Rabbits can be a well welcomed sight in a yard, with their cute little puffball tails and long ears. But not when that yard has a garden. Rabbits are known to eat multiple types of plants commonly found in gardens. But do rabbits eat hostas?
Rabbits love to eat Hosta plants, especially young rabbits. They can cause horrific devastation to young and mature plants alike. But there are ways to deter rabbits from eating hostas.
Continue on reading to learn how to protect your beautiful perennial plants from rabbits. We’ll cover everything from how to tell if a rabbit is in fact attacking your garden to whether or not your hosta will spring back to life after the encounter.
What Does a Rabbit-Damaged Hosta Look Like?
Damage caused by a rabbit can vary depending on how long that rabbit has been given the chance to feast. But even rabbits can do alot of damage in a short amount of time.
Telltale signs of a rabbit attack when dealing with a hosta include:
- Ripped apart leaves
- Broken stems
- A plant completely eaten down to the soil
- Rabbit droppings on the ground around the injured plant
Keep reading to learn some tricks and tips about deterring rabbits from making a meal out of your garden and causing permanent damage to your hostas.
How Do You Keep Rabbits Away from Hostas?
We know that rabbits find hostas to be a delicious snack and we know what it looks like when a hosta is attacked by a rabbit but how does one solve the problem of a hungry rabbit? Continuing reading for six fantastic ways to protect your garden from a rabbit as soon as possible.
There’s many options in the form of physical barriers.
- Mesh fencing
- Plant cages
- Electric fencing
Now, let’s see some scent and taste deterrents you can use to keep the rabbits at bay.
Scent and Taste Deterrents
Two types of humane scent and taste deterrents exist.
Let’s go over each one below:
- Bird-X Nature’s Defense Repellent
- Nature’s Mace Deer and Rabbit Repellent
- Plantskydd Organic Granular Animal Repellent
- Enviro Pro Rabbit Scram Granular Repellent
- Milk and eggs
- Garlic and peppers
- Rotten eggs
Now, let’s see some electronic repellent agents.
Electronic Repellent Agents
Two main types of electronic repellent agents exist.
- Motion activated sprinklers
Be careful of the latter. While both scare rabbits away, ultrasonics can be dangerous to any dogs or cats in the household.
Dogs and cats are both fantastic animals to have around to scare rabbits away. A prowling outdoor cat or a loud barking dog both leave behind scents that rabbits tend to stay away from and if that’s if their sheer presence doesn’t scare the rabbits away first.
Fake owls and fake snakes are great ways to scare rabbits off of the property without having to keep live animals. They are natural predators to rabbits and so a rabbit is pre-programmed to stay as far away from these two as they possibly can. Personally, I recommend the motion activated owls that make noises, they always do the trick!
Other Plants That Rabbits Do Not Like
Be it taste or smell, plants are not only sure to keep your garden rabbit free but are also beautiful additions to any garden.
These are all wonderful additions to a garden to help in scaring rabbits away from those beautiful hostas:
- Artemisia (wormwood)
We’ve learned some great tricks and tips about how to keep hungry little rabbits off your property and away from your hostas and the rest of your garden. But what happens after the damage has been done? Read below to find out.
Are Hostas Rabbits Resistant?
While being known as strong, easy to care for plants that are actually quite hardy and resilient, even hosta’s have natural enemies they can fall prey to.
Hostas are not rabbit resilient. The younger the plant is, the more vulnerable the plant is to being completely destroyed by a hungry rabbit. Rabbits typically go after new sprouts, and are known to eat a plant down to its very roots in no time at all.
Now that we know that a rabbit can make a meal of a hosta, what are the signs that your own garden is under attack?
Will Hostas Come Back After Rabbits Eat Them?
Hostas are perennial plants, meaning that they return year after year with spring and can actually survive longer than the person who planted them originally. But what happens when a rabbit attacks them? Let’s find out!
If a hosta sustains minor damage like chewed leaves or broken branches, then the plant can in fact recover and grow back the next year. But on some occasions, if time permits or the rabbit is constantly attacking the same plant then the plant will die completely and may not return next season.
Once rabbits have damaged your hosta do everything possible to protect it from attacking again. Then you should take proper care of it for the rest of the current season.
Provide it with full shade first. You can do this by using a shading net. This will make the regrowth conditions more favorable.
The second is to constantly monitor the moisture content of the soil. As soon as the soil dries out by a little more than an inch, water the hosta. Enough water will help the hosta to regenerate quickly.
And lastly, water the hosta with liquid fertilizer after the rabbits have damaged it. This can cause new leaves to grow and there is a chance that the hosta will greatly recover in the current year.
Rabbits do eat hostas and can cause quite a bit of damage from tattered leaves to broken stems the plant and therefore forcing the gardener to start all over again and replant the barren space with fresh hostas.
But luckily the six main solutions we went over in this article exist to protect current survivors and future generations of the plant from those hungry rabbits. With these defenses set up, you’re sure to have a rabbit free garden again in no time so your hostas can thrive.