How to Plant Flowers that Rabbits Hate


Rabbits are a garden pest, munching on both vegetables and flowers and creating havoc in your garden bed. To keep rabbits out of your garden without introducing fences, consider planting flowers that rabbits hate. Gardeners who plant geranium, hosta, yarrow, columbine, flax or black-eyed susan will receive no rabbit damage. Strong-smelling herbs like Russian sage, pineapple sage, verbena, nasturtium, golden sage and thyme will also repel rabbits.

Step 1

Choose a location at the front of your garden bed, so that more attractive plants and flowers will be hidden behind those varieties that rabbits hate.

Step 2

Dig a hole for your flower starts that's twice as wide and just as deep as the flower's root ball. Remove any weeds from the hole.

Step 3

Pull your flower start from its plastic container. Break apart its root ball, and untangle circled roots. Then place the plant in the prepared hole at the same depth as it was planted in the container. Fill in the soil with soil without pressing the soil down. Plant all flower starts in this manner.

Step 4

Water the newly planted flowers or herbs thoroughly, until the soil becomes saturated and compresses around the plant.

Step 5

Water the newly planted flowers regularly for the first two weeks after planting, so that the soil never dries out. After that time, decrease the frequency of watering until you are watering them every few days or once a week, depending on the season. Hot summer weather requires more frequent watering.

Step 6

Monitor your garden for signs of rabbit traffic. The pungent smell of most herbs and flowers will be enough to keep most rabbits away. Some rabbits may bite the new plants, but after realizing what they've tasted, they generally won't be back.

Tips and Warnings

  • Planting flowers to repel rabbits is a mild rabbit control strategy. Some gardeners may need to combine this with a second strategy, such as planting a fence or placing piles of hot spices like cayenne around the garden bed.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Flower starts


  • Gardening Information: Plants That Rabbits Hate
  • Cornell University: Planting Options
Keywords: rabbit remedy, rabbit proof garden, flowers rabbits hate

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.