Rabbit Mag

Can Rabbits Eat Hostas? – 5 Things You Need to Know

I get asked this question a lot. People love their hostas but they don’t want to see them disappear under a pile of rabbit excrement. So, do rabbits eat hostas?

The answer is yes, rabbits will eat hostas given the chance. But that doesn’t mean you have to worry about your precious plants. With a little bit of planning, you can keep your hostas safe and make sure the rabbits have plenty of other things to snack on instead. Let me show you how it’s done!

Can Rabbits Eat Hostas?

Of the many things that rabbits eat, hosta plants are one of them. They generally like digging up bulbs and roots, but they can decimate your hosta garden if you leave them to their own devices. Your best bet is to make sure they don’t have access to any part of the plant by fencing off an area specifically for them (other animals) or not letting them in the garden at all.

At what age can rabbits eat hostas?

Rabbits can eat hostas from when they’re very young, all the way up to adulthood. However, their capacity to digest them doesn’t increase with age; if anything, it becomes harder for adult rabbits to digest this plant because there aren’t enough nutrients in it yet their need for (and ability to obtain) nutrition does not decrease. This means that while older bunnies may still eat them, it’s not recommended due to their lack of nutritional value and high water content (which makes them hard on an older bunny’s digestive system).

How much Hosta should a rabbit eat?

It’s generally not advised to feed rabbits hostas exclusively, but if you do then it’s recommended that they only get 1/4 of their diet from them. If they’re not getting other vegetation in addition to this, try growing some plants with more nutritional value for them.

Is Hostas Good For Rabbits?

Rabbits can eat small amounts of hostas without being harmed, but they shouldn’t rely on them as a staple part of their diet. It’s best to rotate your pet bunny’s menu so that no one food dominates their intake and makes up more than 25% of their daily intake. The other 75% should be made up of other good-quality foods that have a better nutritional value for your pet.

Toxicity due to Hosta in rabbits and its symptoms

Rabbits are rodents with a diet consisting of mostly plants, vegetables, and fruits. The problem is that some plants are poisonous to rabbits because they contain chemicals or toxins, which may cause disease in the animal. Sometimes the symptoms of poisoning are immediately noticeable, but sometimes it can be fatal later on.

One of these plants is the Hosta plant. Here you will learn about its toxicity for rabbits and what you can replace it with instead.


The Hosta contains toxins called diterpene glycosides, which are used as a defense mechanism against insects feeding on them. These poisons affect the cells of an insect by inhibiting protein synthesis. This means that when you eat this plant, these proteins will not be able to function anymore and the cells will stop producing them. The insect will then die or stop the production of essential proteins, which can lead to death. All parts of the plant contain this toxin and it doesn’t matter if it’s dried, fresh, cooked, or raw.

Toxic dose:

To assess whether a rabbit has been poisoned by eating the Hosta plant, you need to know how much was eaten. A toxic dose is 20% of an animal’s body weight (mg/kg). So for example, if your rabbit weighs 3 lbs (1.36 kg), he needs at least 18 mg (0.00136 kg) of diterpene glycosides for being fatal. This means that only 0.82 grams (0.003 lbs) of this plant needs to be eaten for it to be potentially deadly (if your rabbit weighs 3lbs).


Potentially symptoms of poisoning after eating the Hosta plant are weakness, diarrhea, and vomiting. Often times there is abdominal pain and lack of appetite. The animal might also start salivating become dehydrated and develop a fever. These symptoms usually appear within 1-3 days after ingestion, but can take up to 2 weeks before they show up. In some cases, rabbits that have been poisoned already die within 1 hour or even just minutes without showing any signs of illness.

If your rabbit shows these symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately to prevent further deterioration of the animal’s health

Nutritional Values of Hostas

Although there are some nutrients in hostas, it’s not enough for a rabbit to survive exclusively. There’s hardly anything nutritional worth mentioning in these plants except that they contain some calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, sulfur, manganese, copper, and iron. The best course of action is to feed your rabbits vegetation that has a lot more nutritional value than the humble hosta plant.

Many people are becoming more conscious of what they eat, so it is no surprise that their interest has turned to plants. For this reason, gardeners have started looking into the nutritional value of different plants for food, including hostas. While some varieties are edible, there are many that aren’t and can contain toxins that may make you sick. The following is a list of some varieties and their value as a food source.


‘Blue Cadet’ – 3 leaves provide over 100% of the required daily intake.

‘Francee’ – 1 leaf provides 10% of the recommended daily intake.


‘Blue Eyes’ – 4 leaves provide over 100% of the required daily intake.

‘Francee’ – 1 leaf provides 10% of the recommended daily intake.


One medium-sized plant may contain over 30% of the required daily intake, however, this would have to be boiled down because it contains saponins which can cause illness if consumed in large quantities.

Vitamin A:

‘Francee’ – 1 leaf provides 19% of the recommended daily intake.

Vitamin C:

‘Francee’ – 2 leaves provide over 100% the required daily intake.

The list can go on, but what is important to take away from this is that some varieties are indeed safe to eat (like ‘Francee’), but there are many that aren’t (like ‘Malissi’). It is also important to note that, unlike some other plants, the leaves of hostas do not provide too much food value. There appears to be no real benefit in eating them as opposed to any other green leafy vegetable.

Nutritional Benefits of Hostas for rabbits

Even though there are some nutrients in hostas, they don’t compare to other plants that have more nutritional worth. There is very little protein, fat, and calcium in these plants when compared with other greenery, which means it’s best to provide alternative vegetation instead.

How To Keep Rabbits From Eating Hostas

If you’re having problems with rabbits munching on your hosta plants despite them being fenced off, then try planting some new ones elsewhere or look into getting some protective fencing that will keep the plant safe from any hungry bunnies looking for a snack! This might require you to temporarily move your rabbit(s) to another location while you tend to the garden, but it will be worth it in the long run.

The first thing you should do is determine if the plant is toxic. Most plants are safe for rabbits, but there are some that can cause death in small animals. The Toxic and Poisonous Plants List includes common garden plants, houseplants, wildflowers, fruits, and vegetables to avoid around pets.

There are also ways you can protect your hostas from herbivory (plant-eating) by rabbits.

First, you should fence them out. Stake chicken wire around each plant, Stake the ends securely so that it forms a cube around the plant. Bury the bottom four inches of wire to keep rabbits from digging up under your perimeter line. If this is not possible, take regular fencing, and line the bottom with hardware cloth, so that small animals cannot slip through.

If fencing is not an option, try using one of the following types of repellents:

Asafoetida (Ferula assa-foetida) powder will do a good job of deterring rabbits.

Garlic and onion sprays will keep rabbits from coming near the plants they’ve been sprayed on.

Mechanical deterrents work well, too. Try wrapping bands of burlap or plastic around the plants to keep the rabbits from getting close.

You can also try some home remedies: Mix one part soap and ten parts water together in a spray bottle. Spritz it over areas you want to protect. Rabbits won’t touch the plants that have been treated with this mixture.

Place mothballs around your plants, as they keep rabbits from digging under the wire fence and coming near your hostas.

You can also use those plastic or cloth mesh bags that onions and potatoes come in as a barrier around your hostas. Simply fill each bag with soil and dig a hole for each one to cover up the wire at the bottom.

Rabbits can be a nuisance to some people’s gardens. While not all of these methods will work for your rabbit problem, if you pick several different options and place them strategically, rabbits should stay away from your hostas.

Healthy alternative to Hostas for rabbits and their benefits

There are some plants that rabbits can eat without any risk of getting sick, even if eaten in large quantities. Some examples are dandelions, catnip, chicory, and cilantro. These plants contain no toxic substances and your rabbit will benefit from eating them as a healthy alternative to Hostas.

In general, it is not advised to feed rabbits Hosta leaves because there has been insufficient research done on this subject. You never want to put your pet at risk for something that could potentially be fatal, so it might be safer not to take the chance with our bunny’s health. If you insist on feeding Hosta leaves despite all of this information, make sure they come from a reliable and trustworthy source and that they haven’t been sprayed with any chemicals.

Some healthy alternatives Are:

Dandelion: these are safe to eat and are known for their many health benefits. They can prevent some illnesses like diabetes, cancer, etc. They also help with weight control by helping you feel full after eating them.

Catnip: is safe to feed cows, goats, horses, rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, and other pets. Catnip is known for its calming effects on animals (and humans). It can be used both as a sedative and stimulant depending on the dosage that is given. This herb stimulates the digestive tract which helps prevent or ease nausea, cramps, and diarrhea.

Chicory: is very nutritious because it has more vitamin A than carrots. It’s also low in calories so it contributes towards weight loss. Chicory has a lot of health benefits such as: helping with intestinal issues, relieving pain and inflammation in general, stimulating urine production, and getting rid of kidney stones. It is safe to give rabbits chicory, but remember that it can reduce the absorption of certain types of medicines so you might want to ask your vet before giving chicory to your rabbit.

Cilantro: is extremely healthy for rabbits. This herb contains many vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, C, and K . Vegetables or herbs that contain vitamin K are usually good at treating digestive problems because they help with gas. The best thing about cilantro (also known as coriander) is that it is only recommended to feed rabbits in very small quantities. This means that you can let your rabbit eat as much cilantro as they want without any risk of toxicity or side effects.

Coriander is also known for helping with weight control because it stimulates the digestive tract and makes the animal feel full even if they are eating fewer calories. It’s important to note that too much coriander might disrupt the balance between calcium and phosphorus, but this can be prevented by feeding your rabbit with other kinds of food at the same time (like carrots).

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