How To Deter Rabbits From Garden Naturally

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Rabbits are more than just adorable little creatures that like to nibble on carrots. On the contrary, they have an insatiable appetite for a variety of vegetables, flowers, and even young trees.

If you let them, rabbits can quickly turn your well-tended garden into a buffet, devouring tender shoots, leafy greens, and blooming flowers. So, how can you prevent this damage? You can deter rabbits naturally using humane, effective ways.

This piece tackles the different ways to naturally deter rabbits from your garden for a rabbit-free thriving garden.

9 Ways To Deter Rabbits From Garden Naturally

 Ways To Deter Rabbits From Your Garden Naturally

1.  Erect Physical Barriers

A physical barrier keeps rabbits from accessing your garden and plants. This approach suits you if you want an effective, long-term, reliable solution against a rabbit invasion.

a) Install A Rabbit Fence

A picket fence won’t keep rabbits out of your garden. Instead, you need a fence made of strong material with small openings like chicken wire and sturdy posts to keep it tight and in place. Ensure the fence is 2 feet high or more and bury it 6-12 inches underground to stop rabbits from digging underneath.

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b) Row Covers

Protect individual plants, especially young ones, from rabbits using row covers. For instance, you can lay breathable, lightweight fabrics directly on the plants to ensure they receive light, air, and water while protecting them from rabbits and other pests.

Alternatively, create a tunnel over your plants using hoops or supports. This option prevents the cover from touching the plants, thus providing more space and protection.

c) Cover Individual Plants

If there are specific plants in your garden that rabbits seem to favor, construct cages from robust wire such as chicken wire or hardware cloth to surround these individual plants.

As you encircle the plant, leave room for growth and push the bottom of the cage into the soil to prevent rabbits from burrowing underneath.


Inspect your physical barriers for gaps, damage, or holes frequently and fix them promptly to maintain their integrity and effectiveness.

2. Grow Rabbit-Resistant Plants

Rabbit-Resistant Plants

If you must make do without a physical barrier, think about the type of plants to grow. Pick them wisely to keep rabbits away. Rabbits tend to avoid plants with strong scents, bitter or toxic, and those with tough, leathery, or prickly leaves.

Below is a list of rabbit-resistant plants to consider.

  • Herbs: lavender, rosemary, sage, thyme, and oregano
  • Flowers: marigolds, snapdragons, geraniums, begonias, and foxglove
  • Shrubs and perennials: boxwood, Russian sage, butterfly bush, barberry, and yucca
  • Vegetables and fruits: tomatoes, rhubarb, onions, garlic, and peppers

Plant rabbit-resistant varieties among your more vulnerable plants to create a natural barrier and confuse rabbits. You can also surround your garden or specific plant beds with rabbit-resistant plants to help protect the interior plants.

Furthermore, consider creating a natural barrier that rabbits will avoid with thorny or prickly plants. You can use rose bushes, barberry, holly, raspberry, blackberry, and pyracantha.

3. Apply Natural Repellents

Aside from picking the right plants, natural repellents can help deter rabbits. You can use smell-based or taste-based repellents.

Smell-Based Repellents

Keep rabbits away from your garden using substances that emit an odor that these mammals find unappealing. Options include:

i) Garlic Spray

Garlic’s strong smell repels rabbits. Therefore, blend several garlic cloves with some water and leave the mixture overnight. After that, strain the mixture, pour it into a spray bottle, and spray this solution on and around your plants.

Make this remedy more potent by mixing garlic with mint and egg.

ii) Onion Spray

Similar to garlic spray, blend onions with water, strain after leaving the mixture overnight, and spray around your garden.

iii) Blood Meal

Sprinkle blood meal around your plants to repel rabbits through its strong smell, which is reminiscent of predators. The odor of blood meal can trigger rabbits’ instinct to avoid areas where predators might be present, keeping them out of your garden.

Beyond mimicking predators, blood meal’s strong and unpleasant smell can be off-putting to rabbits, making them less likely to stay in your garden or eat plants treated with it.

iv) Predator Urine

Deter rabbits from your garden by making them think a predator lurks around. Buy predator urine, such as fox or coyote urine, from garden stores and spray it around your garden’s predator.

v) Human Hair

Rabbits detest human hair scent. It can scare them into staying away if they can smell it in your garden. Collect hair from hairbrushes or salons and spread it around your garden.

vi) Citrus Spray

Mix lemon or orange juice and water (use equal proportions) and spritz your plants with the solution. This remedy works on rabbits as well as whiteflies, slugs, ants, and aphids.

vii) Irish Spring Soap

 Ways To Deter Rabbits From Your Garden Naturally

This soap has long been used to deter deer from flowering bushes and shrubs because these animals find the perfumy scent unpleasant. Besides keeping deer away, Irish spring soap also deters rabbits. Sprinkle Irish spring soap shavings around your garden.

Taste-Based Repellents

Smell isn’t the only thing that can repel rabbits. The taste of some substances is also unpleasant to them.

a) Hot Pepper Spray

This spicy spray works wonders in deterring rabbits from a garden. Mix a few tablespoons of hot pepper flakes or hot sauce with a gallon of water and add a few drops of dish soap. After that, spray this mixture on your plants.

b) Bitter Herb Spray

Steep bitter herbs like rue or wormwood in boiling water, strain after it cools, and spray your plants.

4. Get A Dog

How To Get Rid Of Rabbits Humanely

If possible, get a dog and let them spend time in the garden often. Their presence, sounds, and sight deter rabbits. Dog breeds best suited to repel rabbits include terriers, hounds, and shepherds.

Train your dog properly to help keep rabbits away. For instance, familiarize your dog with the scent of rabbits and encourage them to alert you when they detect it. Moreover, train them to understand which areas of your garden are off-limits and which areas they can patrol.

5. Make Noise

Rabbits have an acute sense of hearing and are constantly paying attention to hear a predator approaching before it’s too late. Due to this, noise will have them running away from your garden.

Hang wind chimes in your garden, and the sounds they make in the breeze can create a constant noise that rabbits may find unsettling. Alternatively, string together some tin cans and hang them close to your garden. You can also set up a small radio or portable speaker in your garden and play music or talk radio.

Furthermore, you can use motion-activated noise makers or ultrasonic devices that emit high-frequency sounds when triggered by movement.

6. Motion-Activated Sprinklers

A sudden burst of water can startle rabbits and encourage them to leave, so install motion-activated sprinklers that turn on when rabbits enter your garden.

7. Employ The Help of Snakes

How to get rid of rabbits humanely naturally

Rabbits naturally fear snakes because they are formidable predators. Therefore, seeing a snake can trigger this fear response, encouraging rabbits to avoid the area. You don’t need to share your garden with snakes to keep rabbits out, though. Instead, use snake decoys.

Buy snake decoys that closely resemble local snake species and position them in areas where rabbits are likely to enter your garden. Focus on paths or open spaces where rabbits may feel exposed and vulnerable.

8. Position reflective objects Around Your Garden

It turns out that rabbits are scared of their reflection, so you can use this weakness against them to keep them off your garden. Try the old-time strategy of placing big, clear glass jars with water around your garden. These mammals can get startled if they spot their reflection or the water reflects the sun.

You can also hang CDs, DVDs, aluminum foil strips, or reflective tape from tree branches, stakes, or garden structures to create movements and reflections that can frighten them away. Hang the reflective objects at varying heights to cover different levels of your garden and create more movement.

In addition, ensure these objects can move freely in the wind to maximize the flashing light effect.

9. Remove Hiding Places

Rabbits will find your garden an ideal place if they can find places to hide from predators. Removing potential shelters will make your garden less inviting to rabbits. To do so,

  • Regularly trim the lower branches of shrubs and bushes and clear out any dense underbrush and tall grass around your garden.
  • Get rid of any piles of leaves, wood, or garden debris. Also, keep your garden clean and tidy by regularly removing fallen branches, leaves, and other debris.
  • Grow your plants in raised garden beds and clear the edges of overhanging plants and debris. Growing plants that rabbits find enticing in elevated positions can keep them out of sight and reach of rabbits.
  • Keep your garden sheds, garages, and storage areas tidy and clutter-free.
Summary Remarks

Give the above simple, chemical-free, inexpensive, and practical approaches a try to force rabbits to stay out of your garden. Since every garden is unique, you may need to experiment with a few different strategies to find the most effective solution for your specific situation. If feasible, you can embrace these cute mammals by creating a spot for them away from your garden.

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