Rabbits are charming creatures that are often kept as pets. But what happens when you also have wild rabbits lurking around your rose garden? It’s normal to be concerned about the safety of your rose plant.
So, do rabbits eat roses, and if they do, what can you do to safeguard your garden and prevent future attacks? That is what we will be looking at today.
No one wants their rose plants or pastures ruined by pest rabbits.
Do rabbits eat roses?
Yes, rabbits eat virtually any plant, including roses. As a matter of fact, they do not only eat roses but also other plants that are members of the rose family, Rosaceae.
Some of the plant species found in this taxon are apples, quinces, plums, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, almonds, and loquats.
Rabbits eat all parts of roses, including the thorns, petals, leaves, and buds. They are more attracted to the younger plants since their buds are closer to the ground.
Older rabbits may also eat the stems and leaves if they manage to get their paws on them.
Are roses good for rabbits?
Yes, all parts of the rose plant, including the leaves and stems, are good for rabbits.
Rabbits are usually wise enough not to get pricked by the thorns.
In general, roses are a healthy source of vitamins and minerals for rabbits. Specifically, they contain vitamins A, B, C, E, and K and minerals such as iron, calcium, and phosphorus.
It is worth mentioning that even though all parts of roses are nutritious, the rose hips provide the most nutrients while the petals are the least nutrient-dense.
Can rabbits eat rose stems?
Although most rose stems are prickly, they can still be eaten by rabbits. Like other parts of the plant, they are also packed with nutrients.
One of the reasons rabbits nibble on rose stems is because of their fragrance. Rose stems have a nice fragrance which makes them more attractive. They also taste good and are chewable, especially when young.
Can rabbits eat rose leaves?
Just like the stems, rabbits do consume rose leaves. In fact, the stems are the most eaten part.
Rose leaves contain fiber, low calories, minerals, and several vitamins, making them a healthy meal for rabbits.
If you’re planning to feed your pet rabbits with rose leaves, you must do so with care. Eating too much rose leaves may lead to diarrhea.
Also, make sure the leaves are free of pesticides and washed clean.
Can rabbits eat rose petals?
Yes, they can. Like the leaves, rose petals are safe for rabbits. Besides being attractive, they have a pleasant fragrance, though they contain the least nutrients and consist of mainly water.
If you’re planning to give them to your bunnies, it’s best to combine them with hay. Like the leaves, they are meant to be eaten in small amounts to avoid gastrointestinal problems.
4 Signs Rabbits Are Eating Your Rose Plant
Rabbits can make a mess of your rose garden if you don’t adopt proper measures to prevent them. Here, we’ll explore four ways to know if rabbits are eating your roses, so you can act immediately.
- Bite Marks: Bunnies have a peculiar way of nibbling on plants, which is usually evident. Because they have very strong, sharp incisors, they are able to bite through the edges of leaves, buds, and petals.
- Slow Growth: Rabbits rarely kill rose bushes; instead, they can harm them sufficiently to slow down their growth. So, if you notice your roses aren’t growing as they should, it could be a pest problem.
- Droppings (Poop): Bunnies often leave behind small round droppings every now and then. This is usually a clear sign they’ve been in your garden.
- Holes In The Ground: Large holes could also be a sign of rabbit invasion. Bunnies usually dig underground tunnels that go to places they frequently visit, which creates large holes. They may also leave small tracks on the ground. Always look out for these holes and little tracks
How do I keep my rabbits from eating my roses?
Rabbits may appear to be harmless, but if they are not controlled, they can wreak havoc on your rose plant. Here, we’ll look at two very effective ways to stop them.
Fencing off your garden is the most effective way to keep rabbits out. You can either construct a fence to completely enclose the garden, or you can set up the fence for each bush. Use a fence that is at least three feet high. Ideally, it should be dug some inches into the ground to prevent burrowing.
If you’re looking for ideas, check out the YARDGARD Garden Rabbit Fence. It’s great for rabbits and other small animals.
Use of repellents
Using aromas that rabbits dislike is an effective way to keep them away from rose bushes. These could be plant products or chemicals.
Some natural rabbit repellents are onions, garlic, pepper, and even dogs.
Commercial repellents are usually more effective. A good example is the Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent. It is a natural formula and is ready to use right out of the box. It repels deer and rabbits and can be used all year round.
Other Related Questions
Can rabbits eat rose thorns?
Yes, they can! As mentioned earlier, rabbits eat all parts of the rose plants, including the thorn. This is more common when the plant is still young and tender.
Can rabbits eat roses from the store?
Well, you can feed your bunnies with roses from the store, but this is not recommended. This is because most roses from the store have been treated with pesticides, making them unhealthy for consumption.
Can rabbits damage rose bushes?
Rabbits typically damage rose bushes when they feed on them frequently. This is why you should have appropriate measures in place to deter them. Some of these include using repellents, elevating the garden beds, and building fences.
Why do rabbits eat rose petals?
As earlier indicated, rabbits are attracted to rose petals because of their fragrance and look. The smell of the petals is hard to resist, and from what we know, rabbits are generally attracted to greens.