What Garden Plants Do Rabbits Eat?

Rabbits eat many garden plants when the plants are young, tender and vulnerable to damage. They usually work under the cover of darkness. All categories of plants are eaten by rabbits, including perennials, annuals, shrubs, tree seedlings, grasses, fruits and vegetables. The best way to avoid rabbit damage in the garden is to fence off the area where rabbits do the most damage.

Snapdragon

Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) is an annual plant that produces colorful flowers. It grows and blooms in cool weather when most plants are dormant. Because it may be one of the few plants that are green in the winter landscape, it can be attractive to rabbits as a source of food.

Black-Eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) is a perennial flower that begins to grow in the fall. It produces a small rosette that remains tender throughout the winter and then begins to grow in the spring. The tender rosette is a target for hungry rabbits during the winter.

Dutch Iris

Iris (Iris x hollandica) begins to grow from the ground very early in the season. Tender grass-like leaves appear when little else is growing. Therefore, it becomes an easy target for browsing rabbits.

Roses

The rose (Rosa spp.) is a target for rabbits during the spring when growth is tender. Small rose bushes are more vulnerable because the rabbits consume small branches as well as leaves, further damaging the plants.

Broccoli

Broccoli (Brassica oleracea italica) is most vulnerable to rabbit browsing when the sprouts first appear in early spring. Broccoli is one of the preferred vegetable plants for rabbits to eat in the garden.

Peppers

Peppers (Capsicum frutescens) do not grow into tall plants. Therefore, they remain a source of food for rabbits throughout the growing season. Rabbits eat the leaves as well as the branches of pepper plants. They usually avoid the fruit or actual peppers.

Keywords: gardening with rabbits, plants rabbits eat, rabbits in the garden

About this Author

Based in Rockdale Texas, Jim Gober has been writing garden-related articles for 25 years. His articles appear in several Texas newspapers including The Rockdale Reporter, The Lexington Leader, The Cameron Herald and The Hearne Democrat. He is a Master Gardener and Certified Texas Nursery and Landscape Professional. He holds bachelor degrees in English Writing from St. Edward's University and Finance from Lamar University.