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Tropical plants and shrubs that are POISONOUS or DEADLY to your pets!

Dogs will eat almost anything, right? Shoes. Couches. Homework. 

So it’s no surprise they might chow down on some tender tasty leaves or juicy berries growing in your yard. 

If those tempting plants are toxic, Champ would be better off chomping a shoe. 

What landscaping plants are poisonous to pets? 
Let’s take a look, and keep your pets safe. 

1. Azalea 

Yes, azaleas are stunning. But they also top the list of hazardous plants for dogs. All parts of azalea are poisonous to pets.

Bummed out? Don’t be. There are lots of stunning flowering shrubs that add spectacular color to your landscaping. 

Ixora will give azalea a run for its money. This sun-loving shrub offers clusters of beautiful tubular flowers in bright red, orange, yellow, pink, or white.

Or choose loropetalum, a Central Florida favorite, with fine-textured reddish purple foliage and fragrant long-lasting flowers. 

If we’re being honest, azaleas aren’t that great anyway. They only flower one month out of the year. Slackers. 


2. Cycads 

Cycads are cool. This ancient group of tropical and subtropical plants have existed since the age of dinosaurs. (Cycads are often mistaken for palms, but they’re actually distant relatives.)

But cycads are dangerous plants to dogs and cats. Just a couple seeds can be fatal.

Sago palm is one popular example. (Nope, it’s not a palm, it’s a cycad.) Other cycads include coontie, cardboard palm, and dioon. 


3. Peace Lily

Chances are you won’t have one of these beauties in your landscaping. They need more shade than most Florida yards provide. 

But just in case, know that it’s on the list of toxic plants for dogs. 

peace lily

4. Oleander 

There’s lots to love about oleander, a big, beautiful flowering shrub that thrives with little care. 

But it’s among the most poisonous plants for pets. 

All parts of the oleander plant are toxic. 


5. Aloe Vera

Go ahead and use aloe vera on that burn you got from the hot cookie sheet, the cut you got chopping an onion too fast, that scrape from tripping on the porch step. (Are you OK over there? We’re starting to worry about you.)

But keep it away from Mittens and Muffin — aloe vera is among dangerous plants for dogs. 

aloe vera

6. Foxtail Fern

Fluffy and frilly and boasting that cute name, foxtail fern seems innocent enough, but it’s poisonous to both pets and people. Its red berries and white flowers are toxic if ingested. It can cause irritation, too, if it comes into contact with the skin.

foxtail fern

7. Caladium

Sooooo pretty, right? Gotta love caladium’s stunning tropical foliage. Just don’t eat it, Scamp. 

All parts of caladium are poisonous to pets if chewed or swallowed, making them high on the list of dangerous Florida plants for dogs. 


8. Philodendron 

Big, green, and glossy, philodendron add a great tropical vibe. But they’re toxic to pets and mildly toxic to humans, too. 


9.  Bird of Paradise 

It hurts to see this one on the dangerous plants for pets list, right? It’s gorgeous. But they produce a pod-type fruit that’s the most toxic part of the plant, and other parts of the plant are dangerous, too.

The good news? There are other stunning flowers ready to step up. Passion flower will knock your socks off (if your dog hasn’t already eaten them) and is perfectly safe for Buster. 

This impressive flowering vine rewards you with huge three- to five-inch flowers in shades of lavender or purple, with a wavy fringe.


10. Jatropha 

Maybe you never even heard of jatropha, in which case this news probably won’t ruin your day. But all parts of this flowering tropical evergreen plant are poisonous to pets, although the seeds are the most toxic.


11. Holly 

Sorry, Santa, those festive bright red berries everybody loves at the holidays are toxic, making holly poisonous plants for pets.

Holly plant

12. Lantana 

Yes, lantana is a Florida landscape favorite for its pretty, long-lasting flowers, but this beauty is among plants poisonous to pets. 


13. Angel’s Trumpet

Lovely, right, with their profusion of elegant trumpet-shaped blooms. But deadly. All parts of angel's trumpet — including the flower, leaves, seeds and stem — contain a toxin that can cause serious poisoning to humans and pets.

Angels Trumpet Flower

Berries, Pods and Seeds, Oh My 

When it comes to dangerous Florida plants for dogs, berries and seed pods are often the culprit. Some plants, like cycads, have tall seed heads that are easy to snap off and discard if you’re concerned your dog might eat it. The seed pod takes around a month before the seed turns red. Once it turns red, it’s poisonous 

But if you don’t want to worry about it, stick with landscape plants that don’t pose a risk to your furry friends. 

There are plenty of them, we promise. 

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Poisonous Plants for Pets: Ask Your Vet

The plants listed here are popular varieties in Florida landscaping, but it’s far from a complete list. 

And we’re landscape professionals, not veterinarians. If you have questions about your pet’s safety, and the effects certain plants can have if ingested by your furry friends, be sure to ask your pet’s vet. 

Want to Avoid Poisonous Plants for Pets? Talk to Us

Ready for a backyard tropical paradise that’s safe for Scruffy and Duke? 

Leave your pet-safe Sarasota landscape design to us. Keeping your shoes safe is up to you. 

Let’s get started. We’ll help you figure it all out. 

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Give us a call or fill out our form today! Our team of Sarasota designers can’t wait to design the perfect outdoor haven for your backyard or vacation rental property.

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Image Source: Caladium, Philodendron, Bird of Paradise, Holly Plant, Jatropha, Lantana, Angel Trumpet, Aloe Vera, Foxtail Fern, Peace lily, Cycad