10 Great Ways To Save Tomato Plants From Rabbits

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Quick Answer: How To Save Tomato Plants From Rabbits?

The different methods to save the tomato plants from rabbits include sprinkling dried blood, using rotten egg spray, spraying hot pepper, changing the garden environment, and practicing companion planting. The various physical methods, including erecting the fence, setting humane traps, and setting motion sprinklers can deter rabbits. Commercial chemical rabbit repellents can also be used.

This is a complete guide with different humane methods to save your tomato plants from rabbits!

How Rabbits Harm Tomato Plants?

Rabbits can strip the leaves, stems, and flowers from a tomato plant. It will prevent the setting of fruits and eventually may kill the plants.

It feeds on the plants in the evening and early morning.

How To Confirm That Rabbit Is Troubling Your Tomato Plant?

Check if the leaves are chewed without any signs of bite marks. Rabbits will bite chunks of leaves without any bite marks and leave clean-cut damage.

Looks for digging around the plants and rabbit droppings around the base of the plants. Rabbit pellets are about ¼-1/2 inches in size. Upturned soil and freshly dug holes are the telltale signs. You may also observe rabbit tracks in the soil.

You may also set a trail camera with night vision to confirm that rabbits are troubling the tomato plants.

How To Save Tomato Plants From Rabbits?

If rabbits have found their way into your tomato garden, you may try one or a combination of different natural, physical, and chemical methods to discourage them and save the plants.

Most of these methods are inexpensive yet effective.

Natural Ways To Deter Rabbits From Tomato Plants

The different natural ways to deter rabbits from tomato plants are using rotten egg spray, sprinkling dried blood, spraying hot pepper, controlling the garden habitat, and practicing companion planting. These methods are non-lethal and less expensive.

1. Spray Rotten Egg Repellent

Rotten eggs can be used as an inexpensive way to deter rabbits from tomato plants. It emits a strong undesirable sulfur-like odor that is not preferred by rabbits.

  • Prepare homemade repellent– Mix three eggs in a gallon of water. Let this mixture stand in the hot sun for a few days. Transfer to a garden sprayer.
  • Spray the tomato plants– Shake the sprayer and cover the tomato plants with the mixture.

Click this video on making spray using eggs:

2. Sprinkle Dried Blood

Blood meal acts as a scent-based tactic to prevent rabbits from eating tomato plants. Also, it acts as a good fertilizer for most plants.

  • Purchase dried blood– You may purchase dried blood at a garden center.
  • Sprinkle around plants– Sprinkle the dried blood around the tomato plants over the surface. It will help in keeping the rabbits away. Repeat after heavy rain.

Check this video for using blood meal to deter rabbits:

3. Use Cayenne Pepper Spray

Cayenne pepper is a taste repellent that creates a burning sensation in the rabbit’s mouth and prevents it from eating the tomato plants.

  • Prepare cayenne pepper spray– Combine five tablespoons of cayenne pepper, one tablespoon of vegetable oil in a gallon of water.
  • Spray on the plants– Spray on the tomato plants. Few gardeners sprinkle cayenne pepper directly on the foliage of the plants that are not slippery.

Click this video on using cayenne pepper spray as an animal repellent:

4. Control The Garden Habitat

The easiest way to discourage rabbits from tomato plants is to make the garden less attractive and less hospitable to the rabbits.

  • Clean the garden– Remove the brush piles, bushes, junk piles, and other garbage to prevent the rabbits from hiding. Also, surround the building bases of the raised buildings with mesh barriers to prevent rabbits from nesting.

Watch this video on using cayenne pepper spray as an animal repellent:

5. Practice Companion Planting

Companion planting involves planting certain plants that rabbits will avoid eating near the tomato plants. It will deter, sidetrack, or confuse rabbits due to their strong scent or appearance and save the tomato plants.

  • Incorporate the companion plants– Plant extra-fragrant plants, including garlic, onions, rosemary, or lemongrass. Certain perennials, including salvia and catmint can also be planted near tomato plants.

6. Use Soap As Deterrent

The strong scented soap work as an inexpensive repellent and prevents the rabbits from attacking the tomato plants due to its strong smell.

  • Tie the soaps– Slice the soaps, drop them in drawstring pouches, and tie them in a knot to secure the soaps.
  • Secure the drawstring pouch– Staple the pouch to the wooden stake with a staple gun. Secure the stake into the ground near tomato plants.

Here is a useful video on using soap as rabbit-deterrent:

Physical Ways To Deter Rabbits From Tomato Plants

The best way to deter rabbits from tomato plants is to use physical prevention methods, including fencing, setting humane traps, and installing motion-activated sprinklers.

1. Install A Fence Around The Plants

Fencing is an excellent method to keep the rabbits away from the garden. It must go deep under the ground as the rabbits tend to burrow under the ground.

  • Install a fence– Place a stake at the corner of the garden. Cover a 48-inch tall wire around the stakes.
  • Bury the fence– Bury the bottom six inches into the soil so that rabbits can’t access the tomato garden.

Check this video for installing a rabbit-proof fence:

2. Set Humane Trap

Rabbits can be caught using humane traps that consist of a cage with a trigger plate.  The animals can be released at a significant distance away.

  • Set humane traps– Set humane traps in gardens by using apples as bait and covering the outside with a brush. You may cut the bait into small pieces and make a trail leading to the trap.
  • Release the caught animals– Wear thick gloves and release the caught animals elsewhere. Few counties do not allow releasing of caught animals and so, check with your government.

Watch this video to catch a rabbit using a trap:

3. Install Motion Sprinkler

Motion-activated sprinklers can be used as a humane and effective way to keep rabbits away from tomato plants. It delivers a burst of water when it detects the motion.

  • Install a motion sprinkler– Position the sprinkler near the tomato plants. You may also use sprinklers with a sudden noise to deter rabbits.
  • Move the sprinkler to a new position– Keep changing the position for maximum protection.

Click this video for different motion-activated sprinklers:

Chemical Ways To Deter Rabbits From Tomato Plants

Different chemicals are available as a quick and low-maintenance approach to deter rabbits. However, it may be unsafe for pets, plants, and beneficial insects.

1. Use Commercial Rabbit Repellent

Many commercial rabbit repellents are available as both sprays and granular solutions. It works by emitting a scent disliked by the animals.

  • Purchase commercial rabbit repellent– Buy commercial rabbit repellent and dilute it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Spray the tomato plants-Spray on the tomato plants. However, keep them away from the children and pets. Avoid spraying on the edible parts and wash the fruits before eating.

Here is a useful video on rabbit repellents:


Can you use mothballs to keep rabbits away?

No, it is not a good idea to use mothballs to keep rabbits away from your yard. It has chemicals that may leach into the soil and eventually get into the water supply. So, it is harmful to us, our pets, and other wildlife. Also, it is illegal in many US states.

Is vinegar a good rabbit repellent?

Yes, vinegar can be used to deter rabbits from your garden. Soak a cotton ball in white vinegar and place them around the garden in a small jar. Its sharp smell will keep the animals away. More research studies are required to study the effect.

Will coffee grounds keep rabbits away from tomato plants?

Few gardeners claim that coffee grounds will keep rabbits away from tomato plants. They believe that the strong bitter smell of coffee and the caffeine in the coffee grounds will keep them away. However, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim, and requires further studies.

Do marigolds keep rabbits away?

Gardeners believe that the rabbits do not like the smell of marigolds and find it offensive. So, it stays away from them. However, there is no scientific evidence to support the theory and is not a fool-proof solution.


If you followed the steps here and successfully saved your tomato plants from the ruin that rabbits can cause, we hope you have had a positive experience.

If you have any other tips, please do not hesitate to share.

Do share the guide with your friends and family if you find it helpful!