Rabbits are among the most destructive pest animals every gardener has to deal with. When spring comes, expect to see rabbits lingering around your garden. If you think they just happen to come across your garden, you are mistaken. It is safe to assume they are there on purpose, eyeing your young plants and plotting how they can outsmart you.
When food sources are abundant, rabbits don’t even notice clematis plants, no matter how soft and tender they may look.
Rabbits almost eat anything, and once they find something to eat in your garden, they will keep coming back for more. If you take a closer look at your clematis plant, you’ll notice that the flowers and stems look so tender and soft. Would they look appetizing to rabbits? Let’s find out!
Do rabbits eat clematis?
What plants do rabbits like to nibble on? Rabbits love to chew on young, tender shoots. This is why spring not only means new growth, emerging buds, and blooming flowers. It also means the coming out of rabbits looking for food. Emerging buds, colorful flowers, and lush foliage look delicious to rabbits.
They prefer young plants and tender new growth if food sources are abundant. However, when food is scarce, which usually happens in winter, they eat almost anything, even branches, twigs, and young trees. Your tender plants and those out in the open with no protection are all in danger of being eaten by rabbits.
Clematis are vining plants and are even referred to as “the queen of climbers.” Every summer, they bloom with star-like flowers that are white, pink, red, and purple. The vine can grow up to 20 feet, and the flower measures up to 6 inches across.
Clematis make excellent ornamental plants because they take up just a little soil space yet bloom with abundant purple flowers that add beauty to your garden.
Most rabbits avoid the clematis plants because they just don’t taste good to them. When food sources are abundant, rabbits don’t even notice clematis plants, no matter how soft and tender they may look. However, wild rabbits and young rabbits, who eat almost anything they can find and have no idea what plants are good for them, tend to nibble on the young shoots and tender vines of the clematis plant.
Is clematis poisonous to rabbits?
Yes, rabbits eat clematis. Stems snapped off by rabbits can happen, and many gardeners have already reported similar cases. Young rabbits and wild rabbits are the ones to blame. However, this is a rare case for most rabbits that already know which plants to eat and which not. Do you know the main reason why most rabbits avoid the clematis plant, even if it looks tender and delicious? It’s because clematis is a toxic plant.
Clematis contains a chemical irritant called glycoside ranunculin that, when eaten, is converted to protoanemonin. In simpler terms, this plant is poisonous to animals and can cause mouth pain, skin irritation, diarrhea, vomiting, and salivation when eaten.
The leaves and flowers are the most toxic parts of the clematis plant. It is poisonous to children, dogs, cats, horses, pigs, goats, and chickens. Clematis is toxic to rabbits, and rabbits tend to avoid plants that are toxic to them. They also don’t like the bitter taste of the leaves of the clematis plant. Your clematis plant being eaten by rabbits is a possibility. However, this is a rare case. Most rabbits don’t eat clematis.
How to keep rabbits away from your clematis plant
Since there is a possibility that rabbits could eat your clematis plant, it is best not to let your guards down. Also, for those who have little bunnies as pets, you must keep them away from the clematis plant since it is toxic to them. Here are some ways to keep rabbits from eating your clematis plant and protect your cute bunnies from getting poisoned.
1. Create a fence around your garden with chicken wire. Since rabbits are also diggers, make sure that the chicken wire is at least 6 inches below the ground level.
2. Grow plants in your garden that rabbits don’t like. This includes catnip, marigold, lavender, daffodils, basil, garlic, and mint.
3. Use homemade or organic rabbit repellents. You can make a spray with garlic, red peppers, water, and dish soap as the main ingredients.
Do Rabbits Eat Clematis?: Conclusion
If you see rabbits lingering around your garden, chances are they are up to something. Build a fence around your garden to keep destructive rabbits away from your clematis plant.
Clematis is toxic to most animals, including rabbits. Because of this toxicity, most rabbits avoid clematis when they see them in the garden. However, remember that when food is scarce, rabbits will take the risk of chewing on the stems of your clematis plant just to satisfy their hunger. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Related Article: Clematis Companion Plants