While indoor plants can undoubtedly enhance your living space and purify the air, some of them come with a hidden danger. This blog post reveals 15 indoor plants that are also poisonous houseplants, which can pose risks to pets and young children.
It’s essential to strike a balance between aesthetics and safety, so why not consider 13 plants that will boost productivity and purify the air without the risk? If you’re a first-time plant owner, our article on 13 things to know when choosing your first plant will guide you through the process.
|Indoor plants can be a beautiful addition to your home or office, but it is important to be aware of their potential risks.|
|Many common houseplants can be toxic to pets and humans if ingested or even upon contact with the skin or mucous membranes.|
|Symptoms of exposure to toxic plants can vary, but may include vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and changes in behavior or appetite.|
|To keep pets and children safe around houseplants, research the safety of plants before bringing them into your home, keep plants out of reach, and supervise pets and children around plants.|
|There are many non-toxic houseplants that are safe for pets and children, including spider plants, Boston ferns, and bamboo.|
We encourage you to explore further and make informed decisions about the houseplants you bring into your home.
The rubber plant (Ficus elastica) is a great addition to any home or office. While it’s not toxic, you should be aware that the sap from this plant can cause skin irritation and itching if you come into contact with it.
You should also wear gloves when handling this plant as the sap will stain your skin if you don’t wash it off immediately after touching it. The rubber tree is a slow-growing houseplant that prefers bright sunlight but also tolerates partial shade conditions well.
When propagating this indoor tree, remove three leafy stems from the same branch with about 10 inches of stem attached to each one; these will become roots once planted in soil or water.
Gently strip away some leaves from around each stem so that they have access to light; make sure not too much is removed as there should still be plenty of foliage left on each stem so they can photosynthesize properly while growing their roots!
Dracaena reflexa is a slow-growing shrub with stiff, upright leaves that turn yellow in the fall. They can grow up to 10 feet tall but are generally kept about 1 foot tall indoors.
Dracaenas require very little light and do best when placed near an east or west window where they receive at least four hours of direct sunlight each day. They also prefer dry conditions, so be sure not to over-water them!
You can grow dracaena outdoors in USDA plant hardiness zones 10 through 12 (check out this website for more information on growing your own plants).
“Indoor plants not only bring aesthetic value to your home, but they also improve air quality, making your space healthier and more enjoyable. Check out our list of plants that boost productivity and purify the air in your home for a selection of beautiful and beneficial plants.”
Syngonium podophyllum is a poisonous plant. The plant is also known as Arrowhead plant, Heartleaf Philodendron and Syngonium.
If this plant is ingested, it can cause stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea. If you touch the sap or leaves of this plant you may experience skin irritation, redness or swelling at the site of contact.
You can keep Syngonium podophyllum in bright indirect light but not direct sunlight because they don’t do well with too much sun exposure.
This plant likes to be kept moist with room temperature water once every week or two depending on how dry your home gets during the winter months when heating systems are running more often than usual which makes it harder for plants to retain moisture without frequent watering routines being followed along with humidity levels being maintained around 40-60 percent
So that plants have enough moisture in their soil to stay alive if no other method such as misting them regularly using an atomizer attachment that comes with most spray bottles sold today (which I recommend doing).
Philodendron selloum is a poisonous plant that can be found in homes around the world. It’s common to see this lush green houseplant growing on its own, but it’s also sold in nurseries and garden centers as well as online.
However, be careful if you decide to buy Philodendron selloum because it can be toxic to both people and pets alike!
The leaves of Philodendron selloum are toxic when ingested by humans or pets. If you suspect that your pet has eaten any part of this plant, contact your veterinarian immediately so they can assess whether or not immediate treatment is necessary.
When treated with caution and care, however, Philodendron selloum makes an excellent addition to any indoor space and will even help purify the air quality in your home!
“Looking to add some greenery to your home but don’t have a green thumb? Don’t worry! Our list of great indoor plants for beginners includes low-maintenance options that are easy to care for and will bring life to your space.”
The nephthytis triphylla, commonly known as the peacock orchids, is native to tropical Asia and can grow up to 10 feet tall. It’s a hardy indoor plant that can be grown in a pot or in the ground.
While it rarely blooms indoors, it makes an attractive houseplant and will grow well in full sun or partial shade with regular watering.
If you have pets especially cats it’s best not to keep this poisonous houseplant around because it contains oxalates that are harmful if ingested by your furry friend (and potentially fatal if consumed).
Monstera Deliciosa (Mexican Breadfruit)
Monstera deliciosa (Mexican breadfruit) is a tropical vine that’s native to Mexico. Its leaves are large, heart-shaped and usually green with white or yellow markings.
The plant blooms in the summer with fragrant white flowers that develop into shiny red pods filled with seeds, which you can eat if you want to taste something like an okra!
Monsteras are low maintenance plants and don’t require much care. However, they do need regular watering because their soil should be moist but not wet at all times; letting them dry out will cause them harm.
They prefer bright indirect light but can take less exposure than a lot of other houseplants if necessary. You might also notice small bugs around your monstera this isn’t uncommon and doesn’t indicate any kind of infestation or disease on your part!
Calathea Ornata (Pinstripe Plant)
Calathea ornata, or the pinstripe plant, is a tropical houseplant that features variegated leaves with white stripes on a green background. Like most Calathea plants, it requires medium to bright indirect light and temperatures between 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
The pinstripe plant propagates easily through division or leaf cuttings. While this plant isn’t dangerous to humans, it may cause skin irritation if you come into contact with its sap. If you have pets in your home especially cats you’ll want to keep them away from this poisonous houseplant as well!
To identify calathea ornata:
- Leaves are thick and waxy with distinct white stripes along their edges
- Stems grow up to 2 feet tall
“Indoor plants can brighten up any space, but some require more maintenance than others. Check out our list of indoor plants that are easy to maintain for options that will thrive with minimal care.”
Calathea Orbifolia (Rattlesnake Plant)
Calathea orbifolia is a popular tropical houseplant. It has large, arrowhead-shaped leaves that grow in rosettes and bright green flowers that bloom on tall stalks.
This plant is also known as the rattlesnake plant because of its leaf color and shape, but it’s not poisonous to humans or pets it’s just very toxic to cats!
Calathea orbifolia is easy to care for when you provide it with bright, indirect light and warm temperatures between 70°F/21°C and 90°F/32°C.
If you have an under-lit indoor space where you can’t give C. orbifolia all the sunlight it needs, consider moving the plant outdoors on warm days so it can soak up some rays from the sun!
Calathea Lancifolia (Rattlesnake Plant)
The Calathea lancifolia is a tropical plant that is native to Mexico and South America. It can be used in both indoor and outdoor settings, though it prefers a warm climate with indirect sunlight. The leaves of the calathea are broad, heart-shaped and have a matte finish.
They grow up to 15 inches long and feature vibrant green veins on their upper surface, but an almost white underside (the bottom of the leaf).
The flowers of this plant are vibrant pinkish purple in color with fringed tips at the end of each petal similar to one half of a rattle snake! This makes it an excellent choice if you’re looking for something different than your standard houseplant…or if you just like rattlesnakes!
“Did you know that some common houseplants are not actually recognized as indoor plants? These plants can still thrive indoors and bring a unique touch to your decor. Check out our list of indoor plants no one realizes are houseplants to discover some new favorites.”
Dieffenbachia Picta (Dumbcane)
Dieffenbachia picta (dumbcane) is a popular, easy-to-grow houseplant that’s also poisonous. The dumb cane contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause painful burning if they touch sensitive skin or eyes.
If you have small children or pets, this plant is best avoided. If you have an adult who wants to grow a dumb cane, follow these tips for safe care:
- Keep it out of reach of inquisitive hands, feet and mouths (especially those belonging to small children).
- Don’t let your pet chew on the leaves or stems they’re toxic! And don’t let them eat your plant if it’s been poisoned by another animal because ingesting even small amounts could make them sick too.
Spathiphyllum Wallisii (Peace Lily)
Peace lilies are one of the most popular houseplants and for good reason. They have beautiful, delicate-looking leaves and flowers that resemble orchids.
Peace lilies also grow well indoors, even in low light conditions, can be used as a border plant in containers and make great office plants because they need very little care.
However, peace lilies are poisonous to both cats, dogs and children. They contain calcium oxalate crystals which cause irritation to pets’ mouths when they try to nibble on them (or any other part of your body).
Ingesting large amounts of peace lilies can cause an obstruction in the digestive tract or even kidney failure if ingested by children or pets repeatedly over time.
Alocasia Odora (Elephant’s Ear, Hardy Taro, Chinese Taro, Koorka)
Elephant’s ear, Chinese taro (Alocasia odora), and kooka are all plants that have large leaves that resemble elephant ears. They can be grown as indoor houseplants or outdoors in the garden.
Elephant’s ears will grow to a height of 3 feet (1 meter) and spread slowly to reach around 6 feet (2 meters).
The plant produces clusters of small white flowers at the end of branches in midsummer through late summer. All three types of elephant’s ear require similar care but with different light requirements:
- Alocasia odora – bright shade to partial sun
- Chinese taro – bright shade to partial sun
- Kooka – full sun
“Improving indoor air quality is important for your health and well-being, and plants can help! Our list of must-have indoor plants for clean air includes options that remove toxins and pollutants from the air, creating a healthier living environment.”
Elephant’s Ear (Xanthosoma sagittifolium)
This plant is known for its thick, arrow-shaped leaves that grow to about three feet in length. It’s a tropical plant and cannot withstand temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you live in a colder climate, consider overwintering it inside your home; it will need bright light and even more humidity than it’s used to outdoors.
You can propagate the Elephant’s Ear by dividing the rhizomes during repotting or simply by placing some of the rhizome on top of soil in a pot with drainage holes (this will prevent excess water from building up around it).
You’ll also need to use a moist rooting medium like sphagnum moss or perlite when planting new plants into pots so they don’t dry out too quickly after transplanting them outdoors again come springtime!
Overwintering: In areas where there are frosts expected, bring this plant inside before frost hits it may require extra care while indoors until temperatures warm up enough outside again!
Water lightly but sufficiently so that the roots do not rot (use distilled water if necessary), then place next to windows where there is plenty enough sunlight coming through without being exposed directly underneath any heat lamps.”
Dieffenbachia Seguine (Dumb Cane)
Dieffenbachia seguine (Dumb Cane) is a poisonous houseplant that can cause serious injury if ingested. It is one of the most common houseplants to cause poisoning.
The plant contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause irritation of the mouth and throat.
The Dumb Cane will thrive in bright light but should be kept away from direct sunlight, as it can burn or bleach the leaves.
To keep your plant healthy, water only when dry and fertilize once per month during spring and summer months with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted half strength (1/2 tsp per gallon).
Dieffenbachia plants need moist soil but should not be allowed to sit in standing water; they enjoy higher humidity levels than other plants so misting them regularly will help keep their leaves looking green and healthy.
We hope you’re inspired to consider adding one of these poisonous houseplants to your home. They are beautiful and unique, sure, but they also offer a lot more than just looks. You’ll be able to add an extra element of safety and security into your home with the help of these gorgeous plants!
Here are some additional resources on indoor plants and safety:
15 Non-Toxic Houseplants That Are Safe for Kids & Pets: This article offers a list of non-toxic houseplants that are safe for children and pets to be around.
Poisonous Houseplants: 23 Common Plants That Can Be Dangerous to You and Your Pets: Better Homes and Gardens provides a comprehensive list of poisonous houseplants and the symptoms of exposure.
11 Poisonous Houseplants for Dogs: This article specifically focuses on plants that are toxic to dogs, and provides tips for keeping them out of reach.
Q: Are all houseplants safe for pets and children?
A: No, not all houseplants are safe for pets and children. Many common houseplants can be toxic when ingested, and it is important to research a plant’s safety before bringing it into your home.
Q: What are some signs that a pet has ingested a toxic plant?
A: Symptoms of exposure to toxic plants can vary depending on the type of plant and the animal. Some common signs include vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and changes in behavior or appetite. If you suspect that your pet has ingested a toxic plant, seek veterinary care immediately.
Q: Can toxic plants cause harm even if they are not ingested?
A: Yes, some toxic plants can cause harm simply through contact with the skin or mucous membranes. It is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with toxic plants and to take appropriate precautions.
Q: What are some non-toxic houseplants that are safe for pets and children?
A: There are many non-toxic houseplants that are safe for pets and children, including spider plants, Boston ferns, and bamboo. Check out our Further Reading section for more information.
Q: How can I keep my pets and children safe around houseplants?
A: To keep pets and children safe around houseplants, it is important to research the safety of plants before bringing them into your home, keep plants out of reach, and supervise pets and children around plants. Additionally, consider using non-toxic plants or placing toxic plants in areas that are inaccessible to pets and children.
For 15 years, Hellen James has worked in the gardening industry as an expert and landscape designer. During her career, she has worked for a variety of businesses that specialize in landscaping and gardening from small firms to large corporations.