Saturday, March 24, 2007
By Jessica Walliser
How to Discourage Rabbits – Are there Plants that will turn them Away?
Rabbits undoubtedly have found favorable habitat in the suburbs. There is plenty of shelter (shrubs and other ornamentals), ample food (veggies, perennials and other landscape plants), and a lack of natural predators (when was the last time you saw a coyote or bobcat in the backyard?).
The first line of defense: plant specimens with fragranced or fuzzy foliage. Many herbs including lavender and Artemisia, along with perennials like lamb’s ear and lungwort, usually remain untouched by rabbits. Since the taste preferences of rabbits differ from area to area, some experimentation may be necessary. Make note of what they don’t eat and be sure to include it in next year’s garden plans.
Though you may read that the presence of plants like marigolds and salvia help deter rabbits, I have found plenty of bunnies munching away on both of these plants without so much as a pause. A better bet is to use one of the natural spray repellents on the market today. Favorite brands include Plantskydd, Hinder and Scram.
Fencing is the most reliable method for keeping rabbits out of the garden. A foot-high fence is all that’s needed. Bury the bottom 4 inches into the ground to help discourage burrowing, and be sure to choose fencing with openings smaller than 2 inches — this will keep even baby bunnies out.