30 Toxic Houseplants & Cacti

While houseplants are a beautiful addition to your home environment, as the perfect living decor items and an important air cleaning agent, you must also be aware of their potential danger.

Specifically, if you share your home with pets or have children, it is important to understand how to keep them safe and healthy.

Because different plant species can act differently when consumed by a cat versus a dog, or by a pet versus a human, always do your research based on your specific household before bringing a plant home.

Or, if you do really wish to have that specific plant, make sure you have a safety strategy planned to keep it away from those more vulnerable members of your family.

Most common ways a plant can harm a human or pet:

  • Ingestion (of leaves and/or soil and/or fruits/flowers)
  • Drinking its water (from the plant tray and/or propagation station)
  • Touching (the leaves and/or the roots and/or the soil)
  • Skin contact (with sap/juices)


photo-of-cat-standing-on-top-of-a-book-Toxic Houseplants


A list of (12) mildly toxic houseplants:

  • Arrowhead
  • Philodendron
  • Snake Plant
  • Dieffenbachia
  • ZZ Plant
  • Dracaena
  • Bird of Paradise
  • Begonia
  • Aglaonema
  • Rubber Plant
  • Hoya
  • Monstera

A list of (10) highly toxic houseplants:

  • Peace Lily
  • Calla Lily
  • Caladium
  • Pothos
  • Scindapsus
  • English Ivy
  • Narcissus
  • Alocasia
  • Sago Palm
  • Schefflera

A list of (8) toxic cacti and succulent plants:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Euphorbia
  • Coral Cactus
  • Jade Plant
  • San Pedro Cactus
  • Pencil Cactus
  • Peruvian Torch Cactus
  • String of Pearls

Some of these might be toxic for pets but not for humans. Or even have different toxicity levels when handled/consumed by humans or by different types of pets.

Cat with plants - Toxic Houseplants


And in what ways can a plant put you, your baby, or pets in danger?

Different plants will differently affect those who come across them.

You, your baby, your cat, or your dog might have different reactions. Go ahead and see the below list of some common ones.

Common plant poisoning alerts:

  • Intense burning of lips and mouth
  • Swelling of lips, tongue, throat
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Skin irritation
  • Muscular failure
  • Arrhythmia
  • Breathing issues

If any of the above described or other symptoms start to show, the best option is to get in touch with your doctor and/or veterinary clinic.

Make sure to detail any allergic reactions or symptoms and also which plant might have caused them.

This being said, don’t stop adopting plants. I don’t mean to discourage your plant hobby at all!

There are in fact plenty of non-poisonous beautiful plants and even plenty of ideas to live happily with both toxic plants and pets or children.

Here’s a list of some of our favorite gadgets, products, and books that all houseplant parents should know about! Also, visit the Etsy store for some more inspiration…

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