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List of annuals that rabbits wont eat, and what they do eat

Anyone know where to find such a list? Annuals only, not perennials. If there is none, maybe we can make one here from our own experiences. (Sure would save me and probably others time and effort). A separate list could be made for what deer eat, etc. My only problem is rabbits, so I would like to keep them separate.












Dusty miller

Comments (63)

  • MissMyGardens
    14 years ago

    Rabbits are eating Alyssum around Zinnias which they are decimating. Alyssum was just "in front of their nose" around alyssum so why not eat?

    Ate one quarter Nicotiana but not destroyed.

    Cosmos all gone before one single bloom showed...50 seedlings used to try and get some to bloom after each destruction. Hope sprang eternal after seeing other people's photos of flowing cosmos.

    Gomphrena eaten to nubs repeatedly. After 3 months they're still 1-3" tall trying to regrow each time they're eaten down.

    Someone is getting past chicken wire fence on stairs to deck and eating basil, marigolds and alyssum. Put up chicken wire after looking out sliding glass doors to see groundhog dragging mangy body across herb pots, crushing most plants, to get to marigolds.

    Tithonia has been eaten back to nubs 4 times...that's with chicken wire 3 feet high secured around huge, deep tub container. Anyone's guess if it's rabbits or groundhogs.

    Someone's even eating Echinops in fenced butterfly garden.

    As far as I'm concerned, once the mammalian pest population gets to certain point there's nothing they won't eat...or flatten on their way to whatever they want to eat.

    Someone asked sage question on some forum...why can't they all eat Garlic Mustard that's proliferating at alarming rate in spite of pulling til the cows come home?

  • linnea56 (zone 5b Chicago)
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    I was weeding the garden yesterday and pulling out mostly great handfuls of pesky yellow woodsorrel (or oxalis, looks like little shamrocks). I had big mounds of weeds laying on the grass outside the raised bed. I took a break and came back to find a baby bunny nibbling on my piles. I was able to get quite close to this innocent and wanted to see what he ate. He alternated between the grass and the weed salad bar. At one time I saw him eating the yellow woodsorrel, and I whispered coaxingly, "Good bunny! "Good bunny!". Now if I could only get this little guy trained.

    But Ill just bet he went home and Mom told him, "You silly baby, you ate the wrong thing."

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  • crabgrass_central
    14 years ago

    Rabbits have no interest in my allysum or strawflowers, but they adore my dahlias and gerber daisies. I just ripped up some dead dahlias Sunday and replaced with marked-down torenia. No more dahlias for me, this is my second failed attempt. :-(

    I'm trying Plantskyyd this summer. Lord it smells awful, and it's hard to be sure yet when so many of my plants were already nibbled to bits. But I have my fingers crossed, since all the other ideas -- hair, soap, etc. -- have failed miserably. And my bunnies think most repellants are condiments.

  • iloveflowersinpa
    14 years ago

    Ah, one of the joys of having indoor/outdoor cats.....

    That being said, I watched groundhogs in my back yard sit up on their haunches, reach up and pull a stem down so that it can eat the blossom from something or other, so it doesn't have to be close to his nose....

    And baby deer will and do try everything. I've used Liquid Fence, but the smell ruins the garden for me, it smells so bad.

    Pretty good year, this year, though. Saw lots of daylily flowers, and the hosta lasted longer than usual. Even with a family of 2 baby deer which adopted my property.

  • User
    14 years ago

    We have rabbits in our yard too. And deer. The groundhog moved next door thank heaven, probably because we have a superduper dachshund girl who wants to CATCH something!!
    The zinnias suffered--looked like a weedeater had mowed them all to a uniform height when they first budded out.

    Nothing has touched my beloved nasturtiums, although I am just guessing because they are so rampant everywhere and it is hard to tell when leaves or flowers are missing. The rabbits nor deer have not bothered my ornamental chartreuse
    sweet potatos either. SOMETHING took the middle of one of my coreopsis plant out, big chunk, but the plant recovered.

  • MissMyGardens
    14 years ago

    Ordering seed for next year and trying in vain to cross lists of annual seeds that are "resistant" to rabbits, deer, groundhogs & slugs!


    Went through this exercise last year and still lost so many plants/blooms but have to grow something to fill gardens with blooms.

    Seriously considering chicken wire fence around bed right smack in front of father's house (hear that yowling already? LOL) from Feb./March right up until annual plants get larger while Spring bulbs are blooming into May. Can see bright tulips from street but chicken wire is imperceptible from that far away. It'll look like hell close up but I can live with it. That should also help with keeping very early sown Poppies and other plants from being trampled by deer.

    These buggers seem to plague me all year round right from planning stage but maybe I should just accept they're going to stay around and I can't agonize over trying to find flowers that give me false hope...LOL.

    Gotta have flowers, though, no matter what.

    My dream is to have a lot surrounded by 15' deer fencing with small grid fencing overlayed on bottom to keep out rabbits and groundhogs. Add some more sun and I'd be perfectly happy just dealing with flying, crawling and slithering pests...LOL. Birds, butterflies and even squirrels welcome!

    One can always, back to reality.

  • belleville_rose_gr
    14 years ago

    this year I learned two things with rabbits. they do not like scented soap and rabbit spray does work. I also found out they will not eat on plants taller then the nose. I have a front yard that is open to the rabbits and when i planted my flowers the smaller plants i placed irish soap around them and they survived. I had used the rabbit spray the previous year andit worked but soap is much cheaper.Other plants that were taller were left alone

  • conniemn
    12 years ago

    How far apart can you place the slivers of soap? Also, just put the soap on a piece of cardboard if you're worried about it leaching into the soil.

  • gardenvsweeds
    12 years ago

    I find that if the rabbits don't eat a plant then the groundhogs love it and if both won't eat is then the deer do. The big stupid groundhogs will walk over everything they don't eat, such as my alyssum. Eventually the garden looked like a state prison with fencing and large rocks and bricks along the bottom the deter digging under. Eight foot posts with fishing line strung between them to deter deer jumping over. Only missing razor wire and I would have a prison workout yard back there. I am going to grow a "poison" garden next year. Floxglove etc. also it seems nothing eats eggplants besides people.

  • sarahbarah27
    12 years ago

    Rabbits ate all my taller marigolds this year! Right to the ground...little boogers.
    I learned that baby rabbits were the culprits, they apparently eat anything and everything when they are young. Things like soap, hair (dog hair works well), pepper and egg solids spray, all work but it helps to keep switching it up a bit. They are smart and catch on quick if you just use one deterrent!

  • js769_hotmail_com
    12 years ago

    As far as rabbit deterrants go, high velocity lead has always worked real well for me.

  • mahdeealoo_yahoo_com
    11 years ago

    They are eating everything in sight - deer will dig through snow to eat anything that grows. And moles are decimating everything else. A whole lily bed was wiped out this spring by moles.

    I found in the warm months when tulips emerge to use Liquid Fence. It works, smells bad only until dry, but you HAVE to reapply it after rain. Moth balls work, as does soap but moth balls smell so bad all the time.
    I found I wasn't using enough of the spray and did lose some tulip heads. Now I spray the whole plant and surrounding area about 3 feet out from those plants I want to deter deer and rabbits from eating. Seems squirrels and chipmunks don't mind and have been munching my new bed of ferns! Guess it's back to english ivy and grass.

  • cindy_inez_phillips_gmail_com
    11 years ago

    If you use soap gratings or slivers and have an automatic sprinkling system or a hard rain, don't you end up with a yard full of bubbles?

  • susanrr_wildblue_net
    11 years ago

    Are petunias safe from rabbits if they are in a hanging basket?

  • Tiffany, purpleinopp Z8b Opp, AL
    11 years ago

    Susan, they should be. When I lived with bunnies, my potted plants would be safe on a chair seat.

    Here's what I had in my notes (not totally sure it was bunnies that did all the eating, but the yard where I took these notes over about 4 years didn't have chippies, groundhogs, or many squirrels, so I gave rabbits the credit. Some are tropical perennials sold as annuals up north.)

    Not eaten:
    Abutilon - flowering maple, variegated
    Acalypha hispida chenille plant
    Ageratum ageratum (blue & white)
    Begonias, wax
    Celosia - cock's comb
    Geranium, zonal type
    Jasmine sambac
    Jasmine sambac
    Mirabilis jalapa - 4'o'clocks
    Oxalix triangularis - red leaf shamrock
    Ruellia - mexican petunia
    Strobilanthes - persian shield

    Abutilon - flowering maple, NOT variegated
    Helianthus - sunflowers
    portulaca - moss rose

    Maybe some duplicates, don't live with the little munchers anymore so I didn't read through.

  • PamLHarper_aol_com
    11 years ago

    I find that rabbits LOVE anything just planted/tender. I haven't been able to grow a sunflower or coneflower since I've lived here. Several autumns ago I got a great deal on red coral bells. I planted them, and never saw them again.
    I had beautiful morning glories growning us a trellis guessed it.
    I haven't had any problems with annuals. I'm wondering how to get the rabbits to go to my neighbor's yard...

  • friscofam
    11 years ago

    Lots of good info on the bunnies delights and dislikes. However, I haven't seen mention of pentas either way. Anybody know which list they should be on? I prefer the zinnias but they have appeared at least twice as "bunnies like" list unfortunately :(

    Also, the soap, hair and Shot Gun Repels (from Lowes) as deterents seem to have mostly good reviews with a recent post stating no luck. Should I just use all at the same time? We have over 100 flats of either pena or periwinkles going in and I really don't want to see all that money go to waste.

  • oliveoyl3
    11 years ago

    My experience with hair & soap is that you'll have to keep reapplying it and naturally, when you slack off a bit is when the rabbits or deer come back. In one night they can nibble or with deer pull out new plants easily sampling along the area.

    I wish I could say I can keep the deer & rabbits away from what they like to eat, but it's really not true.

    I've not had them eat vinca minor or vinca major if that's what you're calling periwinkle.

  • equitraveler
    11 years ago

    I live just east of the mountains in northern Colorado. We have LOTS of bunnies and they are voracious.
    They don't eat:
    winter savory
    chives of any sort
    basil when in a pot with other plants
    lemon balm
    raspberry canes (but raspberries yes)
    summer or winter squash
    perennial geranium
    annual geranium
    day lilies
    creeping flox
    russian sage
    red hot poker
    bishops weed
    vinca major or minor
    grape hyacinth
    oriental poppies
    marigolds (smelly ones)
    various ivies
    shrub roses

    They do eat:
    every other annual including
    all other garden vegetables and flowers
    and probably anything else with a carbon bond.

  • joneskingdom
    10 years ago

    For what it's worth, as I type our pet rabbit is munching happily on our geraniums - the flowers that is, not the leaves. Not sure if there's a difference between wild vs. pet, but I was surprised to see geraniums on every list given our little gal's appetite for Martha Washington geraniums.

  • gamountains
    10 years ago

    I rarely see a rabbit on my heavily wooded property. For some reason I have had one chipmunk around for three years. I thought they multiplied like crazy? Maybe he's a hermit as much as I am. I see deer now and then on the other side of my creek. Squirrels? About a half dozen at a time.

    Perhaps it's the noise of my creek? If one stands next to it that person can't hear another fifty feet away. The only real damage were some mounding petunias last year and I have tons of annuals around the place.

    Here is a link that might be useful: My Gardens Over The Years

  • lindasay
    9 years ago

    the bunnies decimated my impatiens
    and zinnias and some baby rudbeckia & a cone flower.

    It's rained so much liquid fence has not worked.

    I'm going to try to fill in with some begonias.

  • susanzone5 (NY)
    9 years ago

    Jeepers, get a havahart trap followed by a trashcan full of water or a .410 shotgun! Why suffer. Lol

  • susanzone5 (NY)
    9 years ago

    Jeepers, get a havahart trap followed by a trashcan full of water or a .410 shotgun! Why suffer. Lol

  • Edward Tripp
    7 years ago

    susanzone5 says drown em or shoot em. LOL

  • smebby
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    My two pet rabbits live in my backyard and have free run of the place. I keep most flowers in clay pots or planter boxes, at least 18" off the ground.

    They love petunias, all colors as far as I can tell, so I keep them in planter boxes, and feed the dying blossoms to the bunnies. They love them! My large rabbit stretched up to reach the petunias in a pot. She ate them to the ground, flowers AND leaves, but with water and sun the plant survived and quickly provided new flowers. I moved that pot to higher ground.

    They also love sunflowers and will eat the leaves, seeds, and the entire stalk, nearly.

    In contrast to some comments, my rabbits have indeed nibbled on my alyssum.

    They have eaten my tulips down to nubs (wascally rabbits!) and occasionally have nibbled on my geraniums. However, the geranium is listed as toxic to rabbits, so they don't acquire a taste for them.

    They like three-or-four leafed clover (mine is green with a purplish center).

    I read somewhere that they don't like leaves that feel fuzzy, like felt or velvet, so I planted Lamb's Ear. They ate it down to the ground. Crumb!

    We planted little apple trees and had to fence them, because the bunnies immediately nibbled the bark and lower leaves.

    What don't they eat? That list is very short. I have noticed that they totally avoid my chives and my ornamental society garlic. They avoid my cacti, too. As mentioned above, they don't seem to like geraniums too much, but I've caught them nibbling it. I recently planted day lilies, and so far, the rabbits haven't touched them. Note that day lilies may be toxic to rabbits. If a plant is toxic, rabbits usually won't come back after the first few tastings.

    They do indeed eat marigolds. Marigolds are good for them, in small doses. Some rabbit food is sold with dried marigolds mixed into the dried orchard grass. My rabbits aren't crazy about marigolds, but they do occasionally eat it. It might depend on how pungent it is. Some marigolds are too stinky.

  • smebby
    7 years ago

    Forgot to mention something. I planted ornamental grasses. Something like pampas grass. I think it was called Horsetail Grass. They didn't eat it.

  • smebby
    7 years ago

    And they ate my lavender, quite greedily. But they don't seem to like my rosemary. They eat roses, too. Despite the thorns.

  • kmaway920
    7 years ago

    Bunnies have been eating the tops off my (dwarf yellow) marigolds! I've never had a problem with them eating the traditional orange ones though...They're not bothering the purple wave petunias and red verbena that I have inter planted with them.

    I've sprayed my impatiens (in a different flower bed) with a mixture of hot pepper sauce (10:1 ratio) mixed with a little whisked egg white (so it will stick to the plants) and so far they haven't been touched by deer OR bunnies. Usually they would have been decimated by now! I'm going to try it with my (remaining) marigolds and see if it works! I just discovered this trick this season and supposedly the egg white additive is good for a month - rain or shine. We shall see!

  • lesasis7
    7 years ago

    They eat dahlias , gladiolus , Hosta, and green beans. A good sprinkling of garlic powder or black pepper has slowed them down.

  • claudiaannfort
    7 years ago

    My daughter-in-law is from Colombia. When I showed her the damage our local rabbits and armadillos were causing to our plantings, she replied with a straight face, "We don't have that problem in Colombia." When I asked her how that could be, she replied in her sweet Latina voice, "We eat them!"

  • summersrhythm_z6a
    7 years ago

    That's funny! :-) Rabbits eat my roses, I still don't know how to kill them.

  • Debbie Barringer-Oyer
    7 years ago

    Rabbits have been eating my penta plants.

  • jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Rabbits have ate tender smaller roses here but rabbits leave more mature roses alone here... I put cages around roses when small. Rabbits have never bothered our stinky French Marigolds, Blue Petunias or our Zinnias...Our yard is fenced but rabbits come in all the time...

    I think things vary from place to place sometimes though...Because rabbits ate my moms petunias and she lives 5 miles from us...

  • swansonnina
    6 years ago

    Rabbits have not eaten my mandevilla vine:)

  • zen_man
    6 years ago

    Rabbits have eaten my Kohlrabi, but have left my zinnias alone.

  • farseena
    6 years ago

    Contrary to the list here,

    My rabbits love coleus. And they eat plenty enough of it. I was worried if its bad for them. But they are fine so far.

  • HereWeGoAgain (Z9)
    6 years ago

    So basically, rabbits eat whatever they want. One yard they eat one thing and leave other things alone. Next yard, they eat what they didn't eat in the other yard.

  • berg_connie
    6 years ago

    First year I was in my house the rabbits ate all of my tulips before they bloomed. Since then I put cinnamon on the tulips and the rabbits leave them alone. I need to try this with my petunias this year because some are not in hanging baskets. Of course, the cinnamon needs to be replaced around all of the flowers after it rains.

  • neoniepp
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I have found that the best critter repellent is Repel's-All. In 30 years, I have found no other product that is as effective without harming the pesky animals!

  • rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7
    6 years ago

    Wow, I'm so surprised that anyone would recommend that product, neoniepp! It doesn't work at all for most people! I'm happy that it was useful for you but hope that consumers do some research before spending money. I'll have to take another look at it to see if the manufacturer has changed something since I gave it a try a few years ago.

    My choice for a repellent on the flower gardens is Bobbex.

  • rccij2013
    5 years ago

    I have a Flemish Giant rabbit. He is loose in the backyard during the day. I bought a couple geraniums (gerania?) a couple days ago and planted them back there. He likes to nibble on them, so I have moved them to the front.

  • swansonnina
    5 years ago
    Rabbits did not eat my Mandevilla
  • suddensounds
    5 years ago

    I have wild rabbits that just love to eat snapdragon! They will also nibble on Terrestrial Orchids and my Phalaenopsis. So let's just say orchids in general. I've also seen them nibble on Gerber Daisy

  • snaylor51
    4 years ago

    Dog hair does not keep rabbits from eating liriope or anything else. Tried all of the commercially sold products, pepper, hot sauce, nothing works. The rabbits come up on the railing of my deck to eat from the rail planters and the other plants (on plant stands!) on my deck. Stargazer lillies chewed to the ground before they are an inch high. Nothing "cute" about bunnies, they are destructive, filthy animals. Cage does no good, my neighbor has 4 in her yard, so far caught one squirrel.

  • dowlinggram
    4 years ago

    Planting clover in your grass will give rabbits something to munch on besides your flowers. They prefer the clover. Cayenne pepper will keep most critters away including cats. Once they get a mouthful of the hot stuff they don't come back.

  • zen_man
    4 years ago

    Hello snaylor,

    " The rabbits come up on the railing of my deck to eat from the rail
    planters and the other plants (on plant stands!) on my deck. Stargazer lilies chewed to the ground before they are an inch high. Nothing
    "cute" about bunnies, they are destructive, filthy animals. "

    Since you have a neighbor, I assume you live in town and an air rifle is not a good idea for controlling the rabbits. A slingshot would probably be legal, but would take some practice.

    Assuming your deck is in your backyard, fencing the rabbits out of your backyard is probably the best idea. A chicken-wire fence about 3 or 4 feet high might work, provided that your codes permit that.

    If you have an existing fence, the chicken-wire would just serve to make it rabbit proof. Nothing will keep squirrels out, but as you already know, they can be trapped. Fortunately for me, rabbits don't damage my zinnias. We have several native plants in our rural area that they prefer.


  • Jackie And Larry Burton
    4 years ago

    Rabbits are destroying my front lawn. Spent a bunch of money on Rabbit scram. Does not work. I will try shredding the bar soap trick . Any other suggestions besides a fence will be appreciated

  • Jay 6a Chicago
    4 years ago

    A friend of mine swears that Irish Spring also keeps deer away, though its the end of the season and I'm now considering their brousings as vollunteer fall cleanup help.