Wild rabbits and even some domesticated bunnies can decimate your prized, beautiful garden in a matter of hours or days – it just depends on how many rabbits there are.
Trying to keep rabbits away from your yard or garden using chemical repellents isn’t always the way to go as it can be harmful to the soil, you, and your pets, and it only works for a short period of time.
So what are some natural rabbit repellents that will do the trick and keep rabbits away from your plants and flowers?
One natural rabbit repellent is planting vegetables, herbs, flowers, shrubs, and trees to keep rabbits away. Examples are daffodils, onions, foxgloves, hibiscus, and the butterfly bush that bunnies dislike because of their smell or taste, the texture of the leaves and stems, or the fact that the plant is poisonous.
You can also fertilize your garden with blood meal or bone meal, hang pinwheels or other scary items like pretend owls, scatter human or pet hair, or place vinegar-soaked corn cobs around your yard.
The 11 Best Natural Rabbit Repellents to Save Your Garden
There are various natural repellents you can use to keep rabbits, especially the wild ones, away from your property.
These repellents work on scent, mostly; however, some of them are touch or taste-based.
Here are the best natural rabbit repellents you can use:
Grow Plants/Flowers Rabbits Don’t Like
There are plants and flowers that rabbits don’t like to eat because of how they taste or smell.
Some plants are also off-putting to rabbits because of how they feel – the sharp leaves can hurt a rabbit – and others are toxic or poisonous.
If you want to, you can redo your whole garden and only plant rabbit-repellent vegetation.
A better plan is to plant very fragrant flowers and herbs, plants with a poisonous sap, and those that have prickly and hairy leaves in between all your other plants to repel these small mammals.
Here’s a list of common plants, herbs, and flowers rabbits generally do not like divided into categories:
Shrubs and trees
- Black walnut
- Blue mist spirea
- Butterfly bush
- Japanese maple
- Mountain laurel
- Tulip tree
- Russian sage
Flowers and ornamentals
- Balloon flower
- Black-eyed Susan
- Bleeding heart
- Ice plant
- Pot marigold
- Siberian iris
- Spider flower
- St John’s wort
- Sweet alyssum
- Virginia bluebell
Also read: 15 Garden Flowers That Rabbits Won’t Eat
Blood Meal or Bone Meal
Bone meal and blood meal are great fertilizers you can use for your garden, and the added bonus is that these natural products repel rabbits.
Bone meal is made from animal bones that’s been crushed into a powder or granular form. It may contain other slaughter-house byproducts too.
Bone meal adds nitrogen and phosphorus to the soil.
On the other hand, blood meal is also a byproduct of the slaughtering process, and it is dried animal blood. A blood meal adds nitrogen back into your soil.
These natural soil amendments repel rabbits because the animals are herbivores – the smell of an animal byproduct will let the bunny know they need to look elsewhere for food.
Apply bone meal or blood meal to your garden every week or two weeks as this is how long it takes to break down in the soil.
You’ll also need to reapply bone meal or blood meal after it has rained heavily.
If you have dogs, choose another method as your furry pet may be attracted to the scent of the meal and dig up your garden.
Keep Dogs and Cats
Cats and dogs are rabbit predators, and a rabbit is a prey animal.
If the wild rabbit “gets a whiff” that there are predators on your property, they’ll likely stay away.
You don’t need to always keep your dogs/cats in the yard or the garden. Even keeping them out occasionally should be enough to make rabbits cautious of the danger and dissuade them to visit your garden often.
You can also add lots of spinning pinwheels in and around your property to deter rabbits from coming inside and exploring.
Rabbits scare easily and they are wary of the unknown.
So a rabbit may think that a pinwheel is a threat, and rabbits avoid anything that could be a threat to them like the plague.
Sprinkle cayenne pepper around plants that rabbits seem to love will soon let the bunny know they aren’t welcome to eat these.
A wild (or domesticated) rabbit doesn’t like the taste or smell of cayenne pepper, so this will surely deter rabbits from entering your property and making a feast out of your garden plants and herbs.
Homemade Rabbit Repellent Recipes
There are various DIY rabbit repellents that require you to mix a few ingredients and spray the solution on or around your property line and any plants that rabbits love to eat.
There are various scents rabbits hate, so you can follow one of the recipes I’ve shared below, or you can devise your own with these rabbit-repellent ingredients:
- Rotten eggs (it’s the sulfur smell)
- Urine from a coyote, bobcat, lynx, wolf, or other rabbit predators
- Chili powder
- Chili sauce such as Tabasco sauce
- Black pepper
- Sliced chili
- Linseed oil
Homemade Natural Rabbit Repellent Recipes #1
For this homemade natural rabbit repellent, you need:
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1 gallon of water
- 1 tablespoon of natural dish soap
- 1 teaspoon of red peppers, crushed (cayenne pepper works well)
Mix all the ingredients together in an empty container and let it sit in the sun for a day or two.
Transfer the mixture to a spray bottle (or two). Spray all the plants you don’t want a wild rabbit to eat, and then spray the plants weekly.
Homemade Natural Rabbit Repellent Recipes #2
You need the following for the DIY rabbit repellent:
- 3 large onions
- 3 hot peppers (like chili peppers)
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- 1 gallon of water
Grind the onions, peppers, and garlic together to make a paste, and then add water to cover the paste.
Let the mix sit overnight, and then strain it through a muslin or cheesecloth. Add a gallon of water and transfer the solution to a spray bottle.
Spray your plants to keep rabbits away, and re-spray the plants after your area has rain.
Homemade Natural Rabbit Repellent Recipes #3
To make this bunny repellent and keep rabbits out of your garden, you need:
- 1 tablespoon of garlic oil
- ¼ tablespoon of natural dish soap or dish detergent
- 1 cup of water (lukewarm)
Mix the ingredients together in a small bowl. Use a funnel and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Shake the mixture before you spritz it all over your plants.
For the best results, spritz your plants every day to keep rabbits away.
Homemade Natural Rabbit Repellent Recipes #4
Here are the ingredients you need for this rabbit-repellent recipe:
- 2-3 raw eggs
- 1 tablespoon of Tabasco sauce
- 1 tablespoon of natural dish soap or dish detergent
- 1 gallon of water
Fill a bucket with the water. Next, crush the eggs with the shells and all. Add the Tabasco sauce and dish soap to the mix.
Stir everything, and let the mixture rest outside for three to five days. Yeah, it won’t smell pleasant, but that’s the magic that will keep bunnies away.
Pour the mix around the perimeter of your yard or property; it creates a barrier keeping rabbits out.
Be kind to your neighbors and only use this recipe if you live on a homestead or farm out in the country.
Vinegar-Soaked Corn Cobs
You can also soak corn cobs in vinegar and place these around your garden to keep rabbits away.
For the best results, you’ll need to re-soak the corn cobs in vinegar every two weeks.
Human or Pet Hair
Ask your hairdresser if you can get some hair they cut and sprinkle this around your garden. You can also ask the dog groomers for some dog hair.
Wild rabbits know that humans are predators, and if they sense a human is close by (like the hair clippings), they’ll stay away.
Dust the lower to mid-level leaves of plants with talcum powder to make these plants less appealing to rabbits.
Rabbits won’t want to waste their time in your garden if they can’t find leaves and flowers they can enjoy.
There’s a legend that rabbits are scared of their own reflection, so you can also try this rabbit repellent.
Fill several large glass jars with water, and place these around your garden.
Other natural rabbit repellents you can place around your garden are aluminum pie pans, fake rubber snakes, and pretend owls.
If the rabbit is smart and tries their luck, they’ll realize that a pretend owl isn’t going to come swooping down and make a meal out of them.
So it’s best to combine a few of these natural rabbit remedies to keep your yard safe.
Also read: Are Backyard Rabbits Safe to Eat?
Final Natural Rabbit Repellent Thoughts
I love my pet bunny but I’m not a big fan when Miss Cotton Tail eats my pretty plants and flowers.
I’ve sectioned off a part of the garden where I’ve planted rabbit-repellent herbs, vegetables, and flowers so my bun can play and frolic on the grass, all the while not eating my garden.
To keep the wild rabbits and hares away, I typically just sprinkle chili powder and talcum powder on and around the plants, and I’ve placed some large water-filled glass jars around my garden with much success.
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