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Will Wild Rabbits Eat Marigolds?

5 Answers

Yun Wan Profile
Yun Wan answered
Marigolds are commonly used as a deterrent for insect pests and wildlife such as rabbits, rodents, and deer.  Studies show, however, that they only clear the surrounding soil of microscopic round worms called nematodes that attack the roots of other plants (via the chemical components that the roots of the plant exude). Despite the strong scent of the flower, the marigold doesn't act as a wildlife repellent.

Although marigolds (commonly known as Tagetes) are not the preferred food source, rabbits will generally eat anything that grows. Rabbits don't dislike marigolds and will eat them if other food sources are scarce. Rabbits do avoid certain plants if other sources of food are available.

If the objective is to repel rabbits from gardens and/or other plants, then fencing is the most recommended method. Rutgers University suggest simple chicken wire fencing with a 1 inch wide mesh for this purpose. It is also suggested to sink the fencing 3 - 6 inches below the soil in order to avoid the animal digging underneath.

Another suggested method for animal repellent by the same university is to regularly sprinkle blood meal around the plants to be protected. This helps to fertilize the plants as well as deter wildlife.

It is recommended not to use traps in order to protect plants from wild life as animals tend to injure themselves attempting to escape.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Rabbits do in fact eat marigolds but only when they are young and tender, once they get large enough and tough enough, they do not want them and they do not like the smell of their flowers.

One way I combat the rabbits when the marigolds are young is to sprinkle lime on the marigolds. Make sure you sprinkle them with lime after you water them and after the rain washes the lime away.

Same thing goes with young sunflowers. Sprinkle them with lime. Rabbits love young, tender sunflowers.

Unfortunately, I have another problem this year. Birds. Starlings & robins. I think I have tiny slugs on my marigolds & sunflowers because they are picking them to shreds. The lime apparently does not work as a repellent for the birds, unfortunately.
Arthur Wright Profile
Arthur Wright answered
Marigolds are one plant most animals wont eat for some reason

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