What Deters Rabbits From Eating Plants

How to Deter Rabbits From Eating Plants & Flowers Garden Guides
How to Deter Rabbits From Eating Plants & Flowers Garden Guides from www.gardenguides.com

Rabbits are notorious for their love of plants, often causing significant damage to gardens and landscapes. The sight of chewed leaves and decimated flower beds can be frustrating for any gardener. However, there are effective ways to deter rabbits from eating plants. By understanding their behavior and using the right methods, you can protect your plants and maintain a beautiful garden.

Understanding Rabbit Behavior

Before exploring the methods to deter rabbits, it is essential to understand their behavior. Rabbits are herbivores, and their diet primarily consists of grass, plants, and vegetables. They are crepuscular animals, meaning they are most active during dawn and dusk. Rabbits have a strong sense of smell and taste, which they use to locate and identify food. They also have sharp teeth that continuously grow, leading to constant chewing.

Natural Deterrents

Using natural deterrents is an effective and environmentally-friendly way to keep rabbits away from your plants. Some plants naturally repel rabbits due to their strong scent or taste. These plants act as a natural barrier, making your garden less attractive to these furry pests.

  • Marigolds: The strong scent of marigolds repels rabbits and other animals. Planting marigolds around your garden or interspersing them among your plants can serve as a deterrent.
  • Lavender: Rabbits dislike the scent of lavender. Planting lavender in your garden can help keep them away.
  • Mint: Mint is another plant that rabbits dislike. Planting mint around your garden or using it as a border can deter rabbits.
  • Onions and garlic: Rabbits are repelled by the strong odor of onions and garlic. Planting these vegetables in your garden can help deter them.

Physical Barriers

Physical barriers are one of the most effective ways to prevent rabbits from accessing your plants. By creating a physical barrier, you can keep rabbits away from your garden entirely.

  • Fences: Installing a fence around your garden is an excellent way to keep rabbits out. The fence should be at least two feet high, buried a few inches into the ground, and have small enough gaps to prevent rabbits from squeezing through.
  • Netting: Covering your plants with netting can also be an effective deterrent. Make sure the netting is secure and covers the plants completely.
  • Cages: For smaller plants or young seedlings, placing cages made of wire mesh around them can provide protection.


There are various commercial repellents available that can deter rabbits from eating plants. These repellents typically use taste or odor deterrents to discourage rabbits from approaching your garden.

  • Spray repellents: Spray repellents can be applied to plants to create an unpleasant taste or smell for rabbits. These repellents are usually made from natural ingredients and are safe for both plants and animals.
  • Granular repellents: Granular repellents can be sprinkled around the perimeter of your garden or on specific plants. They release a scent that rabbits find unpleasant.

Other Tips

In addition to the methods mentioned above, there are a few other tips that can help deter rabbits from eating plants:

  • Remove hiding places: Clear away brush piles and dense vegetation where rabbits can hide. By removing their hiding places, you make your garden less inviting.
  • Trim vegetation: Trim low-hanging branches and tall grasses, as rabbits use them for cover.
  • Keep your garden tidy: Regularly clean up fallen leaves and debris, as they can attract rabbits.


Protecting your plants from rabbits requires understanding their behavior and using the right methods. Natural deterrents, such as marigolds, lavender, mint, onions, and garlic, can help keep rabbits away. Physical barriers, including fences, netting, and cages, provide excellent protection. Commercial repellents, such as spray and granular repellents, can also be effective. By implementing these methods and following additional tips like removing hiding places and keeping your garden tidy, you can successfully deter rabbits from eating your plants and maintain a beautiful garden.

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