7 Poisonous Plants to Keep Away from Pets and Children

Poisonous Plants | San Diego Landscaping | LaBahn's

SEPTEMBER 2017 – Whether you garden as a hobby, consider it your art form, or just buy flowers every now and then to decorate your home, plants and flowers bring a sense of joy, peace and relaxation to our lives. Although many plants smell nice and are beautiful to look at, some of them can be deadly to pets and/or kids.

We’ve put together a list of seven plants that may be in your yard or a neighborhood park and may cause a serious problem if ingested.


You wouldn’t think that such a beautiful flower could be dangerous, but according to the National Capitol Poison Center every part of the daffodil is poisonous.

The daffodil, holds one distinction from the others in this list. It is generally not life threatening. However, it can cause serious discomfort and digestion issues.

Children have been known to eat flower petals, and adults have ingested the bulbs of daffodils thinking they were onions. Be sure keep an eye on small children who like to put everything in their mouths. It might seem like commons sense, but if you aren’t sure if it’s an onion, cut it open to find out.  The daffodil bulb does not smell like an onion.


hydrangea and other poisonous plants | LaBahn's Landscaping, San Diego, California

Hydrangeas are shrubs that can grow very large and produce beautiful bouquets of flowers. There are several colors and varieties of hydrangeas to choose from, all of which provide a bold and beautiful statement in your garden.

Unfortunately, they are also toxic to people. Symptoms can range from an upset stomach to diarrhea, vomiting, respiratory issues, and death, depending on how much is ingested.  The flowers, leaves, and buds all contain glycoside amygdaline, which breaks down into cyanide. Ingesting any amount of cyanide is dangerous for any person, so keep an eye out for younger children, especially if they’re in the stage of putting everything into their mouths.


Lilies pose the most danger to cats, the masters of getting into just about anything. There are many types of lilies and not all of them are poisonous for cats, though most will cause a mild reaction. The ones you want to be cautious about are known as “true” lilies. Some examples are Stargazers, Asiatic, Easter, and Tiger lilies.

According to the Pet Poison Helpline all parts of these lilies are considered poisonous to cats. Even if only a small amount is ingested, it could produce fatal consequences if not treated immediately. If your cat eats part of a lily, they may try to hide once they start to feel the effects.

Symptoms may include extreme thirst, vomiting or diarrhea. If you notice these, and suspect that your cat may have eaten a lily, take them to the vet immediately. If you like to occasionally have lilies in a vase in your home, keep them in a room away from pets.


We know we’re still in September, but there’s only 104 days until Christmas!  Decorations come out long before then, of course, and many people choose to decorate with mistletoe around their homes

While the spiky leaves may act as a deterrent, if mistletoe is ingested by your cat or dog, you will know. A small amount will produce intestinal pain, and most likely diarrhea or vomiting, while a larger amount can have more serious symptoms and even result in death. Mistletoe is also poisonous to humans and the berries should not be eaten.


While there are several species of wild mushrooms known by many different names, and not all of them are poisonous, we’re trying to keep it generic for you. If you see a wild mushroom growing in your yard, and you have kids, it’s wise to remove it immediately to avoid any confusion. If you spot them in a park, keep your kids and pets away from them.

Symptoms can vary widely, from gastrointestinal pains to vomiting and diarrhea.  Death has been reported when the Western Destroying Angel variety has been ingested.


The Oleander is a giant outdoor shrub that can often be found in highway medians. It produces a small but fragrant flower, and its size often provides a great barrier. This plant, however, has been known to cause fatal effects, even if a small amount is ingested.  Oleander can be dangerous for cats, dogs, cows, horses, and humans.

The toxins in this plant tend to interfere with cardiovascular function, so watch for an abnormal or irregular heart rate. Other signs of possible Oleander poisoning include lethargy, nausea, vomiting, and seizures.

While it may be rare for pets or children to eat any part of the plant due to its bitter taste, horses may eat it if it is mixed in with their food accidentally. If you have Oleander around your home, be sure to keep an eye on both kids and pets and watch for any signs showing that it may have been ingested.


tulips and other poisonous plants to avoid | LaBahn's Landscaping

Fortunately, the most toxic part of the tulip lies in the bulb, which tends to be just below the surface of the soil. Unless your pets (particularly dogs) are constantly digging up your garden, you don’t have too much too worry about if you have these flowers.

Symptoms to be aware of include increased salivating, depression, and vomiting. If you do suspect that your dog or cat has eaten part of your tulip bulbs, be sure to check them for signs of poisoning and take them to your veterinarian if they do exhibit any of those signs.


These are just a few examples of plants that can be harmful to kids and pets. We recommend visiting the ASPCA website for a full list of plants that are toxic to animals and symptoms to be aware of should your pet ingest any of them.

If you suspect that you or your child has ingested poison, call the poison control center immediately at 1-800-222-1222. If you suspect that your pet has ingested poison, contact your veterinarian immediately.

If you have plants you want removed or want to discuss any landscaping needs, we’d love to help! You can make an appointment by calling our office at 619-579-9151 or visiting our Contact Page.


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