Yes, squirrels eat hibiscus. This can either be a blessing for you or a disaster. If you have a pet squirrel or love to feed squirrels, then knowing they can eat hibiscus is great news. On the other hand, if you have a beautiful garden with lovely hibiscus that are being eaten by squirrels, this news is a dread.
Whatever has brought you here, we want to help you understand why squirrels eat hibiscus and how they can be healthy for squirrels. We also will share how to prevent squirrels from eating your hibiscus.
Why do squirrels like to eat hibiscus
Hibiscus is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae. There are hundreds of different species of hibiscus, which come in all shapes and sizes. Some hibiscus are small shrubs, while others can grow to be quite large trees. Hibiscus flowers come in many colors, including red, pink, orange, yellow, white, and purple. They are often used in flower arrangements and landscaping design.
Squirrels like to eat hibiscus because they are nutritious and delicious. Hibiscus flowers, leaves, stems, bark, and roots contain many important nutrients that squirrels need to stay healthy. Hibiscus flowers are especially yummy to squirrels, but the entire hibiscus plant is good to eat. Squirrels can also use hibiscus as a source of water in the summertime when their normal sources have dried up.
Nutritional benefits of hibiscus for squirrels
Hibiscus contains vitamin C, which supports immune health and may even help prevent cancer cells from forming. Hibiscus provides iron to squirrels. Iron in hibiscus helps squirrels maintain optimal energy levels. In addition, hibiscus is a good source of antioxidants, which protect squirrels' cells from damage caused by free radicals. This can help keep squirrels healthy and reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases.
Hibiscus has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in a squirrel's body. Lastly, hibiscus is a natural diuretic, meaning it helps squirrels get rid of excess fluid and reducing blood pressure.
What type of hibiscus do squirrels like to eat?
Whether your growing common hibiscus, Rose of Sharon, Spider Hibiscus, or Confederate Roses, you probably have a few squirrels nearby that would love to munch out on them. Squirrels are not particular about which hibiscus they like to eat.
It may also seem that squirrels like to eat particular color of hibiscus. Maybe you notice your red hibiscus are eaten more than your yellow ones. This is probably just coincidentally. Though, you could have a squirrel that does prefer the taste of one hibiscus over the other.
Best way to feed hibiscus to a squirrel
To feed hibiscus to squirrels, place a few of the flowers on the ground or in a small pile on a flat rock for squirrels to eat. Many people also put out water and food dishes that include hibiscus flowers or petals. Hibiscus flowers will keep squirrels full and satisfied until they can find more food, so they aren’t likely to go searching for other foods when there is an abundance of hibiscus around.
How do squirrels eat hibiscus?
Squirrels can eat the leaves and petals of hibiscus just like we do with lettuce or spinach. They can also enjoy eating the seeds inside the pods of some varieties, such as roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa). Just like us, squirrels can eat hibiscus flowers as a snack, although they may prefer to devour the flower buds first. When birds and other animals have eaten all of the flowers, squirrels will often munch on the leaves next.
Squirrels usually eat fresh hibiscus leaves whenever they grab hold of them while climbing through trees. Eating the bark off of young trees is another way that squirrels get their daily dose of hibiscus. Younger plants are easier for them to eat, so they are more likely to eat the tender bark.
When do squirrels eat hibiscus?
Squirrels love hibiscus flowers during all seasons. All types of hibiscus are deciduous perennials, meaning they lose their leaves in the winter and go dormant until spring. During this time, squirrels will still enjoy eating hibiscus leaves until they are all gone. In addition, hibiscus flowers are typically available from the late summer months into fall.
During early spring and late fall, they prefer to forage for nuts, seeds, acorns, fruit, insects, flowers, bird eggs, berries, mushrooms, and grasses instead of eating hibiscus. Squirrels may eat hibiscus stems during winter months when other foods have run out. They also sometimes eat large numbers of leaves in the springtime to prepare themselves for their upcoming time as mothers during June and July when they are nesting with their babies.
Where do squirrels eat hibiscus?
Hibiscus comes from all over the world so there is no one best type of hibiscus for squirrels to eat. Any kind of hibiscus will do just fine. There are many different species of hibiscus that grow in all types of climates and can be found in many different regions around the world. Squirrels eat hibiscus from the ground or from trees.
Since they're naturally found in warm climates such as Mexico, Central America, Africa, and the southern United States, it's no surprise that squirrels enjoy eating hibiscus. Hibiscus flowers and leaves provide both shade and food for squirrels, which makes them perfect plants for enhancing your backyard habitat.
Are hibiscus dangerous for squirrels to eat?
Hibiscus aren't dangerous for squirrels to eat. Research has shown that hibiscus are safe and healthy for squirrels to eat. There are no known toxins in hibiscus that are harmful to squirrels.
There is one type of hibiscus, Rose of Sharon, that some people fear can be poisonous to squirrels. There is no data to support Rose of Sharon being dangerous for squirrels to eat. There are reports from homeowners that say they have squirrels eat their Rose of Sharon flowers and trees. These homeowners say the same squirrels continually come back for more without falling ill.
If you are unsure about letting your squirrels eat Rose of Sharon or any other plant, then don't let them eat it. Check out aspca.org for more information about Rose of Sharon toxicity.
It's important to monitor the amount of hibiscus you feed a squirrel so that he doesn't develop an upset stomach or other health issues.
How can you keep squirrels from eating hibiscus?
There are several preventative measures people can take to keep squirrels out of their garden and away from their hibiscus plants. Some methods include wrapping chicken wire around the base of hibiscus trees, trimming down any bushes or branches that hang down to the ground.
Can baby squirrels eat hibiscus?
Baby squirrels can eat hibiscus. Just to be on the safe side, you shouldn't give them Rose of Sharon or any other plant they could potentially be harmful. Whichever type of hibiscus you are thinking about giving to your baby squirrel, look it up to verify it is not one that could pose a health problem when eaten.
Do squirrels eat hibiscus summary
Squirrels love to eat hibiscus flowers and leaves. Hibiscus is a nutrient-dense plant that contains many vitamins and minerals, and it's safe for your squirrels. Fortunately, there haven't been any cases where anyone has reported negative health effects in squirrels after eating hibiscus. It's always important to monitor how much you're feeding them though in order to keep them healthy and in optimal shape for the winter months.