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Do Rabbits Eat Gardenias? (Answered)

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Gardenias are very strong and enchanting fragrant flowers that can fill up an entire garden with their strong zesty scent. 

But hence, rabbits are known as less likely to be attracted to strong fragrant flowers, while growing gardenias in your garden, naturally you would be thinking about if there’s a rabbit invasion happening whether or not they would eat the gardenias. 

Therefore, to get to the roots of this query, let’s read ahead.

Do Rabbits Eat Gardenias?

Naturally, rabbits don’t get attracted and eat strong fragrant flowers but they eat gardenias, and according to the ASPCA poison control center, gardenias are safe for rabbits to eat. Thus, if rabbits are hungry, can reach gardenias, or palatable food sources are scarce, rabbits will eat gardenias.

To answer your queries to the questions about exactly which part of the gardenias such as the leaves, flowers, or the entire gardenia bush rabbits possibly will eat, below it has been explained.

Gardenia Bushes: 

Rabbits very naturally tend to feast on almost any flowering plants they see in nature or the flowering plants they can reach easily. Therefore, gardenia bushes aren’t safe from the hunger of rabbits, which means yes, rabbits will eat gardenia bushes. 

Gardenia bushes are small in height that rabbits very comfortably can reach and eat from the top of the bush to the bottom. 

However, gardenia bushes don’t make the first choice of rabbits to invade and feast on, but in particular situations, rabbits surely will eat an entire gardenia bush at the first chance they will get. 

Gardenia Leaves:  

Possibly, you have heard that gardenia leaves are assumed to be poisonous to some pets because they show symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting. 

However, gardenia leaves are safe to consume for rabbits and the ASPCA poison control center has confirmed it because after eating gardenia leaves, rabbits did not show any sickening symptoms or signs of deteriorating health. 

Thereby, it can be said that rabbits do and will eat gardenia leaves. Rabbits particularly are seen to enjoy eating the young gardenia leaves.

Gardenia Flowers: 

Despite having a very pungent enchanting scent, rabbits will not spare the gardenia flowers too from eating them. 

Besides, gardenia flowers also make a safe food option for rabbits to consume in conditions like a scarcity of food, adverse environmental situations, and obviously hunger. As a result, if rabbits get a chance to reach the gardenia flowers easily, they certainly will eat them. 

Rabbits prefer eating the new, young and tender gardenia-shoots, and they will nibble on them more often. 

Do Rabbits Like Gardenias?

Gardenias may not be the first choice as a palatable food source for rabbits to consume in the first place because gardenias have a very strong fragrance, and it’s quite well known that rabbits don’t seem to prefer strong fragrant flowers to eat. 

However, the strong fragrance of gardenias doesn’t make them disliked by the rabbits because rabbits are herbivores and munch on almost any flowering plants. 

Therefore, it can be stated that rabbits don’t really dislike gardenias, but they prefer to eat gardenias only to some extent

Sometimes there can be tough times like unfavorable climate or environment, too many rabbits in one place, etc. In such times, rabbits barely think twice about liking gardenias as their food, they will just eat them instantly after spotting them. 

Are Gardenias Poisonous To Rabbits?

Gardenias, regardless of the leaves, flowers, roots, and seeds are not toxic at all for rabbits to consume. Instead, gardenias have been confirmed to be on the safer side of the food list for rabbits to consume.

The ASPCA poison control center itself has confirmed that even though gardenias (especially the leaves) have been assumed to be toxic for animals because a pet has manifested symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting, this flowering plant is not necessarily poisonous to rabbits. 

They also stated that rabbits are seen not to show little to zero health issues and stay in good health even after eating gardenias. Therefore, it can surely be said that gardenias make a non-toxic flowering plant for rabbits to eat. 

4 Reasons Why Rabbits Do Eat Gardenias?

The main 4 reasons why rabbits eat gardenias have been explicitly explained to let you understand the reasons in a more detailed way.


Hunger is one of the prime reasons that can even make rabbits eat the least preferred flowering plant, so it isn’t a matter of wonder that hunger makes rabbits eat gardenias as well. 

While searching for food by invading a garden if they find no other palatable food except for the gardenias, without thinking twice, rabbits will make their move and eat gardenias. The young gardenia-shoots and leaves are more prone to be a food source for rabbits. 


An overpopulation of rabbits in any area is the second prime reason why rabbits eat gardenias. 

When there is an increasing number of rabbits in an area, naturally all of them will start looking for and eating all palatable foods, and that’s how a shortage of palatable food sources will occur. 

In such a situation, rabbits will invade the gardens nearby and will eat absolutely any flowering plant they will spot, so gardenias aren’t safe either in this situation.

Adverse Environment 

In some places, the summer can be a very scorching one that really can cause drought, or the harshness of cold winter can be so severe that snowfall can be happening. 

In such adverse environmental situations, to survive in nature, rabbits give up on tasty food sources and just eat any flowering plants regardless of their type. Thereby, gardenias make a nice feast for them and it’s another reason why rabbits eat gardenias. 

Exploring the Surroundings 

Baby rabbits explore the surroundings around them often and at that time they munch on almost any plants, thereby, gardenias aren’t spared at all. 

If young rabbits can enter a garden and can reach gardenias easily, they will just tear the gardenia bushes down to the ground and eat the leaves, flowers, and stems. 

Are Gardenias Rabbit Resistant? 

Gardenias are not completely rabbit resistant. Gardenias will attract rabbits as much as any other flowering plants that rabbits usually like to prefer eating if there is an issue of scarcity of food or rabbits are hungry. 

Sometimes, to quench the thirst of a rabbit’s curiosity, it can get attracted to gardenia plants and destroy them. However, since gardenias have a strong zesty fragrance, rabbits may not be attracted to gardenias or eat them always. 

How To Stop Rabbits From Eating My Plants?

5 super effective ways of keeping rabbits away from eating your beloved plants in the garden have been added below, go through them thoroughly and know the solutions. 

Install Fence: 

Installing a chicken wire mesh fence all around the perimeter of your garden would be the most effective method of keeping rabbits away from eating your plants. 

So get chicken wire mesh with just about an inch of gaps and bury them 6 feet underneath the ground at least so that rabbits can’t enter the garden by squeezing through holes underneath the ground. 

And the height should be at least 4 feet tall so that rabbits can’t jump over the fence.

Reduce Rabbits’ Living Places:

Rabbits don’t prefer staying away from their shelter or food sources. Therefore, if rabbits are living around your home or in the garden, reduce their living places by cutting bushes, filling up any abandoned holes, and sealing burrows in structures around your home and in the garden. 

Plant Rabbit Resistant Plants: 

There are some plants that rabbits don’t like around them, you can plant these flowering/veggie plants and herbs in between the plants in your garden to keep rabbits away from eating your plants.

These plants include- onions, Persian onions, asparagus, rhubarb, mint, oregano, parsley, daffodil, geranium, wax begonia, peony, lamb’s ear, Russian sage, lavender, and many others. 

Hot Pepper: 

Rabbits are great sniffers, thus, you can simply sprinkle hot pepper around the plants you want to protect. Or else, you can make a mixture of hot pepper, crushed onions and garlic, and water, mix the mixture well and spray it on the plants. 

Both ways will irritate the nose of rabbits and keep them away from eating your plants. However, you must repeat this method every now and then. 

Trapping Them: 

You can use a live trap/cage to catch rabbits by luring them inside it with food. But after catching them, you must release them to a safe distant place. Remember no rabbits should be harmed if you trap them to catch. 

Final thought: 

Gardenias may not be the first choice of rabbits but rabbits do eat gardenias in specific conditions like in unfavorable environmental conditions, when they are famished, can easily reach the plants, and overpopulation of rabbits. Other times, rabbits may not eat gardenias due to their strong scent.

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