A manzanita plant, a rabbit near some rocks, and purple asters.

Humane Ways to Deter Rabbits from Your Desert Garden

Although rabbits are adorable, they can wreak havoc on your garden. Luckily, there are several humane ways to successfully deter rabbits from your desert garden. 

A rabbit looking through a fence at vegetables.Use Physical Barriers

Erecting a fence around your garden can be an effective way to keep rabbits out. Make sure the fence is at least 2 feet tall and bury the bottom several inches into the ground to prevent rabbits from burrowing underneath it.

Plant Rabbit-Resistant Plants

There are certain plants that rabbits are less likely to eat, such as lavender, sage, marigold, and rosemary. Planting these around the perimeter of your garden can help to deter rabbits from entering.

Here are some other annuals, bulbs and perennial plants that are resistant to rabbits and deer:

Agave Aster Begonia Blanket Flowers
Blue Fescue California Poppy Coreopsis Crocus
Dahlia Daylily Euphorbia Ferns
Herbs (except Basil) Lamb's Ear Verbena Yarrow

Here are some shrubs that are resistant to rabbits and deer:

Brittlebush Butterfly Bush Chuparosa Fairy Duster
Jojoba Lantana Lavender Leucophyllum
Littleleaf Cordia Manzanita Sage Turpentine Bush

Click the button below to access a larger, downloadable list of deer and rabbit resistant plants from the University of Arizona that also includes groundcovers, vines and trees.

Download List

Use Repellents

There are several natural repellents that can be used to keep rabbits away, such as garlic, pepper spray, and vinegar. These natural repellents can be sprayed around the perimeter of your garden or directly onto plants to discourage rabbits from eating them.

You can also use coyote urine around the perimeter to deter rabbits.

A rabbit eating clover.Create Distractions

Providing rabbits with an alternative food source can help to keep them away from your garden. Consider planting a small patch of clover or other plants that rabbits enjoy, away from your garden.

Scare Tactics

You can use scare tactics such as motion-activated sprinklers or wind chimes to startle rabbits and discourage them from entering your garden.

Remember, it is important to use humane methods to deter rabbits from your garden. Avoid using traps or poisons, which can cause harm to the animals and may be illegal in some areas.

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