Tropical Style

Garden Alert: 22 Plants to Eliminate Pets

Plants and pets aren’t always a perfect mix. A surprising variety of crops, such as landscape and houseplant favorites, are toxic and even deadly if Rover or Fluffy decides they are edible. Below are only a couple of the more than 300 plants which can result in problems. Speak to your vet or see the ASPCA’s website for a complete list.

That isn’t to say that these crops and your pets can’t coexist. Many cats and dogs won’t give these plants a second look. And even if they do get into them, the toxins may not bother them. I’m personally acquainted with a puppy who dug up and ate daffodil bulbs, the most poisonous part of the plant, and didn’t even suffer a stomachache.

Nevertheless, it’s far better to be safe than sorry. Keep an eye on your pets and their chewing tastes, especially puppies and kittens who can, and will, chew on everything. Consider using bitter apple or sour orange spray to discourage leaf chomping, installing ornamental fencing or wrap netting around larger specimens, and placing houseplants out of reach. And should you suspect that your pet has gotten into something it should not have, contact your vet or an emergency clinic straight away.

Remember that some of these very same plants are toxic to humans. While adults generally do not chomp their way through a nonedible backyard, it’s sensible to keep an eye on little children, especially if they explore the world by putting everything in their mouths.

Filmore Clark

The amaryllis (Hippeastrum) is a favorite holiday bloomer, but for cats and dogs it can cause a selection of issues, from gastrointestinal issues to tremors as well as anorexia. The botanical Amaryllis, more commonly called Naked Lady, is both toxic.

Amy Renea

Autumn crocus appears benign, but vomiting, diarrhea as well as organ damage can be the result of ingesting this innocuous-looking plant. Interestingly, creative mystery authors have used this as a poison of choice for people (see also foxglove below).

J. Peterson Garden Design

Azaleas as well as other rhododendron species can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, general weakness and, even if the dose is powerful enough, even death.

Barbara Pintozzi

The pyrethrins at chrysanthemums may help ward off pests, but they can also cause problems from the gastrointenstinal system.

Exteriorscapes llc

The most likely effects from nibbling on coleus are vomiting and diarrhea, but depression and anorexia can also result.

Le jardinet

Consuming cyclamens can lead to vomiting. The most toxic parts of the plant are the roots, but it’s ideal to maintain all parts from the mouths of cats and dogs.

Laughlin Design Associates, Inc..

A springtime display of daffodils and tulips is always welcome. However, the bulbs are a source of toxins which can cause everything from drooling to convulsions and circulatory issues.

The New York Botanical Garden

Dahlias can cause both gastrointestinal and skin problems, so they should be outside of the range of sensitive pets.

Kim Gamel

English ivy is famous both for landscaping and as a houseplant, but if digested it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, pain and excess salivation.

environmental notion

Considering that foxglove goes from the botanical name of Digitalis, also the title of a commonly used heart medication, it’s not surprising that it can lead to cardiac problems in people and pets. Other symptoms include gastrointestinal issues.

Le jardinet

Hellebores, a winter-garden favored, can cause abdominal pain, colic and depression in both dogs and cats if ingested.

Westover Landscape Design, Inc..

Although hydrangeas are backyard showstoppers, symptoms vary from oral irritation to gastrointestinal distress to depression for pets who eat them.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Numerous members of the lily family, such as Asiatic hybrids like those shown here, are highly toxic to cats, resulting in acute kidney damage even if just a little amount is consumed.

Barbara Pintozzi

Daylilies, although a member of a distinct botanical family, can also be toxic.

MTH Design Group

Oleanders are toxic to both people in pets. Problems vary from gastrointestinal troubles to compromised cardiac problems and death.

D for Design

The peace lily is an ideal houseplant. It’s happy in reduced light and is hard to kill. Regrettably, it can result in significant oral problems along with vomiting if swallowed by a cat or dog.

Scheer & Co..

While chewing consuming and on the leaves can cause swelling and irritation, the fantastic news is that most pothos look better when grown as hanging plants, from the reach of pets.

Constantine D. Vasilios & Associates Ltd

The sago palm is a dramatic houseplant and a favorite outdoor pick for temperate landscapes. The downside is that it’s toxic to pets. While the leaves can cause problems, the seeds, also called the nuts, are the most debatable and can lead to seizures and liver failure.

RLH Studio

The favorite umbrella tree, of the Schefllera genus, can cause intense oral irritation and vomiting if ingested.


Keep delicate sweet peas from experimenting pets, as they can cause tremors, seizures and, in acute cases, death.

Heffernan Landscape Design

The taxine at yew affects the central nervous system. Additionally, it can lead to cardiac failure.

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