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Are My House Plants Safe?

October 10, 2013

One of the most frequently asked questions we get in our retail greenhouse is about the toxicity of houseplants. If the family cat chews on a plant will it be all right? What about their toddler? Which plants are safe and which plants are toxic?


Indoor plants have varying levels of toxicity, with some being completely safe, some being mildly toxic if ingested in large quantities, and some being very poisonous even if only a few leaves are eaten. Almost all indoor plants are safe to the touch, but if you have small children or curious pets we recommend limiting your plant selection to those that are non-toxic.


Some common non-toxic plants:


  • African violet

  • Boston fern

  • Bromeliads

  • Palms (except Fishtail palm and Sago palm)

  • Christmas cactus

  • Ponytail palm

  • China doll

  • Dracaena deremensis (Lisa, Lemon Lime, Warneckii)

  • Hoya

  • Jade Plant

  • Lipstick plant

  • Money tree

  • Orchids

  • Prayer plant

  • Poinsettia (Despite the old wives’ tale, poinsettias are pretty harmless even if ingested in large amounts.)


Toxic houseplants: (They are beautiful, but could make you sick if eaten)


  • Dieffenbachia

  • Sago palm

  • ZZ plant

  • Pencil Cactus

  • Azalea

  • African Mask


If you would like to know more about the toxicity level of your houseplants there are many good resources online. Our knowledgeable greenhouse staff can also help you determine what plants are best for your home if safety is an issue.


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