Yes – rabbits are cuddly and cute, especially you see them happily hopping through the green grass. The story is different, however, if rabbits rummage through the plants in your garden. They can be a threat to the existence of your beloved plants.
Hostas are decorative perennial plants that are typically used in landscaping. They are particularly attractive to rabbits, with evidence showing rabbits eating not just the leaves, but also the stems. If your Hostas at home is young and new, rabbits may even eat them down to the roots.
One thing is sure – Hostas are not food for your rabbits! In their eyes, these plants are tasty treats, but they are not part of their actual diet.
Usually, the damage caused by the rabbits kills the plants. While you can protect the plants from damage and fatality caused by the rabbits, reality dictates that it requires creativity and persistence on your part to do so.
Why Are Rabbits Attracted to Hostas?
Hostas, or Plantain lilies are plants that sprout flowers. They typically grow in specific areas of the world, such as Korea, Russian Far East, China, and Japan. With their huge green leaves that come in various shades, there is no wonder that they become highly attractive to rabbits.
While this plant is edible for humans, but they are not for animals. The reason? The presence of saponins, a component that induces vomiting and diarrhea, among other animals. Surprisingly, this does not affect rabbits, even though they are known for extremely sensitive stomachs.
Preventing Your Rabbits from Eating Hostas
If you love your Hostas as much as you love your rabbits, then you need to protect one from the other. Here are some things that you can do.
- Shake and spread over some garlic salt on older plants. Despite missing some of the leaves on the bigger ones, the odor that the garlic salt produces is enough to repel the rabbits, stopping them from chewing away your hostas. You may apply as needed, especially if the plants are rained on or watered.
- Young hostas, on the other handmaybe sprinkled with baby powder. The powder will coat the leaves and becomes unattractive to the rabbits. If the powder rinses off, it is best to apply baby powder again. This particularly happens after raining, or if you water your plants using a sprinkler.
- Surround your hosta plants with wormwood and garlic plants. These two plants easily drive the invading rabbits right away because of their smell. Rabbits try their best to avoid areas that contain these plants. They can be used to border your yard or garden, and the rabbits will naturally stay away from your hostas.
- Other plants that will also serve as ‘guard’ to your plants are pods of sweet gum. They can form a circle around your seedlings. These pods come in the form of little, round balls that are filled with spikes. In the absence of these pods, you may want to use as alternative evergreen holly branches, as well as other branches with pricks, encircling them on your plants. Rabbits will surely avoid crossing these spiky barriers and give up attacking your plants.
- Rabbit proof fencing is also a classic! Among the best options available are chicken wires, provided that you also prepare a lot of support. This means the need to make sure that there are no holes beneath, as rabbits have the tendency to sneak in.
Other Brilliant Ways
While the tips mentioned are tested ways, there are also other brilliant methods to ensure that these cute hoppers do not enter your garden uninvited and cause permanent danger to it.
· Get a Cat
As a matter of fact, this is one of the oldest ways to control the presence of pets. Way before the techniques above were discovered, not-so-friendly cats were kept as guards for both homes and gardens.
Especially when kept outdoors, cats chase anything out of your garden, including rabbits. They also make sure that they are kept from coming back. The challenge, however, is that you also need to make sure that they do not end up disgracing your garden as well.
· Cat Litter
Speaking of cat, you may have one but would rather keep him/her indoors. This is pretty understandable, especially since most of them love to cuddles and indoor comfort. With this said, placing a litter box outside can prove to be beneficial to your garden.
Used cat litter is obviously smelly, and it helps in repelling rabbits and other creepers. This is a perfect alternative to having your cat wander around. This will also solve the problem of them possibly damaging your plants with their antics.
· Fertilizers – Blood Meal
Just the smell of blood alone is already a warning sign among rabbits and under animals. This type of fertilizer offers double advantages. One, it helps your plant in its growth while repelling rabbits as well.
Note, however, that it is important to read any possible warnings presented on the package, and make sure to follow the instructions accordingly in order to prevent it from potentially harming your plants.
· Decoy Animals
By nature, rabbits do not like predators. To prevent infestation, and rabbits inviting their family members over to your garden, installing fake snakes or other predators will help. Note, however, that these critters can be smart.
As such, some may become used to the actual presence of these decoys. To make it more effective, you may want to change the locations of these decoys from time to time or use them with other methods mentioned here.
This may sound funny to untrained ears, but yes, hair works! Whether it is human, dog, or cat hair, rabbits hate them! All you need to do is sprinkle them all over your garden, amongst the plants and rabbits are automatically and naturally repelled against them.
· Motion Activated Sprinklers
You may want to place your garden sprinklers in areas where your beloved Hostas are. Those with motion detectors will help in repelling any approaching visitors while watering your garden at the same time. The moment sudden movement is detected, the sprinkler sprays off, scaring them off, inhibiting them from coming back.
· Repellents Sold Commercially
As the problems of rabbits visiting gardens with Hostas have become rampant, a number of organic commercial repellents have become readily available. There are some sent at local gardens, as well as DIY stores. They are formulated to repel rabbit presence naturally. Them as well as other uninvited critter guests from your garden.
Rabbits just love nibbling on greens and plants, hostas included. These plants appear like a huge jackpot to hungry bunnies. If you have these plants in your garden, you are basically under at risk for their invasion. Not just will they eat your plants, but they may also nibble your other plants as well. A buffet – that’s how they look at it! With the suggestions mentioned above, however, you can protect your beloved plants. These methods have been tested to be safe and humane, which is why you do not need to worry about the safety and health of rabbits, especially wild visitors.