People-Pleasing Flowers ~ Unappetizing to Animals

Stop wasting money on plants that animals find tasty. Easy to grow rabbit- and deer-proof flowers.
  • Easy to grow rabbit and deer-proof flowers
  • Beautiful flowers that animals don't like
  • New garden classes

Not all baby bunnies are cute, especially when they eat a new Euonymous to the ground, or wipe out those pretty pansies and tulips! Jackrabbits are born with a full coat of hair and opened eyes, and only spend one day in the nest before beginning to forage. Cottontails are less precocious, but may spend their entire lives living, and breeding, in one suburban backyard. Rabbits will gravitate toward their favorite flowering plants throughout the growing season: relishing pansies and tulips in the spring, and snacking on impatiens, oakleaf hydrangeas, etc through summer.

Often, you are not the only one in the neighborhood with rabbit issues. Walk the houses near you and see what other gardeners have been planting. If you see that rabbits leave your neighbors' yards intact, they likely will ignore the same plants in your yard. Here is a link to the entire list of rabbit resistant plants. Here are seven popular absolutely bunny-proof plants compiled of the Watters staff's 'Top Choice Awards' for beauty, ease of growth, rabbit repelling plants.

Columbine - plants and flowers may look delicate, but rabbits avoid these hardy perennials. Columbines thrive in the same environments that rabbits often favor for frolicking, including alpine gardens and partially shady woodland gardens. Columbine plants are short-lived perennials, but your plants will self-seed in a non-aggressive way to create a handsome colony each year.

Peony - hybrids are seldom bothered by rabbits, but tree peonies are frequently browsed by rabbits, so choose your specimens carefully if rabbits are a problem in your landscape. If you aren't sure what type of peony is growing in your garden, observe the winter form of the plant: herbaceous peonies die back to the ground, while tree peonies maintain above ground woody stems.

Butterfly Bush – is a woody plant, something rabbits tend to avoid. Butterfly bushes die back to the ground in temperate climates, but quickly send out many new vigorous shoots when the ground warms in the spring. By midsummer, the plants will bear dozens of honey-scented flower panicles that attract all butterfly species in your area. Plant butterfly bushes in full sun in average soil.

Nicotiana – plants include notoriously toxic plants like nightshade, jimsonweed, and belladonna. The foliage also sports irritating hairs which repel rabbits. The plants are very easy to grow from seed, among which are some that self sow. Plant in moist, fertile soil in partial shade.

Snapdragon - plants seem to fit the profile of a rabbit-pleasing plant, but the bitter, yucky taste turns away rabbits. They are deer resistant, too! Snapdragons are tolerant of frost, and are available here at Watters Garden Center through spring and again in fall. Plant snapdragons in full sun and rich soil with good drainage. Although sold alongside annuals, with a protective layer of mulch snapdragons often come back locally.

Vinca – are by-passed in favor for the look-alike impatiens because of vincas' leathery leaves and tough stems. Fortunately, vinca plants are not bothered by the disease problems that plague impatiens. Plant annual vincas in full sun to ensure vigorous plants and abundant blooms.

Russian Sage – plants are noxious to rabbits as the volatile oils contained within the foliage act as natural repellents. In addition, Russian sages' leaves have a fuzzy, tough texture that rabbits find unappealing. Russian sage plants are a go-to choice for any low-maintenance perennial border. Plant them in full sun and average soil, and expect to see wands of bee-friendly blooms from early summer through fall. Russian sages need no deadheading to perform for many years in your landscape.

These are just a few of the rabbit-proof bloomers at the garden center now. Take a look at this Pinterest Board with more rabbit-proof suggestions. Better yet, visit us for a personal tour of the pretty plants these furry little guys will leave alone.

Until next week, I'll be showing off the rabbit-proof bloomers here at Watters Garden Center.

Ken Lain can be found throughout the week at Watters Garden Center, 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd in Prescott, or contacted through his web site at WattersGardenCenter.com or FB.com/WattersGardenCenter .

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Summer 2018 Watters Garden Classes

Watters holds Garden Classes on Saturdays at 9:30 AM in the morning FREE for our gardening friends. Each session will last approximately 1 hour. If you can't attend a class, watch the Livestream on Facebook. Like our Facebook Page to be notified when we go Live.

June 16 – Firewise Landscaping – Beautiful AND Safe

We can have a beautiful landscape while still protecting our homes from wildfires. Learn what “defensible space” is, how to make your landscaping more resistant to fire, and which plants are considered firewise. Some plants are more flammable than others, and some plants can even mitigate fire! By choosing the right ones, we can diminish the possibility of fire, while still having a landscape that enhances our homes.


June 23 – Landscapes that Add Beauty and Value

Did you know that that the right landscaping can increase your home value by more than 10%? Carefully positioned trees can save up to 25% of a typical household's energy for heating and cooling. Ken Lain will take students on a journey that adds personality and value back into the landscape. As the monsoons approach this is an ideal season to change the look-and-feel of your yard. Students learn tree placement, privacy techniques, ground covers, erosion control, inspirational bloomers and more!


June 30 – Totally Tomatoes: Grow the Best!

The first fruits are appearing in the garden! Yes, we will go deep on all things tomato, but the same advice applies to the rest of the garden as well. Students learn which varieties work best for their growing conditions and garden space, bugs to watch for, diseases, companion plants, and garden advice that increases the harvest this year.


July 7 - Attract Birds, Bees & Butterflies

Monarchs, Swallowtails, and bees are in trouble, but we can help! This class goes into all the details of how to help the local natives by providing habitat and nourishment. Because they like so many of the same plants, hummingbirds are simply a bonus to this class. Learn the best local trees, shrubs, flowers, and grasses that naturally bring the best wildlife.


July 14 – Great Grapes for the Garden

Grapes are not only delicious in many different types of foods and wines, they can be used as beautiful privacy screens and garden accents. Join guest instructor and self-proclaimed “Grape Nerd” Viticulturist Nikki Bagley for a fun and information packed class on the best practices for caring for grapes in your garden. Learn what varieties will work best for you, and how to make your vines more vigorous and fruit more fantastic. Students might even learn a thing or two about wine!


July 21 – Containers that Bloom like Crazy!

Contain yourself! The right container with the right plants can bring a space in the landscape from so-so to stunning. Lisa Lain, owner of Watters Garden Center, has been creating container designs for decades. After this class, you'll have what it takes to design great container gardens that sparkle in the afternoon heat or the breezy shade. Learn about proper watering, the best foods, companion plants, and more.


July 28 - Perennial Flowers – Blooms that impress

July is the ideal month to plant perennials in the yard. Students learn how to design seasonally for a continual bloom in the garden. Notable mentions will be the native and heat-loving flowers that bloom without any care at all. All local & All Free.


Aug 4 - Easy Grow Roses

There are so many different roses to choose from--more than your grandmother ever knew about! Learn the difference between hybrid tea, floribunda, shrub, carpet and so much more. Talking points include the best rose varieties, care, and placement for non-stop blooms. Free to local gardeners that want more fragrance & color in the yard.


Aug 11– Herbs from Garden to Table

Summer is the ideal time to add herbs to the garden. Special guest instructor Deborah Maranville, chef, and owner of Natural Healing Garden, knows her herbs and uses them to create health-centered food choices that focus on utilizing local produce and delicious organic food. Join Deborah for a tantalizing cooking demonstration that will focus on the best techniques to get the herbs from your garden to spice up your cooking.


Remember, if you can't attend a class, watch the Livestream on Facebook. Like our Facebook Page to be notified when we go Live.



Ken Lain, the Mountain Gardener

Ken Lain is attracted to sunshine, beauty, happiness, success and health through gardening, and wishes to point the way to others. Throughout the week Ken can be found at Watters Garden Center located at 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd, Prescott, or contacted through his web site at www.wattersgardencenter.com

Website: www.wattersgardencenter.com