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How to Prevent Rabbits from Eating Impatiens

By Heather Vecchioni ; Updated September 21, 2017
Although cute, rabbits are often destructive to impatiens and other flowers.
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Impatiens, visually popular garden flowers, sometimes become food for rabbits, which can ruin a season’s worth of hard work in just a few minutes. Impatiens are known as rabbit-resistant plants, but rabbits nevertheless sometimes eat the delicate flowers' petals and leaves. Providing protection from rabbits for your impatiens can be challenging, but the sight of beautiful, healthy and whole impatiens in your flower garden is worth the effort.

Apply a hot pepper spray to the plants. Available at many gardening stores, hot pepper spray causes a burning sensation in the rabbit’s mouth. This may discourage a rabbit from repeat visits. Most of the sprays are simply applied to the leaves and flowers of the plant, but read the label’s directions.

Sprinkle dried blood around the impatiens. The blood’s scent is typically off-putting to rabbits and will keep them from going near the plant. The nutrients in the blood are also often beneficial to the plant and will melt into the soil.

Place motion-detectors that create sound in the garden. Motion-detectors that produce a loud make noise when tripped are often enough to keep rabbits away.

Plant flowers known to repel rabbits around your impatiens. A variety of annuals, perennials, shrubs and ground covers are known to sometimes keep rabbits away. Forget-me-nots, asters, vinca and rosemary, among others, are often effective in preventing rabbits from getting near and destroying impatiens.

Install a fence around the impatiens. Chicken wire or other wire with openings of 1 inch or smaller are often effective when placed around the flowers. Push the fence 3 to 6 inches down into the ground and wrap the fence completely around the impatiens. Alternatively, bend the bottom of the fence outward at a 90-degree angle and bury the fold several inches below the surface to prevent rabbits from digging underneath.