Rabbits are herbivores and are indeed vegan. They eat whatever plant is available when hungry and don’t consider the harms and benefits, just like other pets. As an owner, you are responsible for your rabbit’s health. Keep their nutritional requirements in check and ensure they do not have anything poisonous in their diet. Let’s see if one can let rabbits eat zinnias or not.
What Are Zinnias?
Zinnias are flowering plants belonging to the daisy family. They are sun-loving, just like sunflowers. These sun lovers are annuals that produce flowers in the early summer and return after a year. They are easy to grow and maintain, like pot marigolds (Calendula officinalis). They come in various colors and petal shapes, attracting a lot of butterflies to a garden and giving it an aesthetic look. These sun-loving flowering plants are generally grown in agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 10.
Are Zinnias Poisonous?
Flowers are not only ornamental but are a part of our food. So here comes the concern regarding their safety. Zinnias are not poisonous. No such study has been reported to tell us if the flower or any other plant part is harmful. So you can grow it in the yard without any concerns.
Are Zinnias Edible?
Zinnias can be eaten. Humans, as well as pets, can have zinnia on their menu. Raw petals taste bitter, but the end product is usually excellent when added to different recipes. There are many ways to get zinnia flowers in your recipes. You can enjoy these treats with your family and make a pet-friendly one for your pets.
Eat the flowers in moderate quantities only. Too much can cause digestive problems such as vomiting and diarrhea in you and your pet.
Can Rabbits Have Zinnias?
Zinnias are safe for pets so are rabbits. So it’s OK to get some zinnias in your rabbit’s diet. They are high in fiber and nutrients and easy to chew. They are, in fact, healthy for your bunny.
However, it’s seen that rabbits don’t like them. Common zinnias (Zinnia Elegans) and lower-growing creeping zinnia (Zinnia Angustifolia) are among the plants that rabbits avoid. Rabbits don’t find them tasty and are unlikely to bother them.
The difference between both species is that common zinnias grow tall to a length of 1-3 feet while the lower-growing creeping zinnia species have a height of 8 to 16 inches.
What if a Rabbit Has Eaten Zinnias?
Pet rabbits eat zinnias rarely. If they have eaten a few petals, it’s entirely safe for them. Make sure they have not consumed in large quantities. If he acts weirdly or shows pain symptoms, you need to take the bunny to the pet clinic.
Can You Grow Zinnia Flowers in Your Backyard?
Zinnia flowers are gorgeous. Some species make flower beds and make the garden elegant. They come in almost all shades of pink, red, orange, yellow, purple, white, green, and lavender. Except for true blue, all other colors are available. You can plant similar shades or make a combo of different shades to give your garden a gorgeous look. Moreover, these are rabbit-resistant plants; both the pet and the wild rabbit won’t harm them.
Remember, some bacterial and fungal diseases are common in the zinnia plant. Alternaria fungus causes large reddish-brown spots. The spots can wither the plant, leaving holes similar to bacterial leaf spots. Zinnia might be vulnerable to insect pests. At the ground, from some space, dead nettle can also grow. It’s a weed that can harm the plant. You need to take care of the plant from these risks.
How to Protect the Backyard From Rabbits?
Though most rabbits don’t harm zinnia, they can eat or harm other plants and shrubs in the garden. So one needs to stop bunnies from eating them. For this purpose, build a fence around the park and spray the plants with rabbit repellent and spicy products. If rabbits eat zinnias too, and you want to keep rabbits away from them, spread zinnias with these products too. They will deter rabbits. Blood meal and powdered fox urine also repel rabbits. These products can also kill the pests eating your plants. But wait, all repellants are not safe for rabbits.
Some harmful chemicals in pesticides, insecticides, and rabbit repellents can seriously affect the rabbits if they come in contact with them. They can lead to problems with the digestive and reproductive systems and can be dangerous enough to cause the degeneration of the organs. Considering these chemicals’ harm to rabbits, you should apply rabbit-safe pesticides in your yard. They are not only for bunnies, but they are also safe for flowers and shrubs too.
Which Other Animals Are Damaging Your Zinnia Flowers?
If rabbits don’t eat these flowers or other plant parts, who is the real culprit of your damaged flowers? Following animals or pests might be eating your flowers:
Zinnias are a favorite meal of slugs. Because they are soft-bodied, these insects resemble snails without shells. Slugs consume all sorts of foliage, but their favorite ones are the tender young leaves of the zinnia plant. If you notice ragged holes in the veins of your zinnia leaves, it’s probably the slug that’s been destroying your plant at night. Because they are more likely to invade plants in the summer and spring, you should remove the lowest leaves and enhance air circulation to ensure that the slug does not find a damp area of the ground to reside.
Aphids love the plant sap called phloem, which has dissolved sugars and other nutrients along with water. As a result, aphids bore quite large holes easily visible to the naked eye by inserting their styles and sucking a large amount of this fluid. They do the same to the zinnias, boring holes in their stem and leaves. However, aphids are controlled naturally by their parasites, wasps. Still, as a precautionary measure, you can spray a lot of water to keep them away from the plant.
If you find small green and copper-colored pests eating these annuals, they are the beetles. They are the real culprits of small holes in the flower. Please get rid of them by spraying neem oil on the plant.
When diluted with water or emulsified with another agent, vegetable oil plays an insecticide role. Usually, these insects have small holes called spiracles for respiration clogged by the oil, causing death. Moreover, oils don’t cause harm to humans and plants, hence safe.
Earwigs attack the flowering plants at night and extract the juice from petals and leaves. The best way to avoid earwigs is to spray soapy water on the plants. These pests don’t appear from winter to spring and bother during the summer and fall.
Rabbit-resistant Plants to Grow in the Garden
Some other vegetation choices are among the plants that rabbits avoid. You can consider using these plants for the beauty of your garden. Among rabbit-resistant plants, annuals include potatoes, rosemary, and tomatoes, while perennials include onions, lavender, oregano, and many more.
Many rabbits love to explore the garden and try different types of herbs and plants out there. If you want to keep them out of your garden, you can grow plants that repel rabbits. Some of these rabbit-resistant plants have already been mentioned. You can cultivate other rabbit-friendly plants in your backyard that are neither harmful to your bunny nor rabbit-resistant.
Rose bushes always attract bunnies. They can not only eat them safely but love them. They can eat all the parts, including petals, leaves, and even thorny stems. It has many vitamins, such as A, C, and E. It also has iron and calcium. They are low in calories and have a good quantity of dietary fiber. Its nutritional value is why roses are recommended to be added to the rabbit’s menu.
Unlike lilies and rhododendrons, which are toxic when fed to the bunnies, sunflowers are safe. They don’t shun these plants; they prefer to eat them. The rabbits can also eat sunflower seeds, and they like sitting with their human buddies and trying them out.
Daisy flowers grow pretty quickly and pose no harm to rabbits. They don’t offer much nutritional value but still are safe. Keep an eye on the rabbits, and don’t let them eat too much of it, as an excess of anything is bad.
Dandelion is a fast-growing and spreading garden weed. It is a rabbit-friendly plant and is beneficial for their health. It has more beta-carotene than carrots and is high in essential minerals and vitamins. Their bright yellow blossoms, which have a pleasant odor, are simple to spot, attracting pests. Dandelion greens are also palatable to rabbits, in addition to the flowers.
True jasmine is safe for rabbits. Their color and beauty are appealing to rabbits. All parts of this plant are edible for bunnies. Carolina yellow jasmine is false; they should be avoided for feeding rabbits. False jasmine does share the characteristics of true jasmine but belongs to other families and is not safe for bunnies.
Rabbits don’t eat zinnias because they don’t like them. Therefore, it is a rabbit-resistant plant that can grow freely in the backyard. If you want your rabbit to eat healthily, grow rabbit-friendly plants and shrubs; however, if you make your yard beautiful and don’t want bunnies to mess with them, rabbit-resistant plants are the solution.