Plants Rabbits Don’t Like: Common Rabbit Proof Plants

Image by Lorraine Hudgins

By Mary H. Dyer, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener

They may be furry and cute and their antics are comical and fun to watch, but rabbits lose their appeal quickly when they wreak havoc in the garden by chewing their way through your prized plants. Selecting rabbit resistant plants isn’t a sure-fire solution because the critters will eat nearly anything if they’re hungry and food is scarce. However, although there are no guaranteed rabbit proof plants, some plants are less appetizing and more likely to be passed by.

Plants Rabbits Won’t Eat

As a general rule, plants rabbits don’t like include those that have strong scents, spines, prickles or leathery leaves. Rabbits also tend to avoid plants that exude a milky sap. An innate sense of danger often – but not always – steers animals away from plants that are toxic.

Often, native plants are relatively rabbit resistant more so than non native (exotic) plants. These may include:

Young, tender plants and newly transplanted plants are especially susceptible, and mature, larger plants are better able to withstand nibbling bunnies.

Rabbit Resistant Plants

These plants are generally considered to be rabbit resistant.

Trees and Shrubs

When it comes to trees, rabbits tend to steer clear of:

Rabbits generally don’t like the prickliness or the flavor and aroma of shrubs such as:

Ground Covers, Vines and Grasses

Ajuga is a ground cover with a strong aroma and texture that usually deters rabbits. Other ground covers and vines rabbits don’t like include:

Ornamental grasses that are usually safe from hungry bunnies include:

Perennials, Annuals and Bulbs

Thick-leaved, prickly or smelly perennials that often discourage rabbits include:

Most herbs have a pungent aroma that deters rabbits. A few examples of rabbit-resistant herbs are:

Bulbs that tend to be relatively rabbit-resistant include:

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