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 (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 (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.
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.
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 (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 (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.
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