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Mr. Smarty Plants - Discouraging rabbit snacking in the garden in Pearland TX

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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. 

 

 

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