image of rabbit, mums and a text saying: what animals eat mums

What Animals Eat Mums?

Written by: Akeem Eletu
Last updated on:
image of rabbit

Mums and Chrysanths are the short forms of chrysanthemums, an exotic flower of the Asteraceae family. Mums are brightly colored decorative flowers that exist in many refined types. 

They originate from East Asia and Northeastern Europe. The flower is related to other beautiful flowers like sunflowers, marigolds, cosmos, zinnias, and dahlias. Interestingly, mums are also available in different shapes, sizes, and stunning colors.

Mums are primarily used for ornamental purposes. However, there are cases when this fine flower serves as food for certain animals. But have you never wondered what animals eat mums?

Well, this interesting piece discusses what animals eat mums, the risks involved, and the benefits, if there are any.

Can Animals Eat Mums?

Yes, animals can eat chrysanthemums. In case you are wondering what animals eat mums, animals interested in this garden flower include rabbits, groundhogs, squirrels, chipmunks, deer, etc. But many other animals are not interested in mums.

Humans and animals are interested in this ornamental garden flower but for different purposes. While it is no more than a decorative garden flower for humans, it is part of a staple diet for some animals.


image of mums

Most of the mums that exist are edible, even though the flavor may differ from one plant to the other. They spring up in different colors like red, yellow, purple, and even orange. Similarly, they taste in various ways ranging from bitter, sweet, and peppery to tangy. Chrysanthemums are not only valid for the interior of the home but also to reduce indoor air pollution.

Excess ingestion of this flower is not suitable for household pets because it contains a natural pesticide. This toxic chemical type in mums makes household pets susceptible to different health issues when pets eat them. 

If your pet is attracted to the Chrysanthemum and wants to have a bite, it should end there. It should be no more than just a bite. 

Some of the symptoms of mums poisoning include vomiting, shaking, diarrhea, hyper-salivation, coughing, etc. Usually, pets can recover from these symptoms. But it is always better to be safe than sorry, as you know. 

In the event of a serious mum’s poisoning case, the animal’s nervous system will take the hit and make matters much worse. The results could be fatal.

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Rabbits Eat Mums

Yes, rabbits can eat mums, but they are not rabbits’ favorite food. Rabbits are herbivores, so they have no issue feeding on plants and flowers that interest them and taste good. While the fragrance is one thing that attracts humans to this flower, rabbits dislike the scent of chrysanthemums.

Generally, mums have highly fragrant leaves that are fuzzy in texture. But this does not stop rabbits from wanting to take a bite out of the forbidden flower. 

Rabbits have sometimes been seen snacking on mums in the garden. Whether they eat to satisfy their hunger or curiosity about how edible the flower is, mums are not a safe food choice for rabbits. 

Also, certain mum types can be considered poisonous for rabbits since they contain toxins. They are toxic to rabbits because they contain pyrethrum used to kill insects like mosquitoes. 

Pyrethrum is a name of a natural insecticide produced from the dried flower heads of mums. The use of the chemical that you can get from mums shows how dangerous they can be to rabbits. 

But that rabbits will not wholly steer clear of mums because they hate the odor or can’t stand it. There are cases where rabbits absent-mindedly eat this flower.

Deers Eat Mums

image of deers

Anytime you are lost in thoughts as to what animals eat mums, deer should readily come to your mind. Yes, deers can and usually eat mums. Deers can occasionally feed on mums when they are grazing. 

But like rabbits, a deer would not voluntarily opt to eat mums. This is because deers also can’t bear the strong scent of mums. 

Can Groundhogs Eat Mums?

Yes, mums are something groundhogs can eat whenever they feel like it. Groundhogs are herbivores. As plant-loving animals, they can cause colossal chaos for home vegetables and other flowers in the garden. Tomatoes are one of their favorite among other plants they like to eat. 

Although groundhogs eat mums, it is not a food choice that groundhogs take an interest in every time. Usually, groundhogs remember mums when they are desperate and have nowhere to turn or accidentally bump into a garden full of them.

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Do squirrels Eat Mums?

image of squirrel

The answer is yes. Squirrels eat mums and can go out of their comfort zone to find this flower. Squirrels love mums because they provide energy and tons of nutrients that help them grow strong and beautiful.

However, note that there are cons to squirrels eating mums. As mentioned above, the leaves and petals of mum can be dangerous and toxic to animals. Squirrels can become severely ill or even die when they eat too many mums in severe cases.

Nutritional Values of Mums

CalciumCalcium is one nutrient mums contain. Therefore, consuming mums helps these animals, especially females, become strong enough physically, psychologically, and during reproduction.
PhosphorusPhosphorus is another nutrient mums contain. Here, phosphorus helps these animals opt for nutritional materials that build the teeth and bones.
MagnesiumMums also contain magnesium. Magnesium serves as an activator of enzymes essential in carbohydrate metabolism.
Iron Iron is another nutrient that can be derived from eating mums. It helps to form the blood cells in these animals.
PotassiumPotassium is vital for different physical scenarios, especially muscular contraction and nerve transmission.
Vitamin CThis vitamin is another nutrient that animals can get from eating mums. Vitamin C helps keep animals healthy and able to take on minor illnesses.

Final Thoughts

Chrysanthemums are toxic, beautiful, and aromatic flowers that appeal to humans and animals. Even though animals can eat mums, they shouldn’t take it in large quantities. Allowing your pet to consume too many mums could make it sick and even cause its death. Prevention is better than cure. Do your best to prevent them from consuming it.

If you have a squirrel, rabbit, or deer as pets, it is best to find ways to keep them out of the garden. Do this not only for their sake but for yours too.

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