Outdoor PestsWildlife

How To Deter Rabbits from Eating Plants

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Rabbits may look adorable hopping around your garden, but they can cause significant damage by eating your plants. This comprehensive guide will help you understand how to deter rabbits from eating your plants effectively, using various methods and strategies.


To deter rabbits from eating your plants, you can install a rabbit-proof fence around your garden, use natural repellents like a mixture of garlic, crushed red peppers, and dish soap, plant rabbit-resistant plants like holly and lavender, and use scare tactics such as placing objects that resemble predators in your garden. Dusting your plants with talcum powder can also discourage rabbits.

Why Rabbits Love Your Garden

Rabbits are attracted to gardens because they offer a buffet of their favorite foods. They particularly enjoy tender shoots, buds, berries, fresh greens, and vegetables. They can easily decimate these plants, leaving you with a lot of disappointment.

Effective Methods to Deter Rabbits

There are several ways to deter rabbits from eating your plants. Let’s explore these methods in detail.

Install Fencing

One of the most effective ways to keep rabbits out of your garden is by installing a fence. A fence should be at least 2 feet high to prevent rabbits from jumping over it. Bury the fence 3 to 6 inches deep to prevent them from burrowing under it. Here’s a guide on how to install a rabbit-proof fence.

Use Natural Repellents

Rabbits dislike the smell of certain substances. A homemade repellent made from garlic, crushed red peppers, and dish soap can be effective. Similarly, a mixture of water and citrus juice can also deter rabbits. Spray these mixtures onto your plants and around your garden.

Plant Rabbit-Resistant Plants

Planting rabbit-resistant plants can create a natural barrier. Rabbits tend to avoid plants like holly, rosemary, lavender, and mint. Plant these around your garden’s perimeter to deter rabbits.

Use Scare Tactics

Place objects that resemble predators, like rubber snakes, in your garden. This can scare rabbits away. However, rabbits can become accustomed to these objects over time, so it’s important to move them around regularly.

Apply Talcum Powder

Dusting your plants with plain talcum powder can discourage rabbits. The taste and smell of talcum powder are unappealing to rabbits.

Plants That Rabbits Don’t Like

Rabbits generally avoid plants with strong scents or rough textures. Some plants that rabbits don’t like include allium, anise hyssop, astilbe, bee balm, catmint, and lavender. Planting these in your garden can help deter rabbits.

Natural Ways to Keep Rabbits Out

Scattering hair clippings, planting repelling flowers, removing hiding spots, and using homemade repellents are all natural ways to deter rabbits. Maintaining your garden regularly and keeping the areas around it clear can also help.

Balancing Rabbit Deterrence and Aesthetics

It’s possible to deter rabbits while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing garden. Incorporate rabbit-deterring plants into your garden design, use natural repellents that don’t harm your plants’ appearance, and install fencing that blends with your garden’s aesthetics.

Remember, the effectiveness of these methods may vary depending on your specific situation. You may need to combine several strategies for the best results. Be patient, observe what works best in your garden, and adapt your strategies as needed.


Rabbits can be a nuisance for gardeners, but with the right strategies, you can keep them at bay. From installing fences to using natural repellents and planting rabbit-resistant plants, there are several ways to deter rabbits from eating your plants. By taking the time to understand and implement these strategies, you can enjoy a beautiful, rabbit-free garden.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use commercial repellents to deter rabbits from my garden?

Yes, there are commercial repellents available in the market that are designed to keep rabbits away. These often contain substances like putrescent egg solids, garlic oil, and capsaicin, which rabbits dislike. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using these products.

How often should I apply natural repellents?

The frequency of application can vary depending on several factors such as the weather and the size of your garden. However, a general rule of thumb is to reapply natural repellents once a week and after heavy rainfall.

Are there any specific vegetables that rabbits prefer?

Yes, rabbits are particularly fond of tender, leafy vegetables like lettuce, spinach, and peas. They also enjoy eating the leaves of broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.

Can I use ultrasonic devices to scare away rabbits?

Ultrasonic devices are marketed as a way to deter various pests, including rabbits. However, their effectiveness is still debated among experts. Some gardeners have found them helpful, while others have not noticed a significant difference. It’s best to use ultrasonic devices in conjunction with other deterrent methods for the best results.

What should I do if these methods don’t work?

If these methods aren’t effective in keeping rabbits out of your garden, you may want to consider contacting a local wildlife control agency or a professional pest control service. They can provide additional guidance and potentially help you find a solution that works for your specific situation.

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