Do Coffee Grounds Keep Rabbits Away? (How to Effectively Use them)

Rabbits are cute and charming, but if you have a lovely garden, rabbits are bad news. They are known to eat all kinds of plants and can damage your garden. You may want to keep rabbits away from your garden and are wondering if coffee grounds keep rabbits away?

Rabbits are nauseated and get queasy from the smell of coffee grounds. They have a highly developed sense of smell and are repelled by the scent of coffee grounds.

How Do You Effectively Use Coffee Grounds To Keep Rabbits Away? 

  • Place coffee grounds into a bowl. Walk around your garden and sprinkle coffee grounds on the soil around beets, lettuce, broccoli, peas, and beans.
  • Pour coffee grounds into several bowls and place them in different parts of your garden. This will deter rabbits from getting close to your crops.
  • Add coffee grounds into the soil of your corn and tomato plants.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ( US EPA) says that burning coffee grounds brings them to their most potent state.  Place the coffee grounds in a bowl. Set the bowl on a flat surface in your garden. Burn the coffee grounds similar to incense.

Doing any of these techniques is an effective way of keeping rabbits away from your garden. Coffee grounds can repel rabbits from making your garden their personal pantry.

How To Use Coffee Grounds To Keep Rabbits Away

Rabbits are prey animals so they rely on their powerful sense of smell for survival. This means that smells that humans or other animals can tolerate, are overbearing for rabbits.

The powerful sense of smell of rabbits keeps them conscious of their surroundings. Rabbits have the ability to recognize the smells of their potential predators from a long distance. The smell makes the membranes of their nostrils extremely sensitive and irritated.

They will stay away from areas where these smells are coming from for fear that the predators who left these smells may still be close by.

While the scent of potential predators will scare them, the smell of coffee grounds will annoy them and cause them to run away.

Rabbits hate the smell of coffee grounds, most likely because of their caffeine content. Caffeine, just like nicotine and alcohol is a psychoactive compound and can cause changes in mood, feelings, thoughts, and behavior.

While coffee grounds are good add-on fertilizers, they are also effective in repelling pests and rabbits in your garden.

Coffee grounds contain potassium, phosphorous, nitrogen, and other nutrients plants need, making them a good fertilizer. You can sprinkle some coffee grounds around plants or mix them with soil.

How do coffee grounds keep rabbits away? Coffee grounds produce a taste or smell that is nauseating to rabbits but do not harm them.  They are safe to use and are less expensive than commercial repellants.

How To Keep Your Garden Off-Limits To Rabbits

Rabbits will love to eat any vegetables in your garden, especially your leafy vegetables. They will also eat your grass and garden flowers.

There are some safe techniques to avoid hungry rabbits from getting into your garden especially during the growing season.

• Place Physical Barriers Around Your Plants. You can use chicken wire mesh covers to build a fence around your plants. They should beat about 6 inches deep into the group and at least two feet in height.

• Go For Plants Rabbits Hate. Rabbits love tender and young plants especially beans, lettuce, and most ornamental flowers. They hate some edible and ornamental plants such as onions, garlic, rosemary, and basil.

• Avoid Low-Hanging Brush. Sprawling clover or moss, low shrubs, creeping plants, or other low-hanging plants are leading habitats for rabbits.

•Keep Your Garden Clean And Tidy. Rabbits like to hind under many things. A tidy garden has a lot of open spaces that will not appeal to rabbits.

• Commercial Repellants. While they are effective in keeping rabbits away from your garden, they require frequent application. They are also expensive and may sometimes contain chemicals that may be harmful to plants and your pets.

• Unpleasant Smells.  The sense of smell of rabbits is quite strong. It is part of their survival instincts to avoid odors they feel are that of poison and predators. The smell of ground coffee will always make rabbits turn their backs on.

Why Do You Like To Keep Rabbits Away? 

Rabbits are greedy eaters and leave severe damage to your plants. They target mostly the leaves and stems of your plants. They are quite small so they will tend to damage plants at ground levels.

Most rabbits in the Leporidae family or wild rabbits will always feast on your garden plants ranging from your vegetables and herbs to your shrubs. They even feast on the bark of trees, flowers, and ornamental plants.

Rabbits reproduce quickly and having them in your garden can cause a garden infestation. They reach up to three liters of babies in the south each year and up to three liters of six babies in the north with a gestation period of only 29 days.

Homeowners and gardeners consider rabbits as a severe nuisance because they can devastate gardens. They are so greedy that it is easier to list plants they do not eat than list plants you should keep away from rabbits.

How To Identify Rabbit Damage

How do you know rabbits are the culprits in your damaged garden? If a stem of a plant has been neatly chewed with an angled clipping of about 45 degrees, it is definitely a rabbit’s handiwork.  It is as if a razor was used on these plants.

Rabbit damage to plants can only reach up to three inches of the plant. But the real sign of a rabbit getting into your plants is the clean cuts.

Distinct round droppings in the area, damaged leaves, uprooted plants also mean rabbits have been gorging on your plants.  Sometimes, they even leave behind small clumps of their fur.

Plants Rabbits Love 

Rabbits will eat almost any plant in your garden under difficult conditions but there are some plants they really find irresistible and will be drawn to gardens planted with them:

Perennial plants such as Baby’s Breath, Daylillies, Lilies, Coneflowers, Aster, Iris, Hosta, Tulips, Daisies, etc.

Annual flowers such as Morning glory, Rose moss, Petunia, Sunflower, Zinnas, etc.

Fruits and vegetables such as apples, raspberry, blackberry, beets, beans, pepper, lettuce, broccoli,  pear, peas, strawberry, spinach, etc.

Shrubs such as Common flowering quince, Flowering crabapple, Juneberry, Lilac, Rose of Sharon, Serviceberry, etc.

If you have any of these plants in your garden, it will be wise to use coffee grounds to keep rabbits away from your garden.

Plants Rabbits Hate 

Although there are no guarantees that these plants are rabbit-proof, they are less appetizing to rabbits and are more likely to be spared from a rabbit attack.

Rabbits generally do not like to eat plants with strong scents, prickles, leathery leaves, or spines.

Having any of these plants in your garden will make rabbits go somewhere else.

Annuals such as spiderflower, four o’clock flower, Mexican ageratum, vinca, pot marigold, etc.

Smelly, prickly, and thick-leaved perennials such as foam flower, primrose, peony, meadow rue, lamb’s ear. Adam’s needle, primrose, Speedwell, Russian sage, etc.

Rabbits also despise the flavor, aroma, or prickliness of shrubs such as azalea, boxwood, butterfly bush, Japanese maple, Tatarian dogwood, Rhododendron, tulip tree, cotoneaster, mountain laurel, etc.

Bulbs such as daffodil, Persian onion, and hyacinth

Vegetables such onions, tomatoes, potatoes, leeks, etc.

Herbs have a pungent aroma that keeps rabbits away from them. Such herbs are basil, asparagus, marjoram, parsley, oregano, tarragon, lemon, catnip, lemon balm, chives, sage, and oregano.

Rabbits also steer away from trees such as the Japanese maple, Fir, Hawthorn, Spruce, Pine, Oak, etc.

Groundcovers and vines such as Ajuga, English Ivy,  Virginia Creeper,  Pachysandra, etc have a strong aroma that keeps rabbits away.

Ornamental grasses such as Blue fescue, oat grass, feather grass, Bleavena, etc. are safe from rabbits.

If most of the plants in your garden are from these groups, there will be no rabbits that will be shooed away by coffee grounds. But since these plants are not guaranteed to be rabbit-proof, it will not hurt to sprinkle some coffee grounds in your garden.

Final Thoughts

Coffee is one of the most common beverages you make at home. Whether you take just one cup a day or an entire pot, you will always have to deal with coffee grounds when brewing coffee.

Instead of dumping your coffee grounds into the trash, let them help you keep rabbits away from your garden. Rabbits can really cause severe chaos to your garden and you just cannot allow them to eat your plants.

How do coffee grounds keep rabbits away? Just having the coffee grounds in your garden will repel rabbits. Rabbits despise the smell of coffee grounds.

The scent and aroma of coffee grounds are some of the nicest in the world. Rabbits, on the other hand, find the smell nauseating and will run in the opposite direction.

So when you are done brewing your hot cup of coffee, do not throw the coffee grounds on the compost heap. Use them instead to keep rabbits away from your garden.

Jenny Marie
Tribal Writer

Edited By
Patricia Godwin

Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, but her first love is gardening. She’s never met a plant she didn’t like and, consequently, she writes about every type of plant you can think of. Once an avid gardener with a herb garden, a succulent rockery, and a rose garden – to mention a few. Nowadays, she’s constantly on the move searching for interesting plants to bring to your attention; and explain to you all the details you need to grow, care and maintain these plants.

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