7 toxic indoor plants not safe for kids and pets

toxic plants not safe for kids or pets

Be mindful of toxic indoor plants

Though it shouldn't deter you from owning houseplants, you should keep in mind that even common varieties may be toxic.

You may be eager to introduce some green into your home for the visual aesthetic as well as the other benefits of owning indoor plants.

However, you should keep in mind that even some of the most common indoor plants may be toxic and can be dangerous to small children, elderly people, and curious pets if not handled properly.

It doesn’t automatically mean you can’t have these plants in your home, but that you should place them out of reach of vulnerable loved ones if you believe they are apt to touch or consume them.

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1. Peace Lilies

These are a low maintenance flowering plant that are especially popular in Spring. Though safe to touch, they are dangerous if consumed. Symptoms of consumption are tongue and lip irritation, difficulty swallowing, and vomiting.

2. Devil’s Ivy

Also known as Pothos, these are indoor plants with lovely variegated leaves and air-purification qualities. Though considered to be only mildly harmful if consumed or touched they can still lead to skin irritation, mouth burning, diarrhea and vomiting. In pets this may even extend to difficult breathing and renal failure.

3. Sansevieria

The striking Sansevieria (Snake Plant) is at the top of the air purification list yet it is also a poisonous beauty. Its leaves can be potentially toxic if ingested and can cause nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.


4. Bird of Paradise

This is a gorgeous tropical plant with dramatic paddle-shaped leaves that demand attention. It’s also a flowering plant and the flowers are actually the mildly toxic part. Because the flowers and fruit may be attractive to small children and pets, keep on the look out to avoid drowsiness, nausea, and vomiting.


5. Philodendron

Not just because they’re beautiful to have around, Philodendron plants are popular as they are very easy to grow and they thrive with little maintenance. However, this indoor plant needs to be placed out of reach. Consuming the plant sap can cause vomiting, convulsions, breathing difficulty, problems while swallowing, and seizures. If consumed in large doses it could even be fatal.

6. Dieffenbachia

Commonly known as dumb cane, this beautiful houseplant is visually appealing with large colorful leaves making it a top choice for interior design. However,  the leaves, roots and stalk are toxic causing symptoms like irritation, numb feeling, drooling and swelling around the point of contact.

7. Asparagus Fern

Ferns are very common houseplants, and the asparagus fern is even more desirable due to its delicate and feathery nature. As beautiful as its foliage is, it also produces berries that shouldn’t be handled or consumed. The symptoms are diarrhea, abdominal disorders, and vomiting, skin irritation and allergies.

Bonus: Rubber plant

This gorgeous easy-care plant, that grows tall with large glossy leaves and air purification properties, is probably one of the most popular indoor plants. Though generally safe, you do have to be careful if the leaves are damaged as they will leak sap that is toxic. Though rarely fatal, contact with the sap can cause many of the aforementioned symptoms.

For a full list of plants toxic to animals see the ASPCA poisonous plants list.

toxic plants not safe for kids or pets