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Gardening & Landscaping in the Low Desert

Plants Less Attractive to Rabbits in the Low Desert

Vine Rule

A commonly asked question by homeowners in Arizona is. "What can I plant that rabbits won't eat?". There are many people who will tell you that rabbits eat any plant if they get hungry or thirsty enough. This answer isn't very helpful to anyone trying to put in attractive landscape plants or grow a vegetable garden. So let's categorize some plants as "Favorite Food" and "Usually Won't Eat."

Favorite Foods:

    beans (Fabaceae spp.)
    young fruit tree bark

Usually Won't Eat:

    agaves (Agave spp.)
    aloes (Aloe spp.)
    Arizona yellow bells (Tecoma stans)
    asters (Aster spp.)
    autumn sage (Salvia greggii)
    black dalea (Dalea frutescens)
    blanket flower (Gaillardia grandiflora)
    brittlebush (Encelia farinosa)
    California fuchsia, a.k.a. hummingbird flower (Zauschneria spp.)
    chuparosa (Justicia californica)
    creosote (Larrea tridentata)
    desert marigold (Baileya multiradiata)
    desert milkweed (Asclepias subulata)
    desert spoon, a.k.a. sotol (Dasylirion wheeleri)
    dicliptera (Dicliptera resupinata)
    emu bush (Eremophila spp.)
    fairy duster (Calliandra californica (Baja) and Calliandra eriophylla)
    feathery cassia (Cassia artemisioides)
    gazania (Gazania spp.)
    golden fleece (Dyssodia tenuiloba)
    hesperaloe (Hesperaloe spp.)
    hummingbird bush (Justicia ovata)
    Indian mallow (Abutilon palmerii)
    Justicia spicigera a.k.a. Anisacanthus thurberi
    little-leaf cordia (Cordia parvifolia)
    Mexican bird of paradise (Caesalpinia mexicana)
    Mexican oregano (Lippia graveolens)
    Penstemon eatoni, Penstemon superbus and Penstemon parryi (may try flowers, not plant)
    plumbago (Plumbago auriculata)
    prairie zinnia (Zinnia grandiflora)
    queen's wreath (Antigonon leptopus)
    rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
    Ruellia peninsularis
    Salvia clevelandii
    Texas mescal bean a.k.a. Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora)
    Texas rangera.k.a. Texas sage (Leucophyllum frutescens)
    trailing indigo bush (Dalea greggii)
    verbena (Verbena spp.)
    yuccas (Yucca spp.)

Managing rabbits in a low desert garden.

NOTE: This information taken from an article originally published in The Horticulture Communicator, Spring 1996.

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Plants Less Attractive to Rabbits in the Low Desert University of Arizona Logo

visitors since March 7, 1999 , Last Updated March 11, 1999
© 1998 The University of Arizona, College of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension, in Maricopa County
Author: Danny Schnell, Master Gardener, Maricopa County Cooperative Extension
Comments to Lucy Bradley, 4341 E. Broadway Road, Phoenix, AZ 85040, (602) 470-8086 ext. 323