits will leave it alone. I am not sure if this works for everyone but I have found it to be true for me.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2006 at 12:00AM
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leslie197(z5 MI)

I have to cage my lilies too, but I make the cages about 18 inches tall. The rabbits will eat anything I miss up to about 2ft or so, which my make the return of the lily a bit iffy. I have never had enough nerve to remove the cages until late into the season.

The rabbits do not like to stand out in the open eating, but now that my daylilies are getting big the rabbits will trek into the centers of my daylily beds (heavily planted with hardy lilies) right next to my patio with me sitting with an glass of ice tea and set up shop under the daylily fronds! It starts with a little rustling now I cage everything.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2006 at 3:36PM
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mamoo & leslie - thanks for the input. Did either of you try any kind of rabbit repellent? They have one called Rabbit Out and I've seen others. I was hoping that one of them would do the trick. But I have no idea which brand is the best. I have thought of a fence, but my lilies are spread out through the yard...not in just one bed. We have a privacy fence around the yard...but the rabbits easily dig under it. He's a cute little rabbit - but DANG - why can't he eat the weeds instead of my lilies?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2006 at 4:24PM
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leslie197(z5 MI)

No I haven't tried any rabbit repellent. No particular reason why. I do put out a bit of blood meal around newly planted bulbs. Seems to help some.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2006 at 7:44PM
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I had a deer and rabbit problem until we fenced our whole 2.5 acres! Deer and rabbits are creatures of habit. Once they learn about a food source they keep coming back. You have to break that habit. What I did was use a spray bottle filled with plain water and mist the leaves of the plant then sprinkle red chilli powder on all over the leaves. It won't hurt the plant. After they get a smell and taste of the chilli pepper they never come back.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 11:17AM
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janetr(Ottawa USDA 4a)

You could also try blending a couple of cloves of garlic and one or two small very hot peppers in a liter of water. Let the mixture sit overnight and then strain into a spray bottle. Unlike cayenne pepper or pepper flakes this won't get in their eyes. Makes your garden smell like chili... Reapply after rain or watering. Much cheaper than commercial products and probably about as effective.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 6:33PM
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I have used Ropel on mine and the rabbits leave it alone. It's kind of expensive but if you factor in the cost of the plants you save it's worth it. You'd have to reapply it after a rain.


    Bookmark   March 5, 2006 at 4:24PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I am writing them down for future reference. So far, I haven't seen our rabbit this year. I have several Tiger Lilies up about 1 ft. tall and they haven't been bothered. BUT, tonight on our evening walk, my husband and I saw a rabbit in the yard directly across from ours. I'll bet it's my lily eating rabbit from last year. Maybe he's a picky rabbit and is waiting for my stargazer lilies??? At least I'll have some repellent recipes on hand. And I plan to look for Ropel at the garden center this week. Any other suggestions will be appreciated!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 11:49PM
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sunnyside1(z6/SW Mo.)

You and I share a love of Stargazer lillies -- I may have a solution for you, as gross as it may sound! Rabbits are repelled by your urine. I have been known to sneak out around dark to sprinkle some out of a big coffee can around any plant which was bothered by rabbits. Worked for me. I suppose dog or cat hair would be a repellent, also.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2006 at 2:50PM
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