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Do Rabbits Eat Coneflowers? (Read This First!)

Perhaps you already know that rabbits are fond of munching on various kinds of flower plants such as daisies, rosebuds, dandelions, etc. until that flowering plant is left with only protruding stems.

Therefore, if you have flowering plants such as coneflowers in your garden, for safety you certainly would be concerned enough to know whether rabbits eat coneflower or not.

So, let’s read further to get a detailed insight into the issue.

Do Rabbits Eat Coneflowers?

Coneflower plants somewhat work as a rabbit-repelling flowering plant because coneflowers dissipate an aromatic option that helps in resisting rabbits away. Yet quite often rabbits can eat coneflower petals and tender foliage until they bring the plant down to a ground level with protruding stems.

According to a study done by SFGate, it has been stated that coneflowers regardless of the flower color are perennial plants that contain the ability to spread one kind of rabbit-repelling scent which keeps the rabbits away from the flower plants.

Purple coneflowers:

So rationale simply indicates that even the purple coneflowers are rabbit-repellent flowers, therefore rabbits are not like to eat them.

However, there is an opposite explanation as well.

The North Carolina State University and the University of Nebraska Lincoln states that rabbits will happily munch on all coneflowers including the purple coneflower whenever they will get access to the plants.

Especially, the many bunnies are the main culprit that is seen to eat purple coneflowers.

Moreover, purple coneflower owners also have agreed with the statements of both universities and stated that rabbits have munched on their purple coneflower petals, foliage, stalks, and others.

Also, stated that rabbits can eat and damage an entire purple coneflower bed overnight leaving the plants at ground level.

Therefore, from the argument, it’s quite clear that although purple coneflowers can act like a rabbit-repellent plant, rabbits do enjoy eating them down to the nub.

Are Coneflowers Rabbit Resistant?

Coneflowers are not 100% rabbit-resistant but the fragrance coneflowers spread, sometimes will fairly act as a rabbit-repellent and will prevent rabbits to eat and destroy the coneflower plants.

However, when there is a shortage of food sources, rabbits eat any coneflower they get within their reach, especially the tender coneflower leaves and stems.

Rabbits can eat even the petals of coneflowers if the plants are near to the garden. Particularly, baby rabbits attack and eat coneflowers more frequently.

How Can I Tell If Rabbits Are Eating My Coneflowers?

It can be hard for you to detect if a rabbit is eating all your coneflowers if you don’t have much knowledge about the signs of a rabbit attack on plants.

Therefore, here the signs rabbits leave behind after eating coneflowers have been briefly explained so that you can understand.

Clean-Cut Damages:

Rabbits are ravenous munchers that eat flowering plants or veggie plants so delicately that they are left with very clean-cut damages. On the contrary, bugs, and insects that have eaten coneflower plants will have jagged rims on badly destroyed coneflower plants.

So if you notice your coneflower stems and leaves have clean-cut damage on the plant, know that rabbits are eating your coneflowers.

Ground Level Protruding Stems:

Know that clean-cut damages are done to the ground level. This means a rabbit will munch on your coneflower plant until it reaches a ground level with protruding stems only.

As soon as you will spot ground-level coneflower plants sticking out stems, it means rabbits have eaten them.

Eats Mainly Tender Plants:

Rabbits are tender plant-eaters, so if rabbits are eating your coneflower, you will notice that only the tender and young stem, foliage, and shoots are eaten that are closer to the ground. And it means rabbits are eating them.

Damages Around The Coneflower Garden Edges:

Rabbits are very timid creatures that prefer to eat your coneflowers sneakily and run away quickly if can spot any danger. Therefore, rabbits mainly eat and damages coneflower plants around the perimeter of your yard than the center.

So, when you will notice only the coneflower plants around the edges of the garden are damaged, it means rabbits have been eating them.

Small Round Droppings:

A very clear sign of rabbits eating your coneflowers is that the existence of tiny round droppings. And these droppings look nearly black or dark brown, also the size is as tiny as a big pea.

How To Keep Rabbits From Eating Coneflowers?

Already troubled by these adorable-looking rabbits chomping on your favorite coneflowers? Then stop worrying and read below to learn some of the effective ways of keeping rabbits away from munching on coneflowers.

Rabbit Repellents:

Although a rabbit repellent functions only partially, it is the most convenient way of staving rabbits off from eating your coneflowers. Because rabbits are picky about a fragrance and the smell of repellents is quite irritating to rabbits.

You can use both commercial rabbit repellents such as Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent Concrete, Shake away 5006258 Fox Urine Granules, etc. And homemade repellents such as red pepper powder, black pepper powder, and others.

Rabbit-Proof Fence:

Installing a rabbit-resistant fence around the coneflower garden is certainly one of the best ways to keep rabbits from eating coneflowers. Use metal fencing wire with just 1/2-inch radius holes. You can use mesh chicken wires/ chain-link, anything will just work perfectly.

Wooden fences are an option as well. But remember that you must install at least a 2 feet tall fence to stave off cottontail rabbits or 3 feet tall to protect coneflowers against jackrabbits. And the wires/ boards of fences should be buried 1 foot deep in the ground.

YARDGARD 308371B Garden Rabbit Fence 28 Inch x 50 Foot, Silver

Rabbit-Repelling Plants:

Rabbits do hate the taste and smell of some flowering plants and herbs. To keep rabbits away, you can plant those flower/herb plants in between coneflower flowerbeds or around the garden or flowerbeds as a barrier.

You can plant marigolds, lavender, catnips, around the coneflower garden, or herb plants such as oregano, basil, rosemary, chives, or garlic, onion, leeks.  These plants will repel rabbits.

Scare Them:

As rabbits are scared animals, you can easily scare them away to prevent them from eating your coneflower plants. And to scare them you use ultrasonic animal repellent that emits a high-pitched noise that is sensitive to rabbits’ ears.

Or else, you can use a horn to make sounds as soon as you will spot rabbits. If you have a pet dog, you can train him to chase rabbits out of the garden without harming them. The fear of your dog will keep rabbits away from your coneflowers.

Make The Coneflowers Less Appetizing:

Make a solution using minced garlic juice of garlic and water, or any citrus flavor juice and water, then spray it on the stems, foliage, and around the petals of your coneflowers. The smell of these solutions will make coneflowers less flavorful, so rabbits won’t eat.

You can use a solution of essential oils and spray them around coneflowers too to keep rabbits away. 

Will Coffee Grounds Keep Rabbits Away From Coneflowers:

To rabbits, the scent of coffee grounds is very unpleasant to their nose, therefore, coffee grounds work as a rabbit repellent and will help in deterring rabbits away from coneflowers.

Also, coffee grounds are safe and natural to use in the soil, so sprinkle some grounded coffee around the coneflower beds to protect them from rabbits.

What Is The Best Rabbit Repellent?

Rabbit repellents are a convenient method of deterring rabbits effortlessly. Thence, here descriptions of 3 such rabbit repellents have been included below.

Liquid Fence Deer. & Rabbit Repellent:

Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent is the best repellent product among all. This deer & rabbit repellent comes as fully ready to drizzle and dilute.

It’s a very animal-friendly and environment-friendly product that you can use to repel rabbits without harming them or your coneflowers at all.

Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent Ready-to-Use, 1-Gallon

Good Label Ultrasonic Rabbit Deterrent:

To save your effort, this Global Label Ultrasonic Rabbit Deterrent is recommended because this device creates a very high tuned ultrasonic sound that is harsh to rabbits’ ears.

Also, they get frightened after listening to this sound and don’t come back. So it effectively repels rabbits.

Plantskydd Ready-to-Use 32 Ounce Animal Repellent:

This rabbit repellent is already a ready-to-use spray repellent that you just need to spray over new coneflower plants to keep away rabbits.

Plantskydd Animal Repellent - Repels Deer, Rabbits, Elk, Moose, Hares, Voles, Squirrels, Chipmunks and Other Herbivores; Ready to Use Liquid - 32 Oz Spray Bottle (PS-1L)

What Smells Do Bunnies Hate?

To make you informed, here is a shortlist of the smells that bunnies hate.

  • Garlic
  • Predator urine
  • Sulfur
  • Lavender
  • Vinegar
  • Blood meal
  • Wax begonias
  • Chilli powder
  • Chives
  • Geraniums

What Animals Eat Purple Coneflowers?

Animals eat coneflowers regardless of their colors. Here a list of animals that are most likely to eat purple coneflowers has been included.

  • Rabbits (sometimes)
  • Chipmunks
  • Squirrel
  • Groundhogs
  • Deer (sometimes)

Final Thoughts

The fragrance dissipated by coneflowers is partially known for preventing rabbits from eating these flowers. However, rabbits will still munch on coneflowers including petals, foliage, tender stems, and all, especially when there is a scarcity of food sources. Even baby rabbits will eat coneflowers.