75 Common Toxic Plants in your Snowbird Community

Sago Palm Midlife Snowbird
Deadly Sago palms are extremely toxic to both humans and pets, yet they are commonly planted right next to busy paths and entry points

75 Common Toxic Plants in Your Snowbird Community

Identify the trees, vines, flowers, bushes and plants that could harm your pet


It seems the most beautiful plants are also the most toxic to pets. Azaleas, tulips, sago palms, lilies, daffodils, hyacinth, hydrangea, wisteria and many more are highly toxic when some or any parts of them are ingested. Especially of concern, Oleander shrubs, commonly planted in subtropical climates, are not only fatally toxic in small amounts to dogs and animals, they have the same effect on humans.

Animals are naturally curious, even more so depending on the age and energy level of your dog. If your pet is anything like my Golden Retriever who sniffs, picks up and often ingests anything that is the slightest bit interesting, it can be a real challenge for pet owners to keep their dog safe. Especially when residing in a community with a different climate, which brings unfamiliar plants to both people and pets. Keep in mind, even if a plant isn't very toxic, it may contain sharp thorns from roses, firethorns, cactus and more or nettles and briers from thistles and other weeds.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) publishes a list of toxic plants to canines and toxic plants to cats. There are many additional good reference sites to assist with identifying toxic and poisonous plants. 

The information contained within this blog is for general informational purposes and is not to be considered as complete, nor specific advice regarding anyone's pet or for any other purpose. It's imperative to do your own research to make the best decisions for your own personal situation.


WARNING: This information is not intended be substituted for qualified veterinary advice. If your pet could have possibly ingested any of these or other dangerous plants, call your vet or veterinary hospital immediately.


COMMON POISONOUS PLANTS

Plants may be toxic in whole or in part, including berries, roots, dried and fresh leaves, stems, flowers, stamins, bulbs, pods, seeds, nuts/hulls and so forth. It is imperative to do your research in advance of arriving in your snowbird community so you know what to avoid from the very start to finish. There are many common names for plants, depending on the country or region, so dig deep to do your homework when considering whether to let your pet be exposed to an unknown or unfamiliar plant. If you are digitally savvy, there are many free apps to identify plants, which is invaluable for on-the-spot information.

Asian Lily Midlife Snowbird
Asian lilies, naked lilies and almost any member of the lilium species are poisonous to dogs

There is nothing more heartbreaking than a preventable tragedy. Now is the time to do research and make adjustments in your northern home and southern home. I consider every single plant, tree, bush, bulb, fruit, vine, vegetable and so forth to be poisonous unless I am highly confident that it isn't.

For my own yard, I've checked each plant to fully know which ones are toxic. Based on risk assessment, I've chopped down, moved and destroyed plants for the sole purpose of being overly cautious to protect not only our fur baby, but guest pets who are staying with us.

Don't overlook assessing the typical outdoor bulbs or seasonal flowers such as hyacinth, daffodils and mums that may be sold in pots for indoor purposes where your cat or dog may have easy access. If you typically have potted plants, such as geraniums, begonias and hibiscus on your deck or patio, be vigilant.

Deadly Sago palms, are not only sold in pots as houseplants, they are very popular landscape focal points and are often planted right next to doors, sidewalks and paths frequented by children and pets. Every part of a Sago palm is extremely toxic, especially the seeds, which grow in a pod from the center of the palm. Just one seed can cause liver failure in a medium-sized dog or small child.

As a casual observation, tubers, bulb-based plants and members of the onion family, including lilies are highly poisonous. Trees bearing citrus and stone fruits are another problem for canines. Also consider plant litter such as berries, which land all over the pavement of our southern home's parking lot. Of course, our dog picks up everything of interest including sticks, berries, palm fronds and other plant debris. You just can't be too careful when walking around your snowbird community with your curious pet.

Remember, the list below is by no means inclusive of all toxic plants, it is a general starting point. Knowledge, prevention and diligence provides improved peace of mind.


WARNING: This information is not intended be substituted for qualified veterinary advice. If your pet could have possibly ingested any of these or other dangerous plants, call your vet or veterinary hospital immediately.


Toxic Plants by Category

Lilies / Lilium

Allium

Pink Azalea Midlife Snowbird
Stunning azaleas, also known as rhododendrons, are very popular in warm and cold climates, yet every part of them is toxic and potentially fatal to your pet

Asian lily

Calla lily

"Naked" lily:" grows from a stalk and has no leaves

Peace lily

Tiger lily

 

Seasonal Flowering Plants

Azalea/Rhododendron

Crocus

Daffodil

Hyacinth

Mistletoe

Mum / Chrysanthemum

Narcissus, also known as Paper White

Poinsettia

Rhododendron/Azalea

Tulip

 

Tropical Plants

Aloe Vera

Amaryllis

Bird of Paradise

Castor Bean: fatally toxic to humans and animals

Cyclamen

Elephant ears

Eucalyptus

Gardenia

Hibiscus

Yucca

 

Annual Plants

Asparagus fern

Begonia

Geranium

Lantana: grown as an annual in the North

Sweet Pea

Vinca

 

House Plants

"Corn" plants

Coleus

Dieffenbachia, also known as "Dumb cane"

Fern

Palm

Philodendron

Rubber plant

 

Perennial Plants

Bleeding Heart

Carnation

Daisy

Dahlia

Day lilies: poisonous to cats, but not dogs

Foxglove

Gladiola

Hosta

Iris

Lantana

Lavender

Lily of the Valley

Lenten Rose

Peony

Vinca

Yarrow

 

Herbs/Vegetables

Chives

Eggplant

Garlic

Mint

Nightshade plants: eggplant, tomatoe, potato and some varieties of peppers

Onion

Oregano

Parsley

Rhubarb

Tarragon

Tomatilla

Tomato plant

Watercress

 

Bushes/Shrubs

Boxwood

Burning Bush

Holly

Honeysuckle

Hydrangea

Oleander: Fatally toxic to humans and pets in very small amounts, especially dried leaves of the oleander

Privet

Rose of Sharon

Vinca

Winterberry

Yew

 

Trees

Apple

Apricot

Avocado

Cherry

Crabapple

Grapefruit

Lemon

Locust

Oak, including acorns

Oleander: Fatally toxic to humans and pets in very small amounts, especially dried leaves of the oleander

Palm: Sago (also known as Cycad) palms are extremely deadly to dogs, cats and children/humans

Peach

Plum

Walnut

 

Vines

English Ivy

Boston Ivy

Clematis

Grape vine

Morning Glory

Vinca

Wisteria

 

More poisonous plants

Cannabis / Marijuana

Mushroom / fungi

 

Thorns, Briers, Stingers

Cactus

Hawthorn

Firethorn

Pinecones: can block intestines when ingested

Rose

Stinging nettle

Thistle

 


WARNING: This information is not intended be substituted for qualified veterinary advice. If your pet could have possibly ingested any of these or other dangerous plants, call your vet or veterinary hospital immediately.


 

"Protect those who protect you."

-- Evangelos Venizelos, Greek Politician, Author

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