What Flower to Plant That Rabbits Don’e Like

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Find out what flowers to plant in your garden that rabbits will not eat.

Back in early March, I bought two flats of purple Verbena and planted them in the flower bed in front of my house. Since then, there has been plenty of rain as well as perfect sunny days.

Purple verbena planted in flower bed.

This mix of water and sunshine has made the Verbena flourish into nice size mounds quickly. I spaced the plants apart from each other knowing they will fill in the bed over time, but they are doing it at a much faster rate than I expected. :-)

This flower bed has held a few different types and colors of flowers since we moved into the house 4.5 years ago.

I love pink flowers and pink Verbena, but found it is a total waste of money to buy, plant and take care of since the rabbits and cute little bunnies that live in my neighborhood love pink Verbena.

pink Verbena in flower pot

Chomp… chomp… they would eat every pink flower head in my front garden. Even the smallest bunny – cute as they can be would somehow be able to jump up into the pink Verbena I had planted in pots on my deck and nibble down every flower. :-(

I planted pink Vinca in the front bed and deck planters one summer. It did very well, but I had to water it daily for it to thrive. Sometimes two times a day when the summer heat was intense and above 95. (Practically every day from July to early September).

Planting Pink Vinca

Vinca also is an annual, so I had to buy it and plant it each year. Too much time and money spent when I am not a passionate gardener. I like pretty flower beds around my house, but only when they need little maintenance.

Last summer I noticed that my next door neighbor, Diane… yes, two Diane’s living next to each other. :-)

I noticed that she had big beautiful mounds of purple Verbena in her flower bed in front of her house. Every flower head intact, while my pink Verbena flower heads were munched down to the stems.

Mr McGregor chasing Peter Rabbit out of his garden
From The Tales of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

I felt like Mr McGregor shooing out Peter Rabbit from the pink Verbena in the flower bed.

I feel that the rabbits are in their natural habitat and I don’t like being mean to them, especially the bunnies. :-) I even tried stinky spray to keep them away, but nothing really worked.

Purple Verbena planted in flower bed.

So this year I gave up on annuals and the color pink and planted purple Verbena that will come back every year.

Flower bed in front of my house in the early evening.

I am more than thrilled at the growth rate and as soon as I can get out to the local garden center I will buy some fresh pine straw to mulch around the mounds.

Flowers That Rabbits Don’t Eat

  • Marigolds
  • Geraniums
  • Vinca
  • Begonias
  • Ageratum
  • Sweet Alyssum
  • Strawflower

 Rabbit Resistant Perennials

  • Purple Verbena :-)
  • Salvia
  • Yarrow
  • Lavender
  • Catnip
  • Lantana – in warmer climates
Mums planted in barrel style planter on deck.

Now that I can be outdoors more and the garden centers in my area are open, I have to decide what flower to plant in two empty barrel-style planters on my deck. I have 8 planters total. I tried Lantana last year, but it didn’t come back. :-(

I would like to plant something that will come back every year like the Mums and Wandering Jew (Purple Heart) that the previous owner of the house had in the planters when we moved into the house. They are still coming back every year in 6 of the planters.

Wandering Jew planted in planter

I loved the pink Vinca, but it needs too much watering to thrive all summer.

What do you plant? What color flowers do you like?

As you can see from my choices, I like pink and purple. :-)

Flowers that rabbits don't like so they will leave your flower garden alone.

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  1. Lavenders would look really nice with your verbenas, and the gray-green color looks very cool in the hot weather. They should grow well there, unless you have very heavy clay soils, in which case you may need to amend with lots of sand (and maybe some humus).


  2. Diane, I’m really surprised about the Vinca (periwinkles). That’s what we plant in Texas for summer color. Very drought tolerant and blooms til first freeze. Glad you found what works. P.S. Don’t let the Wandering Jew escape the pot or you will never get rid of it. Very invasive.

  3. Don’t give up on the Lantana! I’ve had a couple years where it hasn’t come back, but for the most part it has. Try putting a little extra mulch around it before it starts getting cold. This is the 4th or 5th year mine has come back here in Northwest Georgia. Thankfully, it loves the heat so I rarely have to water it at all in the summer.

  4. Miss Huff Lantana is a perennial in your zone and should most definitely come back for you every year. I planted it but didn’t like where it was so the next year I moved it. It died…it doesn’t like to be moved. If you get some make sure you plant it where you want it to stay. Without running drip irrigation to your barrel planters there is no way not to hand water them in the summer at least once a day and often more often with it really heats up. How are your hydrangeas doing in the front bed?