Keeping Rabbits Out of Your Garden

May 17, 2007

A rabbit sitting in grass.Tips for keeping bunnies out of gardens from the ThriftyFun community.

Use Hair Clippings

Go to your local hair salon and ask them for a bag of hair sweepings. Get a large bag full and spread it around the perimeter of your garden. You may have to repeat this after each rain fall but as a hair stylist, I know that we always have plenty to spare at the shops where I have worked. Many folks around my town know that animals do not like the scent of humans and will avoid it at all costs. Also, the hair is biodegradable and will nourish you garden as well. This is free and a easy solution to prevent wild critters from entering your garden.

By Lisa Pfush

Chicken Wire

Surround the garden with a chicken wire fence. Bury about 4-5 inches of it into the ground to keep bunnies from digging under it.

By Carol

Sweet Alyssum

I was told that bunnies don't like sweet alyssum because of the sweet scent. Where I live, we don't have a rabbit problem. Just scatter the little white seeds among the plants, they re-seed and grow with no problems.

By Rosebud


Bunnies do not like marigolds. You could plant them around the edge of your garden!

By kerra

Bury A Bottle

I've heard that planting an empty beer or soda bottle wih just enough of the neck exposed for the wind to make it whistle will scare them away.

By Siris

Plastic Snakes

I read that if you purchase a couple of plastic snakes from the dollar store and put them into your garden, it will keep the bunnies from entering the area. Good Luck.

By Watinwood

Several Bunny Proofing Ideas

I have heard that you can put hot sauce in a spray bottle with some water on the plants and that can ward off their little taste buds. I have also heard to buy plastic snakes and put them in the garden. I haven't personally tried either one. I usually put up a wire bunny proof fence bought at the local hardware store. This year my husband cut the bottoms out of some 5 gal.

buckets and placed them over the tomato plants while they were still small. Push them down a tad bit into the dirt. This kept the plants out of reach. Typically, I only seem to have trouble with my tomato plants, not my lettuce, which you think would be the main problem.

By Diana


If you're not thrilled about spreading your hair clippings around, human urine works as well. I try to remember to take a late-evening whiz in the mulch near my Asian Daylillies every now and then. The local rabbit now understands that it's my territory and doesn't munch on them anymore.

Wolf urine works too, but it's very inconvenient to chain a wolf in your yard and force him to drink coffee. I haven't tried it.

By Backyardigan

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20 More Solutions

This page contains the following solutions.

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 858 Posts
November 10, 2009

They are cute and fuzzy, and only too eager to share the fruits of your gardening labor. Nothing is more frustrating than watching your hard work literally get nipped off at the bud.


Here are some tips for helping you win the war against rabbits.


May 2, 2004

Dried blood should be available at your local garden store. It is a biproduct of cattle beef processing. It comes in a powdered form and is effective for discouraging deer and rabbits from eating your plants.


March 14, 2008

If you have a cat or dog in the home then you are vacuuming their hair off everything all of the time. Empty your vacuum canister or bag each time around the perimeter of your gardens.


April 30, 2005

Grow lettuce, broccoli, and veggies in large containers on your sunny porch or in your yard to keep the rabbits from chewing them to a nub! :)


March 26, 2005

If you have a problem with rabbits munching on your flowers, try brushing your cat and then sprinkling the cat hair over the plants. This was the only solution that helped me after I had tried other remedies such as sprinkling cayenne pepper, human hair and blood meal over my plants.


October 1, 2004

Use empty gallon milk jugs for back yard planting season. The rabbits would eat all our new pepper plants. The only way to keep them away was to cut off the bottom and top of the milk jug and bury the wide bottom part in the ground a couple inches.



Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

October 9, 2009

How do we keep the rabbits from eating the bulbs I plant for next year's growth?

Hardiness Zone: 5a

By rox from Champaign, IL


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 147 Feedbacks
October 9, 20090 found this helpful

Try putting hot pepper sauce all over the plants,critters do not like hot stuff,good luck.

October 10, 20090 found this helpful

To protect the bulbs I have planted from the critters in my area I went to the hardware store and bought some chicken wire. I laid it over the flower bed and put some heavy rocks on the wire border.


The squirrels, chipmunks and other critters can't chew through the wire to get to the bulbs.

October 10, 20090 found this helpful

Thank you, that is a great idea.

April 13, 20100 found this helpful

Best Method Ever

All my friends and their parents use this method and not only do they have zero problems, but their plants are bigger and happier, too. First step -find someone with a pet rabbit. Go to for a state by state listing of rescue chapters. They would be happy to hook you up with someone in your city. Second - ask for a ziploc bag of poop. Don't worry, it does not smell. It's dry and crumbly and pellet shaped. Scatter these pellets around or through your veggie patch and voila, no more wild rabbits.


Why this works? Rabbits are very territorial and will fight to the death in many cases over land. Since domesticated rabbits are much larger than their wild cousins, a wild rabbit will see the poop (or smell it a long ways off) and give your plants a wide berth. The poop tells them a giant rabbit lives there and they will want nothing to do with your plants! Also, rabbit pellets make great fertilizer that will never, ever, burn your crops. It's a win-win situation.

I have a House Bunny who's litter box is just like a compost bin. He makes my yard happy and is the best companion I've ever had.

April 14, 20100 found this helpful

Wow, that is awesome info, thank you very much....I love to see the rabbits in our yard, but I do want it to stay pretty with flowers and shrubs and since my little dogs chase them the info on rabbits being territorial is very good to know.

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July 9, 2014

What can I use to get rid of rabbits in my flower beds? They are eating my flowers. I have a sprinkler system that comes on every morning for 5 minutes in these beds so it has to be unhurt by water.

By Pat


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 255 Posts
December 7, 20170 found this helpful

Go to a nursery and get a rabbit repellent. There is a spray, which you do have to reapply after watering or raining. And, there is a wax thing on a twist tie that you can wrap around a plant stem, and wax pieces you just sprinkle. Those are good until they dissolve, several weeks.


They all contain fox or coyote urine, so the rabbits don't like it.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
December 7, 20170 found this helpful

Buy chicken wire and surround the area

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June 12, 2011

What can I place in my vegetable garden and around my flowers to deter rabbits from eating them? I know I can fence in the garden, but what about flowers?

By Joe Burto


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 115 Feedbacks
June 23, 20110 found this helpful

As the woman at the garden shop told me not much stops them but a fence. I have heard marigolds will deter them ~ they ate mine. I was also told bone meal, or coyote urine will work but has to be replenished when it rains or when your sprinklers go on as is the situation here in CA. I also heard just plain red cayenne pepper sprinkled on the leaves will deter them. This use to work for me when I lived in the northeast with my flowers but again has to be replenished often but I got bottles at the dollar store.Not so sure you want to put that on your vegetables though. Good luck I haven't found anything but a fence to work so far and then I had problems with the snails!

June 23, 20110 found this helpful

My grandpa always put bone meal around the garden.

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March 31, 2019

This winter the rabbits have eaten the phlox in my garden. I know they will attack my tulips the minute they bloom. Any suggestions to keep them away and send them back to the forest?


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
April 1, 20191 found this helpful

Use a fence, chicken wire or cover with netting or cheesecloth.


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 196 Feedbacks
April 1, 20191 found this helpful

You could try bordering the bed with herbs they don't like, like sage plants or basil plants, but those can quickly take over a flower garden.

You can try getting rid of the places the like to live--so keep up with getting rid of piles of leaves and if you have low hanging trees, make sure they don't touch the ground. Patch up holes that lead to under sheds or walls. Sometimes just having fewer places for them to live makes them move on to someone else's house.

Do be careful if you are trying to do this now that you don't inadvertently kill a nest of baby bunnies. I would feel dreadful if that happened.

Having a dog out in the area (ON A LEASH, WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES) is also a good deterrent as they are prey for most dogs and will leave if they feel they will be food. Please DO NOT leave your dog out to eat bunnies, again, that would be awful AND dangerous for your dog to be ingesting bunnies or get hurt in a fight.

Some people swear by things like low posted owl figures (those realistic ones). That never worked for me and I am not much for garden decorations...but friends do it and love it and say it works.

Please DO NOT try the home remedies like hot pepper, hot pepper spray and ammonia that are recommended as "SURE PROOF" all over the internet. They are TERRIBLE AND CAN BE DANGEROUS for people and animals (not just the bunnies, but birds, stray dogs and cats, etc. Those "remedies" are a cruel and VERY dangerous thing to do so please be kind and not try these. I am sure they work but the damage they do is inhumane. Even if you don't care about hurting the animals if you have any kids around, and they touch the treated area, they can get these solutions in their eyes and mouth and it can be very painful and even blinding if they get it in their eyes. I am not being over reactive here...just very honest and realistic based on experience. I had hot pepper spray (from a hot pepper while canning salsa) get into my eye once and it was one of the most painful things I have ever experienced. It took weeks for my eye to heal.

Hope you find a good solution!! Happy Spring!

April 3, 20190 found this helpful

Plant trap crops away from garden, stuff the bunnies REALLY love, then plant plants they don't like around your favorites.

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July 22, 2012

Three rabbits have eaten all 16 of my pepper plants. How can I keep them away next year? I tried deer scent, but that didn't work.

By Holly A. from Copley, OH


July 31, 20121 found this helpful

I cut up old garden hose (approximately 8-10 inches long) and place them around pepper plants and anything else the rabbits might eat. I have not had any problems with the rabbits in my garden since I started doing this and I have done this for several years. The reason that I heard that this works is because the rabbits think the cut-up garden hose are snakes and they are afraid of snakes. Good Luck! Hope this works as well for you as it does for me.

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August 5, 2011

How do you get rid of rabbits in a garden?

By Ruth


August 6, 20110 found this helpful

I think with dogs.

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June 8, 2013

I read that you can use crush red pepper sprinkled in your garden. That's fine, but does it harm you plants at all?

By Eric m.

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August 13, 2011

How do you get rid of bunnies in a garden?

By RuthC.


August 14, 20110 found this helpful

Well you could put Irish spring Soap in bar form (keeps some animals out of gardens because of its smell.) Tie it to a stick about 2 ft off the ground and put it around your garden. The stronger the smell the better it keeps them away!

August 17, 20110 found this helpful

A friend plants comfrey. The bunnies would much rather eat it than anything you have in your garden.

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July 10, 2010

Can someone tell me how to keep rabbits out of my garden safely?

By Sharon Rafferty from East Hampton


July 10, 20100 found this helpful

Place a rabbit fence around your garden, also if you dust with "Seven" a bug killer, that will also help.

July 14, 20100 found this helpful

Also, try buying children play snakes and place them around. See if that helps. It would keep me out. lol.

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June 27, 2010

How do I naturally repel rabbits in a garden?

By john from MA


June 28, 20100 found this helpful

Go to your local feed store, such as an Agway, and purchase fox urine. Spray or drip it out where the rabbits appear. Do store it outside, in a garage or shed, as any drop of it inside will really smell up your home.

June 28, 20100 found this helpful

Mass home improvement stores such as Lowes and Home Depot will also have predator urine located in their garden pesticide section. Of course, if you or a neighbor has dogs, you could always walk them around the perimeter of the garden and let them do their business.

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February 25, 2017

Although traditional fences are probably most effective in keeping wildlife out of your garden, there are other methods that can also work well. Commercial and homemade products utilizing certain odors are also effective. This is a page about using scent fences for repelling deer and rabbits.

An alert deer.


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

October 9, 2009

I'm having a lot of trouble with rabbits eating all our plants. Any ideas? Thanks. HeatherD


June 5, 2008
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.

March 6, 2008
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
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