How to Stop Rabbits from Eating Hostas
Hostas might be more familiar to interested individuals under the name of either giboshi or plantain lilies. They are an entire genus of plants that can trace their origins to Northeast Asia but have since managed to establish themselves in a wide range of regions in a wide range of countries. Generally speaking, people grow hostas because of their foliage. However, these plants can have pleasant-looking flowers during the summer as well, which can be considered something of a bonus. Unfortunately, rabbits can have a very different sort of interest in hostas, so it isn’t uncommon to hear about said animals eating said plants down to the roots.
What Do Rabbits Eat Anyway?
Rabbits are some of the most familiar animals that can be found on the planet. It isn’t 100 percent clear when they were domesticated. However, rabbits have been domesticated for centuries and centuries, serving as sources of food, clothing, and other valuables. On top of that, there are numerous species of wild rabbits, which have served much the same role for human cultures. As such, chances are good that interested individuals already know that rabbits are herbivores. Specifically, rabbits are capable of making use of a wide range of plants as food sources. Often-times, they will graze on grass. Other times, they will eat leaves, tear off bark, dig up roots, and so on and so forth. Not every plant is available in every season, so rabbits need that kind of versatility in order to do well.
Sprinkle Baby Powder
The sense of taste tells animals whether something is good to eat or not. As a result, one of the most common ways to prevent rabbits from eating plants would be sprinkling the plants with something that tastes bad to them. One example would be baby powder, which is made out of talc. Supposedly, rabbits don’t like the taste of baby powder. Thanks to that, hostas that have been sprinkled with baby powder will be protected from their hunger. Be warned that the baby powder won’t last forever. If the hostas have been either rained upon or have had water sprinkled upon them, interested individuals are going to need to sprinkle them with baby powder once more in order to maintain that protection.
Sprinkle Garlic Salt
Garlic has a very strong smell. Even for humans, that smell can be too much to be borne. Rabbits have very keen noses. As a result, it is perhaps unsurprising to learn that the smell of garlic is also said to be capable of keeping them away from hostas. Due to this, if interested individuals are concerned about rabbits eating their hostas, they might want to sprinkle said plants with some garlic salt. Once again, interested individuals can’t expect the garlic salt to last forever. If their hostas get wet for whatever reason, they are going to need to reapply the garlic salt if they want to maintain the latter’s protective effect.
Plant Unpleasant-Smelling Plants
On a related note, there are some plants that are said to be so unpleasant-smelling that they can deter rabbits through their mere presence. Perhaps unsurprisingly, garlic is one of these plants. As a result, if people are looking for a solution that involves a bit of gardening, they can plant garlic as a protective barrier from hungry rabbits. Of course, there are other options as well. To name another example, there is wormwood, which is the name for a number of very hardy herbs and shrubs. Many of these plants have strong smells as well as bitter tastes. Combined, those two things mean that herbivores tend to be less than enthused by the thought of munching on them, thus making them potentially useful for keeping away rabbits as well as other opportunistic herbivores.
Put Down a Prickly Barrier
Generally speaking, people are less than enthused at the idea of making their way through potentially painful and unpleasant obstacles in order to reach something. For proof, look no further than how moats were sometimes filled with stakes, thus making them that much more formidable as defenses. Amusingly, something similar is applicable to rabbits as well. Essentially, there are a number of things that are either prickly or otherwise unpleasant that can be placed around the hostas as a barrier, thus discouraging the rabbits from moving forward in order to graze. For instance, plants have very strong evolutionary incentives to protect their seeds. Thanks to that, there are a number of plants such as the sweetgum that encase their seeds in spiked shells. Those spikes should be more than enough to fend off hungry rabbits. Alternatively, even something as simple as holly branches should suffice because of their prickliness.
Put Up Some Fencing
Speaking of which, there is the option of putting up fencing as well. Chicken wire should suffice, so long as the chicken wire is reinforced enough to stand up to rabbits. Be warned that rabbits are very good at digging their way past such obstacles. Thanks to that, interested individuals should make sure that their chicken wire is installed at least 6 inches beneath ground level, which should help prevent the unwelcome scenario of the rabbits just going under their fencing.
There are other ways to keep rabbits away from vulnerable plants, which interested individuals might want to look into. For example, it is a good idea to remove grassy, overgrown areas on the property, which is important because those are the places where rabbits like to build their nests. Similarly, visual deterrents are sometimes said to be capable of working on rabbits, so interested individuals might want to give them a try to see if they are useful or not. Rubber snakes and owl statues are popular options, but people have also been known to use everything from metal pinwheels to motion sensors to spook rabbits. On top of that, some people have been known to use dogs and cats to deter rabbits. They don’t necessarily have to have their pet sit outside all day. Supposedly, the smell from dog hair and cat hair can be enough to scare rabbits.