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Rabbits graze a wide range of plants and can cause sufficient damage to kill young trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. This page provides some choices of plants that are relatively resistant to rabbits. There is no guarantee that any of the plants listed will remain free from damage in all conditions. Recent plantings and soft growth in the spring can be eaten, even if the plants are not susceptible at other times. Gardeners may get some additional ideas by seeing what plants survive rabbit damage in neighbouring gardens.
Dahlias are less troubled by rabbits.
Rabbits tend to be inquisitive feeders and are often attracted to new plantings, so some protective netting is advisable until the plants are established.
Where feasible, rabbit-proof fencing can be installed around the garden to exclude rabbits. Individual woody plants may be fitted with tree guards or spirals (biodegradable tree spirals made from potato starch are available).
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RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.
The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.