Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Friday - May 07, 2010

From: Pearland, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Discouraging rabbit snacking in the garden in Pearland TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I planted winecups and pink evening primrose in my new landscape beds amongst other native grasses and shrubs. Rabbits have been eating these wildflowers down to the ground. I want to attract wildlife, but I also prefer flowers to green stems. Are there any good ways to discourage the rabbits from eating my native flowers.

ANSWER:

We Googled "keeping rabbits out of the garden," and got all kinds of suggestions, some of them fairly sensible, some of them not too attractive and a few flat disgusting. Most of the suggestions included chicken wire fences at least 2 ft tall, which we didn't think would look too good around a flower garden. There were ideas for sprinkling blood meal or bone meal or (ick) fox urine around the beds. Human hair was supposed to be a deterrent, and will eventually decompose into the soil. Planting onions in front of the plants was brought up, as well as moth balls in a mesh bag. A few people recommended a dog, even fewer a gun. Peter Rabbit they are not, and they leave little piles of rabbit poop everywhere. We don't have a rabbit-resistant list for native plants. We looked at "rabbit resistant plants" on the Internet; most of the sites were area-specific, meaning we don't think a list of agaves and yuccas that deer and rabbits don't like (from Arizona) would do you much good with your winecups and pink evening primroses. We found one from Pennsylvania-Penn State Cooperative Extension Rabbit Resistant Plants by Laurie Bishow, Penn State Master Gardener. These lists are not all going to be native plants, but will help as a guide as you try to select plants.

Recommendation: Do the same thing we did, and try to find some solutions that work for you, and are pleasing to the eye for a wildflower garden, and if that doesn't work, plant some cactus. 

 

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Diseased non-native red tip photinias from Richmond VA
April 08, 2014 - Our red tip trees have a while substance on the bark at the base of each tree..look like some kind of fungus or mold, but we don't know how to get rid of it. Please help.
view the full question and answer

Treating suspected drought-stressed live oak
July 13, 2011 - I have a live oak with excessive leaf drop - it was planted approx. 20 year ago surrounded by heavy pavers. very little grass - I did not plant the tree - I have noticed in the last few years the dro...
view the full question and answer

Why did my Prairie Flax plant die in Austin, TX?
April 27, 2012 - Hello, We planted 4 prairie flax last fall in garden. They were all growing nicely until last month when I found that one of them has completely dried up and died. The plants are planted together a...
view the full question and answer

Is it normal for the bark to fall off an oak tree in Austin, TX
May 02, 2013 - Is it normal for live oak bark to fall off when touched? I am afraid to get near them?
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of trees in Savage MN
August 23, 2009 - I have a 20+ year old weeping willow. The last few years it is the last tree to get its leaves and the first to lose them. The few leaves that are still on the tree are covered with brown/black spots....
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.