Do Rabbits Eat Impatiens? Exploring Their Feeding Habits

Do Rabbits Eat Impatiens?

Rabbits are known to be voracious eaters and can sometimes be a nuisance in gardens. If you have impatiens growing in your garden, you may be wondering if rabbits will find them appetizing. In this article, we will explore whether rabbits eat impatiens and discuss ways to protect your plants if you have a rabbit problem.

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Do Rabbits Find Impatiens Appealing?

Impatiens, also known as touch-me-nots or busy Lizzies, are colorful and vibrant annual flowers that are commonly used in flower beds, containers, and hanging baskets. They are a popular choice among gardeners due to their ability to thrive in shaded areas and their beautiful blooms.

While rabbits have a diverse diet and can eat a wide range of plants, impatiens are not usually their first choice. These flowers contain certain compounds that rabbits find unappealing. The bitter taste and smell of impatiens are often enough to deter rabbits from munching on them.

How to Protect Impatiens from Rabbits

Although rabbits may not be particularly fond of impatiens, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you want to protect your impatiens from potential rabbit damage, here are some effective methods:

  • Plant rabbit-resistant flowers: Consider incorporating rabbit-resistant flowers, such as marigolds, geraniums, or snapdragons, into your garden. These flowers have a strong smell or taste that rabbits dislike, making them less likely to target your impatiens.
  • Use physical barriers: Installing a fence or barrier around your impatiens can be an effective way to keep rabbits away. Make sure the fence is buried at least six inches into the ground to prevent rabbits from burrowing underneath.
  • Apply repellents: There are various commercial repellents available that are specifically designed to deter rabbits. These repellents often contain ingredients that rabbits find offensive, such as blood meal or garlic. Follow the instructions on the product label for the best results.
  • Try homemade remedies: Some gardeners have had success using homemade rabbit repellents. These can include a mixture of hot pepper sauce and water, or even sprinkling human hair or dog fur around the plants. The strong smell or taste of these remedies can help keep rabbits at bay.

FAQs about Rabbits and Impatiens

1. Can rabbits completely destroy impatiens?

Yes, rabbits can cause significant damage to impatiens if left unchecked. While they may not be their preferred choice, rabbits can still nibble on the leaves and flowers, potentially ruining the aesthetics of your plants.

2. Are there any other plants that rabbits might prefer over impatiens?

Yes, rabbits have a preference for tender, young plants. They may be more attracted to plants such as lettuce, carrots, peas, and beans. However, if these options are not available, they might turn to impatiens as an alternative food source.

3. Will rabbits eat impatiens in all seasons?

Rabbits are more likely to target impatiens during periods when food is scarce, such as winter. In the warmer months when food sources are abundant, they may have less interest in impatiens and instead focus on other available plants.

4. Are there any natural ways to deter rabbits from eating impatiens?

Yes, there are some natural methods you can try. Planting onions, garlic, or herbs like mint or lavender around your impatiens can help repel rabbits due to their strong smells. Additionally, removing tall grass or other vegetation near your impatiens can make your garden less attractive to rabbits.

By following these tips and taking the necessary precautions, you can enjoy your impatiens without worrying about them becoming a rabbit’s meal. Remember to choose rabbit-resistant plants, use physical barriers or repellents, and explore natural deterrents to keep these furry creatures away from your garden.

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