You have dreams of a garden full of vibrant and interesting bulbs that creates a buffet for your eyes. Instead, it creates an all-you-can-eat meal for rabbits that munch on emerging buds, colorful flowers, and lush foliage. Thankfully, there are some rabbit-resistant bulbs that these critters tend to avoid because of their unappetizing taste.
Which Bulbs do Rabbits Avoid?
To keep your garden nibble-free, plant strictly bulbs that aren’t so tasty to rabbit visitors or deter the animals from rabbit-magnets like tulips by interplanting unappealing bulbs. Here are some of our top rabbit-resistant bulbs. You can find all of the below items in our Fall-Planted Catalogue, all available now for pre-order!
Alliums, or ornamental onions, have pom-pom-shaped clusters of tiny florets available in shades of purple, pink, blue, and yellow. If you want more height in your garden, Alliums will do the trick — while some varieties grow only a few inches tall, others can grow up to three feet tall. Though rabbits will stay away from Alliums, pollinators love them!
Anemone bulbs produce fern-like foliage and daisy-like flowers available in blue, purple, white, red, or pink. Use in rock gardens or as “shoes and socks” plants that cover stems of taller plants behind them.
- Daffodils, also known as Narcissus, are a bulb garden classic — they are easy to grow, don't attract pests, make wonderful companion plants, and add cheery color. Daffodils can naturalize if given lots of sun, water, and nutrients, coming back year after year to provide early spring color.
- Fritillaria is a group of plants, usually with bell-shaped flowers that come in all sizes, colors, and heights. A couple of standouts are Fritillaria meleagris, sometimes called Checkered Lily because of the checkerboard-pattern that stands out on some, and Fritillaria imperialis, or Crown Imperial, which has tufts of leaves on top of the bell-shaped flowers.
- Hyacinthoides, sometimes called Bluebells or Wood Hyacinths, are highly adaptable — while they are very shade tolerant, they also perform well in full sun. The large blooms available in shades of lavender make exceptional additions to cut bouquets.
Muscari, or Grape Hyacinths, have spikes with long-lasting blooms in white and shades of blue. Not only do the flowers kind of look like grapes, but they also smell like them! They make great companions for tulips and daffodils and can be placed to cover taller stems behind them.
Scillas have star-shaped flowers available in pretty pastels that bloom in early spring. Flowers grow along tall spikes on some varieties and soft-ball-size spheres on others. This is one of the most shade-tolerant bulbs.
- Galanthus, also known as Snowdrops, have white, nodding flowers that are slightly fragrant. Plant them near the edge of a path or somewhere visible from a window since they flower early in the spring. Since they go dormant in the summer, make sure you remember where you planted the snowdrops, so you don't accidentally dig them up.
Leucojum, or Snowflakes, have beautiful white bells and long, narrow leaves, resembling a giant Lily of the Valley. Some varieties bloom in early spring while others do so later in the summer. They look best when planted in drifts.
- Eranthis, also known as Winter Aconite or Buttercup, is one of the first bloomers in spring, sometimes adding color even before the snow fully melts. The yellow, cup-shaped flowers grow on stalks about three to four inches tall.
Managing pests can be tricky, but making your yard less appealing before they show up is effective. Though there is no guarantee rabbits won’t take a nibble here and there — we get it, you have to try everything once! — by planting these pest-resistant bulbs, you will have less of an eyesore in your landscape later.
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