Do Rabbits Eat Dahlias? (Yes, But…)

If you own a garden of dahlias and have rabbits around, one of the things you may worry about is your flowers getting eaten by the critters. Rabbits and other rodents are not known to be garden-friendly, so your fear is normal. So, do rabbits eat dahlias?

Well, yes and no. Rabbits usually avoid dahlias because of their rough, sticky texture. However, they may still eat it if there are no other foods available. 

Rabbits are generally flexible with their diet and will eat almost any plant or flower they consider edible, including dahlias. In this article, we will look at how rabbits react to a garden of dahlias and what you can do to protect your flowers. 

Do Rabbits Eat Dahlias

Are dahlias rabbit resistant?

Native to Mexico, the Dahlia genus includes bushy, tuberous, herbaceous perennial plants. Except for the blue type, all plants have colorful blossoms in a variety of hues. They are frequently used in floriculture.

Just like zinnias and African lilies, dahlias are believed to be rabbit resistant. And this has to do with the rough and fuzzy texture of the flower. Rabbits typically don’t like any plant with such a texture and tend to stay away from them. 

However, on rare occasions, a rabbit can munch on young dahlia leaves, although they often favor other plants. 

Do rabbits like to eat dahlias?

Rabbits are herbivores and can eat almost any plant. But do they like dahlias? Well,  “NO”. When presented with several options, bunnies will most likely not opt for dahlias. As mentioned earlier, they tend to avoid rough fuzzy plants like dahlias. 

Besides dahlias, rabbits like a wide range of flowers. Some of them are marigolds, gazanias, petunias, pansies, and so on. If you have any of these in your garden, then you should be worried about rabbits.

You may also like: Do Rabbits Eat Zinnias?

Do wild rabbits eat dahlias?

Rabbits living freely in their natural habitat are considered to be wild rabbits. These creatures, in their natural habitat, are presented with a wide range of plant species to nibble on. In the wild, dahlias will certainly be their last option when it comes to bunnies’ nutrition. 

It should be noted that, as rabbits would pick dahlias as their last feeding option, this does not mean that they can’t eat dahlias when they have nothing else to nibble on. 

Do rabbits eat dahlia tubers?

Dahlias are perennial tuberous plants, and the majority of their simple leaves feature serrated or divided segments. The Dahlia plant’s tuber is its tuberous root. It is a starchy body that supplies food, water, and nutrients to the plant in order to ensure its development and expansion until it becomes a true root.

Just like other dahlia plant parts, rabbits tend not to eat dahlia tubers. Based on research, conflicting reports have emerged about dahlia tubers. It was said that they are toxic in nature while other sources considered them edible. With this conflicting information, it is advisable NOT to feed your bunnies with dahlia tubers,

Do rabbits eat dahlia leaves?

In the wild, in order to survive, bunnies nibble on several different leaves with dahlia leaves inclusive. This doesn’t imply that they like dahlia leaves, it just implies that they can nibble on these leaves when they have nothing to eat.

So, why don’t rabbits eat dahlias?

Generally, bunnies do not like flowers with rough or fuzzy textures and dahlias fall in this category. 

Are dahlias poisonous to rabbits?

Generally, herbivores tend to avoid plants that can pose a threat to their health. To humans, dahlia leaves are usually edible and are likely to cause no harm, if not eaten in excess. To pets like dogs and cats, dahlia leaves are usually toxic and poisonous causing skin irritation and other adverse effects.

It is not sure whether or not the dahlia plant causes any harm to bunnies but we know that they tend to avoid them. In a garden of several plant species, your dahlia plant will not likely get damaged as quickly as other plants.

What animals eat dahlia flowers?

Dahlia flowers are very stunning ornamentals that enhance the beauty of the environment where they are located. Unfortunately, as they attract people, they also draw pests. 

Unlike bunnies, a wide variety of animal species find dahlia flowers very attractive, edible, and nutritional. Some of these are: 

  • Earwigs
  • Thrips 
  • Cyclamen Mites
  • Aphids
  • Slugs
  • Obscure Mealybugs
  • Leafhoppers 
  • Spider Mites
  • Lady bugs
  • Caterpillars 
  • Squirrels

How to protect dahlias from rabbits and other pests

When protecting plants from pests, it is very important to note that different animals require different methods to curb them from the plants which they affect. In the case of dahlias, they are mostly affected by arthropods, which makes them comparatively easier to protect.

Generally, for pest control, the use of pesticides is the most accurate approach. In this case, the plant is sprayed with a substance that the pest does not like or is resistant to.

For dahlias, I found the Liquid fence deer and rabbit repellent works excellently well in keeping rabbits away.  

Another thing you could do is install a fence. Rabbits, generally, do not hop more than 2 feet. So, you can keep them away from your garden and flowers by installing a fence that is higher than 2 feet. The YARDGARD Garden Rabbit Fence is perfect for this purpose. 

What do rabbits eat?

Just like humans, rabbits need a very nutritional dietary routine. They mostly eat hay, fresh vegetables, and pellets. The primary component of a rabbit’s daily diet is hay. In order to ensure your rabbit has a healthy nutritional life, it is advisable to ensure the majority of your rabbit’s diet consists of unlimited, premium grass hay, like Timothy Hay, Orchard Hay by Oxbow, or Brome. 

You can also feed rabbits with carrots but not in excessive amounts. 

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