Picture it: You wake up one morning to tend to your garden, only to find your beautiful morning glories ravaged by wild animals. What could be a more painful sight, after all the weeks and months spent caring for your precious plants?
Rabbits are among the many destructive animals that can invade your garden. They can devour your hard-earned flowers and other vegetable crops without mercy, especially during their breeding season. If you notice tufts of fur, signs of digging, and chew marks on your plants’ leaves and flowers, then these fluffy foes are quite likely the culprits.
So, do rabbits eat morning glories? Yes – in fact, they find morning glories a particularly tasty snack.
Let us discuss more about these nuisances and what you can do to stop them!
Why rabbits are garden pests
For many people, rabbits are deceptively adorable and fluffy little creatures. Chances are, at some point, you have probably tried to befriend one of them. If you are a gardener, however, these cotton-tailed cuties are a downright nuisance.
Rabbits are known to have a voracious appetite for almost any plant within their reach. They will chomp on vegetable crops and ornamental plants, causing extensive damage to both agricultural land and landscapes. For most gardeners, seeing a bunny hopping through the garden, enjoying an eat-all-you-can buffet of high-value plants, can be the most traumatic experience imaginable.
And here is another bit of bad news – rabbits are enthusiastic breeders, too! In the wild, these furry pests can grow rapidly in number. In fact, a single female rabbit can produce up to five litters each year. If you have feral rabbits nesting around your neighborhood, chances are they will run riot over your garden plants sooner or later.
So, how do you know if the damage in your garden is caused by rabbits? If you see a fluffy tail bouncing around your property, it is a sure sign that your plants have been assaulted by these unwelcome visitors.
These tell-tale signs should also help you confirm a rabbit infestation:
- Chew marks that leave a clean-cut clipping on the leaves and stems.
- A clump of fur caught under your garden fence or gate.
- Small holes dug near your garden or flower beds.
- Rabbit droppings around your plants.
Do rabbits eat morning glories?
Yes, rabbits love eating morning glories!
If you are an avid gardener, you are probably among those fascinated by the gorgeous blooms of morning glories. These annual vines are adorned with fragrant, trumpet-shaped flowers that can be magenta, pink, white, or purple-blue. If you are lucky enough to have morning glories in your garden, you will likely have butterflies and hummingbirds as regular visitors, too.
Unfortunately, however, not all of your garden guests are beneficial to your plants. Some pests and animals visit your backyard to enjoy a free buffet of flowers and fresh vegetation – and rabbits are one of them!
Our long-eared foes love a wide variety of herbaceous plants. Although they favor seedlings or tender young plants, these critters will not hesitate to wolf down any greens they can find, especially if their food sources are limited. So, aside from your morning glories, these pests will quite possibly cause extensive damage to your entire garden, too.
Thus, in a nutshell, rabbits are considered bothersome and a big threat not just to our morning glories, but to all our garden plants. Keep in mind that their damage can occur at any time of year, but they are most rampant during their breeding season.
How do I stop rabbits from eating my morning glories?
If your gardening efforts have been hampered by rabbit infestation, then you need to take action right away to keep these hungry animals off your morning glories. Follow the tips below to prevent rabbits from setting foot in your garden ever again:
1. Install garden fences
Physical barriers are by far the most effective method of keeping hungry rabbits out of your backyard. We highly recommend using chicken wire fencing with a mesh size of about one inch or smaller. Make sure your barrier is about two feet tall and supported with sturdy materials such as metal posts or wooden stakes.
Keep in mind that rabbits are also excellent diggers, so your fence should be buried at least six inches below the ground to keep them from crawling underneath the barrier. You can also use U-shaped landscape pins to secure your fence to the ground.
2. Use motion-activated sprinklers
Motion-activated sprinklers are devices you can use to effectively surprise feral animals like rabbits and send them running. They work by spraying the animals with water automatically whenever motion is detected within their coverage area.
Installing a motion-activated sprinkler is one of the most humane ways to keep rabbits away without using harmful chemicals. If you find this option convenient, then check out sprinklers like Orbit 62100 or products from other reputable brands for reliability and durability.
3. Use natural repellents
The pungent smells of garlic and cayenne pepper are two of the many odors that rabbits strongly dislike. You can try making a homemade spray by mixing one teaspoon of castile liquid soap, two tablespoons of garlic, two tablespoons of cayenne pepper, and about five cups of water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and apply to the leaves of your morning glories.
However, if you have pets roaming around your garden, then caution must be taken before applying this natural deterrent. Cayenne pepper, when ingested in large quantities, can cause irritation and stomach upset in your pets.
4. Trap live rabbits
Trapping rabbits is another safe option to remove these furry visitors from your backyard. You can purchase a rabbit trap from your local garden shop or hardware store, or make your own if you have the time and resources.
To set up the trap, place it near your morning glories or other plants that rabbits like to munch on. Use bait that rabbits find tasty, such as carrots, lettuce, or apple slices. Once the trap is successful, make sure to release the trapped rabbits far away from your area, so they do not cause you trouble again.
5. Welcome natural predators
Areas populated with rabbits can naturally attract wild predators like foxes and hawks. Should you happen to encounter one of these natural rabbit enemies, never shoo them away. These animals do not usually pose a threat to your pets or to other people, and welcoming their presence will likely solve your rabbit infestation.
If you have dogs with strong hunting instincts, then letting them roam around your fenced garden will also help deter the feral rabbits.
Other animals that eat morning glories
Aside from rabbits, your garden can also be threatened by other wild animals like chipmunks, groundhogs, deer, and rats. Wildlife in general can cause a lot of upset if they stray into your garden and damage your valuable plants!
The breeding season is the most problematic, as more hungry animals will be naturally drawn to your precious flowers and greens. Some of them can be very persistent and will not stay away even with deterrents installed. The best thing you can do, then, is to animal-proof your property and make it less attractive to these creatures.
For persistent wildlife infestations, consider getting professional help or contacting animal control in your area to handle the problem.
If your morning glories are repeatedly assaulted by wildlife, especially rabbits, take some deep breaths! A rabbit infestation can be tricky to control, but if you follow the tips mentioned in this article, you will likely succeed in keeping them off your flower beds for good.
Image: istockphoto.com / helga_sm