Rabbit Resistant Herbs To Grow Today
I will say quickly that these are herbs that commonly resistant to rabbit attack, in that they don’t like to eat them. Often rabbits will taste test to decide they don’t like the flavor of a herb though!
When looking to plant rabbit resistant herbs you can choose those that have a strong aroma, woody tree like stems or even a strong taste. This mixture will allow you to grow in areas that have a lot of wild rabbits.
Let’s look at how to plant them to sort of maximize their properties! Remember we are not going to harm the rabbits in any way shape or form. Work gently with nature not against it!
Herbs That Are Rabbit Resistant
There is a lot of debate about which herbs will work to effectively prevent rabbits from destroying your garden and really there is no one solution, a multi pronged attack is the way forward.
If you want to plant herbs that will not be eaten by rabbits then you are looking to plant heavily aromatic ones like lavender, curry plants, rosemary, mint, sage or yarrow. There are other herbs that are rabbit resistant by dint of their pungent taste, horseradish or ginger for example.
Strong aroma’s and pungent flavors are all great for combating the effects of rabbits in your kitchen garden!
- Rosemary is a woody shrub that has pine like needles. Strong in flavor and aroma it is the ultimate in terms of a rabbit proof plant. Also rosemary can grow to be quite high and will flourish as an aromatic hedge. For a full guide on propagating rosemary click here.
- Lavender can be another herb that has a strong aroma as well as pine like needle shaped leaves, meaning not a lot of reward for a rabbit. Some people do swear by using lavender in rabbit bedding as it acts as a calming herb. We use lavender with our hens and it is very well received. For a full guide on growing lavender click here.
- Chives is an unusual one as rabbits tend to dig up and eat succulent bulbs. The allium and onion like taste and aroma is off putting to rabbits. Be aware that the aroma and taste are only released when nibbled. The same is true with garlic, so both are good for deterring rabbits from coming back, but you may have a few sacrificed along the way. If you would like a guide on growing chives click here.
- Thyme makes a great trailing herb and can be used to line borders and sort of form a physical barrier to rabbits who would otherwise nibble away. Use it to create an edge to raised beds that contain rabbit tempting crops like lettuce or carrots. For more on growing thyme click here.
- Mint some people swear by mint to deter rabbits while others believe that rabbits are actually attracted to it. It has a strong odor and you can choose a stronger variety like peppermint to really boost the chances of survival. Mint is invasive though so be very careful, click here for more details.
- Curry Plant is a very strong aroma and one that doesn’t require contact to release the essential oils. It is very pungent and does smell like curry, different to the actual curry leaf plant that is used in curries though! A curry plant produces clusters of lovely vibrant yellow flowers from July onwards and will actually produce an attractive hedge to use in borders. I love curry plants and have a full guide to growing them available here.
- Catmint is attractive and repellent to rabbits. However it can be tempting to think this is a cure all, but it is a seasonal plant and you will need a Winter solution as well. For a full guide on growing catmint have a look here.
- Sage is truly pungent and will deter most garden pests. Use to line a flower bed and prevent rabbits from entering. Interplant with rosemary or curry plants to create an attractive feature and not just a plant barrier! For a full guide to growing sage click here.
- Yarrow is repulsive to rabbits as they perceive the aroma as unpleasant. Bees and pollinators, however find it very attractive. Yarrow will be safe from rabbits from a very young stage and therefore it is great along the fence in your garden. For a full guide on growing yarrow click here.
Planting rabbit resistant herbs is just the start. There is more you can do to protect your garden.
Other Ways To Rabbit Proof Your Garden
There are ways and ways to keep rabbits out of your garden. We have a fox proof area in our garden and realize that it is also completely rabbit free.
Rabbit proofing a garden from wild rabbits involves digging down to around 1 foot and burying weld mesh. Some people do suggest chicken wire, however it is not quite small enough to avoid baby rabbits from entering underground. You want at least 3 feet of weld mesh above ground.
This is an extreme measure and one which has a cost attached as well as time and a serious amount of energy.
Physical Barrier Around Your Garden
The rabbit proof fence that we looked at earlier is ideal. Weld mesh dug to 1 foot below the ground level and 3 feet in height. You can make it look more attractive by growing climbers up it. Choose plants like clematis as rabbits do not like the taste so will avoid the area.
Protect Individual Plants
You can protect young and tender plants from rabbit attack by using screens or netting. We find that a raised bed with chicken wire works well as although rabbits can squeeze through chicken wire at ground level or below they don’t seem to be able to jump and squeeze!
Use Strong Aromas
Choose strong aromas from predators that rabbits would naturally avoid. You can purchase lion manure for example which all garden pests will recognise as an aroma to avoid, check the prices on Amazon here.
Use Physical Deterrents
This is a more fun way to deter rabbits from your garden, certainly easier than digging in a rabbit proof fence. Get the kids involved with placing your fake snakes or owls. Choose statues or rubber models of natural predators to rabbits. You can even hang up an eagle to deter rabbits.
Rabbit Deterrent Plants
It is not just herbs that are rabbit resistant but other useful plants like Buddleia, hellebores and more. By using these plants around the borders of your garden you can deter rabbits from entering.
Minimize Rabbit Friendly Areas
Rabbits love tightly clumped planting areas with long grass in between. It is important to note that destroying a nest site once it has been established is not recommended. It is also difficult to say that removing rabbits habitat will be a good idea as you are also destroying some of the beneficial biodiversity in your garden. Instead encourage natural predators to the area and they will deter rabbits from getting too comfortable in your garden.
Create A Home Spray
Rabbits are quite sensitive to scent and a homemade spray using citrus will deter them and prevent them from getting too at home in your garden. If you use chili it will possibly harm the rabbits and any pets you have at home.
To make citrus spray leave orange, lemon or lime peel in vinegar for 1 week and then dilute with water in a ratio of 3 parts water to one part vinegar citrus mix. Spray around plant pots and areas you need protecting. This is ideal for smaller areas as you will need to reapply after a heavy rainfall.
Learn To Love The Rabbits
This last one was requested by the younger members of my family. They don’t have to worry about whether you can actually eat the lettuce after you have planted it. However learning to keep certain areas for growing food and other areas for plants that you sort of allow nature to have free rein in is not too bad.
What Next & Further Reading
Although there is no one way to rabbit proof your garden there are things we are able to do to help deter them from destroying our veg patch. Kind and humane methods only though.
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