40 Types of Rabbit-Resistant Plants You Can Grow (2024)

“Where did all my flowers go?!”

rabbit resistant plants - rabbits eating clover

I’ve asked myself this question more than once, and usually, the answer can be summed up with one word -> rabbits!

These creatures are adorable but voracious, and some of their favorite foods are the flowers we work so hard on in our gardens. If you want to plant flowers that rabbits don’t love eating, keep reading!

40 rabbit-resistant plants:

Please keep in mind that it’s possible that rabbits will much on these plants to try them. But, in our experience, they don’t go crazy with the plants listed below.


#1. Allium

  • Allium spp.

rabbit resistant plants - allium

If you’re a plant enthusiast or gardener, you may be familiar with Alliums. They’re a genus of plants that include tasty vegetables like onions, chives, garlic, leeks, chives, and shallots.

While we humans enjoy the intense flavors these plants bring to our meals, most rabbits find them unpalatable and leave them alone. For that reason, they are one of the most popular rabbit-resistant plants! Alliums may be best known for their flavors, but various ornamental cultivars are also available.

Ornamental alliums have tall stalks with large globe-shaped blooms.

While these ornamental cultivars won’t help in the kitchen, they make a statement in the garden! Like their culinary counterparts, ornamental alliums are generally safe from hungry rabbits. You can find them in shades of purple, green, and white. 


#2. Anise Hyssop

  • Agastache foeniculum

rabbit resistant plants - anise hyssop

There’s a lot to love about this little rabbit-resistant herb! Anise Hyssop has a delightful fragrance, tolerates drought, and is resistant to rabbits, deer, pests, and disease. 

Anise Hyssop produces showy upright flower spikes that are a favorite with hummingbirds and bumblebees. The color of the flowers varies from deep purple to lavender.

Their long bloom period is attractive for gardeners and pollinators.

And this plant has more than good looks going for it! Anise Hyssop has a sweet licorice-like flavor with hints of citrus and mint. You can add it to salads, desserts, or make a soothing tea.


#3. Bee Balm

  • Monarda spp.

rabbit resistant plants - Bee Balm (Monarda spp.)

Bee balm is a fun plant to grow in the garden because of its wild-looking flowers. These spherical blooms come in many colors,  including red, pink, white, or light purple.

It’s also known as bergamot, horsemint, or Oswego tea. The name bergamot was inspired by the leaf’s fragrance, reminiscent of the bergamot orange often used in Earl Gray tea. The flowers can be many colors,  including red, pink, white, or light purple. 

Thankfully, while many humans find the fragrance pleasant, rabbits don’t.

Bee balm is generally easy to grow and is a perennial flower that will bloom year after year with little work on your part. It’s also an attractive plant for pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies.


#4. Baptisia

  • Baptisia australis

rabbit resistant plants - Baptisia (Baptisia australis)

Also called blue wild indigo or blue false indigo, this plant’s showy purple flowers create a riot of color in a summer garden. It’s an excellent, colorful choice if you need something deer and rabbit-resistant. Baptisia’s shrub-like growth pattern makes it a perfect backdrop for shorter flowers.

In addition to its beauty, Baptisia has plenty of other benefits.

It’s native to North America and is an excellent choice for attracting pollinators like bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies.

This plant is also a nitrogen fixer, meaning that it pulls nitrogen out of the air and absorbs it into its roots. Then, bacteria that colonize its roots extract the nitrogen and transfer it back into the soil. Finally, the Baptisia can absorb the nitrogen-rich soil for the nutrients, eliminating the need for fertilizer or plant food. It’s also drought-resistant once established, making for a great low-maintenance plant!


#5. Catmint

  • Nepeta cataria

rabbit resistant plants - Catmint (Nepeta cataria)

This plant is rabbit-resistant in two ways.

First, rabbits (and deer) are put off by its fragrance, which is spicy and minty. Second, cats are attracted to it, so rabbits will avoid the area if a feline is lurking around!

You may be more familiar with this fragrant plant’s other name, catnip. It’s estimated that about 2/3 of all cats are attracted to it. Many of the other plants in the mint family are rabbit-resistant, too. If this one isn’t for you, try planting lemon balm, peppermint, oregano, or thyme.

In addition to its pleasant aroma, Catmint is also beautiful! Butterflies will find it particularly attractive. It’s a short-lived perennial that produces spikes of fragrant pink or white flowers featuring tiny purple spots.

You can also use catmint in herbal tea. Herbalists attribute the plant with mild relaxing and sedative properties.


#6. Daffodil

  • Narcissus spp.

Daffodil (Narcissus spp.)

Not many people know that these iconic spring flowers are rabbit-resistant! Daffodils are beautiful to look at, but they contain a bitter, toxic substance called Lycorine that renders them inedible to rabbits, deer, and rodents.

Orchardists sometimes plant them around fruit trees to deter rodents from damaging the trees’ roots. 

Thankfully, these cute flowers are beginner gardener-friendly. They’re easily planted by the bulb in the fall. Mix them into other beds or create mass plantings for a bigger impact.

If you like daffodils, you’ll have many to choose from. There are 36 species of daffodils and over 26,000 cultivated varieties! Some cultivars will even spread naturally, giving you more garden for less effort.


#7. Lamb’s Ear

  • Stachys byzantina

Lamb's Ear (Stachys byzantina)

Lamb’s Ear is a fun plant to grow, especially if you have children.

Deer and rabbits leave them alone because of the soft, fuzzy leaves that give the plant its name. 

This furry little plant is a perennial, meaning it will return year after year. It’s easy to grow and will tolerate full sun or partial shade.

It’s primarily grown for its foliage, which creates an attractive ground cover. Depending on the variety, it may also send up flower spikes with tiny purple flowers. Some gardeners choose to prune the flowers because Lamb’s Ear can self-seed and spread aggressively.


#8. Lavender

  • Lavandula spp.

Lavender (Lavandula spp.)

Lavender is sometimes used in natural animal-repellent products for gardens.

Instead of buying the products, though, you can plant some for the same benefit! This fragrant plant does best in warm areas with well-drained soil and full sun. Lavender makes lovely plantings in the garden and potted plants on patios or balconies. 

Lavender is more than just a pretty flower, though. You can use lavender in baked goods, tea, as a cut flower, or as a natural air freshener. Its pleasant, clean scent makes it a popular choice for soaps, cosmetics, and bath products. This usage is where lavender got its name. Lavender comes from the Latin verb “lavare,” which means “to wash.”


#9. Salvia

  • Salvia spp.

Blue Salvia (Salvia farinacea)

Salvias are lovely perennials that bloom from summer to fall.

They are rabbit-resistant, and their pungent odor is believed to help deter garden pests. While deer, rabbits, and other grazers tend to avoid salvia, pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies adore their tubular flowers.

You may also hear salvia called sage. One salvia species is the common sage (Salvia officinalis), which can be grown for culinary use. Other species tend to be primarily ornamental.

The flowers grow from the end of the plant in groups of densely packed spikes. You can find salvia in various colors, including red, white, purple, pink, and blue. The seeds they form after flowering also make an excellent snack for songbirds.

Salvia thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. It’s a budget-friendly choice because it may self-seed, and you can divide older salvia plants to increase your plantings.


#10. Joe Pye Weed

  • Eutrochium spp.

Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium spp.)

Joe Pye Weed is an excellent choice for anyone trying to create a sustainable flower garden or wildlife planting. These perennial flowers are beautiful, low-maintenance, and deer and rabbit-resistant.

Native to North America, they also provide an essential food source for pollinator species. You may find hummingbirds, bumble bees, butterflies, and more visiting their towering blooms.

Joe Pye Weed thrives in fertile, moist soil, so it’s perfect for any wetter areas on your property. In drier conditions, you’ll need to water it more often. Its large size makes it an excellent backdrop for other flowers. However, if you’d prefer something shorter, there are a few compact cultivars.


#11. Milkweed

  • Asclepias spp.

Milkweed (Asclepias spp.)

Milkweeds generally aren’t a favorite for grazing animals like rabbits and deer, but they are a critical plant for certain species like Monarch Butterflies.

Monarch caterpillars feed on the plant’s leaves, while adult butterflies feed on the nectar. 

While we usually spot these plants growing in the wild, we can help support Monarchs and other pollinators by adding them to our flower gardens or fields. There are many milkweed species to choose from, and these easy-to-grow perennials are virtually maintenance-free once established.

You may think milkweed flowers aren’t that exciting, but you’d be wrong! Depending on the species, they may have dusty pink, blue, orange, purple, reddish, or green blooms.

You can grow milkweed by sowing seed in the fall or early spring. Their exact needs depend on the species. Some, like Clasping Milkweed (Asclepias amplexicaulis), prefer dry, sandy conditions, while others, like Fewflower Milkweed (Asclepias lanceolata), prefer seasonally wet soils.


#12. Kniphofia or Red Hot Poker

  • Kniphofia spp.

Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia spp.)

These striking rabbit-resistant perennials are a beautiful combination of red, yellow, and orange. 

Their flower spikes have given the plant its common names: red hot poker, torch lily, or torch flower. Hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees appreciate the show, too!

Kniphofia grows best in full sun and well-drained soil. It’s easy to grow from seed or by division, so you can spread your plants and share them with friends.

It’s a repeat bloomer, giving you plenty of time to enjoy its flowers. For small gardens, you can find dwarf cultivars that only grow one to two feet tall or enjoy the impact of large cultivars that reach three to four feet tall.


#13. Larkspurs

  • Delphinium spp.

Larkspur (Delphinium spp.)

Larkspurs are an easy choice for anyone who struggles with deer, rabbits, and other garden visitors. These rabbit-resistant flowers contain alkaloids that render them toxic to wildlife, livestock, and humans alike. However, pollinators aren’t bothered by these compounds.

Larkspur’s name comes from its oddly shaped flowers. Their long, claw-like blooms resemble the talons of a meadowlark in shades of blue, purple, red, pink, yellow, or white.

Larkspurs thrive in moist, well-drained soil in full sun. They make stunning cut-flower arrangements or tall, vibrant backdrops for flower beds.


#14. Ferns

Ferns

Rabbit-resistant ferns may seem dull, but these lush beauties have a lot going for them.

Ferns grow well in the shade, require almost no maintenance, and last many years. They’re a wonderful way to add texture to the garden and bring a rich, jungle-like feel. 

Some species, like the Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides), are evergreen. Others, like lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina), are deciduous and drop their leaves in the fall. 

Ferns are easy to grow. As they mature, you can divide them and create borders for pathways and beds. Just remember they don’t like full sun, so choose an area with plenty of shade. 


#15. Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental Grasses

There’s a rabbit-resistant ornamental grass to fit every gardener’s needs.

From tall and airy to low and mounding, ornamental grass cultivars are a perfect way to add texture and interest to any space without struggling with rabbits or deer. 

Taller varieties make excellent backdrops and privacy screens, while smaller varieties can be used to add texture to flower beds and container gardeners. 

You can also add a pop of color with cultivars! Look for varieties like Purple Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Purpureum’), which retains a deep shade of burgundy all season, or the prairie native Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), which turns shades of orange, red, and purple in the fall.


#16. Lady’s-Mantle

  • Alchemilla spp.

Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla spp.)

This rabbit-resistant perennial plant makes an attractive ground cover in gardens. The large scalloped-edged leaves and chartreuse blooms complement other flowers and plants.

Lady’s Mantle leaves are soft and velvety. Their dense hairs catch and collect water droplets, giving the plant a jeweled look after heavy dew or rain. 

Lady’s Mantle is easy to grow and has virtually no pest or disease issues.

It can spread through underground rhizomes and seeds. It is a particularly aggressive self-seeder, so some gardeners deadhead their flowers to keep the plant in check. Due to this spreading nature, Lady’s Mantle is invasive in some regions.


#17. Wild Ginger

  • Asarum spp.

Wild Ginger (Asarum spp.)

“Wild Ginger” is a blanket name for 60-70 woodland perennials in the Asarum genus. These beautiful, rabbit-resistant plants make excellent ground covers in shady areas. 

These interesting little flowers are usually pollinated when ants and other small insects crawl into them. 

The pendulous flowers often go unnoticed because they hang down under the plant. Depending on the species, wild ginger may have heart-shaped, triangular, or rounded leaves. Some species are entirely green, while others have silver patterns. In mild climates, they’re often evergreen.

While they have an aroma similar to the familiar culinary ginger (Zingiber officinale), you can’t eat wild ginger. It contains toxic compounds and is only for ornamental use.

Wild ginger is easy to grow from seed or rhizome divisions. It does best in partial to full shade and moist, well-drained soil.


#18. Yucca

  • Yucca spp.

Yucca (Yucca spp.)

Yuccas include about 40 to 50 species of rabbit-resistant perennial plants, shrubs, and trees. Their tough sword-shaped leaves have thorns on the tips, and deep roots keep them safe from browsing herbivores and drought. 

In summer and early fall, yuccas send up tall flower spikes packed with white, cream, or pink blooms.

Some yuccas offer additional color in their foliage. A great example is the Spanish dagger (Yucca gloriosa ‘Variegata’), with blue-green leaves outlined in creamy yellow.

Yuccas generally thrive in well-drained soil and full sun. They are hardy and easy to grow, but keep in mind that they are highly sensitive to overwatering. In addition, don’t plant yuccas too close to your house. Their extensive root systems can damage foundations, pipes, and pathways. 


#19. Sedum

  • Sedum spp. and Hylotelephium spp.

Sedum (Hylotelephium spp.)

There are few rabbit-resistant plants as easy to grow as sedum. 

The group of plants generally called sedums or stonecrops by gardeners actually encompasses two plant genera. They’re all perennials with fleshy stems and succulent leaves that grow in similar conditions.

The Sedum genus includes low-growing succulents that creep along the ground. These sedums are ideal for rock gardens, stone walls, and ground cover along pathways.

Plants from the Hylotelephium genus grow in taller, upright clumps, but gardeners still refer to these plants as sedum. They produce large flowerheads with crowded masses of tiny reddish-pink flowers.

Both types of sedum thrive in full sun but will tolerate partial shade, especially in warm climates. They enjoy well-drained soil and will thrive even in poor, sandy conditions.


#20. Snapdragons

  • Antirrhinum spp.

Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus)

Snapdragons are among the prettiest rabbit-resistant plants.

They get their name from their bloom’s resemblance to a dragon’s face. These fanciful flowers are sure to enchant adults and children alike. Pressing gently on each side of a bloom opens the dragon’s snout!

Snapdragons are a playful addition to any flower bed or garden. They also make excellent cut flowers for fresh bouquets, help attract bumble bees and hummingbirds, and the edible blooms can be used as an attractive natural garnish.

Snapdragons do best when the weather is cool and can tolerate light frost. They thrive in moist, well-drained soil and full sun. 

No matter what you’re looking for, there’s a snapdragon for you. Cultivars range from dwarf 6-inch tall flowers to towering 48-inch tall flowers, and feature an incredible range of colors.


#21. Tomatoes

  • Solanum lycopersicum

Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum)

Rabbits aren’t fussy eaters and enjoy most common vegetable plants. However, there is one rabbit-resistant crop for your vegetable patch: tomatoes.

Tomatoes are ideal crops for beginner and experienced gardeners.

They’re easy to grow from seed or transplants. 

There are many tomato cultivars available to suit everyone’s tastes and growing space. For snacking and salads, try small cherry or grape tomatoes. Alternatively, you can plant big beefsteaks for the ultimate sandwich. Plum or Roma tomatoes are ideal for making your favorite sauce, salsa, and soup recipes.

Tomatoes thrive in well-drained, moist, fertile soil in full sun. You can grow these veggies in your garden, containers, or greenhouses.


#22. Columbine

  • Aquilegia spp.

Columbine (Aquilegia spp.)

Columbine is known for its delicate appearance and drought tolerance, but it deserves recognition for being incredibly rabbit-resistant. 

It has attractive clover-like leaves and unique flowers with talon-like petals, which give the plant its Latin name, which comes from the word “aquila,” meaning eagle.

You can find Columbines with white, cream, yellow, red, purplish, or blue flowers.

Growing native columbine species helps support pollinator species like hummingbirds, bees, and hawk moths. Some columbine species are specially adapted to specific pollinators. For example, hawk moths will always visit Sierra Columbine (Aquilegia pubescens) when given the option.

Columbine is generally easy to grow and has low maintenance. It’s a hardy perennial with the tendency to self-seed. It does best in well-drained, fertile soil and enjoys full sun in cool climates and dappled shade in hot climates.


#23. Coreopsis

  • Coreopsis spp.

Coreopsis (Coreopsis spp.)

These long-blooming native wildflowers are incredibly rabbit-resistant! 

Coreopsis offers an abundance of repeat blooms in shades of red, orange, yellow, pink, and white. The plants form upright clumps and may be perennial or biennial, depending on the species.

While rabbits tend to ignore coreopsis, it’s great for supporting other wildlife. Pollinators like butterflies, moths, and bees will visit the brightly colored blooms.

You might know this plant by its other name, tickseed. It’s called this because its seed resembles the little parasitic insect. Thankfully, these seeds don’t bite and are great to have around! Songbirds like cardinals, chickadees, goldfinches, and sparrows love to feed on coreopsis seeds!

Coreopsis doesn’t need much care, especially once it’s established. Plant this native flower somewhere it will get plenty of sun and good drainage.


#24. Zinnias

  • Zinnia spp.

Zinnias (Zinnia spp.)

 

Zinnias are one of the easiest ways to add long-lasting color to your garden.

These rabbit-resistant annuals will flower through the summer. They come in a range of colors, including yellow, red, pink, orange, white, and purple. Their blooms come in different shapes, including “cactus,” “beehive,” and “button.” They may be single, double, or semi-double flowered, referring to the number of rows of petals they have.

Zinnias are native to South America and were first cultivated by the Aztecs. They’re easy to start from seed and are adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions. To get abundant blooms, plant your zinnias somewhere that they will receive full sun.

They’re suitable for gardens, wildflower plantings, or cut-flower gardens. Deadheading and cutting flowers will encourage them to continue blooming.


#25. Spider Flower

  • Cleome spp.

Spider Flower (Cleome hassleriana)

Spider flower, cleome, grandfather’s whiskers, or spider’s legs, are all common names for these unusual flowers. They are striking, rabbit-resistant additions to any garden.

Spider flowers are large plants, sometimes reaching 6 feet tall, with attractive foliage. They usually have white, pink, or purple flowers that bloom from early summer until the first frost.

These flowers may help attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies to your garden, though bats are believed to be their primary pollinator in their native tropical habitat. 

Spider flowers are generally easy to grow and free from pest and disease issues. You can start them from seed or purchase transplants and plant them somewhere with full sun and moist, well-drained soil.


#26. Verbena

  • Verbena spp.

Verbena (Verbena spp.)

Verbenas are cheerful, long-blooming, rabbit-resistant plants.

You can use verbena in mass plantings, butterfly gardens, hanging baskets, or borders.

Verbenas’ citrusy fragrance and small, rough leaves protect them from browsers like rabbits and deer. They produce abundant open clusters of white, pink, purple, red, or blue flowers.

These flowers are great for butterfly gardens and support species like pipevine swallowtails, hummingbird hawk-moths, and chocolate albatrosses. 

In most areas, they’re grown as annuals, but they’re well worth the effort. These low-maintenance flowers are drought tolerant and do well in full sun to partial shade and well-drained, average soil.


#27. Foxgloves

  • Digitalis spp.

Foxglove (Digitalis spp.)

Foxgloves have a unique, alluring beauty, but beware, all parts of foxglove plants are toxic to rabbits, deer, and other mammals, including humans. 

Foxglove’s toxicity contributed to its reputation for being associated with faeries and witches.

Some believe their name comes from “folk’s glove,” as faeries were sometimes called “the folk.” However, in Norwegian folklore, faeries taught foxes to ring the “bells” or flowers of foxglove to warn others of hunters.

Historically, herbalists and doctors have also used the plant for more benign purposes. Foxglove was one of the first known heart stimulants for treating edema.

In the wild, foxgloves are typically found growing in the forest. In your garden, they will prefer habitats that mimic their natural conditions. They’re ideal for beds that receive dappled shade and thrive in moist loam.


#28. Peony

  • Paeonia spp.

Peony (Paeonia spp.)

These long-lived perennials are both stunning and rabbit-resistant. They produce large, fragrant blooms year after year.

Peonies may last for generations; some plants have been known to live for over a century!

They vary widely in size, shape, color, and fragrance, so you’ll have plenty to choose from. The plants are generally bushy or shrub-like with glossy green leaves.

Peonies make excellent borders, garden features, or additions to cut flower gardens. Unlike many flowers, peonies are best planted in the fall. You can grow peonies from seeds or by purchasing roots. The roots generally allow you to get flowers faster.

They generally do best in full sun, though partial shade can be helpful in the deep south. They thrive in neutral, well-drained, fertile soil.


#29. Lungwort

  • Pulmonaria spp.

Lungwort (Pulmonaria spp.)

Lungwort is an attractive rabbit-resistant addition to any shade garden.

These little plants appear and flower in early spring, often just as other plants are starting to emerge.

They produce fuzzy speckled leaves and bell-shaped flowers that mature from pink to violet blue. The flowers are short-lived, but the foliage remains attractive all season long. The plant spreads unground through rhizomatous roots and gradually colonizes an area, making it an excellent ground cover for shaded gardens.

Plant your lungwort somewhere with neutral or alkaline, moist, well-drained soil. It will thrive in full to partial shade. You may need to water your lungwort in dry periods especially if it is competing with trees or other plants for moisture.


#30. Monkshood

  • Aconitum spp.

Monkshood (Aconitum napellus)

Monkshood is a tall, herbaceous, rabbit-resistant perennial.

Its deeply lobed foliage and yellow, blue, purple, white, and pink flowers offer a lot to love.

Monkshood is also known by a host of other names. It’s sometimes called wolfsbane, leopard’s bane, aconite, devil’s helmet, or blue rocket. Some etymologists believe that the names wolfsbane and leopard’s bane indicate that the Greeks used the plant’s juice to poison arrows and bait. 

Today, we can appreciate the plant for its beauty. Monkshood does best in moist, well-drained, acidic to neutral soil. It will grow in full sun or partial shade.


#31. Hellebore

  • Helleborus spp.

Hellebore (Helleborus spp.)

Rabbit-resistant hellebores are among the earliest perennial flowers to bloom.

Depending on your zone, hellebores may bloom in winter, too, and you may see flowers anytime from November through April. While they’re not closely related to roses, you may hear these unique flowers called Christmas roses, Lenten roses, or winter roses. 

Hellebores like full to partial shade in the summer but need almost full sun during the winter. This feature makes them great for planting beneath deciduous trees, which lose their leaves in the fall. 

Hellebores need neutral to alkaline, moist, well-drained soil. While they like moist soil, they don’t like sitting in water. Wet areas and overwarting can cause them to rot.

Note that many hellebore species are as toxic to humans and other mammals as to rabbits.


#32. Astilbe

  • Astilbe spp.

Astilbe (Astilbe spp.)

Astilbe is a versatile perennial plant that’s both deer and rabbit-resistant.

They have beautiful, fern-like foliage and plumes of feathery flowers, giving them a delicate appearance. However, these plants are anything but delicate.  Depending on the variety, astilbe will tolerate full sun to almost full shade, and they can be grown even in very cold climates.

While it’s pretty easy to grow, astilbe does prefer consistently moist, well-drained soil. Adding a good layer of compost to your soil can help. Add astilbe to your shaded gardens for a pop of color; it comes in pink, red, white, purple, peach, and lavender. This flower also makes a terrific addition to fresh and dried bouquets.


#33. Geraniums

  • Geranium spp.

Geranium (Geranium spp.)

Geraniums are a rabbit-resistant garden classic.

There are many species in the Geranium genus. However, most gardeners opt for low-growing hardy or cranesbill geraniums, which are hardy perennial flowers.

Their creeping, carpet-like growth pattern makes them a great choice for rock gardens and ground covers in perennial beds. Depending on the species, you can enjoy geranium blooms in various colors, including pink, purple, blue, and white. They may bloom in spring, summer, or fall.

Geraniums generally do best in moist, well-drained soil with a neutral to slightly acidic pH. For the best flowering, plant your geraniums in full sun. Generally, it is best to purchase potted geraniums from a nursery or get a division from a friend. Plants grown from seed may take several years to flower.


#34. Marigolds

  • Tagetes spp.


Marigolds (Tagetes spp.)

Marigolds are one of the easiest rabbit-resistant plants to grow.

These cheerful annuals add bright yellow, orange, red, and copper pops to the garden. Their strongly scented foliage makes them a gardener’s best friend. They’re great for mixing with other flowers and vegetable crops as companion plants. 

Studies have found that some marigold varieties may provide more effective pest control than commercial pesticides. A particular variety, ‘Golden Guardian’ marigolds, have become renowned for controlling root-knot nematodes more effectively than chemical solutions.

Marigolds aren’t particular about soil conditions, but you’ll get the best blooms if you plant them in a spot with full sun. Deadheading the spent flowers can help encourage repeat blooming.


#35. Ornamental Evergreens

Ornamental Evergreens

Add texture and height to your garden year-round with rabbit-resistant evergreen plants. 

Depending on your taste and space, there are many evergreen species to choose from. Popular options include juniper, cypress, arbovitae, cedar, spruce, fir, holly, boxwood, and yew.

While rabbits usually ignore these evergreens, they will help draw some wildlife to your garden. Songbirds often enjoy perching and nesting in the sheltered spaces these evergreens provide.

Dwarf varieties of many of your favorite evergreens are available for small spaces. You can also prune many ornamental evergreens to fit your space and style. Some, like the Hinoki Cypress, make excellent topiaries. Alternatively, look for weeping varieties like Green Arrow Weeping Alaska Cedar, whose draping branches add beauty and whimsy to even small spaces.

Ornamental evergreens thrive in a wide range of growing conditions. Research the ideal species for your garden depending on what soil, light, and moisture you can provide.


#36. Goldenrod

  • Solidago spp.

Goldenrod (Solidago spp.)

Adorn your garden with the bright yellow spikes of this rabbit-resistant plant.

Goldenrod is a cheerful, native plant and an excellent choice for pollinator plants and wildlife habitats.

Goldenrod is perennial, so you’ll only need to plant it once. It thrives in sunny areas and will tolerate average or even poor soil.

You can grow goldenrod from divisions or seeds. When growing from seed, goldenrod must go through a 60-day cold period to germinate, so it’s best to sow it in the fall.


#37. Rhododendron

  • Rhododendron spp.

Rhododendron (Rhododendron spp.)

Rhododendrons’ deep, glossy green leaves and showy blooms make them an excellent plant for adding color to a shady area. It’s easy to find a rhododendron to suit your taste, too.

There are over 1,000 species of this rabbit-resistant plant.

Rhododendrons may be deciduous or evergreen with large or small leaves. Some have fragrant flowers, while others do not. The flowers may be tube, bell, or funnel-shaped and come in shades of red, pink, orange, yellow, purple, or white.

While there is an incredible range of rhododendrons, most enjoy a few key features. Plant your rhododendron somewhere with acidic, moist soil and dappled shade.


#38. Peppers

  • Capsicum spp.

Peppers (Capsicum spp.)

Peppers are a good rabbit-resistant plant for vegetable gardeners.

They’re generally easy to grow, especially in warm climates. You can grow sweet peppers, hot peppers, or spice peppers for drying and making seasoning.

They’re good for you, too. One ripe bell pepper has about twice the vitamin C as an orange!

Pepper plants can be found in the spring at your local garden center or you can start your own indoors from seed. After the danger of frost has passed, plant your peppers in a sunny location with moist, fertile soil. 


#39. Wax Begonias

  • Begonia spp.

Wax Begonias (Begonia spp.)

Wax begonias are easy to grow, deer and rabbit-resistant plants that add rich color to any garden. They have cute red, pink, or white flowers with vibrant yellow stamens.

Their waxy foliage, which may be green, bronze, or maroon, is part of the show, too. In warm climates, wax begonias can be grown as perennials. In cold climates, you can grow them as annuals or bring them indoors for the winter to enjoy as house plants.

Wax begonias will generally thrive in full sun to partial shade, depending on where you live. If you live in a colder climate, wax begonias thrive in full sun, but they appreciate a bit of shade in hot climates.

Plant your wax begonias in moist, well-drained soil and water consistently, but avoid making the soil soggy. Deadheading your begonias will encourage repeat blooming.


#40. Pelargoniums (or Geraniums)

  • Pelargonium spp.

Pelargoniums (Pelargonium spp.)

Despite their common name, many of the rabbit-resistant plants that gardeners call geraniums are in the Pelargonium genus. These are easy-to-grow, attractive annuals.

They’re known for their fragrant foliage, which may smell like rose, eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon, orange, balsam, or apple. While humans may enjoy this perfumed scent, rabbits and deer find it unpalatable.

Most varieties also have showy, bicolored flowers in shades of red, pink, and purple. You can grow pelargoniums in hanging planters, pots, window boxes, or flower beds. They thrive in neutral to slightly acidic, slightly dry soil.  Most pelargoniums do well in full sun, but a little afternoon shade is a good idea in hot climates.


Learn more about other plants:


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