Plant Suggestions Wanted

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Izroion

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Hey all, I'm currently planning a garden based on the food forest method. I'm looking for suggestions for rabbit safe, and perennial: Trees, bushes, and other plants. Preferably dwarf trees as I need them shorter. Comfrey, and a mulberry tree are already on my list as well as dwarf apple trees (these are for humans as well).

Edit: Zone 5b
 
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bighairbuns

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Raspberry and Blackberry bushes. The entire plant is edible for rabbits and have some medicinal properties too. Blackberry will help with diarrhea and raspberry will help does during labor and improve lactation.

Blueberries are also good but might not play well in a food forest set up with their PH requirements. Strawberries too and if you aren't after a lot of fruit production you could do alpine type strawberries in shade under other berry bushes or trees.

Clover would be good for ground cover and its nitrogen fixing.

Pear trees come in dwarf varieties and the twigs and leaves can be fed like apple.

Rose leaves, flowers and hips are all a hit with my buns.

Cold hardy kiwi and grape vines and leaves are bunny safe.

Definitely through some herbs in there. My oregano, sage, mint, and catnip come back with a vengeance every year.

Also encourage some of the local rabbit safe weeds in your food forest. Plantain, dandelion, wild violets, purslane, etc.
 

Izroion

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Raspberry and Blackberry bushes. The entire plant is edible for rabbits and have some medicinal properties too. Blackberry will help with diarrhea and raspberry will help does during labor and improve lactation.

Blueberries are also good but might not play well in a food forest set up with their PH requirements. Strawberries too and if you aren't after a lot of fruit production you could do alpine type strawberries in shade under other berry bushes or trees.

Clover would be good for ground cover and its nitrogen fixing.

Pear trees come in dwarf varieties and the twigs and leaves can be fed like apple.

Rose leaves, flowers and hips are all a hit with my buns.

Cold hardy kiwi and grape vines and leaves are bunny safe.

Definitely through some herbs in there. My oregano, sage, mint, and catnip come back with a vengeance every year.

Also encourage some of the local rabbit safe weeds in your food forest. Plantain, dandelion, wild violets, purslane, etc.
Do you find roses hard to grow? I've never tried them but I've heard they can be difficult? I'd love to have some though. Vining roses would be a dream
 

bighairbuns

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Do you find roses hard to grow? I've never tried them but I've heard they can be difficult? I'd love to have some though. Vining roses would be a dream

I think it depends on the variety and how manicured you want them to look.

I bought a few haggard looking knockouts at home depot on clearance 2 years ago for a couple bucks each. I left them in their nursery pots on my porch over winter, they came back and bloomed wonderfully all summer long (still in their nursery pots) and I propogated some for in the ground last fall. I didn't transplant the mothers into bigger pots until this spring. They were a bit root bound but they have put a foot on since then.

I don't prune them like you are supposed to. I just grab flowers and branches as needed for the buns and chin. (My chinchilla is especially fond of them)

They look wild but have been prolific for me.
 

bighairbuns

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Hey all, I'm currently planning a garden based on the food forest method. I'm looking for suggestions for rabbit safe, and perennial: Trees, bushes, and other plants. Preferably dwarf trees as I need them shorter. Comfrey, and a mulberry tree are already on my list as well as dwarf apple trees (these are for humans as well).

Edit: Zone 5b

Just remembered I forgot to suggest hostas as another option for putting under trees and shrubs.

The young shoots are delicious and taste kinda like a cross of fiddlehead ferns and asparagus. The older leaves and flowers aren't my favorite but the buns really like them.
 

Zee-Man

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Jerusalem Artichokes AKA Sunchokes are a favorite of my rabbits. They do love the leaves. As I recall the tubers should be kept for humans only. I second big on the many suggestions. For a moist and shaded environment you can add lady's thumb, although you'll likely have to forage the seed in the wild (it should be blooming in the next week or so. Assume you have to stratify the seeds. Bishop weed is another perennial that my rabbits go for. Keep in mind that these three are potentially annoying, they are prolific and hard to eradicate if you let them get out of control. But, being prolific, they produce a lot of forage.
 

Izroion

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Does anyone know if there are such things as dwarf willows or willow bushes? They seem very popular with the natural feeders but I don't have the space for a massive willow tree. We live in town and have low powerlines in the potential garden area.
 

caroline

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willows are very easy to propagate from cuttings.
I haven't tried to "dwarf" them, but it seems like you could
keep them smaller by frequent rigorous pruning
 

Preitler

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You can easily cut them to pollard willows, I have two of those. You just let it settle in well, 2 or 3 years I guess, then cut at the hight you want the head, and prune away the branches that get too long completly. I think mine are salix caprea, the branches grow pretty streight and I use them for tool handles, and made a spear of it. Other willows are rather brittle, well, actually there is a wide range of physical properties depending on species.

Jerusalem artishocks are great, uhm, and big. I planted those around the hutches for shade in summer, they grow 4-4.5m (13-15 feet) tall. Excess greens are great rabbit food - as are the tubers through the winter. I need to protect them until they are about 1m/3ft high.

Bishop goutweed is great too, and edible, unfortunatly it doesn't grow well on my plot, likes shady places.
 

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