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Rabbit Proof Plants

Author: Keith Hichisson, Langford Garden Centre Published: 15th June 2011 13:19

Rabbit Proof Plants

Rabbit Proof PlantsRabbit Proof PlantsI am going to do a series of articles on encouraging wild life into the garden, but I am going to start by answering one question that I am asked more than any other:  "What can I plant that rabbits won't eat"?

This unfortunately is often for churchyards and crematoriums where people like to put flowers in memory of their loved ones. Unfortunately there are no cut flowers that are immune to rabbit damage. Most plants will be eaten by rabbits when they are young or newly planted. In the main they will go for young succulent growth.

HydrangeaYou will need to protect them when they are first planted as they have a novelty value to rabbits. If there is little else around for the rabbits to eat they will also go for less tasty plants that they would normally leave alone.

Protecting newly planted plants is not easy. There are a couple of products on the market that will deter them up to a point but they will not give complete protection. Growing Success produce a range of environmentally friendly products that deter a range of different animals including cats, dogs and rabbits. They will only deter the rabbits, hopefully long enough to allow the plants to get established.

Potentilla fruiticosaIf you have small plants they can be covered with wire netting but keep an eye open for them digging underneath. Trees can be protected with spiral tree guards.

There are some plants that rabbits are less likely to go for than others. You will find that a plant in one area is rabbit resistant and in another they will go for them with great enthusiasm. The following is a list of plants that have been shown to be rabbit resistant:

Aucuba japonica

Hedera (Ivy)

Buddleia davidii


Buxus all (Box)


Ceanothus (Californian Lilac)

Mahonia aquifolium

Cistus (Sun Rose)

Potentilla fruiticosa




Santolina  (Cotton Lavender)

Gautheria procumbens

Symphoricarpus (Snowberry)

Helianthemum (Rock Rose)

Syringa (Lilac)

Hebe (Small Leaved)



© Keith Hichisson, Langford Nurseries & Garden Centre

For more information, plants, seeds and advice, visit
Langford Garden Centre
Henlow Road
SG18 9SD
Tel:  01462 700791

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