Rabbits are cute and fun to watch as they jump and nibble on their food. But they’re not cute when they go rampant in your garden and start eating your young plants before they even begin to bloom and bear fruit in the summer.
Rabbits like to attack seedlings and munch on their tender stems. When spring comes, expect to see rabbits lingering around your garden, eyeing your young plants.
Rabbits eat honeysuckle, especially the young ones. Young honeysuckle plants have tender stems that rabbits can easily chew on.
They are known to be voracious eaters to the extent that they even eat the hard stems of older shrubs when food is scarce in winter. Given this, do you think they will spare the honeysuckle plants in your garden?
Do rabbits eat honeysuckle?
Yes, rabbits eat honeysuckle, particularly when they’re young.
You’ll start seeing rabbits in your garden once the ground becomes green again after the cold, long winter days. During the spring, they chew on shrubs and other young plants with smooth bark and tender shoots.
Rabbits are not picky-eaters and are even starting to be adventurous with foods because they start attacking plants that are supposed to repel them. Rabbits eat almost anything, so don’t expect that your honeysuckle is safe when rabbits attack your garden.
Other animals will eat it too
So, if you’re suspecting that a rabbit chewed on your honeysuckle plant after seeing teeth marks or signs of gnawing, or even worse, nothing was left but small cuts of stems on the ground, there is a high chance that you are right.
But, they’re not the only ones that’ll go after honeysuckle Deer have been known to eat it too. If you’re pretty sure it wasn’t deer that ate your honeysuckle leaves, here’s a full list of common honeysuckle consumers.
Rabbits like to eat young, tender plants. Young honeysuckles have soft and tender stems that will look very appetizing to rabbits. Rabbits can also eat fully grown honeysuckles because they are fond of sweet plants.
However, the seeds and some varieties of honeysuckles, just like the invasive Japanese honeysuckles, are toxic to them. But most probably, rabbits will not gnaw on the stem of fully grown honeysuckles because it’s difficult to chew.
Rabbit Species that Enjoy Honeysuckle
The eastern cottontail rabbits are more likely the ones you’ll encounter in your garden in the spring because they are common pests in most gardens and farms throughout the US. They don’t like living in the wilderness because finding food is easy in the garden.
You can easily spot this rabbit because it has large ears and brown, black, and white fur. Rabbits pose a threat to your little honeysuckle plants. These annoying pests will devour the honeysuckle before you can even get to enjoy their beautiful flowers and sweet nectar in the summer. Take note that a honeysuckle seed can take 3 years to grow and bloom optimally.
How to keep rabbits out of your honeysuckle plant
All your efforts and time will go to waste if rabbits just munch on your young honeysuckle plants. Although honeysuckles are relatively easy to grow, growing them from seeds can take years before you can have a fully-grown shrub or vine that produces abundant flowers. Here are some ways to protect the young honeysuckle plants from being eaten by hungry rabbits.
- Build a fence around your garden using chicken wire.
- Surround the young honeysuckle plant using chicken wire or plant cages.
- Place the young honeysuckle plant near plants with strong scents that rabbits don’t like.
- Dust the honeysuckle plant with plain talcum powder.
- Reduce possible rabbit homes around the garden.
Do Rabbits Eat Honeysuckle?: Conclusion
It’s better to be safe than sorry. It’s risky to leave your young honeysuckle plants without protection, despite seeing rabbits lingering around your garden. Rabbits can chew on the tender stems of the young honeysuckle plant. They are voracious eaters, so don’t expect that they will spare the honeysuckle, especially when food is scarce for the rabbits.
Related Article: Do Deer Eat Honeysuckle?