Azaleas are notorious for their colorful presence, but they can also be prey to animals. If you’re here, you’re probably wondering if they can be attacked by rabbits.
Do Rabbits Eat Azaleas?
Rabbits do eat azaleas – though not every time. Wild rabbits may avoid some azaleas plants unless they’ve run short of food. In this case, they would eat almost anything to survive, including azaleas. This might not be the case with pet rabbits.
Many rabbits find azaleas easy to chew, especially when they’re still young. But this doesn’t mean it’s safe to consume.
Some azaleas have an overpowering smell, which can deter rabbits and prevent them from eating the plant.
Are Azaleas Rabbit-Resistant?
This depends on the type of azaleas. Some varieties of the flower have no scent, some are lightly scented, while some have a very strong fragrance. Since rabbits are generally repelled by strong odors, they may not go near azaleas plants with an overpowering scent. In other words, some azaleas tend to be more rabbit-resistant than others. But even when an azalea plant is considered rabbit-resistant, it can still get eaten by a hungry rabbit.
Are Azaleas Safe for Rabbits?
Azaleas are generally not safe for consumption. This is because they contain toxic compounds known as grayanotoxins that are harmful to both humans and animals.
These compounds can be found in every part of the plant, including the stems, flowers, leaves, and even nectar. Consuming it even in small amounts can cause several health problems, including:
- Gastrointestinal upset
- Increased heart rate
- Difficulty breathing, etc.
How to Keep Rabbits from Eating Azaleas
There are three different methods you can use to deter rabbits from your azaleas plants. The first one is to plant flowers or trees that they don’t like. The second is to use fencing, while the third entails spraying or sprinkling the plant with repellent. Let’s describe each one in detail.
Planting rabbit-resistant flowers or shrubs
Even though rabbits tend to eat most greens, there are still a number of plants they tend to avoid, either because of the taste, smell, or texture. Some of these include:
- Lilac bush, etc.
You can plant one of these crops around your azaleas to discourage rabbits from coming close. Fortunately, these are all beautiful flowers and shrubs, so they will add color to your garden.
Setting up a fence
Fences are very effective when it comes to protecting gardens from rabbits.
You should consider this solution if you don’t want to plant any of the flowers mentioned above. This works because rabbits can’t jump more than certain heights. So, if you can set up a fence that is at least 36 inches high, your azaleas will be safe from wild rabbits.
You can use a wire or mesh fence but make sure it’s buried at least 12 inches into the ground.
We highly recommend the YARDGARD GARDEN RABBIT FENCE for this purpose.
Use a repellent spray
Repellents have a particular taste or scent that rabbits dislike. Make sure you use a product that doesn’t contain chemicals that could harm your plant. One of the best options we found in this category is the SUAVEC DEER RABBIT REPELLENT.
What Animals Eat Azaleas?
Apart from rabbits, other animals might also find azaleas appealing. Other animals that eat the plant include deer, goats, cattle, and other rodents like mice and squirrels.
Insects are also pests of azaleas. While they may not consume the entire plant, they can inflict damage by feeding on their leaves, buds, or flowers.
Conclusion: Do Rabbits Eat Azaleas?
Rabbits may avoid eating azaleas, depending on the species. If the azalea is heavily scented, most rabbits will avoid it; on the other hand, if the plant has light or no scent, it may not deter rabbits.
In any case, rabbits will eat azaleas if they are hungry enough. This is more likely to happen during the drought and cold seasons when natural food sources have depleted.
As a result, you should do everything possible to protect your azaleas. We’ve recommended three different methods you can use to keep rabbits from the plant, which include setting up a fence, using a rabbit repellent, or planting rabbit-resistant plants.