10 Harmful Houseplants

10 Harmful Houseplants

Decorating your home with plants add to the overall décor. Most homeowners choose exotic plants because of their exquisite look and smell, however, few of them ever realize the implications of accidentally ingesting the plant, flower, or seed until it is too late.

Children and pets tend to nibble on anything they can find. Unlike adults, they cannot be reasoned with hence when unsupervised they could put stuff in their mouth.

House plants

Here is the list of 10 harmful houseplants


Philodendron is possibly one of the most popular house plants that are easy to grow, however, it contains calcium oxalate crystals that are toxic to humans and animals. It can be both vining or non-vining. Vining plants should be hung well out of the reach from children or pets, while non-vining plants should be kept on high window sills or shelves.

In humans, ingesting philodendron usually has only mild side effects. It has a serious effect on pets, with reports of spasms, seizures, pain, and swelling.


Pothos is also known as Devil's Ivy which is generally kept for decoration and air-purification abilities.

Pothos is considered only a mildly harmful plant if ingested in small quantities but can produce uncomfortable and sometimes serious side effects in animals and people. It can cause burning of the mouth, skin irritation, swelling of lips, tongue, and throat, vomiting, and diarrhea, while in pets it can cause drooling, choking, swelling of mouth and tongue, difficulty breathing, and stomach upset.

Arrowhead Plant

This plant is related to the philodendron and is also one of the most gifted plants. It is commonly mixed in dish gardens with other plants that require similar care. The leaves are constantly shedding and being regrown, so even if this plant is out of reach, it is a good idea to often check for fallen leaves which can cause irritated skin, stomach upset, and vomiting in both human and pets.


Lily can be the most beautiful houseplant for decoration for its elegant curved bloom. It can be both an indoor and outdoor plant. Lilies are known to be toxic to cats. If ingested it can prove to be fatal and can kill the cat if not treated on time.

The more toxic varieties of Lily include:

  • Calla Lily (which can be fatal to children)
  • Easter Lily
  • Rubrum Lily
  • Tiger Lily
  • Day Lily
  • Asian Lily


Dieffenbachia is also known as the dumb cane. It is related to the philodendron and contains the same oxalate crystals which can be fatal to both humans and pets. Dieffenbachia has thick stems and fleshy leaves that are usually solid green, with the occasional yellow or green markings.

Dieffenbachia ingestion usually produces only mild to moderate symptoms in both humans and pets which can range from extreme pain in the mouth, salivation, burning sensation, and swelling and numbing of the throat.

Some of the other common houseplants which are known to be toxic are Oleander, Caladium, Snake Plant, and Ivy.