Our Top Picks for Rabbit Resistant Perennials

Sarah Greenwood - Global Product Development Manager
Wednesday, May 4, 2022

It's that time of year when Spring has been settling in across the Northern Hemisphere, waking the perennials up from their winter slumber. The leafing out of deciduous trees, coupled with the emergence of perennials, is a breath of fresh air after the doldrums of the winter months. I'ts an event I eagerly await each year.

However, the hungry animals, like rabbits, have also been eagerly awaiting the spring emergence to satisfy their hunger with the more delectable tender-leaved plants. So, if your yard is frequented by these cute little garden thieves, you might find yourself wondering what plants can coexist with these creatures so that you can enjoy your plants in all their nibble-free glory.

When we talk about rabbit resistant plants, it’s worth noting that these are plants that are known to be less favorable to rabbits. However, if they are hungry enough, the rabbits are bound to branch out—meaning there are not really any plants that are completely rabbit proof. With that caveat in mind, here are a few of our favorite rabbit resistant perennials to try in your garden.

Achillea is care-free plant that is popular with pollinators, but its aromatic leaves tend to make rabbits steer clear. Try the Milly Rock series for a nice front of the border plant, or the New Vintage series for a striking middle of the border plant. Both series are covered in colorful flat flower clusters in a range of colors.

Delphinium Red Lark
Delphiniums are generally left alone by rabbits, quite possibly due to the thick leathery leaves. Whatever the reason, we’re glad they are generally passed by because the flower show is not to be missed. Red Lark brings a stunning new coral red color to the category and is sure to be a garden favorite!

Digitalis Arctic Fox Rose
The beauty of this plant can be enjoyed nibble-free thanks to some chemicals found throughout the plant that can be toxic to animals if eaten. Arctic Fox Rose boasts large flower spikes in a stunning peachy rose color that attract pollinators, particularly bumble bees. Arctic Fox Rose will add romance and structure to any space and is a must have for cottage gardens.

Kniphofia Glowstick
Rabbits generally steer clear of Kniphofia, making it a great choice for late season color in your rabbit resistant garden. Glowstick boast bright yellow flowers that attract hummingbirds and pollinators with foliage reminiscent of an ornamental grass. Glowstick continues to send up flowers from late summer to frost for a long color window.

While we enjoy lavenders for their delightful fragrance, its this same pungent aroma that generally deters rabbits from munching on these plants. SuperBlue is an excellent English lavender variety with a compact habit and nice rebloom from a trim, while Primavera is a large-flagged Spanish lavender that doesn’t need chill to flower and doesn’t melt out in the heat and humidity of summer.

Getting its fragrant foliage from the mint family it belongs to, Nepeta is a great choice for a rabbit resistant perennial. For a traditional Nepeta look, try Junior Walker for a full-sized flower show on a compact plant or amp up your garden presence with Whispurr Pink or Whispurr Blue for a full size Nepeta with a truly impressive flower show! Alternatively, check out Prelude Blue for a landscape powerhouse with more tropical looking foliage and stunning blue flowers.

Salvia is another member of the mint family, whose strong scent is a deterrent for rabbits. Try Blue By You for an early bloomer with a truly prolific flower show. It also has an excellent habit that holds together throughout the season. If you are after an excellent pink flower show, try Rose Marvel whose super-sized blooms are sure to impress.

Article originally appeared on DarwinPerennials.com. See website for complete article licensing information.