Can Rabbits Eat Sunflowers?

Categorized as Bunny Diet Tagged ,

Last Updated on March 5, 2023 by Marjon Ramos

Sunflowers (Helianthus) are one of the safest and most recommended plants that can be eaten by rabbits. Just make sure that your rabbit is eating enough hay because, even though sunflower is safe, it cannot meet the required fiber a rabbit would need per day.

While sunflowers are safe for rabbits to eat, you should still avoid making them a part of your rabbit’s regular diet. There is better, more nutritious food out there that’s better for rabbits.

Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain the topic in more detail:

Would rabbits intentionally eat sunflowers?

Yes, rabbits would intentionally and gladly eat sunflowers. Sunflowers are actually one of the most common and safest plants that can be fed to rabbits.

Even gardeners are having trouble keeping wild rabbits away from their sunflowers due to how much wild rabbits love this stuff. Most gardeners are using all kinds of natural repellents like hot peppers to keep rabbits from eating their sunflowers.

Here’s a rabbit eating sunflowers:

We’ve also interviewed several rabbit owners who have sunflowers or from where they’re from. Most of them reported giving their rabbits some amount.

Risk of overfeeding sunflowers to rabbits.

A close-up shot of what sunflower plant looks like

While sunflowers themselves are not poisonous to rabbits, overfeeding them to your rabbits, on the other hand, could lead to the following conditions:

  • GI stasis: Gastrointestinal stasis is possible when your rabbit is eating sunflower in lieu of hay. Make sure that you’re not replacing your rabbit’s main diet (hay, veggies, and pellets) with sunflower.
  • Diarrhea: Diarrhea is also possible when you feed your rabbits too many sunflowers in one meal. Diarrhea in rabbits often happens when new food is introduced too fast and too much.
  • Soft uneaten cecotropes: Feeding too much unnecessary food like sunflower to your rabbits could also lead to uneaten cecotropes due to the lack of fiber in your rabbit’s diet. This can be fixed by feeding large amounts of fiber (hay) for several weeks to a month.

Healthy alternative to sunflower.

A close-up shot of what sunflower looks like

Here are some alternatives to sunflowers that are safe to give to rabbits:

  • Roses
  • Dandelion
  • Nettles
  • Daisies
  • Clover
  • Pot 
  • Nasturtiums
  • Pansies
  • Chickweed


Giving sunflower to your rabbits is safe as long as they’re not eating it in lieu of hay.

If it’s the first time you’re feeding sunflower to your rabbits, take it slow and feed it in small amounts. Introducing new food into your rabbit’s diet too fast could trigger diarrhea and other digestive distress.

Cite this article:

Bunny Horde (April 11, 2024) Can Rabbits Eat Sunflowers?. Retrieved from
"Can Rabbits Eat Sunflowers?." Bunny Horde - April 11, 2024,


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By Marjon Ramos

I’ve loved and cared for rabbits since I was 9 years old, and I’m here to share my passion for rabbits. My objective is to help rabbit owners give their rabbits the best life possible.