Don’t let those cute eyes and furry coats fool you; rabbits can do a lot of damage to your garden. Rabbits are mammals classified into the Leporidae family. They are generally known for their long and wide-opening ears.
There are 29 known species of rabbits. Rabbits and hares share some similarities. There are some species of hares that are always termed rabbits – hispid hares and rock hares, while some rabbits, such as Jackrabbits, can also be referred to as hares. However, they are slightly different from each other in habitat, features, and lifecycle.
Rabbits are mainly found in some parts of Southern and Central Africa and Europe. Rabbits dig out holes in the soil to create burrows where they live. They also live on shrubs and trees. Rabbits feed on grasses and herbs as their primary source of food.
Protecting Your Plants From Rabbits
Plants protection and care have been focused mainly on eradicating and controlling common diseases and pests and observation of stipulated care and maintenance routines. Attention to the impact of certain pesky animals such as rabbits has been minimal.
Most of these animals are herbivorous animals depending more on plant leaves for survival. Outdoor plants are easy casualties, especially those grown and maintained on gardens and farmlands. Rabbits could be as dangerous as pests and diseases on your plants if they are left unchecked.
How Rabbits Damage Plants
Rabbits are lovely creatures. They can be your best companion and favorable house pet if you are ready to expend the requisite time, energy, and other resources to socialize them. However, they are a threat to your plants.
- Indoor plants and potted flowers can fall easy prey to domesticated rabbits. Outdoor plants raised in gardens and farmlands equally need protection from wild rats. Rabbits can damage your plants in various ways
- Rabbits feed on plants. Natural and grown shrubs, grasses, and herbs can be destroyed if rabbits feed and overgraze on them.
- Garden and farmland plants continuously matched and trampled by rabbits face the risk of withering or dying off.
- On farmlands, the taverns and burrows of rabbits can uproot your plant and expose it to sundry damages.
- Even woody plants are not safe from aggressive rabbits. They can clip off the branches and leaves of the trees while trying to gnaw at the bark of the trees.
- Burrowing rabbits are great actors in the ecosystem. They can create massive shifts in biodiversity, reducing the carrying capacity of the soil and damaging plants.
How to Protect Plants from Rabbits
Whether you are dealing with a domesticated or wild rabbit, there are proven measures you can take to protect your plant from being damaged by rampaging rabbits. Tackling attacks on your plants from rabbits require simple strategic measures outlined below
Grow Specific Type Of Weeds (Rabbit Repelling Plants)
Although rabbits feed on plants, specific weeds look more attractive to the intelligent animal. Violets and gloves are examples. Violets and gloves are mainly weeds on tendered and pruned farmlands. If your plant is likely to be assailed by rabbits, intentionally allow them to grow in guide locations on the farm. You can even grow. Rabbits may likely eschew eating your plants when it spots these set of plants.
There are rabbit repellents that ooze a scent that scares away rabbits. Repellent makes plants tasteless and unappetizing to rabbits. Garlic oil and dried blood can be used as repellents to protecting plants from rabbits.
There are more effective flavored repellents, but one has to be careful when applying by following the manufacturer’s guidelines strictly. When using repellents, be extremely careful. They can make your vegetables and other food crops inedible.
Predators are another reliable method you can employ to protect your plants from rabbits. A little yard encouraging the presence of these predators can scare away rabbits from your farmland. Examples of these predators include; hawks, foxes, owls, and snakes.
Plant Rabbit-resistant Plant
Apart from using repellents or predators to scare away rabbits, rabbit-resistant plants are also a good alternative. Your garden should feature plants that are rabbit-resistant. Examples of such plants include alum, cleome, rudbeckia, and others.
Clear Dark Spots And Open Up Spaces In Your Garden
If your farmland or plants are located in areas surrounded by only shrubs, creepers, and undergrowth without covers and good shades, it may not be possible for a bird to attack. Rabbits are more likely to attack and damage plants where there are covers, dark corners and shadowy shades.
Anywhere rabbits can safely hide when spotted will be a safe haven for rabbits. Always clear thick undergrowth, wood covers and dark shady corners near your farmland. Plants located in open places can pose a challenge to rabbits.
Fence Your Plant Around To Exclude Rabbits
Fencing and exclusion is a great alternative to keep rabbits from your plants. A half-inch or one-quarter-inch net made into a mesh at least 2ft in height can be very effective. To beat bunnies with burrows, you have to bury your mesh some few inches deeper into the soil and bend the bottom edge of the mesh outwards.
Clothes, nets, and PVC Pipes can be used for fencing to preserve your plants even if planted on beds. Let the fence be a few inches away from the plant to prevent a rabbit from getting to your plants, especially if you use cylinder-like fencing to control the rabbits from gnawing at stems. And it should be a bit higher in length.
Protect Indoor Plants From Bunnies
Your bunnies could be perfect home companions and a threat at the same time when they are close to your indoor plants.
- Keep your potted indoor plants out of the reach of your bunnies. Don’t place your indoor potted plants at the edges of tables and tops of furniture. The bunnies can easily knock it off and damage it.
- Chicken wires can be very useful. Use them to cage the plants and securely pin them to the ground. Chicken wires are mostly used in the early stages of your indoor potted plant.
- Repellent plants and sprays can also be useful to protect your indoor plants from your bunnies if you don’t want to relocate the plant from the reach of bunnies.
- Floating shelves can also be a good companion to keep indoor plants from bunnies. It can maintain the beauty of your apartment while keeping the plants safe from rabbits.
How Do Rabbit Repellents Work?
Rabbits possess a very active sense of smell as they use it to perceive and locate their food. Rabbit repellents ooze unfriendly odours which chase them away.
What Smells Repel Rabbits?
Some good examples of scents that repel rabbits are wax begonias, predator urine, lavender, blood meal, garlic, chili powder, vinegar, and sulfur.
Can You Restore Rabbit Damaged Plants?
It depends on the extent of damage inflicted by the rabbit. If you spot plants crazed upon and trampled by rabbits early, you can restore them by re-nurturing them.