The following list of plants appear to be less attractive to rabbits. However, there is no guarantee that any plant will remain free from damage in all conditions. Young growth may be eaten in the spring and very many plants will be vulnerable to damage in very hard weather when the animals are hungry.
Trees, Shrubs and Climbers
Alunus, Andromeda, Aucuba, Azalea, Bamboos in various genera, Berberis, Buddleia, Buxus, Ceanothus, Chimonanthus, Choisya, Clematis, Cornus alba (not Sibirica), Cornus sanguinea, Cotoneaster (not C. simonsii), Daphne, Deutzia, Elaeagnus pungens, Escallonia, Fatsia, Euonymus, Fuchsia, Gaultheria shallon, Hippophae, Hydrangea, Hypericum, Ilex, Kalmia, Laburnum, Lonicera, Olearia, Peony (Tree), Philadelphus, Prunus laurocerasus, Prunus spinosa, Pinus nigra, Privet, Rhododendron, Rhus, Ribes, (Flowering Currant), Rosa (Spiny species types – rugosa etc.), Rubus, Ruscus aculeatus (Butchers Broom), Sambucus, Skimmia, Symphoricarpus, Syringa (Lilac), Taxus, Ulex (Gorse), Viburnum, Vinca, Yucca.
Hardy Perennials and Grasses
Aconitum, Aegopodium, Agapanthus, Alchemilla, Anaphalis, Anemone, Aquilega, Asphodeline, Asphodelus, Aster, Astible, Bergenia, Brunnera, Buphthalmum, Campanula lactiflora, Campanula latifolia, Cardiocrinum, Centaurea steenbergii, Clematis, Colchicum, Convallaria, Cortaderia (Pampas), Cordyalis, Crinium, Crocosmia, Cyclamen, Digitalis, Doronicum, Epimedium, Eupatorium, Euphorbia, Gentianea asclepiedea, Geranium, Hodychium, Helenium, Helianthus, Helleborous orientallis, Hemerocallis, Hosta, Houttuynia, Iris, Kirengeshoma, Kniphofia, Lamium, Leucojum Luzula, Lysimachia, Malva, Melissa, Miscanthus, Nepeta, Omphalodes, Orchis, Paeonia, Papaver, Phormium, Phytolacca, Polygonatum, Polygonum, Pulmonaria, Rhazia, Rheum, Romneya, Saxifraga umbrosa, Sedum, Stachys olympica, Tellima, Tradescantia, Trilium, Trollius, Vancouveria, Vinca,Yucca,Zantedeschia.
Where rabbits are abundant on land adjoining gardens, the most positive way to prevent persistent damage to plants is to erect and maintain a rabbit – proof fence. This should be made from 1.5m (4 – 5 ft) widths of 18 or 19 gauge wire netting with a 2.5cm (1 inch) mesh. About 30 cm (12 inches) of this width should be buried in the soil to stop rabbits burrowing under it and the remaining 1m (3 – 4 ft) must be well supported by posts and the fences should be well tensioned to prevent rabbits jumping over.
If rabbits are not particularly abundant, or where it is not practical to fence the garden, valuable trees, shrubs, and other plants may be adequately protected by netting, spiral tree protectors or other devices. Chemical repellents may give some protection, especially when applied to the bark of trees to prevent bark stripping, but are not always effective. Gnawing and bark stripping will occur more especially during hard winter weather conditions.
Fran Gooch, Willowbrae, Achachork, Portree, Isle of Skye, IV51 9HT
Tel: 01478 613132 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.skyeshrubs.net