While you may love the aroma of sage and rosemary flowing through your kitchen, your adorable rabbit probably won’t. The strong scent of many salvias (flowering plants that belong to the Lamiaceae family) tends to deter rabbits.
Although it seems like your furry friend will eat just about anything, there are specific snacks that will deter them. Some of these include sage, rosemary, chia, mint, and all other plants in the Lamiaceae family.
Fragrant scents can overwhelm your rabbit’s prominent sense of smell and send them running for the hills instead of into your arms.
What You'll Learn
What Are Salvias?
Salvias are common herbs or shrubs that have leaves opposite each other on square stems. Some produce what is known as “nutlet fruits,” a dry, one-seeded fruit that becomes hard at the end of maturity.
There are currently over 960 species of Salvias, most of which can be grown in your backyard.
Primarily used for culinary purposes, these plants have been known to also appease gardeners’ decorative tendencies. Some are grown specifically for nutlet fruits, one of which is chia seeds.
Look for ornamental colors and shapes on long stems to find your salvia plants. Gorgeous colors coupled with fragrant properties are the easiest way to spot these plants from a mile away.
Some grow in large bushes, making them common for residents trying to line their property in a more decorative manner.
A Rabbit’s Strong Sense of Smell
Look at that adorable nose twitching away! Have you ever noticed that your rabbit always appears to be sniffing something, even if it seems like there’s nothing there?
Rabbit’s sense of smell is twenty times greater than humans, meaning that the sage-crusted salmon you’re cooking downstairs smells like the vast ocean and an entire garden to them.
In the wild, rabbits use their noses to detect danger, find food, and seek out mates. Sniffing everywhere is not just a hobby, it is a rooted primal skill that the species has maintained for years.
Some scents that rabbits love, humans do too! Roses, snacks such as lettuce, apples, carrots, and other greens, and even their own feces tend to attract them (a little gross, I know).
Anything that could appeal to a rabbit’s primary survival instincts, such as food, another rabbit, or identifying their territory through their own feces, is a good bet on aromas your furry friend will love.
Instead of trying to feed your rabbit salvias, opt for healthy fruits and vegetables that lack a strong aroma. You don’t want to overwhelm your rabbit, as they are known to experience shock easily.
Is It Dangerous If My Rabbit Does Eat Salvias?
Luckily, it is not dangerous if your rabbit does eat salvias. On the rare occasion that they would push through the overwhelming smell to get a snack, your friend will be perfectly fine if they come across a primarily culinary plant.
Sage can be an incredibly nutritious snack if your rabbit has an exceptional palette and can handle the aromas. Being a great source of fiber and numerous vitamins, the benefits can outweigh the costs of buying or growing fresh salvias.
Why Do People Plant Salvias In a Rabbit-Populated Garden?
Pesky bunnies getting to your rose bushes? Have no fear. These flowering plants can be useful in deterring wildlife from your prized garden.
While salvias do deter rabbits, they can also help aid deer peskiness. Using these herbs as a border for your garden can also benefit the human eye. The beauty of these leaves and colors is attractive and can spruce up the look of your garden!
Along with the beauty, these plants will also attract gorgeous butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. Plants that continue growing without interference and majestic winged visitors? Count me in!
Salvias are not only rich in aromas but are also a great source of nectar. Save the bees, feed the hummingbirds, and nourish the butterflies, all with one plant!
Rabbits Usually Avoid Salvias
Salvias have many great uses but can be a turn-off to your rabbit. While they are not dangerous or poisonous to your rabbit, they can seriously irritate your friend’s sense of smell. Be careful of perfumes, colognes, and air fresheners as well. Your rabbit can already smell almost everything in your house, even if the doors are closed.
The most adorable smell they love is you! Rabbits bond with their owners, and once their trust is built, they rely on you for attention, food, water, and more. You have become their best friend, and they would love to sense your presence all the time! Try to keep their environment as neutral smelling as possible and watch that nose twitch as they sense other smells from the next room!