Medical Mythbuster: Can Common Plants Be Dangerous to Kids and Pets?

While plants and flowers can be a joy to look at, they can also be much more hazardous than people think – especially to pets and children. So whether you like to garden indoors or out, it’s important to be aware of the dangers some plants can cause:


  1. Daffodil

Did you know that every part of the daffodil plant is poisonous? Fortunately, ingesting a daffodil is not life-threatening, but it can cause serious discomfort and digestion problems. Keep in mind that daffodil bulbs, which look a lot like onions, are also poisonous.

Purple hydrangeas on a white background

  1. Hydrangea

The popular hydrangea comes in many beautiful varieties – all of which can be harmful. The flowers, leaves and buds contain glycoside amygdaline, which if ingested breaks down into cyanide inside the body. If you have very young children who like to put things in their mouth, be especially careful of hydrangeas.

White lilies in front of a white background

  1. Lilies

This popular flowering plant poses the most danger to cats. Not all lilies are poisonous, but most will cause a mild reaction. Be especially cautious of the “true” lilies such as the Easter, Stargazers, Asiatic and Tiger. Even small amounts of these lilies can be fatal to cats. If you think your cat has ingested a lily, take it to a vet immediately. Be aware that some cats may try to hide when they start to feel the effects of eating a lily.

Multi colored tulips in front of a white background

  1. Tulips

A springtime favorite, the most toxic part of the tulip is the bulb. You probably won’t have to worry too much about the danger of tulips unless you have a dog that likes to dig in your garden. If you think a pet has ingested a tulip bulb, to take it to the vet immediately.

Pink azaleas in front of a white background

  1. Azalea

The blooms of the azalea are certainly beautiful, but the entire plant is highly toxic. In fact, ingesting a flower, leaf or stem can lead to abdominal pain, difficulty breathing and even paralysis and death. Fortunately, many beautiful plants like the azalea are perfectly safe to look at as long as you don’t eat them!

Should you require immediate advice on poisoning, call the toll-free Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222 which connects you to your local poison center.

2 Responses

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  1. Posted by Charlene A Hagar

    The article on the flowers was very good. Thank you, Charlene

    May 29, 2019 6:21 pm Reply
  2. Posted by Michelle

    Thank you! I never knew that about our region’s most common spring plants. Keep up the good work — these are all very interesting articles.

    May 29, 2019 4:22 pm Reply

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