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Flowers That Will Keep Rabbits Away

By Michelle Wishhart ; Updated September 21, 2017
Rabbits may be cute, but they can ruin a gardener's hard work.

No garden can ever be completely rabbit-proof without a deeply planted fence, but gardeners can take action against rabbits by planting flowers that the furry foes will find unappealing. Plants with strong scents, sticky leaves or gooey sap can often repel rabbits, although young rabbits will sample just about anything to decide if they like it or not. A strategically arranged garden filled with aroma and texture can be attractive to humans while discouraging rabbits.


Lavender plants have lovely purple blooms.

The aroma that makes lavender (Lavandula) so appealing is also what makes it so unappealing to hungry rabbits. Lavender is a perennial shrub that grows to be 1 to 3 feet, both in height and width. When choosing a lavender variety, keep in mind that the darker the flower, the stronger the scent, and therefore the better the protection against rabbits. These drought resistant plants will grow well in USDA zone 5 all the way up to the blistering zone 10, although they wont fare well with too much humidity. The flowers can be cut and dried for sachets or aromatic bouquets.


Peonies (Paeonia) are easy to care for perennials that showcase large, stunning blooms in colors ranging from vibrant pinks and reds to rich yellows and creams. Depending on the variety, peonies will burst into bloom in early to mid spring. Peonies have dark green leaves that will usually stay vivid all throughout the season. These sun loving plants will thrive in USDA zones 3 to 8, provided they have rich, deep soil. Peonies make excellent cut flowers, and as an added bonus they are repugnant to both rabbits and deer.

Crown Imperial

Crown Imperial (Fritillaria imperialis) is an unusual looking plant, with slender, slightly prickly leaves and clusters of downward facing blossoms in a range of warm yellow and orange colors. This low maintenance plant will bloom in early spring, and grows best in zones 5 to 9. These plants require a good amount of sun, although they will sometimes grow in partial sun. Crown Imperials are unattractive to both deer and rabbits, and they may also bring hummingbirds to your garden.


About the Author


Michelle Wishhart is a writer based in Portland, Ore. She has been writing professionally since 2005, starting with her position as a staff arts writer for City on a Hill Press, an alternative weekly newspaper in Santa Cruz, Calif. An avid gardener, Wishhart worked as a Wholesale Nursery Grower at Encinal Nursery for two years. Wishhart holds a Bachelor of Arts in fine arts and English literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz.