Rabbits eating my coleus

Mount Laurel, NJ

I sure am having problems with the rabbits eating my coleus! Actually, they don't even eat it, they just chew off the stem. I suppose they do that to get liquid. I've tried putting out little dishes of water, but that doesn't help. I guess they can't lap it up like cats do. Anyone have any success in preventing damage from rabbits?

Thumbnail by coleuslover123
Bolivar, OH

Try cayenne pepper. Just give the leaves a light dusting. It is by far the best rabbit repellant I have ever used -- and organic too! Reapplication will be necessary following overhead watering or rain but in my book, it is well worth the effort.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

I have earwigs that drill holes in my coleus planted in the garden.Containers are OK.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Blood meal is organic and you'd also dust it on the coleus, especially new growth.

ge - I use Ortho Bug Geta for any earwig problems in the garden and it does work though it is probably not organic.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

No organics here Pirl.Welcome back.BTW.

I have to go to garden store for something to disperse the anthills here, I cant believe how many there are.They have killed plants.
I will get Bug stuff too.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks, Jo Ann. We returned very well rested and filled with lobster.

Try vinegar for the ants. We've had the exact same problem with an overabundance of ants. Don't dilute the vinegar!

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

great idea.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Insecticidal soap is another thought and what I had to resort to for potted amaryllises. Each one had to be totally immersed in it and the results have been great. If you have the ants in pots it's more difficult.

For my big zonal geranium there was no way I could even lift it, no less immerse it, but the insecticidal soap drove them out. Many remained on the outside of the pot. It's really a problem. I covered the plant and sprayed Raid on the pot - all the way around - in the hopes it will still kill any ants left over.

Do NOT breathe the Raid spray!!!

Norristown, PA

Rabbits are very tactile and their organ of touch is their mouth. I had a pet rabbit that chewed through the vinyl straps of my aunt's purse while she was visiting just because he was interested in the texture. Try blood meal to keep them away becasue of the blood scent -- so they won't get close enough to take a chomp. Make sure if you use cayenne that you dust it on the stems as well as the leaves, as that is what Br'er Rabbit is targeting -- the stems are succulent and they like the "snap" on their teeth, just like some of us like the feel of a nice, snappy stick of celery, even though we might rather have something more fattening! It's a sensory thing!


Denville, NJ(Zone 6b)

thanks for the blood meal info ... having a lot of bunny damage this year.. and I think I have a bag in the garage

Mount Laurel, NJ

Well I put down lots of blood meal, and I'm no longer so concerned about the rabbits. No, it's not because I have evidence of it working................... It's because the damange the ground hog did last night makes what the rabbit did seem pretty minimal. I had two containers 3 ft high and nearly as wide, and it COMPLETELY ate both of them, plus two other coldus plantings in the ground, fairly big, plus a 'sweedish ivy' plant. &^%$$$&^$#&^[email protected]@

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I don't know of any cure for groundhogs! The late radio gardening host, Ralph Snodsmith, also had them in his Suffern, NY garden and even he couldn't find a control that worked.

Sorry to hear your bad news.

Denville, NJ(Zone 6b)

have to trap them.. that is the only way.. pick up a have a heart trap... I put dog poop in the burrow to keep one from moving back in.. hopefully the coleus will give him a tummy ache!!

Bolivar, OH

Aw, sorry to hear that! I had one where I work last year that completely destroyed my Victory Garden. Dang thing was bigger than both of my dogs! I tried everything to get rid of it and, just like Pirl said, nothing worked. I agree with onewish -- hope the little buggar got one heck of a belly ache!

Taylor Creek, FL(Zone 10a)

For ants I have been putting a dusting of instant oatmeal anywhere they are present. They immediately start hauling it into their holes.
When they eat it it expands and the ants are history. Down here they gang up on me and their bites cause puss blisters that leave scars.
One of the snowbirds that was parked across the road from me was feeding the squirrels. So they have no fear of me.
When I started planting my deck I brought a Brugmansia from Jacksonville. The neighbors were watching one day when Mr Squirrel chew on one and then proceeded to run in circles and do flips.
Maybe Mr Groundhog needs to meet a Brug.
I also use Bayer Rose and Flower systemic on my coleus and everything but edibles.. I put whole cloves around my herbs and heirloom tomatoes.
Hope some of this helps.

Bolivar, OH

An article in the August issue of Garden Gate magazine suggests dumping urine-soaked cat litter into the groundhog's den to make him take up residence elsewhere. It suggests to do this when the groundhog is out foraging. Once he has left, cover or fill the hole.

Mount Laurel, NJ

I don't know where the groundhog den is, probably a few houses down under their deck.
I set out traps, but so far no luck catching it. My friend says she catches them all the time with peanut butter. I"ve never been successful at getting one to go in the trap. I just get squirrels.

My daughter has a lot of beautiful coleus too (from my cuttings, ha), and she saw a big ground hog in her yard. They live out in the country and her husband has a cross bow. She said that is a very effective remedy. They know where the hole is, so I"ll pass out the tips about the cat litter. Sigh, no cross bow here, though I"ll surely tell them to bring it next time they visit.

Denville, NJ(Zone 6b)

I have had luck with apples, lettuce or carrots in the traps

Danville, IN

Human urine is an excellent rabbit repellent (around the plants, not on them). If you have a little boy, he can be a very effective, ready-to-use dispenser! (My son was very handy from age 5 up until high school!) For in-towners, or the shy, a jar collection system works just as well.

It will also work for woodchucks, but takes more! Try applying directly into the woodchuck burrow, too.

Denville, NJ(Zone 6b)

the burrow is what my dog poop is for

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