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

Petals not developing on blackeyed susans from Nashville TN
July 05, 2011 - I have an established "patch" of black eyes susans. This year, the leaves are beautiful, the centers black..but the petals are practically non existent. They didn't seem to develop correctly. Any...
view the full question and answer

Precautions regarding pruning live oaks in the Austin area.
October 27, 2015 - Is it still recommended that we clean pruning shears and spray wounds when pruning live oaks in the Austin area?
view the full question and answer

Young Maple Dropping Leaves in Late Summer
September 05, 2013 - I have a 6-year-old maple tree. I'm not sure what type it is as the builder planted it. It is as tall as our two-story house and very healthy. It's the biggest tree in our neighborhood because we fe...
view the full question and answer

White specks on unknown houseplant from Ridgeway SC
June 20, 2013 - I have an unknown houseplant that seems to have some sort of pest or disease on it. It has white snowy specks atop its leaf. I bought this purple fuzzy leafed houseplant from Walmart in Winnsboro, SC ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Thuga occidentalis in Canton MI
May 11, 2009 - I have emerald arborvitae that have become very "shaggy" and somewhat orange at the base of some leaves, while my neighbors look compact and dark green. What am I doing wrong?
view the full question and answer

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