One Way to Protect a Small Plant from Rabbits

One Way to Protect a Small Plant from Rabbits

In our newly formed back garden areas I’ve planted several things that are virtually rabbit proof. Things like caryopteris and Russian sage are perfect plantings here since the rabbits just don’t like them. But what do you do if you want to plant something that the rabbits believe is a deliriously delicious and divine delicacy for dinner? You have to find a way to protect it, disguise it, hide it or just not plant it. Usually the plants that are rabbit munchies I hide among the less tasty plants but recently I planted two crape myrtles that I grew from cuttings. They are small plants but have adequate root systems to grow in the garden on their own. Eventually these two plants will form an arc over a passage to what will one day be the back shade garden. While the rabbits may never even see or smell these two plants I’m not going to play a game of chance when it comes to my crape myrtles.

In an attempt to shield the new planted trees I took two nursery pots and cut out the bottoms to form a plastic sheath that will fit gently around the trees. Then I speared dried willow branches into the ground on the insides of the pots to hold the pots in place. The crape myrtles will grow up and through the holes while they remain hidden for now from the rabbits.

Will it work? Hopefully but there is a good chance the rabbits will manage to find them. The only thing I’ve found that keeps rabbits out 100% is a wrap made several feet high (2-3) made from plastic or metal mesh. If I can manage to get the first 3 trunks of the crape myrtle above rabbit height then they are welcome to nibble on the suckers. Then they’ll be doing me a favor!

After 3 days in the ground both Crape Myrtles are untouched!


Dave has written since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 4 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave has a side business growing and selling heirloom vegetables and herb plants through Blue Shed Gardens and works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Yeah for the rabbit guard. I have one in my garden. Grrr! So far not so much damage but I know they can be destructive.

  2. Good luck! I just plant sacrifice plants that the rabbits eat instead.

  3. 3 feet is minimum. I planted a new black-leaed aster a week ago, and the next day it was gone. I've lost 1/2 my asters, large young stems of two chokebery shrubs, and many other perennials. Garlic wax, powder, pepper wax, cow blood, nope. Trying fox urine now. GRRRRRR.

  4. I hope the rabbits leave those Crepe's alone. They grow so fast you shouldn't have to wait to long before they are out of harm's way and are arcing over your entry.

    The only time I have had trouble with rabbits was in Kentucky when I was growing a Black Magic Elephant Ear.



  5. It has to be so frustrating about the Rabbits. Why we don't have that problem I don't know…oh, I am not complaining at all!!

  6. Good tip Dave! I have a few rabbits around but have been fortunate that they haven’t messed with my young plants. Hopefully it will stay that way!

  7. Great idea! I have little chicken wire fences around the things I want to keep the rabbits out of.

  8. Tina,

    What bothers me the most about the rabbits is they nibble on a plant and leave it for dead if they don't like it. They could at least have the decency to finish their plate!


    I'm hoping I can get it far enough along that the rabbits won't bother it! Most of the time I plant rabbit proof plants.


    Three feet is a good standard! I had to cover my grape vines with the mesh to prevent them from chomping down. We actually have foxes in the neighborhood and lots of rabbits so I don't know how effective the urine will be. I hear dogs work well! It's very frustrating. The deer have done more damage than the rabbits here.


    Thank you.


    That's my goal. If I can get them 3-4 feet tall by the end of summer I can remove the guards.


    I don't know but we have way too many! Do you want some?


    I think sometimes if you have enough of what they prefer around like clover they may leave stuff alone. I have plenty of clover around and haven't had as many problems this year. Of course if we hadn't had all this rain there wouldn't be as many food sources around.


    I use the plastic mesh around some things since I don't want my kids around the sharp metal edges but chicken wire works great!

  9. Rabbitts have been a problem in my garden, i had to build a wire fence 2 foot high inside my timber fence to make a lining to stop them coming through.

    This also goes into the ground to stop them tunneling.

  10. I've never had much success keeping rabbits out of my garden, either with fences (I can't seem to make them deep enough), so-called resistant plants, or homemade concoctions. Until I got Defence. It’s a repellent spray and it’s worked wonders for me. It’s certified organic, which is important to me.

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