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Do Rabbits Eat Zinnias? (Quick Answers)

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Zinnias are attractive and vibrant colors of flowers. Humans are attracted mostly by its smell. Many animals and insects also attract and eat them. But it might be an interesting matter that rabbits who eat almost everything, do they like zinnias or not?

Do rabbits eat zinnias?

Rabbits don’t like to eat zinnias. There’s no specific reason why they tend to avoid zinnias but it’s considered that they don’t like zinnias because of their strong aroma and its prickly centers. But there’s a possibility that they can munch zinnias at any time if they don’t find anything to eat.

Zinnia’s bright, vibrant color and beautiful fragrance attract most of the animals. Where rabbits have grown a distaste of zinnias. They eat almost anything in the garden. They always tend to avoid zinnias but there’s no biological reason behind that.

Zinnias have a strong fragrance that animals can smell from a distance. Rabbits don’t like strong-smelling flowers and so they avoid zinnias. Besides, zinnias are prickly and hardy flowers. And this nature of zinnias made them rabbit and deer-resistant plants. 

But it also varies from time to time. The young rabbits can nibble or play with zinnias. If rabbits find there’s a lack of food, they can also eat zinnias.

Zinnia leaves:

Rabbits have leaf-eating behavior. They munch anything at any time in the garden. But they don’t like zinnias that much. Because of the strong smell, rabbits usually keep them away from eating zinnia leaves. 

But if they feel hungry and find no other options, they eat zinnia leaves as well.

Zinnia seedlings:

Rabbits eat about everything in the garden, mostly the young rabbits. They prefer mostly seedlings and young green leaves. 

As the flowers still have not bloomed in seedlings, there’s a high chance that they can eat them if they don’t find any of their favorite foods.

Zinnia flowers/blossoms:

Usually, the strong fragrance of zinnias is disliked by the rabbits. So, the rabbits keep themselves away from zinnia plants normally. Again, the prickly center of the zinnias and hardy nature, rabbits avoid eating zinnia flowers.

Do these rabbits eat zinnias?

Rabbits are herbivores and eat different kinds of grasses, leaves, flowers, vegetables, hays, etc. Usually, rabbits eat anything they come across when they are hungry. But because zinnias are quite strong-scented flowers, rabbits don’t like the smell and so they try to avoid it.

Wild rabbits and domestic rabbits are brought up in two different environments. And so, there are some differences in their behavior and food habits:

Wild rabbits:

Wild rabbits usually eat grasses and hays in their diets. They mostly prefer orchids, Bermuda, oats, wheat, etc in the wild. To meet their nutritional needs, they eat tons of grass every day.

Zinnias are wildflowers and they have quite a strong fragrance that rabbits do not like much. As in the wild, they have many other options to eat, they try to avoid zinnias.

Domestic rabbits:

Domestic rabbits don’t get natural diets as the wild rabbits get. People can’t feed their rabbits tons of raw greens that they need. They are given pallets and hay, vegetables and fruits mostly as their main food. 

But the domestic rabbits wish for fresh greens daily. Mostly the young ones search for green leaves where they play and munch plants and flowers from the garden. 

If you planted zinnias in your garden, there’s a possibility that your young pet rabbits can eat zinnias in search of green leaves as they don’t have strong smelling power to sniff the strong fragrance of zinnias.

Are zinnias rabbit-resistant?

Zinnias are vibrant and bright neon color flowers, mostly found in the North American continent, and parts of South America. Zinnias are called rabbit-resistant but they are not completely. Actually, rabbits don’t like zinnias and so don’t eat them. 

Rabbits eat about everything that they find around them but there’s no specific reason why they don’t like zinnias.

Zinnias have a strong fragrance that rabbits can easily smell from a distance. They don’t feel tempted by that fragrance as humans attract. Again, zinnias have prickly centers and they are hardy flowers. So, rabbits don’t feel comfortable eating zinnias. 

Moreover, the color of zinnias might be a warning for them that brings a distaste in their mouth when they notice that. So, they mostly avoid eating zinnias.

But that doesn’t mean zinnias are harmful to them. Actually, it’s like rabbits are grown by the distaste of zinnias in their mouth. Moreover, rabbits can eat zinnias when there’s a lack of their favorite foods. If they are hungry they can eat zinnias as well. 

Mostly the young bunnies can eat zinnias as they don’t have the strong smell sensation like the adults.

3 reasons why rabbits do not like zinnia:

Rabbits usually enjoy green leaves, grasses, fruits, vegetables, hay, etc. They are the animals that can eat anything and stay healthy.  They roam around the wild or garden and what they come across, they eat. But there’s no specific reason why they do not like zinnia.

Zinnias are not harmful. They don’t want to eat them when there are other options left. But if they are hungry, they can eat zinnias as well. Maybe these are the reasons why they don’t like them much:

Strong Fragrance:

Zinnias have quite a strong fragrance. But the rabbits don’t like strong smells. They actually eat everything that they find near to them. But like the humans, they don’t like that much strong fragrance. 

They can smell the strong fragrance from a distance and just avoid it.

Prickly Center:

Zinnias are prickly flowers. They have a defense mechanism in their flowers that is prickles that they use for their protection. And so, the rabbits feel disturbed and uncomfortable eating that. So, they don’t tend to eat zinnias.


Color plays a great role in the animals while choosing foods. The color of zinnias is very vibrant. Also, it is thought that the color of zinnias might be a warning sign for them. 

The warning color gives them a nasty taste in their mouth that they don’t want to eat. But it’s not yet proven that zinnias are harmful to them. They are grown up by the distaste of zinnias.

How to keep rabbits from eating zinnias?

Normally rabbits don’t like to eat zinnias. They feel irritated by the strong smell and try to avoid it. When they have other foods to eat they usually avoid zinnias but if they don’t find any other foods nearby, they will not stop them from eating zinnias.

You may feel disappointed if rabbits destroy the beautiful zinnias of your garden. Here are some ideas you can follow to keep rabbits away from eating zinnias of your garden:


Fencing is a good way to keep rabbits away from your garden and flowers. Rabbits usually can’t hop more than 2 feet. So if you fence your garden a little more than 2 feet, they will not be able to enter your garden and munch your beautiful zinnias.

YARDGARD 308371B Garden Rabbit Fence 28 Inch x 50 Foot, Silver

Planting zinnias beside onions or garlic plants:

It’s quite a great idea to plant your zinnias besides the plants of onions or garlic. They don’t like the flavorful smell of garlic and onions and so, they avoid the place.

Spray spices:

Rabbits don’t like spices. If you spray the mixture of water and hot pepper sauce it will work as a taste repellent. If the rabbits taste the hot spices they will stop munching zinnias.

Talcum powder:

This is also a way to keep your zinnias safe from rabbits. You can dust your plants with talcum powder. Rabbits are great sniffers, when they’ll sniff the smell, they will not eat them anymore.

Blood Meal:

A blood meal works great as rabbits taste repellent. It produces a distaste in their mouth that they will not eat them again. But you have to apply it several times a day.

What is eating my zinnias?

Rabbits don’t usually eat zinnias when they have other foods. But if you find your zinnias are damaged and think about what else is eating your zinnias, the reasons might be small bugs, insects, or snails and slugs. Most zinnias are destroyed by:


Aphids are common insects that destroy your zinnias. During hot or dry weather, they love to suck the juice of the zinnias plants and damage them.


At the night of the spring and summer, slugs chew the zinnia leaves across the veins and leaves holes.


Earwigs chew the leaves and flowers of the zinnias and damage them. By the large population, they can also ruin the plants

Final thoughts:

Rabbits usually don’t eat zinnias. There’s no specific reason why rabbits don’t like zinnias and not even that they are harmful. Rabbits actually avoid zinnias because of their strong fragrance that they don’t like and their defense mechanism. But rabbits can also eat zinnias if they really need to.

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