17 Shrubs, Flowers, and Plants That Rabbits Won’t Eat

Tired of finding your garden nibbled to nubs? Have hordes of hungry hares left your landscape looking like a salad bar? Don’t let those voracious rabbits make mulch of your flowers and vegetables this year. Many gorgeous plants naturally keep rabbits hopping away. Discover how to outwit those wily wabbits and design a breathtaking garden resistant to rabbit damage. We reveal the secrets to plants rabbits spurn, plus provide a must have list of irresistible flowers, shrubs, and vegetables that outsmart those cotton tails. Your yard will become a bountiful bunny-free oasis once you learn what repels rabbits. Let your landscape flourish and say goodbye to rabbit raiders!

What Repels Rabbits from Eating Plants?

Rabbits are notorious for munching on vegetable gardens and decorative flowers. Their voracious appetites can decimate a yard's landscaping seemingly overnight. Fortunately, there are certain plants that rabbits tend to avoid eating. Understanding what deters rabbits from eating plants can help gardeners design landscapes that minimize rabbit damage.

Rabbits dislike plants with strong scents, irritating textures, poisonous or toxic compounds, and those that fight back. Pungent aromas from herbs like lavender, thyme, and mint drive rabbits away. Prickly or hairy leaves make plants unappealing. Toxins found in daffodils, foxgloves, and oleander are poisonous. Thorny plants like barberry and pyracantha cause discomfort. Repellent sprays using hot pepper, garlic, or eggs tricks rabbits with unpleasant odors. Predator urine scares timid rabbits away. Motion activated sprinklers give plants the ability to startle rabbits. Taking advantage of natural rabbit repellents allows gardens to flourish, despite local bunnies.

Flowers, Shrubs, or Plants That Rabbits Don’t Eat

When landscaping or gardening, choose plants strategically to minimize rabbit damage. Many beautiful flowers, shrubs, and plants are left alone by rabbits. Here are 17 species that rabbits avoid eating:

Sweet Alyssum

Sweet alyssum is a fragrant annual flowering plant. Low growing varieties work well as ground covers. Their tiny white or purple flowers bloom profusely from spring to fall. The pleasant aroma from the nectar rich blossoms deters curious rabbits. Easy to grow, sweet alyssum thrives in full sun with well-drained soil. They look gorgeous along walkways, in rock gardens, and cascading from containers. Sweet alyssum repels rabbits without harm.


Also called flossflower, ageratum is a heat and drought tolerant annual. Available in many colors like white, blue, purple, and pink, the fuzzy blossoms last through summer into fall. Their long blooming period and fluffy flower heads work nicely in borders and pots. Ageratum emits an undesirable odor that drives away rabbit visitors. For best growth, site ageratum in sunny spots with rich soil. The compact mounding varieties work well in the front of beds. Let ageratum discourage rabbits from your yard.


Lantana is a perennial shrub that flowers nonstop once established. Clusters of brightly colored blooms in red, yellow, pink, orange, lavender, or white appear on lantana from late spring until frost. The rough textured leaves and pungent scent deters rabbits from nibbling on this tough plant. Lantana thrives in heat, tolerating drought once mature. Give this rabbit resistant plant full sun and well-drained soil. Lantana works nicely in containers or border plantings with minimal care required.

Pot Marigold

Pot marigold, also called calendula, is an aromatic medicinal herb and ornamental flower. The hearty annual blooms in vibrant shades of yellows and oranges. The distinct smell keeps rabbits away from this plant. Pot marigold is easy to grow, tolerating most soils and hardy against frosts. Blooms and edible leaves appear spring through fall. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage continuous blooms. Use pot marigold to add cottage garden charm and rabbit resistance.

Wax Begonia

For a continuous supply of colorful flowers from spring to first frost, wax begonia is an excellent choice. The waxy foliage and delicate blooms come in many beautiful colors like pink, red, orange, yellow, or white. Begonias contain trace amounts of toxins that repel rabbits. Give them dappled shade and rich, moist soil for best growth. Use wax begonias in hanging baskets, window boxes, borders, or potted plants. They also work well as houseplants. Let wax begonias flourish without fear of rabbits.


The snapdragon is a popular cool weather annual flower that sends rabbits hopping away. Tall, medium, and dwarf varieties produce spikes of vibrantly colored blooms that last spring into fall. The fuzzy texture and bitter flavor of snapdragons makes them unappealing to rabbits. Give snapdragons full sun and well-drained soil for optimal growth. Use these nostalgic beauties in beds, borders, pots, and cut-flower arrangements. Snapdragons reliably return if mulched after the first frost. Allow them to bloom freely outside rabbit reach.


Also known as sage, salvia produces long lasting blooms on aromatic foliage that rabbits avoid. Available as annuals or perennials, salvias thrive in the heat and sun of summer into fall. The tubular flower spikes come in many dazzling colors like purple, red, pink, white, and blue. Salvia's drought tolerance makes them low maintenance. Their nectar-rich blossoms attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Use rabbit resistant salvias in beds, borders, containers, and pollinator gardens. Let their beautiful blooms flourish, untouched by rabbits.


Cleome, also called spider flower, is a tall dramatic annual perfect for backgrounds and borders. The spidery blossoms bloom prolifically in white, pink, rose, or purple from early summer until frost. Cleome thrives in hot, sunny spots with average soil. The sticky foliage and pungent scent deters rabbits from munching on these statement making flowers. Cleome readily self-seeds, providing plenty of seedlings for transplantation. Utilize cleome's vertical form and rabbit resistance to create stunning displays.

Globe Thistle

Globe thistle is a clump forming perennial flower with vivid blue flowering globes loved by pollinators. The prickly foliage and spiny flower bracts make globe thistle unappealing to rabbits. Give globe thistle full sun and lean, well-drained soil. Once established, it is quite drought tolerant. Use globe thistle towards the back of borders or in wildlife gardens. The unique, eye-catching blooms last throughout the summer. Allow globe thistle to flourish, untouched by hungry rabbits.


Catnip is a mint family herb with an intoxicating scent that drives rabbits away. The grayish foliage releases the aromatic oil nepetalactone when touched. While this attracts domestic cats, rabbits hop away uninterested. Catnip spreads readily, working nicely as a groundcover or planted en masse. Give catnip sun or partial shade with average soil that drains well. Harvest leaves before flowers bloom to use fresh or dry. Let catnip become an effective rabbit repellent in your garden.


For vegetable gardens plagued by hungry rabbits, planting hot or bell peppers will send rabbits running. Rabbits strongly dislike all members of the capsicum pepper family. The hotter varieties contain an irritating compound called capsaicin that repels rabbits. Even sweet bell peppers are left alone due to their pungent smell and taste. Choose hot or sweet peppers in various colors for visual interest. Site them in full sun with fertile soil and consistent moisture for best production. Let peppers protect other veggies from ravenous rabbits.


Wormwood is an herb that produces an extremely bitter essential oil called absinthin that drives away rabbits. A perennial member of the daisy family, wormwood has silver-green foliage and tiny yellow blooms. Site wormwood in full sun and average, well-drained soil. Once established, it is quite drought tolerant. The leaves and branches can repel moths, ants, and fleas too. Use fresh or dried wormwood as an organic rabbit deterrent in the garden.


Geraniums are popular annual or perennial flowering plants that rabbits avoid. Zonal and ivy geraniums have scented foliage and showy flower heads in many colors that bloom spring through fall. Give geraniums full sun and moist, well-draining soil. Long blooming geraniums work nicely in beds, borders, containers, and hanging baskets. Let them flourish freely outside rabbit reach. Avoid pelargoniums, however, as they are in the same plant family but lack repellent oils. Stick with true geraniums to keep rabbits away.

Potato Plant

Along with peppers, planting potatoes alongside or around vegetables helps deter hungry rabbits. Rabbits dislike the rich, earthy smell the potato plant emits when its leaves are handled. Choose early season potato varieties to plant as companions. They mature before needing much space. Site potatoes in fertile soil in full sun. Hill soil over the tubers as they grow. Harvesting some young potatoes leaves leafy greens still growing to repel rabbits. Let potatoes protect other vegetables from rabbits.


With papery blossoms that hold their vibrant colors when dried, strawflowers are a pretty addition to summer gardens and dried arrangements. The course texture and unique scent cause rabbits to steer clear of munching on strawflowers. Blooms in shades of red, pink, orange, yellow, or white appear spring through fall. Give strawflowers full sun and well-drained soil. Use them in borders, beds, pots, and cut flower bouquets. Strawflowers remain unwelcoming to rabbits even when dried.

Shirley Poppy

Shirley poppies are annual flowering plants with tissue paper thin blooms in various colors like white, pink, red, purple, and bi-color. The crumpled blooms and hairy foliage contain mild toxins that make them unpalatable to rabbits. Shirley poppies thrive in cool weather with full sun exposure and average soil. Scatter seeds directly in fall or early spring where they are to bloom. Deadheading spent flowers encourages more blooms. Use Shirley poppies in informal cottage gardens safe from rabbits.

Crown of Thorns

For year-round color indoors or out, the crown of thorns plant is the perfect rugged choice that rabbits avoid. Crown of thorns is a succulent shrub with sharp thorns and coral colored flowers blooming off and on for most of the year. Provide crown of thorns bright light and allow the soil to dry between waterings. Use them in pots to decorate patios and yards where rabbits roam. The tough foliage and thorns keep rabbits away from this resilient plant.

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