Lilies destroyed by Rabbits - AARGH!

belle_michele(zone4Minnesota)August 7, 2006

Greetings All,

This past fall I had plantd quite a few lilies (Tiger and Orientals) in my front yard. Unfortunately, Rabbits (I HATE RABBITS!) ate almost all of them.

I was waylaid in a hospital and then a rehab center for three months (crushed ankle, broken ribs, etc. from a car accident in April) and though I'm home now (still on disability)...I can't walk, bend down on my knees or really do much gardening.

Is there any chance these lilies will make it through the winter? This fall when I can move around I intend to 'fence' them up and also employ a couple of havaheart traps and 'relocate' as many of the vermin (i.e. 'rabbits') as possible.

It's been so frustrating (I LIVE for my garden-and the few short months of summer here in Minnesota in which I can garden) that my garden has gone completely to ruin this year and there is little I can do about it-I'm just hoping some of the lilies will be 'salvageable'.

Any thoughts or experiences?



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chemguynj(z6 NJ)

Hi Michele,
The first year I ever planted Lilies (from Costco), they were converted to salad for a bunch of deer. I never saw them until the next year when I went out and bought some deer repellant. It'll work on rabbits and you could make some up yourself in the kitchen. It's got hot pepper and is humane. Your bulbs are safe and will flower next year. Wishing you the best in feeling better. Here is a pic of the former deer salad 3 years later. I still have beetles chomping at the leaves...we're working on that.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 9:28PM
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Hi Belle,
I share your pain more than I can say. I live for my garden,too. I have roses and have added lilies. I ordered many last year. Planted and waited. I sprayed Liquid Fence but the rabbits ate most of my lilies. They are now little leafless sticks. They even got some of the ones I surrounded with chicken wire. I wonder if Im should fertilize the sticks this fall or dig them up and re-plant with amendments. I so hope there is hope of them blooming next year. I hope you are recovering from your injuries and are back in the swing of gardeneing . Let`s hope those rabbits read this a get LOST. Lesley

    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 10:05PM
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leslie197(z5 MI)

Yep, same problem here. Always some loss to rabbits. I cage some which helps some. I spread bloodmeal around which helps some. I've tried various sprays, usually just before it rains. LOL

I even plant most of my lilies up close to the house (for dryness mainly) but also because it seems to slow the rabbits down a bit the nearer they are to the humans and their activities. But the other night a tiny baby one came up onto the patio, nibbled off a good sized chunk of Purple Lady Iresine in a patio pot and came and sat under my lawn chair with me sitting there! Dumb bunny - cute though.

I have found though that the resident bunnies like Purple Dome aster, which grows like a weed, even more than lilies. I'm thinking about moving some Purple Dome around some the lilies. Nah, probably turn the area into a bunny boulevard - they'd line up in droves.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 11:24PM
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Belle, sounds like you are on the mend just well enough and the pain is just enough in check for you to be in a restless state from still being so mobility limited.

In such a state the hours drag on, and out of the need for more distractions from your pre-accident day to day activities and responsibilities, your mind is now subject to becoming a playground for slightly obsessing over the day when you can return to your favorite activities, and grieving on your limited power to currently rise above the garden challenges which once were so easy to contend with and overcome. Not a whole lot different from the proverbial dripping faucet distress syndrome, which often torments captives who do not have enough going on around them or from within them to distract their focus.

While your's and that dripping faucet situation are clearly not the same, there still seems to be some slightly common elements that are applicable at this stage of your plight.

I hope your lilies do come back next year, and that by then you will have made it out of this present state to a degree which makes your current frustrations only a memory.

Such physical injuries is a horrible ordeal, which you have suffered and still are in the process of overcoming.

My prayer is for the possibility for you to find the grace to change the pertinent things which can be changed, adapt to the best and safest place in the face of things which can not be changed, and find a solid strength to acutely know the difference.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 10:19AM
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Hey there, This may seem like too simple of an answer but I swear it works against rabbits. Skunks and deer it won't work on but rabbits it will. Plant some MARIGOLS around the edge of your garden. All the way around and no more than 6" apart. Rabbits can't stand the scent of Marigolds and it looks better than a fence. Works in the veggie garden too. zone 4a

    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 12:39AM
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Thanks for all the responses!
I've heard mixed things about marigolds-but I'll probably plant some just because I happen to love marigolds.

I couldn't figure out why my front yard was such a 'rabbit-magnet' until a friend pointed out that I was the only one in a three block radius that had lilies (oriental, trumpet, tiger and daylilies), irises, roses, and tons of perenniels in my front yard-everyone else has the standard grass lawn and the same three landscape shrubs.

I'm going to have 'cage' everything this fall so I can protect them from early spring predation.

I also have two havaheart traps-I have relocated a ton of rabbits in the past and it looks like I will have to return to this.

I think Katrina is right in that my lack of ability to actively do anything right now is adding to the aggravation. It's been hard to watch my garden suffer from neglect.

I know I've seen a lot of commercial preparations that are supposed to keep rabbits at bay-but they have to be re-applied after each rain.

My son says I get this crazed/glazed look on my face when I see a rabbit in my yard and I've been know to run after them with a rake (rabbits of course, always out run me) son says I look like a cross between Mr. MacGregor from the Peter Rabbit stories and the Elmer Fudd character chasing Bugs Bunny while singing "Kill the Wabbit!". I'm glad that someone finds my ongoing battle with rabbits entertaining *laughing*....

    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 11:51AM
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i know this post is old, but i did a search b/c i am having rabbit eating tiger lily problems! i have heard to put red chili flakes around.
did the marigold thing work?
anyone else have any thoughts on a repelent?
i have 37 bulbs... i would love to see them bloom

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 1:31PM
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pjwalsh(z5 WI)

A few years ago I put in a bunch of new perennials. Rabbits really did a job on them, but didn't touch the lilies. "Hmm, ok I'll plant more lilies then" I thought. You can probably guess what happened. Wish I could remember what the other perennials were that I put in, because apparently the rabbits preferred them to lilies.

I've tried relocating bunnies in the past. Save yourself the trouble; it's like trying to relocate air.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 12:11PM
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I have a strange one for you to try........I'd been looking for a solution to the neighbors cat's in my flower beds--I read somewhere about putting pine cones down as mulch would keep cats out---well, I rounded up a bunch of pine cones, and added them to the cyprus mulch, and the last time it snowed, the rabbit tracks went up to where the pinecones started and they did a back track out of there. They had a path through there all winter. A fluke, time will tell, but if pine cones fit into your garden decore, it's worth a try.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 7:49PM
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