The Q&A Archives: Wild Rabbits Destroying Perennials

Question: I'm heading to Northeastern Pennsylvania to help friend garden in two weeks,so far everything she has planted the rabbits in the area eat at once. Would following deer-proof plant guides help with finding plants that the rabbits would not eat? Deer in area too,but rabbits are eating everything before deer have chance. Any suggestions? Should she stick to shrubs over perennials. Any help greatly appreciated.

Answer: I don't think there's a list of plants that rabbits won't eat, but there are a number of animal repellent sprays that would help deter rabbits from eating the flowers. Try 'Get Away' or 'Deer Away' available from Burpee. 'Deer Away' is efffective in deterring deer and rabbits and lasts 7-10 days without washing off. Natural scent repellents such as coyote and fox urine are also available from Burpee. See the 1998 Burpee catalog for details. If you don't have one call 1-800-888-1447 or visit the website. You mention the rabbits got through your deeply did you bury it? To be most effective, a 1" chicken wire fence needs to be 2 feet high and buried at least 6 inches deep around your flowers. Consider also interplanting your flowers with garlic, onions, Mexican marigold or Dusty Miller. Bunnies tend not to like their aroma. Also, you can make your own animal repellent mixture by mixing a few teaspoons of cayenne pepper, and a dash of soap in a quart of water. Spray on the plants you want to protect. Once the growth is a few weeks old, the rabbits shouldn't be interested anymore. You can try to scare rabbits from your garden by burying empty pop bottles with the tops poking up a few inches above the ground. The eerie whistle that results when the wind blows can scare them away. Sprinkling blood meal, ground hot peppers or human or dog hair around plants is also sometimes effective.

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