rabbit eating coneflower

Help! Rabbits Nibbling My Plants! 😩

Currently there is an ongoing problem with rabbits nibbling my plants and I have never seen it as bad as it is this year. I blame squirrels too. Those tree-rat-critters seem to like to dig in the soil more than nibble the plants, but the rabbits! They attack the smaller plants and eat the buds!

Two of my plants seem to be suffering the most casualties. Coneflowers and Liatris. Most of the plants look like a chewed up corn cob standing where a lush pretty plant did just the day before. Even the hour before.

Rabbit in coneflowers

And these Oh-so-cute bunnies seem as if they are taunting us. They will come to the sliding glass door and look in, as if they are checking to see if I have been to the garden center lately for more “snacks.”

Bold little rodents!

squirrel next to planter

Squirrels Are Also Joining In

There are quite a few trees on our lot and so, of course, the squirrels are all being the little Tree Rats that they are. Pesky critters. I have not seen them eating any plants, just tearing them up, but they sure know how to dig holes in my planters. Sometimes it looks as though they just dig for fun, spilling the soil all over the tables and patio.

I am sure the squirrels watched from the trees above and snickered and giggled when I came out and saw the mess!

Are There Any Solutions?

This year I am trying the Irish Spring Bar Soap 🏅strategy. I don’t like the smell of this Irish Spring, and supposedly, the rodents don’t like it either. Well…

I grated some bars of soap on a cheese grater and used those flakes to sprinkle around the edges of the fence, the flower beds, and even on the soil in some planters. Is it repelling them? Not really sure.

rabbit with chewed liatris plant

Other bars I chopped into larger pieces and sprinkled them into the flower beds, especially around the smaller coneflowers and sprouting liatris. Those liatris plants ( I planted them as corms, really easy) seem to be a favorite of the rabbits.

Bottle of Liquid Fence spray

Another method I am using is Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit Repellent Spray. 🏅Spraying it around the containers and along the edges of the garden beds seems to me like it should “block” them from wanting to go there. I guess we shall see.

The Deer and Rabbit Repellent spray sure doesn’t smell good, but it is OK to use since the scent fades quickly. You will need to respray after a rain. I hope the scent remains for the critters. It is made mostly with putrescent whole egg solids. Ewwww!

two vases before and after squirrel chewed plant

Too bad I was a day LATE getting this to spray around my Hypertufa urn planted with wire vine. I assume this damage was from the squirrels since it sits on a high table. I appreciate the help in pruning, guys, but No Thanks!

A Barrier Works For Young Plants

To block any animal from getting to my plants, I have always wanted those fancy Garden Cloches to provide a wire “cage” around the plant that needs protecting. However much I want them, I am not ready to put that $$$ out. Maybe on Prime Day in July?

wire trash bins on plants

But I have a work-around for that. There are some small wire trash baskets at the Dollar Tree that I think are very similar. I went to two different Dollar Trees here in the area and found them. Maybe others have had the same idea? Scarce?

These baskets are 9 inches tall, 9 inches wide at the opening, 5 inches wide at the base. When these are turned over on top of a smaller sprouting plant, it makes a perfect barrier cage just like a Garden Cloche. 🏆

See how I first put them out in the garden? I put a brick over them because I thought perhaps the rabbit would just push them over. After several days, I removed the brick and those cloches made from small trash baskets worked perfectly.

wire trash basket with measurements
Dollar Tree trash bin to protect plants from rabbits

I liked the black ones best because they seemed to disappear in the garden bed. But those white ones worked well and didn’t look too bad. By the time I need them again for new plants, I will get a small can of spray paint in black, dark gray, or green. Then they will be perfect.

At $1.25 each! So far I have bought ten of them. Score!

Did Any of These Methods Work?

It seems as if all of these methods worked in combination. I feel that, in the long run, the barrier of the upside-down trash bin or cloche was the best 🏆🏆and most economical. I hope I can keep an eye out for more of those wire trash bins so that I can have at least 20 or so for small plants.

These work on top of or inside a planter as well!

Those tender new plants seem to be the tastiest. Once the plants reach a certain height, they are not bothered. Tougher and not as tasty? Who knows?

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