Thinking of planting begonia but worried about the wild rabbits? Or you are thinking, is it safe if your pet bunny feast on begonias?
Let’s know the explanation regarding everything about begonias and rabbits in detail. Keep reading to know if rabbits eat begonias and other important information you should know.
Do rabbits eat begonias?
Most rabbits do not eat begonias, and they do not like them either. But some rabbits can eat them, especially when there is a limited food source. Begonias are toxic to rabbits and can cause severe poisoning if they eat many of them. Wild rabbits can spot the poisonous plants and stay away.
Begonias are listed as poisonous plants for rabbits and all other herbivores. Begonia leaves have a high amount of oxalic acid, which causes severe poisoning to the rabbits. So, usually, begonias are safe from rabbits.
But, some rabbits can eat a few species of begonias in unusual conditions. If there is not much available food for the rabbits, they can munch on the begonia plants.
Usually, in the drought, rabbits can eat plants like begonias when there is a food shortage. So, in the drought season, you may want to take protective steps for the begonias.
Generally, bunny enters your garden and starts eating other plants, and then they eat some begonias randomly. But as they don’t like the taste of the plant, they will not be able to deal considerable damage in normal conditions.
If you have a pet bunny and begonia garden, you should look after the bunny as consuming it can cause health damage to your loving pet. Take steps to stop the bunny from eating the begonia plant.
We will discuss more on this topic, but first, let’s discuss the two most toxic begonia species for rabbits.
Tuberous begonias contain calcium oxalates and cucurbitacin B, which is highly toxic to rabbits as well as dogs, cats, and other pets.
They are one of the most poisonous plants of the begonia family. So, if you plant Tuberous begonias, there is not much to worry about the plants. You may want to keep it protected if you care about the rabbits.
Wax begonias are also very poisonous to rabbits. It is mildly toxic for humans. However, there is not enough evidence that claims that any begonias can be fatal for rabbits and other house pets.
Do wild rabbits eat begonias? Can rabbits eat begonia flowers and plants?
Wild rabbits do not eat begonias in average conditions. Wild herbivores must know which plants are safe and unsafe to survive in nature. They acquired the skills by evolution.
So, there is a low chance wild rabbits will eat the begonia plants and flowers. For this reason, begonias are known as deer and rabbit resistant plants.
However, there is nothing called a resistant plant in front of a starving herbivore. They can choose to eat any plants when they are hungry.
Usually, toxic effects do not start immediately, so if rabbits choose to eat begonias, they can deal considerable damage to some of your begonia plants.
It is easy to protect your begonia plants from rabbits if you know the proper ways. Rabbits, repellents, fences, and keeping signs of other predators can save your garden and begonias from bunnies. We will explain how to repel rabbits from your garden in the letter section.
4 reasons why rabbits do not eat begonias
Begonias bloom all year round except winter, and if you can keep them alive in the winter, they will bloom again in the following spring. It is easy to keep them alive as they are resistant to plant-eaters. Check out the reasons why rabbits do not eat begonias.
Begonias are toxic:
There are some components of begonia plants that are toxic to rabbits. If a rabbit feasts in the begonia plant, it will face skin and mouth irritation and weakness.
If a rabbit eats too many begonia plants for a long time, that can cause organ damage like kidney and liver problems. However, no record says any pet or rabbit passed away after eating begonia plants, but it is possible if the rabbit is too young or old.
Begonias have a very unpleasant taste because of the high amount of oxalic acid. If a rabbit or other animal eats the begonia plant, they will feel mouth irritation and burning effect.
This is the sign of a toxic plant, and most of the rabbits will avoid eating the plant after eating a few bites of the begonia plant.
Rabbits are defensive:
Rabbits are on the lowest part of the food chain, and they have to look out from many predators. They have to stay aware of anything that can cause disease and weakness in the wild.
A weak and slow rabbit is a free meal for predators. So, rabbits are keen to avoid risky situations that can cause disease and weakness.
They know the toxic plants:
For a rabbit, it is essential to know the toxic plants to survive. They know the signs and tastes of poisonous plants and stay away from them. However, pet rabbits may not have that instinct and eat toxic plants.
Are begonias toxic to rabbits?
Begonias are toxic to rabbits and can cause severe health damage to them. It is mildly toxic to cats, dogs, and humans but more harmful to rabbits, deer, and horses.
Begonias have a large amount of oxalate, which is the main reason for their toxicity. When rabbits consume begonia plants, the oxalate turns into oxalic acid, which is very harmful at the cellular level or the rabbits.
Oxalic acids are organic acids, but rabbits do not have capable kidneys to filter out the acid from the blood. If a rabbit consumes a high amount of begonia plant, that can damage its kidney, and the rabbits will have different health problems for several days.
However, other pets like cats and dogs have advanced urinary systems that can easily filter the toxic chemicals if they eat begonias. However, you should keep all the pets away from begonias as they can cause vomit and diarrhea to cats and dogs if ingested.
Are begonias rabbit resistant?
Begonias are rabbit and deer-resistant plants as they do not usually eat the begonia plants. The begonias are also toxic and cause different health problems to them.
As we mentioned earlier, no plants are safe if there is a lack of food in the area. In such conditions, rabbits, and deer’s can eat begonias. Food shortage occurs in the drought season when grass and other plants dry out.
If you care about the wild animals in a drought, you can plant grass and other plants that rabbits and deer can eat. It may sound unusual, but if you keep some eatable plants near the begonias, rabbits will be unlikely to eat the begonias.
How do I stop rabbits from eating begonias?
There are many ways to keep rabbits away from your begonia garden. Here we are including the easiest ones for you.
It is pretty easy to keep rabbits away from a plant using rabbit repellent. The only issue with rabbit repellent is the effect goes away after rain.
Commercial rabbit repellents are made with fox urine which is highly effective to repel rabbits. You can also make homemade rabbit repellents with cayenne paper powder and water if you don’t want to spend money on commercial repellents.
Mix the cayenne paper powder with water and leave it overnight. After that, spray that with a spray bottle over the plants you want to save from rabbits.
Keeping some Human or pet hair clippings in a different garden area is adequate to keep the rabbits away. Rabbits actively avoid any place that has signs of predators or humans.
Keep a cat or dog:
If you have an outdoor active cat or dog, rabbits will never visit your home after getting chased by your pet. Sometimes dogs can even catch and eat rabbits, but that is not healthy for a pet dog.
Keep fake snakes and owls:
Get some fake snake and owl dolls from droller stores. Leave the snakes in different garden spots and hang a few owls in the visible part. As they are natural predators of rabbits, they will avoid the area.
Fences with smaller gaps can be used to stop the rabbits from eating your begonia plants. However, fences are not the cheapest and can affect the garden aesthetics.
Most rabbit species do not eat begonia plants, but a few can occasionally eat them. Begonia plants are moderately poisonous to rabbits, so you should look after your pet bunny if you have begonia plants in your house. You can easily keep the rabbits away by using rabbit repellents.