Plants toxic to rabbits
If you let your rabbit outside, into your backyard, near a garden, or near other outside plants then you will definitely want to know what plants to stay away from. Some of the plants on our list could also be a common house plant that you will want to be sure not to have in your home or at least nowhere near your bun.
List of plants toxic to rabbits
Nightshade – This includes black nightshade, climbing nightshade, red nightshade, bittersweet nightshade, belladonna, deadly nightshade, black henbane, and woolly nightshade. All parts of nightshade are toxic to rabbits and it grows wildly in the United States.
Hydrangea– All parts of Hydrangeas are poisonous to rabbits due to their high levels of a compound called amygdalin. Hydrangeas can grow anywhere but grow best in fertile, well-draining soils that receive plenty of moisture.
Chrysanthemum– The leaves and stems on Chrysanthemum are highly toxic due to their high levels of pyrethrin. Chrysanthemums can grow anywhere but prefer a location with full sunlight and good air circulation. The soil should be moist but well-drained, with a pH around 6.5.
Lilies– The roots of a kaffir lily are toxic, while lily of the valley, may lily, and calla lily plants are highly toxic and can cause severe gastrointestinal complications. Peace lilies are also toxic to rabbits in large quantities and should be kept out of reach. The flowers, leaves, and stems of these plants are toxic for rabbits and should be avoided, including the foliage of a lily of the valley bush.
Cannabis (Marijuana)– The flowers and stems of the cannabis plant are poisonous and should be avoided as well.
Onion– Plants in the onion family are poisonous for rabbits. This includes regular onions such as white and sweet in addition to greens onions, shallots, and garlic. This includes the onion plant itself as well, including the leaves, roots, and flowers. Onions can cause rabbits to become anemic and will also weaken their immune system. Lucky for us, rabbits tend to avoid onion plants because of their unappealing smell.
Poppy– The opium alkaloids in poppy plants are toxic to rabbits. The poppy plant contains elements that are toxic to rabbits, but the seeds are especially deadly because of the high concentration of the opium alkaloids.
Hemlock– Hemlock are one the most toxic groups of plants for rabbits and will kill your rabbit in a very short amount of time. All parts of the hemlock plant are toxic.
Rhododendron– Rhododendrons, including azaleas, are highly toxic for rabbits. All parts of the plant, including the flowers, leaves, stems, and roots are toxic.
Tomato plants– Tomato leaves and stems contain solanines and are poisonous to rabbits in large quantities. Tomato fruit, however, is not toxic and can be given to rabbits as a treat. Please see our can rabbits eat tomatoes article.
Iris– Yellow irises are very toxic and definitely need to be avoided at all costs. All parts of the yellow iris plant are toxic including the leaves, flower, roots, and stem. Other irises are not as toxic. The plant juice of other species of iris may cause a little irritation, but they are unlikely to cause an intense reaction.
Daffodil– Pretty much any flower with bulbs are potentially poisonous for rabbits. This includes plants such as daffodils.
Ivy– Ivy is only slightly poisonous to rabbits. These plants contain a great concentration of saponins in their berries and leaves. High concentrations of this compound can destroy red blood cells in a rabbit, causing them anemia.
Hyacinth– Hyacinth is also only a slightly poisonous plant to rabbits. It contains alkaloid compounds that are only dangerous when consumed in large amounts. The whole plant is poisonous, including the flower, roots, stem, and leaves.
Rhubarb– The leaves of a rhubarb plant are poisonous to rabbits in large amounts. These leaves contain extremely high levels of oxylic acid that can have a negative effect on your rabbit’s health. The remaining parts of the plant can also be an irritant for rabbits but are not as likely to have a toxic effect.
Foxglove– Foxglove is extremely toxic to rabbits. These plants contain cardiac glycosides, which have a negative impact on their heart and kidneys. The entire plant is toxic to rabbits and should be avoided at all costs. Even the tiniest amount is enough to cause distress on your rabbits’ body and organs.
Buttercup– All parts of the buttercup plant are toxic, this includes the flower, leaves, stem, and roots. Buttercup plants are not extremely dangerous to rabbits, unless eaten in large quantities. They usually cause digestive problems or swelling in your rabbit’s mouth. Celery-leaved buttercups, on the other hand, produce a juice that is extremely toxic to rabbits.
Yew– Yew foliage and berries are very toxic for rabbits. You should not give your rabbit yew branches, even if they have been dried. This actually causes them to become even more toxic. Yew is extremely dangerous and contains chemicals that causes sudden death in rabbits.
Wolfsbane– All parts of the plant are toxic for rabbits. They contain alkaloids that cause severe digestive problems in your rabbit and can cause heart problems.
Black Locust– The bark, leaves and seeds of the black locust plant are highly toxic to your rabbit.
European White Bryony -All parts of the European White Bryony are highly toxic to your rabbit. It contains an irritant substance and histamine.
Buckeye– The seeds and leaves of the Buckeye plant are toxic to your rabbit.
Castor Bean– The castor bean seeds are highly toxic to rabbits due to their high level of ricin.
Chinese-lantern– The berries and leaves of the Chinese lantern plant are highly toxic for bunnies.
Common buckthorn– The bark and the unripe fruit on the buckthorn is highly toxic and will cause bloating, cramping and diarrhea in your rabbit.
Daphne– The fruits and leaves of the daphne plant are toxic and may cause skin irritations on your rabbit.
Dieffenbachia– The foliage and stems of the dieffenbachia plant are highly toxic to your rabbit. If your rabbit consumes any of the foliage or stems it can cause mouth irritation, upset stomach, asphyxiation, tremors, seizures, and death.
Dyer’s Greenweed– All parts of this plant are toxic to rabbits.
Elephant’s ear (colocasia esculenta)– All parts of the elephant’s ear plant are toxic to rabbits and can cause oral irritation, pain and swelling of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, and difficulty swallowing.
Although this list is not all inclusive it is the most common and most dangerous plants that you will run into when taking your bun outdoors. These are the plants you definitely want to be on the lookout for.
What should I do if my rabbit eats a poisonous or toxic plant?
This definitely depends on which plant they ate, how much of it they ate and the condition your rabbit was in when he or she ate it. First and foremost, if you notice that your rabbit ate an excessive amount then you should contact your vet who will likely advise you to get to the vet as soon as possible. This is because they need to be monitored by a professional for the next 24-48 hours so that a medical professional can act swiftly should a medical emergency occur.
If they did not consume an excessive amount you still need to contact your vet and let them know what plant was consumed. Some plants, even in small amounts are still extremely dangerous. Your vet will be the one to make the decision as to whether or not you can monitor your pet at home or if they should be monitored in the office by a professional.
Your vet may also be able to give your rabbit a shot or some kind of medication that will help your bun with their symptoms, if any.
The one and only thing you can do if your rabbit consumes a poisonous or toxic plant is to contact your veterinarian and follow their instructions exactly.
About the Author
My name is Vanessa and I love my buns. My current house rabbit is Mr. Bunny, he is a black and white Dutch that just turned 9 years old.
I believe that rabbits are a magnificent animal that make great pets for SOME people. My mission is to share what I have learned about rabbits over the past 20 years to improve the relationship between our pets and us. Please contact me or comment if you have any questions or comments.