Is Caryopteris x clandonensis rabbit resistant?

(Question)

Is Caryopteris (Bluebeard) rabbit-resistant? My entire garden plan depends on the answer!

(Answer)

The bottom line is – it’s not clear whether Bluebeard is a welcome dish for a rabbit buffet.  The best advice I found was that there are very few plants that are truly rabbit resistant, and that lists of rabbit-proof plants are not foolproof – hungry animals will eat pretty much anything.

Several reputable references did NOT mention Bluebeard among rabbit-resistant plants.  However, a few websites (I’m less familiar with these ones) state that the plant is rabbit resistant.  So there is a risk the your plants would be consumed…

I suggest that you speak with your nearby garden centre, as well as your neighbours, to see if local rabbits enjoy Bluebeard on their menu.  You might also want to search the Internet for lists of plants that are rabbit resistant — there are several of these — look for a list from an area that has a similar climate to ours.  If you want to try something other than Bluebeard, select some plants from these lists.  As I mention above, though, there is no guarantee that the plants would discourage hungry bunnies.

Meantwhile, you might want to take a look at a couple of good articles that discuss how to critter-proof your garden (as much as can be done!) and include a few plants to consider as rabbit-resistant.  Note that Some plant features that discourage animals include those that are highly aromatic, prickly/spiny, have tough & leathery leaves, milky sap or are toxic.:

1) Colorado State University Extension, Rabbit/ground squirrel/deer resistant plants.

2) Rutgers: If plants could talk. Keeping rabbits away from desirable plants in your garden and landscape

Good luck in finding the perfect garden design for your environment!