Do Rabbits Eat Hollyhocks?

davemichigan(zone 6a (SE Michigan))June 19, 2009

Saw three rabbits running around in my front yard. There must be a flock nearby. Saw one hiding in the shrub near my small hollyhock which I started from seed. It WAS about 8 inches tall with 5 or 6 healthy leaves.

And today all the leaves are gone!

It is a matter of one day, and there are not small leaves like seedlings' leaves, so it is not slugs.

grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

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pam_whitbyon(6 Niagara)

They've never touched mine, but I figured it was just because I didn't like them much, lol. They've eaten all the new buds and stems from my peach bell flower, sneezeweed, coreopsis rosacea, and 3 potentillas. Yeah, it's infuriating.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 10:05PM
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remy_gw

Yes they do eat them. I hate rabbits! lol,
Remy

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 10:32PM
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davemichigan(zone 6a (SE Michigan))

I hate it.

So what can I do? If I grow my hollyhocks on a container in a safer place and transplant them when they became taller/stronger, will the rabbits still come and eat them?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 4:48PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

When I saw this post I laughed!
Several years ago, I bought a zebrina hollyhock for 7 dollars and came home and planted it amongst other perennials and shrubs. Watered it well and went inside for the evening.

The next day, I went out to look at my pretty new thing, but couldn't find it. Did I really plant it where I was looking?
Yep. There was a flat stubby area ground level. The whole 18" plant was gone. Some little rabbit or two had a nice vegan dinner. Didn't touch anything else.
So much for having two terrier dogs!And we still have lots of rabbits.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 5:27PM
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yardenman(z7 MD)

Yes, rabbits love hollyhocks... Sadly.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 8:43AM
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austinnhanasmom(5 CO)

I am having the same problem - with rabbits, birds, squirrels...I guess the negative aspect of wonderful gardens...

I went to HD and bought a rodent repellant, pellets. In small print it said it was useful for rabbits. They had a few options (spray as well) and I bought the cheapest; just to see if it would work. The repellant did have some effect as it seemed a few more green was left the next morning. I think it takes some time for the pellets to become smelly? I also read that blood meal repels rabbits as well. I also sprinkled that on the plants and the combo seems to be effective.

My only issue with this is the blood meal has to be reapplied after a rain. This can get expensive.

Perhaps a concentrated spray would be more cost effective, as these critters are relentless/hungry:))

The rabbits have left my hollyhocks alone since the pellet application but then they search out something that isn't protected!!

Sat., I planted sunflowers, tiny spring sown sprouts, and today there are only a few remaining. Never made the time to protect them from critters...UGH.

I also had/have vole problems but have found the only effective "deterrent" is an expensive, professional application of poison.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 10:26AM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

I have had success repelling rabbits with Liquid Fence. It does not have to be applied after every rain but does have to be sprayed again as the plant adds new unprotected growth. Once the hollyhocks are larger I no longer spray as rabbits don't eat the larger leaves and stems. I used to put a little chicken wire fence around them though I no longer do so as it is not too attractive.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 3:14AM
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carrie630(z7bNC)

One day I also found one of my malva zebrinas eaten down - I knew it was a rabbit/s because we have tons of them.

That night, I grated Ivory Soap along the bottom leaves and there was one bite and no more after that. Trouble is, I got carried away with the soap and grated my tall zinnias, which I grew from seed, and the leaves got a bit ugly where the soap was.

Which is worse, No plant or a plant with a bit uglier leaves than usual..?? I chose the ugly leaves, at least the flowers are still beautiful to cut for vases.

Carrie

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 4:05PM
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davemichigan(zone 6a (SE Michigan))

That single hollyhock that I have is coming back. Just about 3 days it has grown back 2 little leaves. I am going to try one or more of the suggestions above. Thank you all very much!

(Unfortunately there are squirrels around too, so I probably shouldn't have blamed it 100% on the rabbits.)

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 8:08PM
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chrsvic(z6 OH)

I think the question is, what is it that rabbits won't eat? They apparently like tender, sweet stuff - i planted salvias and they kept the flowers munched off. The flowers rebounded, and are thicker and better, the rabbits did the pinching for me.

I tried growing gaillardias years ago, every time i planted them they got mowed down.

Nearly all the shrubs and trees i started here i put a chicken wire fence around. Just no way to get them established otherwise!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 10:30PM
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bcoole

I've put little cylinders of chicken wire around my roses and young hollyhocks and delphiniums (delphinia?) and it's helped. I've sprinkled dried fox urine around them and planted marigolds (which rabbits supposedly avoid) around the roses.

BUT what I would really like to know is, WHY do those @#$%^&*! rabbits bite off flower heads and then leave them lying in the dirt??? I thought animals didn't waste food and didn't do anything just to be destructive. Rabbit stew is sounding pretty good.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 10:59AM
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perennialfan273(zone 5)

Plant some yarrow and/or artemisia in your perennial planting. My neighbor has some yarrow and artemisia in her yard and she doesn't have rabbit problems. Hint, plants that have very strong smells (like herbs) rabbits don't like to nibble on. Though, I wouldn't recommend planting mints or chives in your garden, as they are incredibly invasive.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 5:47PM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

In my experience rabbits eat anything their nose bumps into....
I have found bunny nests in a mint patch...I have seen them eat a 3 foot rose cane....just nibble it down like spaghetti.
Blood meal works best for me....not only does it keep the bunnies away but it's a good source of an organic fertilizer.
A family of owls or hawks will do wonders for the rabbit population!!
Linda C

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 6:53PM
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capecodder(z6 MA)

I've been gardening for 13 years and this is my first year with a rabbit problem. They are driving me nuts. They've left my zebrina totally alone, but ate the hollyhock right next to it. Have eaten two clematises right to the ground, all my morning glories, delphiniums, phlox, roses, all my annual poppies,asters, scabiosa, and all my sunflowers. I have sprinkled cayenne pepper on a lot of plants (per directions from a friend who owns a nursery) and that has helped. Also bought a liquid fence type thing, but it has rained here every day for about 2 weeks so I haven't used it yet. My chocolate lab loves to chase them, but I worry about him chasing them into the street, and he also wrecked a cranesbill by chasing the rabbit right through it. Oh well.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 9:21PM
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