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RABBITS! - rabbit safe flower recommendations

fizzylizfizzyliz Posts: 390
Hi all, so I love wildlife and we have many bunnies around at the moment but they’ve eaten all the colourful flowers added to my south patio border… :-( by purple aubretia, my lovely yellow zaina  (these have even had the leaves eaten - they’ve literally left tiny shoots sticking up from the ground - so disappointed, didn’t buy them for rabbit food haha), they’ve started nibbling my white rhodantheum and eaten all my salvia flowers. The only colour left is my lavender! Elsewhere they’ve eaten the flowers off my heuchera but at least their leaves are still colourful. I don’t bother with hebes as not sure they suit here plus the rabbits devoured the lot last year. The plants in patio bots are safe! They had even started nibbling my acer until I moved that up on the patio. 
Any ideas would be so greatly appreciated?!


  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,094
    I'm surprised they've eaten your salvias as they don't usually like plants with scented leaves. They don't eat poisonous plants, like aconites and dahlias are usually OK.

    Here is a list from the RHS, but salvias are on it.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,903
    The fact that they've left the lavender is a clue ... they're not keen on eating aromatic plants (I won't say never, but they're not keen) ... so lavenders, sage, shrubby salvias (not the softer leaved ones), rosemary, Lad's Love (Artemesia abrotanum), achillea, monarda ... but grow them all quite big and harden them off well before you plant them out, so the leaves aren't soft and lush and appealing to rabbits ... 

    Also, I've never known rabbits to eat Bearded Iris ... yet ... 

    Good luck🤞

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • JellyfireJellyfire Posts: 1,139
    edited July 2022
    Unfortunatley, the Rabbits never seem to read that RHS list which is annoying. This year theyve eaten some young lavender to the ground for the first time ever. The plants of mine they never seem to bother with are foxgloves, aconitums, iris, nepeta, verbena, hollyhocks, sedum. I cant think of any others that havent been eaten at one time or another. 
    They tend to go for newly added plants in their first year more than established plants, annuals never really stand a chance in our garden.

    My new trick this year was to use wire waste paper baskets as rabbit cloches. 

    I bought 12 of these from Dunelm (currently out of stock)
    Theyre considerably cheaper than the £50 or so its seems to be for a rabbit cloche. but theyre perfect. Ive used them on any new plant for the first couple of months until the growth has got tougher and less palatable. Ive left a few on the roses which never stand a chance here until their second or third year, and they are happily growing through them, the bins have disappeared into the foilage around them now.
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,690
    They left all my primulas alone. destroyed blue geranium and phlox plants. Didn’t touch autumn crocus.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 7,000
    edited July 2022
    Jellyfire said:
    Unfortunately, the Rabbits never seem to read that RHS list which is annoying. This year they've eaten some young lavender to the ground for the first time ever. 
    This was my experience when I had a garden in Bunny Central - some type of plant would be fine for several years and then they'd suddenly get it into their bunny brains to eat it to a stump. They often would then not eat it again in following years. It's as if they sit there munching and wondering whether or not it tastes nice but not able to stop even if the answer is 'no'.

    Hairy leaves, aromatic foliage, thorns and shrubby rather than herbaceous all fare better but anything might be eaten apparently at random.

    In my rabbity garden, the things that did best were aquilegia, roses, ceanothus, herbs, hardy geraniums, erysimum, chrysanthemum. I also had a lovely peony that had been there for years and seemed to do fine, even though that seems unlikely, on the face of it
    “It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” 
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