If you’re a gardener or a pet parent, then you must have considered the question: what flowers do rabbits not eat? Especially if they’re ruining your plants or you’re concerned about their safety.
Rabbits are cute animals and will eat everything in sight when hungry, but to avoid eventual problems with their stomachs after eating, there are some flowers you have to keep away from your rabbits.
What flowers do rabbits not eat? What are the most toxic and poisonous plants that could cause damage to your rabbits or plants they just don’t like?
Without further ado, let’s get these questions answered.
What flowers do rabbits not eat?
For every pet parent, prioritizing our pet’s health is more important than anything else, but how can we best achieve that? By keeping these plants away, even if you have some of these around in your house.
20 poisonous and toxic plants for your rabbit
- Snapdragon: Snapdragon is also known as Antirrhinum, and kids love playing with this one because when you press on it, the mouth gapes open, which might be a fun thing for them. This plant requires adequate watering and, in times of no rainfall, it requires at least 1 inch of water per week.
Snapdragons thrive best in cool weather. They bloom in the fall and winter, and they’re cool-season perennials but grown as annuals.
How about feeding this to a rabbit? You should never feed this to your rabbit because it’s a toxic plant and its bitter taste turns them away. This is great news for gardeners, as you could plant this around your garden to keep rabbits away, but for pet parents, never have this around the house because your rabbit might end up eating it.
- Periwinkle: Vinca, a flower in the Apocynaceae family, sure does have its benefits. One: it’s good for treating diabetes, and high blood pressure, and can also be used as a disinfectant.
Secondly, the drugs from the periwinkle plants known as vinca alkaloids are cancer fighters, and there are four major vinca alkaloids: Vinblastine (VBL), Vinorelbine (VRL), Vincristine (VCR), and Vindesine (VDS). According to this study, vinca alkaloids are the second most commonly used cancer drug.
This plant also requires little maintenance but regular watering and it lasts for only a year. You should never feed this to a rabbit because all parts of the plant are toxic.
Its leathery leaves and tough stems aren’t preferred by a rabbit. Besides, I know for a fact that pet parents wouldn’t trust anything that’s said to fight cancer for their rabbits.
- Crane’s Bill: Geraniums are easy to grow and also have a lot of health benefits: they lower stress, reduce inflammation, strengthen the immune system, aid digestion, and improve the kidneys and skin. It also has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, which help heal wounds faster.
Aside from that, it comes in flavors, there’s the lemon geranium with the citrus flavor, nutmeg, ginger, and rose geranium. However, rabbits turn their noses up at this because of its fragrance and thick, rounded leaves.
- Marigold: Marigold blooms from early summer until late fall. It attracts bugs, flies, and insects that protect plants from harmful pests, and it’s available in shades of orange, red, mahogany, or yellow.
This plant requires frequent watering, and it is very easy to care for. Though its leaves and flowers are edible, the strong scent that comes with marigolds keeps rabbits away from them.
- Lantana: A plant in the Verbenaceae family. Latana’s care method is very easy: water to ensure growth because it thrives in humid weather and blooms in spring.
Lantana is also popular with hummingbirds, and you could have red, pink, yellow, orange, purple, or white flowers, but it’s a poisonous plant containing toxins that can affect a rabbit.
- Black-eyed Susan: The scientific name for black-eyed Susan is: rudbeckia hirta, but this plant is only found in fields, roadsides, or abandoned areas. It also blooms during the summer but is less popular with rabbits.
Black-eyed Susan thrives under the full sun and symbolizes encouragement, but it’s never advisable for a rabbit to eat this.
- Begonia: Begonia is a plant that grows between 8 inches and 3 feet tall. It also blooms in June, does best in shade, lives for 2 to 3 years, and thrives in a well-drained soil type.
Although some rabbits do enjoy this, Begonia is a toxic plant as it contains calcium oxalate, and ingesting this can cause damage to their body systems because it contains toxins.
Nonetheless, the juice from the plant is used to relieve headaches, and its roots can be used for peptic ulcers and conjunctivitis, but no study supports the scientific claims.
- Sweet alyssum: this is a flowering plant in the Brassicaceae family commonly referred known as sweet Alison.
It’s widely grown as an ornamental plant for its fragrance. It also thrives in moist soil types with full or partial sun exposure and blooms in spring.
This short-lived plant is easy to grow, but it repels rabbits.
- Ageratum: A plant in the Asteraceae family that blooms in early summer with regular watering and is also known as the floss flower. Ageratum grows in dry areas and prefers six hours of sun every day. Flower heads come in blue, pink, or white, but all parts of the plant are poisonous for a rabbit’s consumption.
- Catnip: Nepeta Cataria, commonly known as catnip, belongs to the genus Nepeta in the family Lamiaceae. It is an ingredient in some herbal teas and is popular for relieving muscle spasms and stomach cramps, and also with cats!
This flowering plant is used to encourage cats to play, but it has side effects when fed too much of it.
For rabbits, catnip is safe for them to eat and can be a great mint food, but it has a scent that rabbits avoid. If you ever want to feed this to your pet, make sure it’s not dried as it can cause stomach pain, and don’t include the seeds.
In conclusion, catnip is safe, but rabbits avoid it because they generally avoid plants with fragrances.
- Cleome: Known as “spider flowers,” cleome blooms in early summer, has a musky scent, and is considered a medicinal plant as its leaves can be used to make tea. It could also be a supplementary diet for pregnant women, but the appearance of a Cleome plant repels rabbits.
- Straw flowers: Xerochrysum bracteatum, known as straw flowers, blooms in spring and thrives with regular watering. It also grows well in well-drained soil. Strawflowers come in yellow, orange, red, white, and pink.
However, rabbits avoid these because of their stiff texture.
- Scarlet Beebalm: Monarda Didyma, a family member of the Lamiaceae flowering plant, is found along stream banks and thrives best in full sunlight. Although bunnies might try these out sometimes, they don’t eat them because of their taste and fragrance.
- Bryony: Bryony is poisonous and can cause issues if ingested. Though it can be used to cure medical conditions such as stomach upset, constipation, cancer, and liver disease with accompanying side effects, it is toxic to rabbits.
- Hemlock: Hemlock is toxic to humans as well as rabbits. If this plant’s juice comes in contact with your skin and the skin becomes exposed to sunlight, it can cause blisters, itching, and discoloration.
Hemlock has purple/pinkish spots on the stem and its leaves are bright green, but it is extremely toxic to rabbits.
- Yew: Yew is also poisonous to rabbits, though its branch tips and needles are used for medicinal purposes. If ingested, it could cause vomiting, dizziness, tremors, difficulty breathing, or even death.
All parts of yew are deadly, except for the flesh of the berry. This plant also contains a lethal amount of toxic alkaloids and taxine. Considered one of the most poisonous plants in the world, this means one thing: rabbits can’t eat it.
- Rhubarb leaves: These contain higher oxalic acid and, though they come in red, green, or pink, they can cause kidney damage and, in severe cases, death. Rhubarb leaves can be used to shine pots, repel pests, or as garden decor, but they are bad for rabbits, even in smaller quantities.
- Poppy: Poppy is grown for its colorful flowers and it also serves as a symbol of the First World War and for soldiers who died during wartime. Poppy plants contain opium alkaloids, toxic to rabbits.
The Opium poppy is also used to make heroin, morphine, and codeine. Also, poppy seeds don’t contain opiates but they can get contaminated with some during harvesting. For the record, dried poppies are also poisonous.
- Ivy: Ivy is a good houseplant and can also be used for reducing coughs, colds, and inflammation because it contains anti-inflammatory compounds. But its leaves are poisonous to humans as well as rabbits. It could cause anemia, diarrhea, and loss of appetite in a rabbit if ingested.
- Daffodil: Daffodils symbolize hope and joy, and they need a lot of water when growing, but all parts of the flower are toxic if ingested. It can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and pain.
Eating bulb plants can irritate as they contain a poisonous substance called lycorine, so this means it should be avoided for your rabbit’s consumption.
On another note, flowers with bulbs in general are toxic for rabbits.
A list of toxic plants rabbits shouldn’t eat:
- Hedge garlic
- Nightshade: Woody And Deadly Nightshade
- Aubergine plant
- Fool’s parsley
- Onion plant
- Russian comfrey
- Siberian Iris
- Anise Hyssop
- Baptisia Australis
- Lamb’s ear
- Traveler’s joy
- Wild garlic
- Wood sorrel
- Tomato plant
What keeps rabbits away from flowers?
If you don’t want your rabbits coming close to your flowers and ruining them, here’s a list of what you can do:
- Install Chicken wire fencing. The most effective way to get rid of rabbits from eating up your plants is by installing a fence around your garden to prevent them from ever getting in.
- Sprinkle dried blood around your plants. Rabbits are herbivores, and doing this would keep them away.
- Rabbits also hate the smell of onions, red peppers, and garlic. Sprinkling some of these on your plants would also help achieve this.
Do rabbits eat lavender?
Rabbits do not eat lavender. In fact, they hate it because of its fragrance.
Do rabbits eat roses?
Rabbits eat roses, and it is safe for them to eat. Yours might enjoy munching on its leaves because rabbits do love roses.
Do coffee grounds repel rabbits?
Coffee grounds are yet another effective way of keeping rabbits out because they hate the strong smell of coffee.
There are a few poisonous plants that you would never come across and some you genuinely love and want to nurture, but creating a balance is usually the best way to go about it.
Remember, you can always be a gardener and a pet parent at the same time without compromising on either.
What if you don’t love gardening? Simple. All you have to do is save the list to remind you of what your rabbit can eat and should never be allowed to consume.