Rabbits are voracious eaters. They eat almost any plant in the garden. Young plants and tender new growth are two of their favorite meals, but when food becomes scarce, especially in winter, they’ll start devouring any greens that they can find.
In the US, the eastern cottontail rabbit is the most likely species you’ll spot lingering around your garden. It is not difficult to tell if rabbits are the ones that attacked your garden.
Gnawed off tender green shoots and teeth marks on the bark are signs that rabbits are the culprits, not deer or squirrels. Will the rabbits spare your beautiful daffodils? Thankfully, yes! Rabbits are kind of allergic to daffodils. Keep reading to find out why.
Do rabbits eat daffodils?
Rabbits, squirrels, deer, rodents, chipmunks, and mice are regular visitors to our gardens whenever spring comes. Spring is the time when our dormant plants come back to us again and is the best time to plant most crops because the soil is starting to get warmer.
Unfortunately, spring is also the time when rabbits can attack our gardens anytime we let down our guards. They are just one of the many pests that can hinder us from enjoying our crops coming back to life again because they eat them before we even get to witness their new growth.
Spring bulbs are the earliest to bloom, usually in early spring or around May. Among spring bulbs, tulips taste the sweetest to bunnies. If you have spring bulbs in your garden, you will notice that tulips have the most damage. Emerging buds, colorful flowers, and lush foliage attract rabbits.
Rabbits attack tulips the most, but they tend to avoid daffodils. This is because daffodils repel rabbits. Daffodils have a strong, bitter taste that rabbits don’t like. You know very well that rabbits don’t like leaves that are rough, hairy, and highly fragrant. This is also the reason why rabbits resist most plants emitting strong scents like onions.
So, if you’re wondering whether rabbits eat daffodils, the answer is no. In fact, daffodils are known to be rabbit-resistant. Gardeners use daffodils as companion plants for those that are at risk of being gnawed off by rabbits. Daffodils are easy to grow and offer beautiful yellow blooms early in the spring.
Aside from these benefits, daffodils can also keep rabbits away from your garden. Actually, daffodils are resistant to many pests, not just rabbits. They also repel squirrels, rodents, mice, and deer. If you’re looking for a plant that can keep pests and other animals from eating your plants, daffodils are a reliable one.
Why don’t rabbits eat daffodils?
Daffodils are bulbs that flower in spring, usually from March to April. When spring comes, daffodils will add more beauty to your garden with their flowers that are yellow, gold, and white in color. They can grow up to 2 feet tall, but you can find dwarf daffodils that only grow up to 1 foot.
When summer comes, the flowers and leaves of the daffodil will wither, and the plant will go into winter dormancy. Spring and winter are when animals attack the garden and find anything that they can eat. Rabbits eat emerging buds in spring, while rodents dig the bulb from under the ground and feast on it. These are not a problem with daffodils. Daffodils resist rabbits and rodents.
But why? Why is it that rabbits eat tulips but not daffodils when, in fact, these two come from the same family of spring-flowering bulbs? Rabbits don’t eat daffodils, primarily because they’re toxic. In fact, daffodils are poisonous to both animals and human beings.
When ingested, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain. The flowers, stems, leaves, and bulbs of the daffodil plant are toxic due to the lycorine contained in them. Lycorine is a toxic crystalline alkaloid commonly found in lilies and daffodils. This chemical can be lethal when ingested in certain amounts.
The bulb of the daffodil contains most of this lycorine. This is probably why rodents always avoid eating them. This toxic chemical is also the one that gives a strong bitter taste to the daffodil plant. Daffodils also emit a pungent smell that rabbits don’t like.
Daffodils are among the many flower bulbs that animals won’t eat, especially rabbits. If you want to plant daffodils in your garden, there is no need to worry about rabbits eating your young plants or emerging buds in the spring because rabbits don’t see them as delicious meals.
Daffodils can even help you keep rabbits away from your garden. With daffodils, you not only get beautiful flowers in the spring, but you also get a natural pest-repellent.
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