Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to To Stop Rabbits From Eating Green Bean Plants

By Joshua Duvauchelle ; Updated September 21, 2017
Rabbits may look cute but can make quick work of your beans.
small rabbits image by Vera Kailova from Fotolia.com

You're not the only one who enjoys plump, fresh beans harvested from your backyard garden. Rabbits often prune bean plants down to the ground, eating both the plant and its bean pods, according to the University of Wisconsin. Defend your garden and your future bean harvest by using a combination of physical and chemical controls to keep rabbits from ruining your bean crop.

Deter rabbits by modifying your landscape to make it less attractive to the animals. The University of Minnesota suggests removing tall stands of grass or shrubs and piles of debris where rabbits may hide. Keep a wide, open border of 20 feet around your vegetable garden, since rabbits are wary of crossing large open spaces.

Setup a fence around your vegetable garden. This is the best protection for your garden, according to the University of Illinois. To successfully keep out rabbits, the university suggests a 3-foot fence of chicken wire. Bury the fence's bottom 6 inches, bent at a 90-degree angle, to keep the pests from digging under the fence.

Erect wire fencing around your bean plants alone if fencing your entire garden is too expensive, according to Iowa State University. Encircle each bean plant with chicken wire, keeping the wire approximately 2 inches from the plant itself. Just like with a garden-wide fence, the encircling wire should be 3 feet high.

Spray your bean plants with a rabbit deterrent spray. This is ideal only when the plants aren't producing beans, since such deterrents leave a nasty taste on any surface upon which it's applied. Use any of the many sprays available at garden stores. North Dakota State University recommends using one formulated with capsaicin, an all natural extract from peppers.


Things You Will Need

  • Pruning equipment
  • Fencing
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Vegetable oil
  • Blender
  • Spray bottle


  • Make your own rabbit deterrent spray. North Dakota State University suggests mixing three fresh jalapeno peppers, ground in a blender, with enough water to make a liquid solution. Strain out the pepper pieces and mix in 2 tbsp. of vegetable oil and a couple drops of liquid dish soap. Spray the product on your bean plants. Once the rabbits taste it, the university says they won't return for another bite.


  • Hunting the rabbits can effectively decrease the animal population in your landscape, but should only be exercised by individuals who understand how to use guns. If you're a hunter, consult your municipality before trying to hunt the rabbits in your garden. Various rules and regulations may govern the use of firearms in residential areas.

About the Author


Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.