Bunny-Proof Plants

Share your experience with plants that are bunny-proof.
I have lots of history in dealing with rabbits in the garden. In recent years my beans have been beheaded. My peas have been chewed into little green nubs! All I can say is, I'm glad rabbits don't like tomatoes, peppers and zucchini, otherwise my little veggie plot would be an annual write-off.
Every year a Mummy bunny sneaks in under our garden gate and makes a nest for her offspring. Her favourite nesting spot is under the cover of a large patch of geraniums. She lines the little nest with her own fur and dried foliage.
One spring our Sheltie dog named Scrap discovered the nest and sent the two baby bunnies hiding inside scurrying out into the undergrowth. Scrap had one little guy cornered when I picked him up to rescue him (opening photograph). As a gardener I knew I should hate the bunny on site, but whose heart wouldn't melt at the site of such a cute face?
I have made my peace with having the odd rabbit in my garden. I put up with the beheaded violets and some of the other damage they do, because part of me likes having wildlife like birds, squirrels and the occasional rabbit in my garden. Though they chew plants to the ground, they never disturb the roots and so most things regrow.
That being said no gardener wants to operate an all-you-can-bunny buffet.
Here are some plants you might want to avoid because that are a rabbit's favourite food:
• Violets! Rabbits eat the leaves and leave the stems. It can make a patch of violets look pretty terrible!
• Parsley. I have lost a flourishing bunch of parsley in a single evening.
• Vegetable seedlings. Beans and peas are especially vulnerable. Install fencing to protect young seedlings.
Here is a list of herbs that rabbits tend to leave alone:
• Rosemary
• Thyme (shown above in flower)
• Lavender
• Oregano
• Basil
• Sage
These are vegetables that rabbits tend to ignore:
• Onions
• Potatoes
• Squash
• Asparagus
• Peppers
Rabbits don't seem to like to eat hosta. That's great news if you have a shady garden!
Here are some flowers you should be able to plant in your garden without fear that they will be eaten by rabbits;
• Bleeding Heart
• Rudbeckia (shown above)
• Salvia
• Geum
• Astilbe
• Daylily
• Baptisia ( shown above)
• Columbine
• Blue Star
A few bunny-proof annuals are:
• Cleome ( shown above)
• Geraniums
• Snapdragons
• Zinnias
• Petunias
Please share your experience in dealing with rabbits in the garden? What plants work for you? What rabbit-proofing methods do you recommend?

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3 of 4 comments
  • Bonnie Woolever
    on Jan 28, 2016

    Cuties!! They always eat my young sunflowers. I cover the young plants with chicken wire stapled to a few 2X4's raised about a foot off of the ground. After the sunflowers are about 8 inches high I remove the wire, and the rabbits don't bother them. Mrs. Rabbit always has several nests in my garden every year but I love it. I watch my Jack Russell terrier like a hawk and when she goes near the garden I call her away. Once she pulled a baby from the nest and I had to take it to the nearest native animal rescue center for care. I donated $20 for its care but it was worth it because that baby bunny was about the cutest thing I had ever seen!

    • Three Dogs in a Garden
      on Jan 29, 2016

      @Bonnie Baby rabbits are so adorable it is hard to treat them as garden pests. Interesting that the rabbits eat the young sunflowers. I always find it funny to see beheaded violets in my garden. Obviously baby rabbits don't like the more fiberous violet stems. Have a nice weekend!

  • Donna Brooks
    on Aug 9, 2017

    bunnies are killing my grass with eating it and pee and poop
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