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Rabbit Resistant Perennial Flowers

By Regina Sass ; Updated September 21, 2017

Rabbits have a big appetite for most growing things. There are perennial flowers that they will not go near, however and they all have a couple of things in common. Rabbits will not go near certain plants with a strong fragrance and/or a bad or bitter taste. They have very sensitive noses and can associate a smell with a bad taste experience. Planting rabbit resistant perennial flowers in a garden will keep the critters away from the whole area.


Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is also known as common yarrow, milfoil, sneezewort and soldier's friend. The plant produces flowers that can be white, rose, yellow or orange and fragrant gray-green lacy leaves that resemble those of a fern. The plant grows from 1 to 3 feet tall, and the flowers grow in clusters that measure from 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Yarrow sends out runners along the ground and can overtake a garden if not kept in check. Yarrow likes full sun and well-drained soil that is not fertilized and is hardy in zones 3 to 9, all but the hottest parts of Florida and California. The flowers will fade if the temperatures get above 80F. Yarrow does well in a wildflower garden or as a groundcover, and the flowers are used in fresh and dried flower arrangements. Rabbits will stay away because of the fragrance and the taste.

Longbract Wild Indigo

Longbract wild indigo( Baptisia bracteata var. leucophaea) is also known as plains wild indigo and cream wild indigo.The plant grows as long as 1 to 2 feet and produces flower spikes that grow as tall as 1 foot and green leaves that grow from 1 to 4 inches long and turn dark gray or black in the fall. The plant will not produce flowers until it is a few years old and needs partial shade and moist, well-drained sandy or loamy soil.


Absinthe( Artemisia absinthium) is also known as absinth, common wormwood and mugwort. The plant grows to about 3 feet tall and 2 feet across. It produces leaves and stems that are covered in soft silver-colored hairs and small yellow flowers that grow in clusters. Absinthe is very adaptable. It can grow in any type of soil as long as it is very well drained and can take partial shade, full shade or full sun. It does prefer a hot dry climate over one with a lot of humidity, and therefore is not a good choice for southern Florida and the Gulf Coast. Absinthe does well planted in rock gardens, herb gardens and as a bed or border plant. The leaves help set off the color of other flowers. The plant has a very bitter taste and all parts are toxic to animals and humans.