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What Plants Keep Rabbits Out of a Garden?

By April Wilson ; Updated September 21, 2017

While there tend to be several plants that almost always repel deer, there is no single plant that works to repel rabbits all the time. Many variables control what a rabbit will and will not eat including population and what other foods are available to them nearby. However, you can minimize your rabbit problem and sometimes eliminate it altogether by just growing plants that rabbits usually won't eat.

Wax Begonia

Rabbits tend to avoid wax begonias in gardens. These flowers grow 6 to 12 inches tall and do very well in containers. They bloom well into the growing season and thrive in sun or partial shade. Wax begonias work well in borders and beds. Well-drained soil that is fertile, rich, and loose is the best soil for this plant. They are also very resistant to insects and disease. Wax begonias can be brought indoors when the weather gets too cold.


Marigolds are one of the most common anti-rabbit plants. The key is to pick a marigold with the strongest scent you can find. Plant two rows of marigolds next to each other in order for this plant to be most effective. Marigolds are very tough plants and come in colors ranging from rust, to gold, to yellow. Grown near vegetable gardens, this plant also repels insects.

Soil for marigolds should be rich, well-drained, and kept moist. Generally marigolds require very little attention once they're established and can adapt to slightly drier soil conditions. Pinch off dead blooms to keep them blooming longer through the season.

Bee Balm

Bee balm is a plant that rabbits will avoid if they can help it. This hardy perennial grows strongest and best inside zones four through nine and can grow 24 to 48 inches high. Bee balm blooms from July to August and prefers full sun but can handle partial shade. Bee balm is also known as bergamot.

Bee balm attracts butterflies for those who want butterflies but not rabbits in their garden. For best growing conditions, soil should be rich and moist with a pH of 6.5. If you grow this plant in partial shade, watch out for snails.


Hyacinth is another plant you'll rarely see a rabbit eat and a great part of a rabbit-unfriendly garden. Hyacinths flower in the springtime and produce very fragrant blooms. These flowers grow from 6 to 12 inches tall and come in a multitude of colors including: blue, purple, lavender, red, pink, white, orange, and yellow.

Since flowers sometimes become smaller after the first year, some prefer to plant new bulbs yearly and treat them as annuals. Wear gloves when handling hyacinth bulbs if you have sensitive skin since they can make your hands itch. Hyacinths prefer full hot sun for best results.


About the Author


April Wilson is a former wedding consultant and candlemaking business owner. She currently runs an independent micropress and is an outspoken member of the indie author movement working under her fiction-writing pen name. She's been writing professionally for five years. Her articles appear on eHow, Trails Travel, Answerbag, and Gardenguides.com.