Poisons in the garden - poisonous plants and garden dangers

Many of us turn towards the backyard and garden without realising it, we can unintentionally increase the risk of poisoning our companions.

The most commonly used lawn care products are of fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. When applied according to package instructions, fertilisers, herbicides, insecticides and fungicides are generally not harmful. Pets are primarily poisoned by contact with concentrated products. This may occur from inappropriate storage, failure to read package instructions, or by intentionally using more product than needed. Dogs are especially good at finding poorly stored containers, chewing them up and drinking the contents. Pet owners should be especially vigilant when using insecticides as these tend to have a higher degree of toxicity. Dogs may be exposed by digging up treated earth, chewing on pellets, or rooting around ant mounds shortly after insecticides are applied.

Snail pellets also require a special mention as we see several cases of snail pellet toxicity every year. Treatment is not pleasant, please be very careful when selecting and using snail pellets in your garden. If you suspect your cat or dog has eaten snail pellets they require immediate veterinary attention.

Many pets also have a habit of chewing on plants in the yard, particularly if you have been out in the garden pruning bushes and trees and have left branches and leaves laying around. This is a list of common plants that are dangerous to pets. For a detailed guide on toxic plants select this link.

Poisonous House Plants

Common Name

Botanical Name

Poisonous Part
Bird of ParadiseStrelizia regiraeFruit, seeds
Boston IvyParthenocissus quinquefoliaAll parts
CaladiumCaladiumAll parts
Creeping CharlieGlecoma hederaceaAll parts
DumbcaneDieffenbachiaAll parts
Emerald DukePhilodendron hastatumAll parts
Glacier IvyHedera glacierLeaves, berries
HeartleafPhiladendron cordatumAll parts
English IvyHedera helixLeaves, berries
Lily/Liliaceae FamilyLiliumAll parts
Marble QueenScindapsus aureusAll parts
MajestyPhilodendron hastatumAll parts
Nephthytis, Arrowhead VineSynogonium podophyllum albolineatumAll parts
Parlor IvyPhilodendron cordatumAll parts
PothosScindapsus aureusAll parts
Red PrincessPhilodendron hastatumAll parts
SaddleleafPhilodendron selloumAll parts
Split leaf PhilodendronMonstera deliciosaAll parts
Umbrella PlantCyperus alternifoliusAll parts

Poisonous Outdoor Plants

Common NameBotanical NamePoisonous Part
ApricotPrunus ameniacaStem, bark, seed pits
AzaleaRhododendron occidentaleAll parts
BaneberryActaea SpicataBerries, roots, foliage
BuchberryLantanaAll parts
Castor BeanRicinus communisSeeds, if chewed
Choke CherryPrunus virginicaLeaves, seed pits, stems, bark
DaphneDaphne mezereumBerries, bark, leaves
FoxgloveDigitalis purpuraLeaves, seeds, flowers
HemlockConium maculatumAll parts, root and root stalk
Hens-and-ChicksLantanaAll parts
HyacinthHyacinthus orientalisBulbs, leaves, flowers
HydrangeaHydrangea macrophyllaLeaves, buds
Jerusalem CherrySolanim pseudocapsciumAll parts, unripe fruit
Jimson WeedDatura stramoniumAll parts
Lily-of-the-ValleyConvallaria majalisAll parts
MandrakePodophyllum peltatumRoots, foliage, unripe fruit
MistletoePhoradendron FlavescensBerries
Morning GloryIpomoea violacesSeeds
NightshadeAtropa belladonnaAll parts
OleanderNorium OleanderAll parts, including dried leaves
PoinsettiaEuphorbia pulcherrimaLeaves, flowers
Pokeweed, InkberryPhytolacca americanaAll parts
Red SageLantana camaraGreen berries
RhododendronRhododendronAll parts
RhubarbRheum raponticumLeaves
Sweet PeaLathyrus odoratusSeeds, pods
WisteriaWisteriaSeeds, pods
YewTaxusNeedles, bark, seeds

When you are working in your garden, be sure to take an extra moment or two to protect your pets.

  • Always read the packet instructions before applying products to your lawn or garden. 
  • Check with your local garden centre about the safety of plants you are putting in your garden. 
  • Finally, remember to close the top tightly on all containers and put them in an area where your pets do not have access to them.
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Pet safety - common problems and dangers

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