While rabbits can be cute critters, the furry animals lose their charm in a hurry after they've munched their way through your prized collection of petunias or pansies. Although no annual flowers are completely rabbit-proof, it's possible to choose plants that will be lovely in the flower bed but may not look like a delicious buffet to your floppy-eared friends.
Although ageratum (Ageratum houstonianum) is a compact, low-maintenance annual perfect for borders, the fuzzy blooms aren't among the rabbit's favorite feast. Ageratum, hardy in USDA zones 5 to10, will bloom from early summer to autumn. Although it prefers at least six to eight hours of sunlight per day, in warmer climates ageratum will benefit from shade during hot afternoons.
Happy, sunny marigolds (Calendula officinalis) are orange or yellow jewels that add bright spots of color to the flower bed. However, rabbits don't find them as attractive, probably because of the marigold's strong odor. Marigolds are sturdy annuals that will bloom from June to the end of October. Native to Mexico, marigolds do well in bright sunlight and well-drained soil.
Big, bold geraniums (Pelargonium x hortorum) are often the queen of the annuals, taking center stage in a flower bed, patio container or hanging basket. Sturdy plants that bloom all summer without being demanding, geraniums aren't usually eaten by rabbits, possibly because of the plant's unusual aroma and strong flavor.
Alyssum (Lobularia maritima), available in a violet, white or deep rose, will bloom all summer long in well-drained soil and full sunlight or partial shade. Demure, low-growing plants with bunches of petite blooms, alyssum will spread out to make a colorful carpet in the flower bed or along a border. However, this rabbit-resistant annual will behave itself and won't grow out of control.
Rabbits may not be crazy about the bright orange Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia), but hummingbirds and butterflies will love it. Mexican sunflower, a worthy addition to the rabbit-resistant flower bed, is nearly a plant-it-and-forget-it plant that prefers a hot, dry climate and needs water only during extended periods of drought.