It's time to vote on our 2017 photo contest! Vote for your favorite photos of the year here!

bunnies ate my lilies

Mequon, WI(Zone 4b)

What is the best method to deter rabbits from eating plants in the garden? They have decimated my lilies, eaten my hostas, and gnawed off the buds of my gaillardias. I am ready to let my cats loose on them! Very frustrating, especially the lilies. Anyone have any suggestions? Thanks!

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

Who know's, there are several methods that work for some, but others find they never work, others spray or cover the bulbs with chickem wire, you could try laying some cat hair around the plants in question to try deter the rabbits, if all else fails, let the cats out as these bunnies multiply at a terrific rate, He He He, I am sure others will come into the thread with more ideas than I know that work, so good luck, Weenel.

Rosemont, ON(Zone 4a)

There are several approaches you could take to this problem. One would be to fence your yard (and to be effective a rabbit fence needs to extend below ground) or fence just the plants that the rabbits particularly like. Another method would be to sprinkle hot red pepper or a commercial animal-repellent over the plants, and repeat as often as necessary. Alternatively, you could concentrate on growing plants that are poisonous, hairy, prickly, or pungent so that the rabbits will not find much to eat.

If you live in a rural area, you may find that your problem goes away soon as this year's crop of rabbits are eaten by predators. There were many rabbits in my garden last year, and then coyotes came in and cleared them out. I have hardly seen any rabbits this year. Hooray for coyotes!

Racine, WI(Zone 5a)

Jeannie63, our bunnies ate my lillies too! I was so mad! Cayenne worked well for awhile but it seemed I had to add it too frequently. I finally went to Mileagers (I don't know if that's spelled right... but it's a local flower place) and the nice people there pointed me in the direction of a deer and bunny repellent. It seems to be working really well. The one I found you spray on the plants and around the garden and then do it a week later. Then the bottle says once a month. I was happy to see that the bottle I bought says you don't have to respray after the rain! There is one down side.... it stinks like something I've never smelled before! Completely undescribeable! I stay down wind when I spray and hold my breath! Thankfully, once the spray dries you don't smell it anymore - but apparently the bunnies can and that's what keeps them away.

I also read somewhere around here that if you plant marigolds in your garden it will keep the bunnies out, but I haven't tried that.

Good Luck!


Mequon, WI(Zone 4b)

Thanks for all the suggestions! Since I rent, putting up a fence is out of the question. I will visit the local garden center to see what they have, and maybe try a few 'folk' remedies to see what works. We've had a lot of rain this weekend and that seems to have kept the bunnies away - for now! I will keep you posted.

StressedTek - I am not too far from you! Do you happen to know the name of the spray you used?

Thanks to everyone!

Thumbnail by Jeannie63
Durango, CO

I reccomend a powerful pellet gun. Take out the rabbits without alerting the neighboors. Be careful though!

Durango, CO

All these people from Wisconsin... I guess the rabbits have invaded the whole state.

Mequon, WI(Zone 4b)

Update : At the recommendation of a local garden center (Frenz of Thiensville WI), I bought a bottle of "Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit Repellent". I am happy to report that it seems to be working. I have not noticed any more rabbit damage since I applied the product.

It smells very bad, and you want to be sure to stand up wind while you spray it on your plants. I also wore a disposable glove on my spraying hand in case of any drips. You apply it once, then once again five days later, and thereafter only every month. The smell goes away (to humans) once the liquid dries on the plants.

Note: This product is NOT recommended for vegetables or edible flowers that are to be consumed by humans.

What a relief!

Marquette, MI(Zone 5a)

Liquid Fence is made from putrified eggs, garlic and some other equally foul smelling stuff. It needs to be reapplied after it rains or whenever one waters overhead as it will wash away. It is safe for humans and pets. Don't use it if you are expecting company unless you are not particulalry fond of them. And the neighbor's dogs love to roll against freshly sprayed plants, so you may want to give those neighbors a heads up warning.

Here is the concensus of applications from our Garden Club - mix and spray as directed. Re-apply in a week or sooner if it rains or if you water overhead. Again in another week or so. Usually by then, the animals, especially deer, will have discovered that they do NOT like the taste of it and will leave your plants alone. After that apply once a month or so.

The first year I used it, I went thru 2 jugs of the concentrate (more economical BTW) the next year only one jug and this year I still am using the first jug of it.

Richland, MI(Zone 5b)

Hi, I'm kind of new to this site, and never encountered ant rabbit problem, not back home (Europe) and not here (Miami, Fl.)... however, I run into the "gardening question of the day" of the Old Farmer's Almanac from two days ago, and they say you should surround your garden (its perimeter) with two rows of onions. And I thought about your problem.
I don't really know if it helps, since I didn't try it myself, but it seems a peaceful method, and you might also get som onion-y benefits.
here's the link:

hope it helps,

Breezewood, PA(Zone 5b)

we have 2 dogs and a cat, and it's never stopped our rabbits from eating everything, even when i make spread dog hair around or have them pee around the flower beds LOL after losing every crocus i planted to rabbits two years ago, we got a spray that contains dried blood, and stinks to the high heavens, so maybe similar/the same as what you got. it worked GREAT for us. unfortunately i'm the only one who can tolerate the smell without getting nauseous, so i get stuck spraying the plants every spring :/

Racine, WI(Zone 5a)

Jeannie63 I'm so sorry I hadn't gotten back to you with the name of the spray I had gotten from the store. Things got crazy and I hadn't been able to make my way back here. But it sounds like you got the right stuff!


Marquette, MI(Zone 5a)

Blood meal works around my hostas, with the added benefit of adding nitrogen. It doesn't seem to work as well around the green beans.

Gregory, MI

I make my own version of "Liquid Fence" since its soo expensive - 1 cup milk, 2 eggs, and a tablespoon of detergent mixed in 1 gallon of water. Let it sit in a hot garage for a day (or outside in direct sun) and WHEW! Its been effective for keeping the critters out of my garden all summer (reapplied every other week or so, and after every rain). Spray on in the evening or early morning as the detergent (which makes it stick to the leaves bettre) can burn the leaves of some plants if applied in direct sunlight. I also use Cayenne pepper, Big Lots has very large shakers of it for 89 cents. I heard another recipe recently which involved steeping hot chili peppers in water for awhile, strain it and then add the eggs & milk.

Breezewood, PA(Zone 5b)

i couldn't use the peppers, since my dogs and cat sniff around all the flowers when the rabbits aren't munching on them. but it's a good idea for people with no dogs, i'll mention it to my granny :D

Anderson, SC(Zone 7b)

You can use the peppers with pets around - they'll just avoid whatever you spray it on. I had to sprinkle cayenne pepper on cat poop when my puppy decided it was yummy - it took her a few days to figure it out, but it cured the problem. No damage to her.

Gregory, MI

Oh dear! Poor puppy :(
Yes, pepper is great for keeping cats & dogs out of flowerbeds too. Which is nice, no kitty potty in my mulch or tender plants dug out by pup.

Anderson, SC(Zone 7b)

LOL No, it was poor ME when she'd come running to give me kisses with cat poop breath. YUCK! We were so grossed out! lolol

Know what? I have a cat that actually *likes* hot sauce - she'll eat buffalo wings and lick the hottest sauces off my fingers!!! I don't know who taught her that, 'cus I took her in when she was a few years old, but it's too funny.

Breezewood, PA(Zone 5b)

i'll have to try the cayenne trick then, i figured it would hurt their noses, but if it doesn't i'll definitely try it, thanks! :D

i feel your pain about the poo-eating dogs, thank goodness ours seem to have grown out of that phase lol

Gregory, MI

Eeew, didn't think about cat poop breath puppy kisses. Gross!!

I've never known a cat that liked hot sauce, that is strange! I have one that loves cheese, corn chips, saltines and vanilla ice cream.

Woodland, NC

I think the best repellent is Liquid Fence 113 Deer and Rabbit Repellent, 40-Ounce Concentrate from here I use it when i try to get rid of them from my golf field.

Nagoya, Japan

Well, have you ever think of building a taller fence? Or you can cover your garden with natural repellent like urine (from dogs or foxes). Rabbit also don't like the smell of soap so spreading a little bit of this will likely to prevent them from eating your plants. You can check here for more information.

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or sign up to post.