Houseplants Poisonous to Pets and Human with Symptoms and Treatment

Indoor houseplants are the best plants for purifying the air inside homes. They are the reasons for colorful lives, big smiles, and greenery homes.

However, it does not mean that every beautiful-looking flower with a pleasant smell provides us only advantages in life. Many indoor plants are very toxic, and these types of plants mainly harm small family members. The touch and smell of such flowers may cause an allergic reaction and may even lead to death.     

Are you searching for the names of poisonous plants with detailed information? Let us get into the few toxic plants that must be kept away from people and pet animals.


1. Oleander

The oleander plant is a beautiful flowering shrub that can be kept as indoor and outdoor plants. Oleander is available in different varieties. The seeds and leaves of these plants are used to make medicine. They are used for cancer, skin problems, heart problems, and many other diseases.


Why is Oleander poisonous?

All the parts of these plants include compounds named glycosides, which make them poisonous and cause symptoms like excess salivation, sweating, nausea, vomiting, and shallow breathing. 

People poisoned by this plant may feel confused, weak or dizzy, slow or irregular heartbeat. It eventually becomes cold; a person may be trembling, then collapse and fall into a coma. Death may also be followed.

The toxicity of this plant is chiefly hazardous to children and older people.


Symptoms of Oleander poisoning

• Burning any part of this plant may lead to smoke that can cause respiratory problems.

• The sap of this plant cause skin rashes.

• Some people don’t like the fragrance of this flower. Some may have allergies to the fragrance.

• Small pets may nibble on the plant that may cause poisoning in them with the symptoms of vomiting, drooling, and trembling, like humans.


Preventive measures

• Always garden the Oleander with caution.

• Do not forget to wear gloves and eyewear while handling the plants.

• Keep in mind- not to burn or mulch.

• Keep away from small children and pet animals.


First Aid for Oleander Poisoning

• Call your local emergency help number immediately.

• Make sure that the person is breathing and the presence of a pulse. 

• Until and unless medical personnel suggests you, don’t take any immediate action.

• Clean the mouth to remove any remaining pieces by wet cloth or wipe the mouth.


2. Dieffenbachia plant

Dieffenbachia is one of the popular houseplants that have large and showy leaves. Also named as Dumb cane.

Generally, they are green in color with splashes of creamy white and yellow. It is grown worldwide, i.e., in every type of climate. Mostly, it requires low light and well-drained soil.


Why is Dieffenbachia plant poisonous?

All the parts of Dieffenbachia consist of a toxic chemical compound known as calcium oxalate, which is very toxic to many animals and people


Symptoms of Dieffenbachia poisoning

• Burning sensation in mouth or throat

• Nausea, vomiting, and hoarseness

• Difficult in swallowing

• Swelling and blister in the mouth or tongue.


If the poison is transferred to the eyes-
• Eye pain

• May damage the cornea


Skin symptoms
• Itching

• Burning

• Redness

Ingestion symptoms
• Difficulty in breathing

• Diarrhea

• Vomiting


If you have young pet animals then, they are more likely to chew the plant’s leaves. Therefore, it is not good to plant Dieffenbachia indoors.

Symptoms in pet animals
• Drooling

• Difficulty in eating

• Unconsciousness

• Loss of appetite

• Pawing at the face


First Aid for Dieffenbachia plant poisoning

1. If anyone is affected, immediately wipe out the mouth with cold water or a wet cloth. Provide them milk to make them feel relax. 

2.  For the eye symptom – rinse with cold water.

3.  Common medical treatments for this poison are antihistamines, analgesic agents, or medical charcoal.

4.  Call poison control for more help. 


3. Philodendron plant/ Pothos


Philodendron is one of the best-known ornamental plants that fall in the family Araceae. Around 480 species of Philodendron plants are commonly popular as houseplants.

The leaves of Philodendron are large and green in color with glossy touch. They have a fast growth rate. 

There are two types of philodendrons, i.e., non-climbing plants and vining plants.

Non-climbing plants have an upright growth habit and make the best foliage plants in the container.

Vining plants grow vines of the several feel and need a support structure to climb on. The growth rate is fast, and the best time to plant is in the spring season. 

Read more on planting and care of the Philodendron plant.


Why is Philodendron/Pothos Poisonous? 


The poisoning ingredient is Calcium oxalate, which is very toxic to many animals and people. Poison is mainly found in the stem and leaves. It can be caused by eating part of the plants that may be accidental or intentional.


Symptoms of Philodendron poisoning

·      Diarrhea

·       Blistering in the mouth

·       Burning sensation in the mouth and the throat

·       Increased saliva production

·       Nausea and vomiting

·       Pain, swelling, Redness, and the burning of the eyes

·       Swelling in the mouth and the tongue

First Aid for Philodendron poisoning

1. If someone is poisoned by eating the philodendron plant, seek emergency help.

2. Give them water or milk. But keep in mind that if the person has vomiting, decreased alertness, and convulsions, don’t give them milk or water; such conditions will make them hard to swallow.

3. Wipe the mouth with cold water or with a wet cloth. 


4. Snake plant



Snake plant is a hardy and most popular houseplant, also known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue”. It is one of the easiest houseplants to take care of because it can easily tolerate indoor conditions. Therefore, they are mostly available indoors and outdoor in the home.

Its genus name is Sansevieria that heights up to 1 to 3 feet. 

Most interesting thing about the Snake plant is that it has just some tough, thick, and upright leaves only and has no branches. Snake plants are also kept at home for their purifying abilities. 

Read more on planting and care of Snake plants.

Why is Snake plant poisonous?


All parts of the snake plants are toxic and harmful. It contains a toxic chemical named Saponin that may cause a distressing reaction.

The snake plant is not too toxic to humans, but it is harmful to pet animals, leading to vomiting and nausea when ingested. The toxic power is mild to moderate for pet animals.  


Symptoms of Snake plant poisoning

1. Allergy

2. Swelling of tissues

3.  Loss of appetite

4. Depression

5. Diarrhea

6. Vomiting

7. Abdominal pain 


First aid for Snake plant poisoning

• At first, wipe out the mouth to remove the remaining bits of the leaves.

• Contact the Animal Poison Control Center. 

• Do not try to induce the dog to vomit.

• Make sure your dog drinks a lot of water to prevent dehydration. 



Houseplants are the most attractive living plants that added a colorful beauty wherever it is placed. However, many attractive plants have their inner weakness towards human beings. Beauty isn’t enough. Along with the attractiveness, people must be concerned about the type of plant they are buying. 

Keep in mind while buying indoor plants

1. Always research before buying the plants and get detailed information about them. 

2. If you have poisonous plants in houses/offices, then do not worry. Keep the plant away from pet animals and children. 

3. Use protective gloves that will help to prevent itching and poisoning. 

4. Hang the plants so that small children cant touch them. 


I hope this article creates awareness about the poisonous plant available in houses/offices. Let us encourage one another to plant with preventive measures and spread the joy and fragrance in our lives.

Stay tuned for more inspiring articles. Don’t forget to give feedback and suggestions in the comment section below.

Also, learn more about the best indoor plant – the Petunia plant. 



12 Poisonous Houseplants, Their Health Effects, and Safe Alternatives – Dengarden

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  1. A very interesting article. I thought they were part of pilea peperomioids. These nasturtium grow like weeds where I live in southern part of South Africa. The only problems are snails. They are hardy and face drought conditions well. We don’t get frost. I love them xx

    1. Thank you for your comment. I really appreciate it. Please be with us and help us share with your friends and family.

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