Can Rabbits Eat Roses?

Picture of a bunny eating a rose

Rabbits can eat many things, and it’s only natural for rabbit parents to be a little concerned if they have discovered that their friends have gotten into their rose bushes.

In today’s article, we’re looking at whether roses are safe to eat by rabbits, what exact types of roses are safe to consume by them, and more. To tell you what you want to know right from the beginning, though, the answer to the question is ‘Yes!’ – rabbits are allowed to eat roses.

What Kind of Roses Can Rabbits Eat?

There are several types of roses that exist in the world, whether available in stores or planted by amateur gardeners. These range from English and Floribunda to Miniature and Damask roses.

Fortunately, all of these varieties are safe to eat by rabbits.

What Parts of the Rose Plant Can Rabbits Eat?

If your rabbit seems to be a great fan of this flower, you might be wondering whether the petals or the rest of the plant are safe for them. If that’s the case, we’ll put your mind at ease by telling you that all of the parts of the plant are safe.

This means that you can simply place the whole plant into your rabbit’s home and not worry about anything. Your pet can eat the following parts:

  • Petals
  • Branches
  • Bark
  • Leaves
  • Canes

Store-bought Flowers and the Dangers of Chemicals (or Those from a Florist)

The safest type of rose that you can give your rabbits to nibble on is the one that you have grown yourself in your garden. This is because you alone know what you have sprayed your flowers with. You might have used organic insecticides such as neem oil, which do not put your pets’ health in danger.

Florists, on the other hand, as well as supermarkets and any other stores that might sell roses and other flowers, can use some chemicals that can hurt your rabbits.

First of all, it doesn’t take too much for a flower to absorb pesticides, especially the petals. This section of any plant is very thin, so it becomes impregnated with chemicals.

What’s worse, some countries, such as the United States, have no specific legislation with regard to how many pesticides or the specific types that can be used on commercial flowers, and this is because they are not supposed to be eaten.

Some scientific papers suggest that florists and other people who commonly handle flowers that have been sprayed with or dipped in pesticides can absorb the chemicals with ease, especially since some of them are fat-soluble, persistent, as well as easily absorbed with the naked hands.

The most common substances that roses are sprayed with are the following:

  • Methiocarb
  • Furalaxyl
  • Thiophanate-methyl

What Other Flowers Can Rabbits Eat?

Besides home-grown, pesticide-free roses, rabbits can safely consume the following decorative flowers:

  • Pansies
  • Lavender
  • Sunflower
  • Daisies
  • Hibiscus
  • Marigold
  • Yarrow
  • Hollyhock

Needless to say, all of these should be gardened by yourself to be safe.

What Flowers Are Toxic to Rabbits?

The list of decorative plants that are dangerous for rabbits is enormous. From Anemone and Primrose to Aloe, Begonia, Daffodil, Juniper, Snowdrop, and Primula, they are all toxic to rabbits.

Just to be on the safe side of things, do a little research before deciding to feed your flowers to your rabbits.

Keeping Your Rabbits Away from Your Rose Plants

If your rabbits got into your rose bushes and you’re lucky enough not to have used any dangerous pesticides, they might have expressed no clinical signs. But if you don’t want this to happen again, here are some tips on how you can keep your pets away from your roses.

  • Fencing

This solution might be less preferred by gardeners who love to look at their roses. Since rabbits can get into almost any veggie or flower patch, you are supposed to use chicken wire and even bury it into the ground. But if this is what you have to resort to, since it is a natural solution, it might be worth considering.

  • Repellents

Some commercial repellents might not be safe for rabbits. As such, the best idea would be for you to make your own. Mix cayenne pepper or jalapeno powder with water and spray your roses with it once every couple of days. Rabbits are easily deterred by pepper.

  • Coverage

Covering your roses at night and making sure that your rabbits have no way of burrowing so that they get into the bushes is another tip you can use. In general, rabbits should be kept in their enclosures during the night as they can easily become the victims of predators if they are left to roam in your garden.

What we do not recommend is using devices such as ultrasonic repellers. For some reason, their effects on wildlife and pets have not been assessed properly to date, so we don’t know how they might affect your pets (neurologically, in particular).

Another idea would be to steer clear of chemical repellents as they can just as well put your pets’ health in danger. Naturally, you should also avoid using hard pesticides on your plants just in case your rabbits manage to get in the bushes again.



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