10 Toxic Houseplants That Are Dangerous for Children and Pets

Updated on February 7, 2016
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Jayme is a freelance writer trained in the medical field. She overcame SPD in the past and aims to help others have a safer pregnancy.

Some beautiful plants (included many given in gift baskets) can be dangerous if ingested.
Some beautiful plants (included many given in gift baskets) can be dangerous if ingested.

Dangerous Beauties

Houseplants play several beneficial roles in our home environment. They provide visual interest to the home, purify the air, and may be edible or medicinal.

Some common plants are a common staple in kitchens, such as aloe vera, which is praised for its easy care, beautiful shape, and soothing gel. However, even such commonly grown and useful plants may be toxic.

Toxic plants can be a hazard to children and pets, as well as to elderly persons with dementia. Whereas it is advisable to keep all plants out of the reach of those who might crush, eat, or taste them, it is not always possible to prevent accidental encounters. If you're worried your loved ones may ingest your houseplants, you may want to keep the plants in this article out of your house.

Poisoning can occur from:

  • Eating or touching leaves
  • Ingesting berries, blossoms, or roots
  • Skin contact with sap or juices
  • Eating soil
  • Drinking water from plant tray

Most garden centers don't provide warning labels on their potted plants noting possible toxicity. Before you purchase that philodendron or lovely lily, learn which common plants can pose the biggest threat to the more vulnerable members of your home.

Plants and Their Toxicity to Humans and Pets

Toxic to Humans
Toxic to Dogs
Toxic to Cats
Peace Lily
Mother-In-Law's Tongue

10 Poisonous Houseplants


Philodendrons are one of the most popular houseplants. Here are two philodendrons with different leaf shapes.
Philodendrons are one of the most popular houseplants. Here are two philodendrons with different leaf shapes.

Quite possibly one of the most popular house plants, the lovely philodendron is easy to grow. While it is often the perfect complement to any room, it contains calcium oxalate crystals, which are toxic to humans and animals.

The philodendron may be vining or non-vining. It is very important to keep vining plants hung well out of reach of children or pets and to keep tendrils and leaves trimmed. Non-vining plants should be kept on high window sills or shelves.

Humans: In humans, even small children, ingesting philodendron usually has only mild side effects, including a dermatitis reaction and the swelling of the mouth and digestive tract. In rare cases or after ingesting large amounts, there have been fatalities in children.

Cats and Dogs: Philodendron has a much more serious effect on pets, with reports of spasms, seizures, pain, and swelling. It seems to be more toxic to cats.


NASA cites pothos, or devil's ivy, as one of the best houseplants for removing pollutants from the air.
NASA cites pothos, or devil's ivy, as one of the best houseplants for removing pollutants from the air.

Pothos Ivy, also called Devil's Ivy, is recommended for its beautiful variegated leaves, forgiving nature, and air purification abilities. In fact, it is cited as one of the best plants for removing impurities from the air.

It is also easy to propagate from cuttings. Because of this, many people receive these as starter plants or housewarming gifts. They then go on to have several plants rooted from the parent plant.

Pothos is considered to be only mildly harmful in small quantities, but can produce uncomfortable and sometimes serious side effects in animals and people.

Humans: Burning of the mouth, skin irritation, swelling of lips, tongue, and throat, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Cats and Dogs: Drooling, choking, swelling of mouth and tongue, difficulty breathing, and stomach upset. Can lead to renal failure and/or death.

Arrowhead Plant

Arrowhead plants (Syngonium podophyllum) have long, heart-shaped leaves.
Arrowhead plants (Syngonium podophyllum) have long, heart-shaped leaves.

This plant is related to the philodendron and is also easy to care for. It is commonly mixed in dish gardens with other plants that require similar care. Many people receive arrowhead plants as gifts.

Young plants appear bushy with heart-shaped leaves. Older plants produce climbing stems and arrowhead-shaped leaves.

The leaves are constantly shedding and being regrown, so even if this plant is out of reach, it is a good idea to check often for fallen leaves.

Humans and animals: Irritated skin, stomach upset, vomiting.

Lily (and Plants called Lilies)

Many "lilies," like this Asian lily, are especially toxic to felines.
Many "lilies," like this Asian lily, are especially toxic to felines.

Few flowers are as beautiful as lilies. From the elegant curved bloom of the calla lily to the seasonal favorite, the Easter lily, these colorful plants are popular indoors and out.

Not all lilies are toxic, and some are more toxic to animals, especially cats, than to humans. If you are aren't certain what type of lily you have, err on the side of caution and keep lilies either out of reach indoors, or planted away from play areas outdoors.

The more toxic varieties include:

  • Calla Lily (which can be fatal to children)
  • Easter Lily
  • Rubrum Lily
  • Tiger Lily
  • Day Lily
  • Asian Lily

Different lilies will produce different symptoms in pets or humans. Cats are more susceptible to lily poisoning than dogs.

Humans: Stomach upset, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, and skin irritation.

Cats: All parts of the plant are thought to be toxic. Symptoms will include vomiting, lethargy, and lack of appetite. Renal and liver failure could occur and, if not treated, lead to death.

Peace Lily

Although peace lilies are not true lilies, they are still toxic to humans and pets.
Although peace lilies are not true lilies, they are still toxic to humans and pets.

The peace lily, or Spathiphyllum, is not a member of the Liliaceae family, and therefore not a true lily. There are many varieties of peace lily, with the "Mauna Loa" lily being one of the most common indoor ornamentals.

It is an evergreen perennial from South America with glossy leaves and a unique white bloom that rises from a central stalk. They are shade-loving plants, which makes them ideal for apartments and rooms with little sunlight.

They are also excellent air purifiers. Like philodendrons and pothos, however, they can cause painful symptoms and sometimes death if ingested by humans or animals.

Humans: Burning and swelling of lips, mouth, and tongue, difficulty speaking or swallowing, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.

Cats and dogs: Information regarding the toxicity of peace lilies is somewhat conflicting, but it is listed on all animal safety sites, including the ASPCA's as toxic to dogs and cats. Symptoms are recorded as burning mouth, excessive salivation, diarrhea, dehydration, lack of appetite, and vomiting. Left untreated, peace-lily poisoning could lead to renal failure.


Dieffenbachia can cause paralysis of the throat and tongue.
Dieffenbachia can cause paralysis of the throat and tongue.

The Dieffenbachia is also called dumb cane. This plant is related to the philodendron and contains the same oxalate crystals. Dieffenbachia has thick stems and fleshy leaves that are usually solid green, with the occasional yellow or green markings.

Dumb cane is more likely to be ingested since the large plants are usually kept in pots on the floor or low pedestals. Unlike philodendron, dieffenbachia ingestion usually produces only mild to moderate symptoms in both humans and pets.

Humans and animals: Extreme pain in the mouth, salivation, burning sensation, and swelling and numbing of the throat.


Oleander is one of the deadliest ornamentals.
Oleander is one of the deadliest ornamentals.

Nerium oleander looks delicate and innocent, but is so toxic that even ingesting honey made from its nectar can produce symptoms.

Deaths in adult humans have been reported with as little as one leaf eaten, but the majority of deaths occur when very large amounts are ingested. Children are more susceptible and should be kept away from Oleander plants.

Humans: Arrhythmia, dizziness, and tremors.

Cats and Dogs: Arrhythmia, vomiting, and cold extremities.


The beautiful, decorative caladium is toxic to both humans and animals.
The beautiful, decorative caladium is toxic to both humans and animals. | Source

Caladiums are another South American bulb plant with long-lasting foliage. They are popular as houseplants or for outside landscaping. They are also commonly known a elephant's ears and angel's Wings.

Caladiums provide a variety of colors, including red, pink, and white, which makes them an attractive addition to collections of greenery. They grow well in low light, and can sometimes be forced to produce interesting blooms similar to those of the calla lily.

All parts of the caldadium are considered toxic to humans and animals.

Humans: Symptoms after ingestion can include: painful burning and swelling of the mouth, tongue, lips and throat, difficulty breathing, speaking, and swallowing, and possible blocked airways that can lead to death.

Cats and dogs: Nausea, vomiting, staggering, head shaking, drooling, and difficulty breathing.

Mother-in-Law's Tongue, AKA Snake Plant

This decorative plant is known for its pointed leaves.
This decorative plant is known for its pointed leaves.

Another great floor plant, the mother-in-law's tongue, or snake plant, has leathery, sword-like leaves that earned the plant its sharp name. The sleek, upright shape of the mother-in-law's tongue can complement an arrangement of softer, bushier plants.

The foliage is a mottled or variegated green with hints of white, yellow, and silver. Due to the belief that it can protect a home from evil influences, the mother-in-law's tongue is also called a good-luck plant, but it might not be so lucky for pets.

Humans: The toxicity level is low, producing short-lasting symptoms such as mouth pain, salivation, and some nausea. In rare instances, it can produce a dermatological reaction, but is mainly toxic only if ingested.

Cats and dogs: It can cause excessive salivation, pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Clean Air

NASA recommends using at least fifteen plants in the average home. Here are some top-rated plants for air purification:

• Pothos Ivy

• Philodendron

• English Ivy

• Peace Lily

• Weeping Fig


English ivy is a wonderful plant to hang indoors—out of reach of pets.
English ivy is a wonderful plant to hang indoors—out of reach of pets.

Ivy (often called "English ivy") is a charming sight when it creeps over stone or brick walls or creates cool, lush carpeting beneath trees. Indoors, ivy is hung from baskets creating a romantic, cascading showpiece.

Ivy is used in holiday decor as wreaths and centerpieces. Ivy not only serves as beautiful and traditional decoration but also removes airborne fecal-matter particles from the air, making it a wonderful asset for homes with pets.

Humans: Ivy can cause severe skin irritation. Ingestion can cause burning in the mouth and throat, stupor, convulsions, fever, and rash. Usually symptoms are only severe if large amounts of the plant are eaten.

Cats and dogs: Diarrhea, hyperactivity, gasping breaths, weakness, tremors, staggering, and vomiting.

Pets, Children, and Poisonous Plants

How well do you know your plants?

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Plant Safety Tips

Providing safe plants for your cat to eat is one tip for keeping your pet healthy!
Providing safe plants for your cat to eat is one tip for keeping your pet healthy!

Just because these plants are potentially dangerous doesn't mean you can't enjoy them in your home. As long as you take care to follow some basic safety measures, plants, children, and pets can co-exist peacefully.

Here are some ways of reducing exposure to plant toxins:

  • Keep plants out of reach or in rooms where children and pets are not allowed.
  • Maintain plants regularly and keep debris cleaned up.
  • Label pots with the plant name and whether or not it is toxic.
  • Wear gloves while handling or wash hands immediately after handling plants that could irritate skin or eyes.
  • Don't discard plant clippings where they can be easily accessed.
  • Teach children not to touch plants.
  • Trim plants to prevent children and pets from accessing vines. The plants will still reward you with fullness and foliage that purifies the air.

  • Don't forget that plants summering outside can be dangerous to outdoor pets. Hang them high on porches or plant-stands.
  • Always keep fresh water for pets so that they aren't tempted to drink from plant trays. Toxins can leach into the water.
  • Use automatic plant waterers or self-watering pots to protect plants from mold, and animals from toxic water.
  • To keep cats from accessing plants that are out of reach of children and dogs, try using hanging bird cages to hold the pots. Cages provide extra protection for the plants and a bit of visual interest to the room.

Self-watering pots are one way to eliminate dangerous water in saucers and keep soil free of mold.
Self-watering pots are one way to eliminate dangerous water in saucers and keep soil free of mold.

Additional safety tips:

  • Keep potting soils and fertilizers out of reach.
  • Monitor plants for insects.
  • Check pots and soil regularly for mold and mildew
  • Replace broken or cracked pots. This is especially important for plastic pots that have been outside in the elements.
  • Make sure hanging baskets are sturdy enough to support the weight of the plant.
  • Don't place vining plants where the tendrils are in reach. A child or pet could pull the plant from the shelf by tugging.
  • Make sure plant shelves and ceiling hooks are strong enough to support the plant.
  • Provide safe plants for cats to eat.

Make sure your hanging pots are sturdy enough to support the weight of the plant. You can also keep tendrils out of reach by making them climb the chain.
Make sure your hanging pots are sturdy enough to support the weight of the plant. You can also keep tendrils out of reach by making them climb the chain.

Keep in mind that even non-toxic plants can be a risk.

Children or pets could choke on small berries, leaves, or woody stems. Heavy plants can topple, and sharply pointed leaves can stick or cut the hands or mouth. High shelves and hanging baskets for your plants will keep plants and your loved ones safe from harm, while still affording you the healthy benefits of live plants.

Additional Information on House Plant Toxicity

The purpose of this article is to alert home owners to potentially toxic plants, not to replace medical advice or treatment. For more specific and detailed information on different symptoms of plant poisoning in humans and pets, visit the following links:

Questions & Answers


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      • profile image


        2 months ago

        I bring home bundles of Easter lilies every Sunday from church and have them surround in our bed room for their beauty and smell. Now with my husband and I have the feel of razors slashing down our legs and severe muscle and joint aches! It's like what happened to me 10 yrs ago from taking CIPRO and LEVAQUIN damages have started all over again! It took me ten yrs to get this painful damages to back off, but now I can't smell anything slightly toxic or take any Anti=Biotics without this PAIN flaring all over again and lasting ups to 6 months afterward!!! So now I caught my cat lapping for a long time out of a bowl that had a broken off lilly flower in it, while I was sleeping highly. Thank GOD for me waking on that lapping sound. Because this made me get ups and Googleb in if it was poisonous, and sure enough it was! I found d ab half ab cup worth of water he spit uno on the floor with one bladebof the weed grass I also had in that bowl. I immediately raced out that late Sunday 3 AM to CVS and bought Activated CHARCOAL capsules and mixed with water and syringe sprayed in down his throat for 2 days. Praise GOD Buster is A okay :) He probably threw most of it up on the floor, but the charcoal surely absorbed the residue and his turds cane bout hard and black! I even ate a charcoal capsule and cleared out too, as after surgery I needed to clear out of loads off pain meds that I now have hurt my muscles and joints every time.

        Since these lilies are my favorite flower I just moved them top safe place in my home, but only AFTER I went around with a tiny jar clipping OFF all the pollen pads and even the Pistols of every one of them and flushed them! Then something amazing happened: With these pistols and pollen pads GONE off each flower, these week old flowers PERKED up big time and lasted another week longer in beauty! It was like Neutering the Draining stress away from each flower. They seemed to shine brighter after NEUTERING each lilly flower. I do not clip the newly opening flowers, rather waited until they were all opened wide first while these poison Pads were solid tight...before getting powerly!

        A lot of extra work, but worth it.

        And YES, get your cat a big self watering pot filled with a selection of all the grasses he could want to nibble on, so he won't try sampling bad things again.

        Years ago I did have a giant 4 yr old Rotweiler die on me; and then bizarrely we found a pile of vomit with chewed up Oleander leaves in the vomit! So very sad.

        First we were wondering why she wouldn't eat, and why her eyes were watering profusely and her bottom eye lids were handing down exposing the inside of the lids and everything was real red and blood shot, and a little blood was trickling from both her nose and mouth!

        Bu the time we were able to fond a late Sunday night emergency Vet to take her to, we went to load herb up and found her dead already!

        This was so tragically HORRIBLE and to know she indeed suffered intensely!

        Web dug up every giant oleander bush that the former owners here had surround this 1/2 acre...but NOW we find that our beautiful Angels Trumpets are deadly too! Why does beauty equal KILLER!?!?!?

        Also we HAD those big star shaped leaves on that "WEED-bush-can grow to tree size" that "RICIN" is made from...I guess the big brownish speckled seeds?

        Scary to think I had a completely POISONOUS Property inside and out!

      • profile image

        A Person 

        4 months ago

        So I ate lilly flower nectar and I have a sore throat, I'm looking for a cure, but I can't find one! Please help!

      • profile image


        6 months ago

        Thanks For the Valuable Information.

      • Bills Place profile image

        Billy Haynes 

        6 months ago from Paragould, AR

        I used to buy the girlfriend various types of lily's, but when we moved to the new place we agreed to bring the stray cat that had been living in our carport for 2 years. Neither of us had owned a cat since we were young, so she did some research and that's when she came across lily's being toxic to them. :(

      • profile image

        Gloria Brdlik 

        7 months ago

        Isn't the Poinsettia poisonous?

      • profile image

        Maria Avery 

        8 months ago

        I love the sanseveria as a house as a houseplant. They are easy to care for and every year or two I transplant them at the same time....out of each pot that I transplant I get two new plants. They don't get very tall but expand horizontally. They are dark green with light green throughout the leaves and are a succulent.

      • profile image


        12 months ago

        this is a great article. unfortunately a little too late for me. But I can correct the problems. Spider plants must be toxic as well. I have had all of these plants. Recently, my daughter's cat was gravely ill. He was given antibiotics, meds he almost didn't make it. Diagnosis was renal failure mainly. I noticed something had nibbled on the leaves of several plants. He got better. The houseplants spend summer outdoors. Now it's winter. I must make adjustments. Thanks so much for your informative article. I will pass it along to my older pet loving neighbors, who have no access to the internet.

      • profile image


        14 months ago

        Day lilys are not true lilys, they are hemerocallis, they are not poisionous to animals.

      • profile image


        15 months ago

        I didn't know Oleander is dangerous.. I'm shocked. I have most of this plants in my garden.

      • profile image

        Laura Baker 

        16 months ago

        I'm just starting a indoor/outdoor garden...this is very helpful, as I have cats and dogs!! Found I have a few of those plants also!!! Thank you so much for this article!!!!

      • profile image

        Harish Shukul 

        16 months ago

        Very useful information.Almost every plant mentioned has been part of my garden but so far no untoward incident occurred.I will have to be on guard or get rid off these otherwise beautiful plants..

      • profile image


        17 months ago

        You have what not to have request you to share must have plants please

      • Casey White profile image

        Mike and Dorothy McKenney 

        18 months ago from United States

        What a great article. I am going to share it and I hope many others will as well. This is information that everyone needs to know to keep their pets and children safe. Thanks!!!

      • profile image

        Rose nagy 

        19 months ago

        This has been a big help

      • profile image

        Pamela Davis 

        20 months ago

        I thought that tiger lily and day lily buds were a part of Chinese cuisine. Must not be too poisonous if that is true.

      • profile image


        20 months ago

        Thanks, there are some useful links and info here. Just noting that Oleander is not really a houseplant. It is an outdoor landscaping plant - common where I am in Northern California along the freeways. I guess someone could have it in a courtyard or patio, in which case you should also include foxglove (digitalis) - it has the same level and type of toxicity and is probably more popular. I did learn when I had to call poison control once that cala lily (also more of an outdoor plant) is not as toxic as you say here - they told me that it has a lot of silica that could irritate the throat or stomach.

      • Ashish Dadgaa profile image


        21 months ago

        @@Jayme Kinsey,

        Very good hub. This information is essential for everyone.

        I have noted the name of these houseplants.

        Very nicely written with detail of each plants.

        Great work.

      • profile image


        22 months ago

        I have all this plants all my life in my house and my classroom had them all but nothing happened. I would love to see scientific grounds or studies why this plants are toxic in such a way. If they are toxic, why are they everywhere? Would you recommend of plants that are good indoor?

      • profile image


        23 months ago

        Most of the families should read this article, very helpful to house-plant lovers. Great.

      • profile image

        PAUL RUSULE 

        2 years ago

        thanks so much

      • Marie H Vonow profile image

        Marie Vonow 

        2 years ago from South Australia

        Great article. I did some research on poisonous plants when I was in charge of a day centre for adults with a high level of intellectual disability. This knowledge was important as part of our risk management strategy.

      • nelyernita profile image

        nely ernita 

        2 years ago from jakarta

        very helpful, thank you Jayme!

      • Olivia Sanzzi profile image

        Olivia Sanzzi 

        3 years ago from San Antonio

        This article was VERY helpful, well-researched, and well-written. Thanks for the informative read.

      • Kristen Howe profile image

        Kristen Howe 

        3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

        Great hub on the toxicity of plants for us humans and pets. Lots of valuable great tips on safety for everyone at home. Voted up!

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Plants I thought are good to keep at home because they clean the air. Little did I know that a few of them can be really harmful. Our older folks told us not to plant oleanders in front of the house because of a silly superstition that the girls in the house would not be able to marry. I now understand how much of a poison this plant can be.

      • Joyfulcrown profile image


        3 years ago

        I have some of those plants and a little puppy so thanks for the information.

      • profile image

        Kenneth Avery 

        4 years ago

        Sharkye11 . . . you are a terrific writer and hub-designer. Love the lay-out and topic. As far as I know, I have no poisonous or toxic house plants where I live.

        Keep up the great work, and I forgot. Did you start following me? If so, thanks and if not, Please be one of my followers. I would love it.


      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        4 years ago from Oklahoma

        Thank you, Au Fait. I hope people are more careful with plants.

      • grand old lady profile image

        Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

        4 years ago from Philippines

        This is a very helpful hub, especially now that I've started growing plants using my compost. Many of the plants you featured are common garden plants, who would suspect they could be toxic? Thank you from me and my three dogs for this very important information:)

      • my_girl_sara profile image

        Cynthia Lyerly 

        4 years ago from Georgia

        Very useful information!

      • heidithorne profile image

        Heidi Thorne 

        4 years ago from Chicago Area

        Have greatly reduced my houseplants over the years in large part due to pet access issues. Still have a few pothos plants that I love. So their kept high off the floor for just the reasons you noted.

        Great info! Voted up and sharing!

      • Monis Mas profile image


        4 years ago

        Thanks so much. I didn't know about any of these!

      • Kathleen Odenthal profile image

        Kathleen Odenthal 

        4 years ago from Bridgewater

        wow, very interesting and informative! i didn't know about much of this. thanks for posting this. voted up and shared.

      • Dolores Monet profile image

        Dolores Monet 

        4 years ago from East Coast, United States

        There are so many houseplants that are toxic! I sprinkle cinnamon around the soil on my plants to keep the cat away. It seems to work. I don't use the cinnamon much anymore, just if I introduce a new one. Our cat, once warned away by the strong scent, seems to avoid the plant ever after.

      • kenneth avery profile image

        Kenneth Avery 

        4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

        Dear Sharkye11,

        I loved this hub. It was informative, helpful, and a lot of fun to read. I voted up and all the way. I admire your writing style and I wish you my Best in your future writing of hubs, poems, and maybe books.

        I Cordially Invite you to check out a few of my hubs and then become one of my followers.

        I love my followers and am always interested in what they are doing and writing about.

        Hope to see you soon. Keep up the great work.



      • erorantes profile image

        Ana Maria Orantes 

        4 years ago from Miami Florida

        Hello Jayme. Tkank you for your article on the ten plants to avoid around children. You did a good job on your hub.

      • profile image

        archana rohit bhardwaj 

        4 years ago

        it's a good article . according to me i would give 10 out of 10 .this information is very useful in our daily life . WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT POISONOUS PLANTS ESPECIALLY THAT WE SEE IN OUR DAILY LIFE. This interesting article increased my knowledge . thank you very much.

      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        4 years ago from Oklahoma

        @StephanieHenkel-- Thank you. Yes! I agree, photos are much needed when it comes to plant. I've been given lots of plants that came with no name tags!

      • suzettenaples profile image

        Suzette Walker 

        5 years ago from Taos, NM

        Thank you for such a well-written, interesting and informative article on the danger of some house plants. I knew about some of these, but lilies surprised me and that so many of them are toxic. I do know that during the Christmas season, keep poinsettas off the floor and up high if you have pets - they are extremely toxic to pets, but not so much to humans. This is really a helpful article and great photos of the plants that are toxic for all of us to see.

      • oldiesmusic profile image


        5 years ago from United States

        We do have these plants, they're familiar in many homes but I didn't know that they have a name, Dieffenbachia. I used to pull the leaves when I was a child and then I experienced a hot sensation in my hands, that even washing them won't make this "heat" in my hands go away immediately. Since that incident I avoided that plant.

      • thumbi7 profile image

        JR Krishna 

        5 years ago from India

        I have planted a small mother in laws tongue in my house recently. I was not knowing the name of the plant.

        It is a funny name; but I love that plant. It is very beautiful.

        Enjoyed reading this hub

      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        5 years ago from Oklahoma

        @rusticliving--My cat has never bothered them either, but it is better not to take chances. Cats can always decided to do something on a whim. (I think only bored cats mess with plants though). I'm glad you moved your plants and didn't throw them away. Pothos is still very healthy to have in your house for the air both you and your pets breathe. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        5 years ago from Oklahoma

        @ compu-smart buying plants is still a good idea. Tons of plants are still available that are safe, beautiful, and useful. Food luck with your search, and thanks for reading!

      • alannahbale profile image


        5 years ago from Rugby, Warwickshire

        I never knew this before, it's really interesting! :-)

      • Au fait profile image

        C E Clark 

        5 years ago from North Texas

        Had no idea so many common houseplants were toxic to people and animals. This is a good guide for people who children and/or pets. Voted up!

      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        5 years ago from Oklahoma

        @DDE--thank you very much. I'm glad you found this helpful!

      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        5 years ago from Oklahoma

        @pstraubie--Cats are definitely hard to keep safe. They like to get into so much mischief when the are feeling bored or capricious, and nibbling some plants is a great way to get attention. Thanks for reading and sharing!

      • Stephanie Henkel profile image

        Stephanie Henkel 

        5 years ago from USA

        I knew that some of these plants were toxic, but you provided so much new information! I thoroughly enjoyed your well-written and informative article. The photographs of each plant are so helpful as we don't all know the names of every plant in a dish garden or that we receive as a gift. Voted up, useful, interesting and beautiful!

      • Rusticliving profile image

        Elizabeth Rayen 

        5 years ago from California

        Jayme, what a great article! SO informative and I have learned so much. I have both Aloe Vera and Pothos in my house and had absolutely no idea that they could be harmful to my pets. I have a dog and cat. The dog can't reach them, but both plants sit on a long table where the cat is always sitting to look out the window. I have not seen her, or any signs that she may be nibbling on any of them.. but rest assured, those plants have already been placed somewhere else! Thank you so much for sharing! Voted up+ I/A/U and shared!


      • compu-smart profile image


        5 years ago from London UK

        Wow! I'm so glad I popped by here because I'm about to buy some house plants. I don't know what I want but I now know exactly what I don't want!

        Much appreciated and important information. Thank you.

      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        5 years ago from Oklahoma

        @Michelle--Yep. Lily is probably worse for pets because they might dig up the bulb and chew it. Thanks for reading and sharing!

      • DDE profile image

        Devika Primić 

        5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

        Brilliantly accomplished, about the Ten Toxic House-plants to Avoid Around Children and Pets, I learned about many plants which I had no idea of.

      • pstraubie48 profile image

        Patricia Scott 

        5 years ago from sunny Florida

        Thanks for sharing these. I knew of some of them but not all. I have a new kitty and want to protect him from all things harmful.

        I am also sharing this info with my family and friends. Pinned

        Angels are on the way to you this morning. ps

      • midget38 profile image

        Michelle Liew 

        5 years ago from Singapore

        Wow! Surprising that even the lily can be poisonous. Sharing this, it's important!

      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        5 years ago from Oklahoma

        @ladydeonne--thank you for reading. I hope you have fun redecorating! Plants bring a lot of charm to a home, as long as they are out of reach. :)

      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        5 years ago from Oklahoma

        @janices7--Herbs can always make good houseplants too! Mint plants and lemon balm love containers and sunny windows. Thanks for commenting!

      • ladydeonne profile image

        Deonne Anderson 

        5 years ago from Florence, SC

        I am in the process of finishing my spring cleaning and plan to use plants to decorate my home. I am happy to have found your hub as a guide for my purchases as I have two dogs. One a baby who will eat anything and one full grown who will not bother plants. Great information and shared.

      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        5 years ago from Oklahoma

        @Victoria Lynn--if your pets don't seem interested then they probably won't bother them. My cat won't touch all the pothos ivy I have, but she LOVES to mess with my silk parlor palm. She can't hurt it, and I guess it gives her that "wild in the jungle" feeling that cats need. :)

        Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • janices7 profile image

        Janice S 

        5 years ago

        I've heard lilies are bad for pets but these are new to me! I guess I will just stick to growing herbs and skip the plants altogether. It's a win win for me anyways ;)

      • Victoria Lynn profile image

        Victoria Lynn 

        5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

        Gosh, the first two plants you mention are the only two I try to grow, since they're so easy! Fortunately, my cats and dog don't seem to care to mess with them, but I may get rid of them and go to my plastic plants! Great info in this hub!

      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        5 years ago from Oklahoma

        @Thelma--I think it depends on the dog. Some pets won't bother plants. Others seem to love digging in and eating plants. It would take eating a lot of the plant material on most of these plants to be fatal to an animal, but it might make them sick. In which case many won't take the chance of tasting it again. If your dogs haven't bothered them so far then you are probably okay. I would recommend telling your nieces not to eat the plants, and to wash their hands if they touch them to avoid irritation.

      • Thelma Alberts profile image

        Thelma Alberts 

        5 years ago from Germany

        I have most of these plants in my garden. Through this hub I learned the names of my plants (besides aloe vera) which I did not know the names yet until now. I have to inform my nieces and their parents about these toxic plants. I have no idea before reading this. I have dogs and I wonder if the animals know the danger of these plants. Can a dog know if a certain plant is toxic?

        Thanks for sharing. Voted up, useful and pinned;-)

      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        5 years ago from Oklahoma

        @peachpurple--Sounds like you have a lovely garden if it is filled with these plants! I don't think humans would show any symptoms just by growing and caring for these plants, even in large quantities. A lot of the plant would have to be eaten. Except for oleander, of course. It would cause symptoms if even a tiny it were ingested.

        Enjoy your lovely plants. You are so lucky to live in a place where it is warm enough for them to live outdoors!

      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        5 years ago from Oklahoma

        @Rose-the-Planner--thanks! Hope it is helpful!

      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        5 years ago from Oklahoma

        azrestoexp--Thanks for reading, and I am glad you found it useful!

      • mecheshier profile image


        5 years ago

        Fabulous Hub! Great tips and wonderful info. Thank you for sharing.

        Voted up for VERY useful and interesting

      • peachpurple profile image


        5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

        Thanks for writing this hub. It is interesting and useful for housewives like me. I have most of the plants that you had mentioned, not in the house but out in the garden patch. They were planted by my mother-in-law and she is a plant lover. Luckily she doesn't seem to have any symptoms that you had mentioned. Thanks and voted up

      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        5 years ago from Oklahoma

        @moonlake--Glad your dog was okay!I think an animal (or child) would have to eat a LOT of most of these plants to be harmed, with the exception of the oleander. It can make them feel very bad though, so best to have them checked out. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        5 years ago from Oklahoma

        @Faceless-Thanks for reading! some of them aren't well known.

      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        5 years ago from Oklahoma

        Thank you, Mystic Moonlight! Glad you found it helpful!

      • rose-the planner profile image

        rose-the planner 

        5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

        Wow......good to know! Great article, thanks for sharing.

      • azrestoexp profile image

        Arizona's Restoration Experts, LLC 

        5 years ago

        Very interesting and informative. Several things I did not know. THANKS!!!

      • moonlake profile image


        5 years ago from America

        Our dog ate some Pothos, she was fine but it was a trip to the vet for her. Good information. Voted up and I will try to pin this to my garden board.

      • Faceless39 profile image

        Kate P 

        5 years ago from The North Woods, USA

        Very good to know.. I was only aware of a couple of these.

        Voted up, useful, and interesting.

      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        5 years ago from Oklahoma

        @ignugent17--Absolutely! House plants are beneficial to everyone, including pets (they need clean air to breathe too!) If your pets are particularly stubborn about messing with plants you can sprinkle red pepper around the soil and on the leaves. It won't hurt the plants, but it will usually deter a pet from digging in the dirt or tasting the leaves. Thanks for reading!

      • profile image


        5 years ago

        Wonderful and informative information. Great Hub, voted up and much appreciated!

      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        5 years ago from Oklahoma

        @healthmom--Thank you for reading. Plants make the air healthier for kids. Just be sure the plants are placed safely out of reach of younger children, and older children are taught to wash their hands after touching the plants. (especially if they like to help you with plant care).

      • profile image


        5 years ago

        Very useful hub. Having ornamental plants is really essential. This will make the pet owners aware to plant what is not harmful for their pets.

      • healthmom profile image


        5 years ago from Ohio

        I enjoyed the hub, beautiful pics and this is a topic that grabbed my attention because I have both kids and plants in the house.

      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        5 years ago from Oklahoma

        @GoodLady--Calla lilies are beautiful plants! Although they are more toxic than some of the plants here (except oleander-it's the worst) they really can't hurt you unless you deliberately eat the leaves or bulbs. So continue to enjoy your lovely plants. Just be sure kids and pets can't access them. Thanks for reading and leaving such a nice comment!

      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        5 years ago from Oklahoma

        @PegCole--My pets have never bothered my Pothos either. However I have to keep my Spider plant on the roof almost. My cat looks at it like a kid looks at candy! My mother has a beautiful Oleander, but she keeps it locked behind a glass door, so we can still see it, but no one will accidentally touch it. It is a shame that such lovely plants are dangerous, but with care they can still be enjoyed. Thank you for reading!

      • GoodLady profile image

        Penelope Hart 

        5 years ago from Rome, Italy

        I love the calla lily and had no idea it was so poisonous, or many of those other really beautiful plants you have photographed and talked about so interestingly here, many of which Ive had growing happily in my bedroom.

        Thanks so much for such valuable, new information.

      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        5 years ago from Oklahoma

        @Mel78--Thank you for reading. The plants are still okay to keep as long as you keep them up high or in a room that can't be accessed by children and pets.

      • PegCole17 profile image

        Peg Cole 

        5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

        This was really useful. Though I knew some of these plants were toxic, like the Oleander, I did not know that Pothos Ivy was toxic. I've had one in my dining room for over a dozen years. Thankfully, the dogs leave it alone. Good information here.

      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        5 years ago from Oklahoma

        @Gail Meyers--Thank you for reading and voting. I hope you choose to keep your lovely plants. :)

      • profile image


        5 years ago

        Very interesting article. I have some of these plants, but didn't know their names. Kinda scary to know some of these are poisonos.

      • Gail Meyers profile image

        Gail Meyers 

        5 years ago from Kansas City - United States

        This is really a handy guide. I have several of these plants and a couple of them I did not realize are poisonous. Voted up, useful and shared.

      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        5 years ago from Oklahoma

        @Sonia--plants are indeed powerful! That's why they are used in so many drugs and chemicals. But they are still so pretty to have in the house. we just have to respect them. Thank you for the comment! :)

      • Sonia Perozzi profile image

        Sonia Perozzi 

        5 years ago from California

        Thank you for this great information. There are a few on this list that I did not realize are poisonous or toxic, helpful and important to know for sure. I think we often forget about the natural power - both good and bad - of plants and flowers around us.

      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        5 years ago from Oklahoma

        @VeronicaFarkas--yes, cats seem to have the worst luck with plants. I suppose because they are more likely to dig in the plants or play with them. And they can reach plants that are higher up than dogs. So maybe cats are just exposed more? Peace lilies are still lovely plants to have though. They just need to be kept out of reach. Thanks for the comment, and I am glad you enjoyed the hub!

      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        5 years ago from Oklahoma

        @baygirl33--It is always wise to be cautious. Even though it takes massive doses to cause serious illness, sometimes handling plants can cause annoying skin irritations. Thank you for the comment!

      • VeronicaFarkas profile image

        Veronica Roberts 

        5 years ago from Ohio, USA

        Very useful info. I have a peace lily & had never thought of it being toxic to us or our pets.

        I'd heard that poinsettias are poisonous (especially for cats), but hadn't heard that about a few on the list. It seems as though cats have it the worst! Poor things!

      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        5 years ago from Oklahoma

        Sgbrown--Your house sounds like mine! I have all but the oleander. I also have a few that aren't on the list. I have them up high, and locked into seldom-used rooms. Which probably doesn't help our breathing much. :)

        Thank you for the comment!

      • baygirl33 profile image


        6 years ago from Hamilton On.

        Very useful! Thanks!

        I don't have kids or animals right now but I'm still very careful with plants,especially Poinsettias.

        Nice reminders,nice pics for recognition.

      • sgbrown profile image

        Sheila Brown 

        6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

        I think I have all of these in my house right now, except for the Oleander. I do know that they are all toxic to a point. I have two dogs that never even look at my plants. Now I have my 11 month old granddaughter 3 days a week. Thank you for this reminder, I do have a couple of plants that I need to put up higher, out of her reach. Great hub! Voting up and more! :)

      • vibesites profile image


        6 years ago from United States

        I'm curious, aren't peace lilies anthuriums? Thanks for the information about these houseplants. :)

      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        6 years ago from Oklahoma

        You are right Baygirl. Poinsettias were for years considered toxic. Then there started to be a debate as to whether or not they really were. When I wrote this hub, it was meant to be a series, and poinsettias were going in the next hub. I omitted it from this one only because I already had the seasonal lilies. Hopefully I will get around to that hub soon, as well as one I planned on outdoor plants!

        Personally, I believe in erring on the side of caution. I turned down a beautiful poinsettia from my mother-in-law because I knew it would be an attractive target for my baby and cat.

        Thank you for reading and commenting! After the Halloween hub streak, I will work on finishing the series. :)

      • baygirl33 profile image


        6 years ago from Hamilton On.

        Very helpful hub!Lot of information.I will bookmark it for future use.

        However I was looking for the Poinsettia plant in your list.The white milky substance that leaks out when a branch is broken is very toxic to children and pets.

      • Sharkye11 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jayme Kinsey 

        6 years ago from Oklahoma

        That's okay Vinaya. They are great plants to have...just don't mistake them for the salad greens!

      • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

        Vinaya Ghimire 

        6 years ago from Nepal

        I have most of these plants in my house, but did not know they are toxic. Thanks for sharing this useful and informative article.


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