Euonymus

(Question)

I live in Oakvile and have planted the mentioned plant, 4 years later…it is smaller than when purchased. Eaten by rabbits no doubt. Any rabbit free plants you can suggest, low growing shrub like with dense leaves

(Answer)

Toronto Master Gardeners receive quite a few requests throughout the year asking “how can I stop rabbits from chewing everything in my garden”. In fact my own garden in Scarborough has had visits from both wild and domesticated rabbits in the past two years. They seem to like the tops of my crocuses. If you wish to try and save your euonymus put some protective netting around it in the spring when new shoots are sprouting. Remove in a couple of months if you do not like the look.

There are numerous lists out there containing the names of plants that are supposedly resistant to rabbits. However, there is no guarantee that any of the plants listed as resistant will remain free from damage in all conditions. On some lists you will see euonymus mentioned. Recent plantings and soft growth in the spring can sometimes be eaten, even if the plants are not susceptible at other times. If you live in a rabbit-infested area you may get some additional ideas by seeing what plants survive in neighbouring gardens.

Here are the names of some plants I have seen on lists that may be suitable for you, although they may not fit all your criteria.

Berberis (barberry)

Buxus sempervirens (boxwood)

Cornus (Dogwood)

Hydrangea

Paeonia (peony)

Rhododenrons and Azaleas

Syringa (lilac)

Viburnum

Weigela

Here are a couple of articles that may be of interest to you. Hope this all helps.

Rabbits in the garden

Is Caryopteris x clandonensis rabbit resistant?