Wild rabbits will eat Cosmos along with many other types of flowering plants. There are humane methods you can use to deter them from eating your plants. Cosmos are non-toxic to rabbits, so feeding them as an occasional treat to your pet rabbit is safe.
Wild rabbits pose quite a threat to both vegetable gardens and the decorative flowers people plant in their yards. Cosmos are one of many flowering plants wild rabbits are attracted to eating.
Cosmos is the common name for three varieties of flowering plants: Cosmos bipinnatus, C. sulphureus, C. Caudatus. The species belongs to the aster, daisy, composite, or sunflower family. They are daisy-like in appearance and come in a variety of colors.
What You'll Learn
- 1 Do Rabbits Like to Eat Cosmos?
- 2 Are Live Traps A Good Way To Stop Rabbits From Eating Cosmos?
- 3 What Are Ways To Prevent Rabbits From Eating Cosmos?
- 4 Is It Safe to Feed Pet Rabbits Cosmos?
- 5 Are There Benefits To Feeding Rabbits Cosmos?
- 6 Rabbits Enjoy Eating Cosmos
Do Rabbits Like to Eat Cosmos?
Cosmos are just one on the list of the many plants that rabbits seem to really enjoy. Wild rabbits like Cosmos so much that they will often devour the plants down to the stem. They seem to prefer eating the shoots of younger plants over the taller, more mature plants.
Wild rabbits will typically raid gardens at night as they feel safer under the cover of darkness. There are signs you can look for that will indicate the presence of rabbits:
- Clean-cut stems. Wild rabbits eat the leaves and stems and leave a clean cut, whereas insects and deer leave jagged edges.
- Rabbit droppings. Look for the presence of small, pea-sized droppings in the area.
- Rabbit paw prints. Examine exposed soil for evidence of any footprints. The prints are oval in shape, with the hind feet leaving longer prints.
- Signs of digging. Rabbits will dig and create holes or burrows.
Are Live Traps A Good Way To Stop Rabbits From Eating Cosmos?
If you’re a gardener, you invest a lot of time into planting and tending your garden and flowers, so it’s understandable that you want to prevent rabbits from eating them.
While you might believe live trapping and relocating is a humane solution for getting rid of pesky rabbits, the opposite is true.
In some situations, this could mean you’re relocating a mother away from her babies, leaving them to slowly starve to death. The relocated rabbit will not know where to find food, shelter, and water in the new environment. Additionally, trapping and relocation is not a good long-term solution as it’s more than likely that more wild rabbits will move into the vacated area.
What Are Ways To Prevent Rabbits From Eating Cosmos?
If you’re looking for humane methods to stop rabbits from eating your Cosmos plants, there are several ways of doing so. These methods won’t harm rabbits, are relatively simple, and are certainly worth giving a try:
Fence The Plants You Want to Protect
Keeping rabbits physically out is the most effective way to stop them from eating your plants. Be sure to use chicken or rabbit wire. The downside is that you might not like the appearance of fencing.
Use Hanging Baskets
This is a great solution to prevent rabbits from having access to your plants. The plants will be safely out of reach and will also provide aesthetic appeal.
Rabbit Repellent Sprays
If you don’t like the appearance of fencing, and hanging baskets are just not an option, you can try using rabbit repellent. Rabbit repellent is basically a spray containing a scent that rabbits really dislike. There are commercial sprays, or you can make your own. Sprays will need to be reapplied after it rains.
Install An Ultrasonic Rabbit Repellent
They make solar battery-powered models that are easy to install. The repellents periodically release a tone that is irritating to rabbits but inaudible to humans.
This consists of a garden sprinkler and a motion sensor. When the rabbit activates the sensor, it turns on the sprinkler and sprays the rabbit. Ideally, the sudden spray of water scares the rabbit away.
Is It Safe to Feed Pet Rabbits Cosmos?
Wild rabbits eat Cosmos all the time with no ill effects. Since Cosmos are non-toxic to rabbits, feeding them to your pet rabbit is perfectly safe.
If you plan on feeding your pet rabbit Cosmos, it’s important to follow specific guidelines to prevent your rabbit from getting sick or possibly being poisoned. Here are recommended precautions to take:
Make Sure Plants Are Chemical-Free
Ensure you only feed your pet rabbit plants or flowers free of insecticides and fertilizers. Many of these substances are poisonous to rabbits.
Wash Plants Carefully Before Feeding
You should wash any dirt and remove any insects from the plants to prevent introducing foreign bacteria to your rabbit’s delicate digestive system.
Feed in Moderation
While the plants may be safe for your pet rabbit to eat, that does not mean the rabbit should consume an unlimited amount. The bulk of a pet rabbit’s diet should consist of hay.
Are There Benefits To Feeding Rabbits Cosmos?
Some varieties of Cosmos offer medicinal benefits to humans. The caudatus variety has been used to help with ulcers, heart disease, cancer, treating mumps, and improving the immune system.
The leaves of the C. Sulphureus variety or Yellow Cosmos have been used in native medicines for treating malaria.
While it’s logical to assume that the medicinal properties in Cosmos will also offer benefits for rabbits, there is simply not enough data on the topic available to know with absolute certainty.
Rabbits Enjoy Eating Cosmos
Wild rabbits definitely enjoy eating Cosmos plants. As anyone who grows Cosmos will verify, the plants are irresistible to wild rabbits.
If you enjoy having these flowers in your yard and want to prevent them from being eaten by wild rabbits, there are several humane methods you can use to protect your plants.
If you’re a pet owner interested in offering your pet rabbit a tasty treat, Cosmos flowers are a safe option, provided you follow the guidelines. Ensure that the plants are chemical-free and always feed in moderation.