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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > safe houseplants?
Last Post by wabbitlove at 3/02/2009 11:00 AM (16 Replies)
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User is Offline wabbitlove
Tallahassee, Florida
54 posts Send Private Message
2/24/2009 5:07 PM

Hey all-

It's been awhile since I posted, but I have a question some of you might be able to answer.. I really want to get a tall houseplant for my bedroom, but am absolutely positive it will be chewed on by the bun at some point, whether I try to avoid it or not.  I've seen lots of lists of plants that are unsafe, but I'm wondering which ones are safe! I want a tall, living something.. leafy, or not, just something alive in the room (besides me and the bun!).

Thanks for your help!


User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
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2/24/2009 5:28 PM

Unfortunately, I don't know of a "safe house plant" list that is also safe for rabbits. I can google and find them for "Pets and Children" but it still doesn't mean that it's okay for a rabbit's sensitive digestive system.

Part of it is due to the fact that rabbits are still relatively new in our homes (in relation to cats and dogs) and so the discovery of what's NOT safe due to experience as well as testing for a certain chemical in plants is more likely to be listed. And of course, just because something is not listed doesn't mean it's safe.

So, maybe what you should look for is a plant protector. It may be something you have to make too. You could also get a medium size and put it on a planter to raise it up higher. Also,even if you protect the base, you will have to be careful with fallen leaves with certain types - like ficas, ferns etc)

Another idea is to get a bunch of smaller ones and place them all around. It gives a similar "living" feeling. I do both the medium sized on stands and smaller plants scattered about out of reach. OHHH, and hanging plants - I have those too.

I know that we had a fica tree that I would spray perfume on every three weeks. Bunnies didn't touch it, but you would have to really watch carefully doing this.

Good luck! Let us know what you come up with!


User is Offline BunnyBuns7
Western Wisconsin
132 posts Send Private Message
2/24/2009 7:26 PM
Is there a way you can put a short fence around it and just keep the bun away from it?
"The more you read, the more you know. The more you learn, the more you'll grow" ~ Dr. Seuss

User is Offline Bunnies4ever
Hercules, California
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2/25/2009 5:18 AM
I have a huge floor plant in my office. I think it's called a dieffenbachia (commonly known as dumb cane). One day Cleopatra (my foster bunny) managed to get in my office and nibbled on two of the plant leaves. I didn't find out about it until much later. I was scared that the plant would be toxic to her, but she was fine. I know some house plants are toxic to pets. I would try to block it off if you can. You don't want to take any chances. Bunnies can manage to get into a lot of trouble if you're not careful!

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
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2/25/2009 3:17 PM
I know how you feel I love indoor plants...problem 1-bunnies eat them problem 2-i manage to kill them.

They now have fantastic real looking fake plants-I'm working on buyins some giant palm trees for our apartment-they are gorgeous and look real and totally safe from bunny teeth and my black thumb. I'd cruz the craft stores, rona's, ikea's etc and buy fake plants Unless you can keep them in a room bunnies don't go in.
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline Scarlet_Rose
Colorado
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2/25/2009 3:33 PM

I wonder if you can grow a willow tree indoors? That would be a safe one.  Or maybe have a hanging plant instead that your bun can't reach.

Check out these links to:

Toxic Plants: 


User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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2/26/2009 2:27 AM
Bunniesever, I'm glad your bun was okay after nibbling that plant! Dieffenbachias's are toxic, the "dumb cane" nickname is due to the fact that eating a leaf can make your entire mouth go numb, b/c of something that's in it ("dumb", as in you are mute, you cannot speak.) I had one before and I ended up having to rehome the plant (lol) b/c I was too worried about Meadow.

I know some dracaena's have very tall woody trunks and the leaves are large and don't shed off the plant. So that might be something to consider... Dracaena's are also very good "air purifiers". I like BB's suggestion at a large pot and a planter to raise it up higher.

I love houseplants, but I'm in a similar situation. I had to get rid of some of my plants when the bunny arrived, and I'd like to get more, but most everything I like (or can grow) is toxic.
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
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2/26/2009 10:05 PM

Oh, that so true - Beka's suggestion of Dracaenas is great -  we have a what i think is called a "Janet's Craig" in the bunny room. (Out of Reach) but the leaves never fall. I've had that for as long as I've had bunnies. It's very lush and green.


User is Offline Moonlight_Wolf
United States of America, Pittsford, New York
1153 posts Send Private Message
2/27/2009 11:02 AM
I wonder how wild bunnies survive if there are so many toxic plants...
“We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It’s the best deal man has ever made.” M. Facklam

User is Offline KatnipCrzy
Holland, MI
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2/27/2009 1:56 PM

Easter lilies and diffenbachias (spelling)- basically a lot of the plants used in the beta fish vases with roots in the water and the plant on top are TOXIC.  I don't have any plants that our bunnies can reach because A) they are most likely toxic and not a natural part of their diet or B) they are nontoxic and really yummy and I just bought a really expensive "bunny chew toy".

Most likely rabbits in the wild learn not to eat toxic plants because other foods are available.  And I know in wild parrots they are able to eat things tame parrots can not eat due to the clay that they ingest that can neutralize toxins (the clay binds with the toxins).  And this is probably a horrible thing to say but I don't think wild rabbits are very intelligent at all but they are highly reproductive.  I once rehabbed a litter of baby bunnies that was born in a potted maple tree pot at Home Depot- the mother rabbit gave birth in the temporary pot in their gardening area.  So as sad as it sounds- wild rabbits don't have to be smart- they just have to be fertile (and they are) to maintain their population.

We only have Eastern Cottontails around here- so maybe other wild rabbits or hares are smarter????   I have rehabbed many cottontail litters- most acquired thru crazy actions of the nest location.

Cotton and Schroeder- Mini Lops Griffin- English Lop

User is Online jerseygirl
Australia
14773 posts Send Private Message
2/27/2009 5:27 PM

What about an indoor bamboo? It's listed as non-toxic on the 2nd list Scarlet posted. They grow fast so the cane part would be the most accessible part to bunnies and the cane can be so hard, they'd have a hard time with it anyway! Also, bamboo is fantastic at taking carbon out of air & pumping out the O2. What ever you decide on, make sure the soil is bunny proof too as this can also be toxic.


User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
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2/27/2009 9:52 PM
I think that with over hundred years of domesticating rabbits, the domestic rabbit has lost the ability to know what they can eat or not eat. As well as the idea that Katnip brought up - like birds, there might be something in the wild that helps rabbits deal with toxicity in plants. Also, wild rabbits on average don't live to be more than two years old so not sure if they actually survive a nibbling on toxic plants or not, or they get ill, and are more susceptible to becoming caught prey.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
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2/27/2009 9:56 PM

jerseygirl - thanks for directing to the "non-toxic" list. When Scarlet posted those, I was thinking that they were just the toxic list forms, but within those lists there IS a non-toxic list!! I am keeping that and posting it the links section.

Though I still would want to protect them from getting munched on.


User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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2/28/2009 5:28 AM

Oh yeah, I didn't even notice that the one link had a non-toxic list. I also added that to my personal rabbit research. I glanced at it and was pleased to see the Maranta listed as being non-toxic. This is one of my favorite houseplants!  It's not a large, tall plant, but they are very pretty and not too hard to grow.  It does well in very little direct sunlight, so it's good for homes that don't have continuous sun.

There are two varieties that are commonly available... both get pretty little whitish-purple flowers.  It's known as the "Prayer Plant" b/c the leaves sort of roll up at night, and then the next mornig they lower back down.

This first type (leuconeura kerchoveana) is also referred to as "Rabbit Tracks" b/c of the patterns on the leaves.

Second type (leuconeura erythrophylla)

 

This is what they look like at night...

Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Online jerseygirl
Australia
14773 posts Send Private Message
2/28/2009 6:24 PM
I'm getting all inspired to get some house plants now....have cleaner air etc. Can't say I'm real good with plants though!

BB, I agree, I wouldn't freely let buns eat plants on the non-toxic list. Not sure where info comes from, I'm guessing it is not a huge deal if animal or child or a loopy relative actually ingests part of these plants but could still suffer some discomfort from it. Totally guessing though!

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
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3/02/2009 9:35 AM
This is way too complicated-I will stick to fake plants hehe
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline wabbitlove
Tallahassee, Florida
54 posts Send Private Message
3/02/2009 11:00 AM

Wow! So many responses! THis has been so helpful, thank you all!

My buns like to explore a lot, so anything in my room eventually gets nibbled a bit, even with all of my fencing offf, protecting, etc. So these are all great suggestions.. I'm thinking a hanging plant might be my best option..

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