Poisonous House Plants
House plants can be very beneficial in our homes and lives. House plants can not only purify and renew our stale indoor air, by exchanging the carbon dioxide we exhale with life sustaining oxygen, but they can also trap many of the pollutants present in our homes and offices.

Many of our most popular house plants come from tropical climates where they have adapted to low light levels, making them suitablefor the lighting conditions typical in the average home. However many tropical plants also contain compounds that can have adverse reactions in people, pets and livestock.  If you have any of the house plants listed below you should find out how dangerous they are, and if the risk they pose to your children or pets is worth keeping them.

Aloe barbadensis Aloe Vera, Burn plant
Amaryllis sp. Amaryllis
Anthurium andraeanum Flamingo lily
Caladium hortulanum Angels' wings
Chrysanthemum indicum Chrysanthemums, Mums
Clivia miniata Kaffir Lily
Codiaeum variegatum Croton
Cyclamen persicum Cyclamen
Datura innoxia Angel's Trumpet
Dieffenbachia sp. Dumb cane
Euphorbia milii Crown-of-thorns
Euphorbia pulcherrima Poinsettia (yes, it belongs here)
Hedera helix English Ivy
Hydrangea macrophylla Hydrangea
Kalanchoe daigremontiana Devil's Backbone
Monstera deliciosa Ceriman, Swiss-cheese plant
Philodendron sp. Heart leaf philodendron, Philodendron
Rhododendron sp. Azalea
Solanum pseudocapsicum Jerusalem Cherry

These plants are wonderful specimens to have in the house and are very popular for good reason.  If their toxic aspect is not a problem many of these plants are very beneficial to have in your home. These beautiful house plants provide everything from expansive foliage that can be enjoyed year round, to beautiful sprays of flowers, to cleaning the air we breathe. Thanks to research by NASA we have a list of common house plants that are very efficient at purfiying air. See our section on Air Purification for more information.

American Association of Poison Control Centers

Canadian Association of Poison Control Centres


Our thanks to the
Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System
by Derek B. Munro

Biological Resources Program
Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre
Research Branch Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0C6

At this database you can can also search for common garden and outdoor plants that are not only a threat to people but to pets and livestock as well.

Poisonous House Plants
Air Cleaning House Plants

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