If you have small children or pets, you have probably wondered about the safety of your houseplants. Even with the best parenting, things happen! In this post, I have done the research to help you determine whether 48 of the most common houseplants are safe for kids and pets.

It is no accident that I came up with this topic! After years of having houseplants issue-free, I had 2 days this week where I was suddenly thinking a lot about safety.

The first day my dog became intimately involved with my air plant– it did not end well for the air plant. (Thankfully air plants are pet-safe.)

The next day, despite me sitting right beside her, my one-year-old daughter was just quick enough to grab a leaf on my Hoya pubicalyx and pull it completely out of the pot. (Hoyas are also kid and pet-safe, so I was lucky again!)

I made a decision then that I would do more research and make sure to get anything questionable far away from my kid and my pets– and then I would share that research with you. I hope you find it as helpful as I do.

Table of Contents

Houseplants that are SAFE for Kids AND Pets
Houseplants that are TOXIC for Kids AND Pets
Houseplants that are SAFE for Kids but TOXIC for Pets

The Complete List of 48 Houseplants by Scientific or Latin Name
The Complete List of 48 Houseplants by Common Name

When a houseplant is labeled pet-safe or kid-safe, what does that mean?

What can you do if you have a toxic plant that you would like to keep?

Where can you search for an unlisted houseplant to determine if it is Kid-Safe?
Where can you search for an unlisted houseplant to determine if it is Pet-Safe?

FAQ for the Houseplant Safe and Toxic List

Important notes for this article on plant safety

Resources used for this article

Houseplants that are SAFE for Kids AND Pets

Scientific or Latin NameCommon NameSAFE for Kids and Pets
Aeschynanthus spp.Lipstick plantSAFE
Cactaceae family (does not include Euphorbia)Cactus family – DOES NOT INCLUDE EUPHORBIASAFE
Calathea spp.Prayer Plants including Rattlesnake, Pendant, Peacock, Fishbone, Tricolor, and MoreSAFE
Ceropegia spp.Ceropegia genera including Rosary Vines, String of Hearts,SAFE
Chlorophytum comosumSpider plantSAFE
Coleus spp.Coleus generaSAFE
Echeveria spp.Echeveria succulentsSAFE
Fittonia spp.Nerve PlantsSAFE
Haworthia spp.Haworthia succulentsSAFE
Hoya spp.Wax Plants, Hoya genera including Krimson Queen, Krimson Princess, Hindu Rope, Carnosa, Compacta, and MoreSAFE
Lithops spp.Living Rocks, Living Stones, Lithops generaSAFE
Maranta spp.Prayer PlantsSAFE
Orchidaceae FamilyOrchidsSAFE
Peperomia spp.Peperomia genera including Golden Gate Peperomia, String of Turtles, Watermelon Peperomia, and MoreSAFE
Pilea spp.Pilea genera including Pilea peperomioides commonly known as the Chinese Money Plant, Friendship Plant, UFO Plant, and moreSAFE
Saintpaulia ionanthaAfrican VioletSAFE
SchlumbergeraChristmas cactus, Thanksgiving CactusSAFE
Sedum spp.Sedum genera including Burro’s TailSAFE
Tillandsia spp.Air PlantsSAFE

Houseplants that are TOXIC for Kids AND Pets

Scientific or Latin NameCommon NameToxic for Kids and Pets
Alocasia and colocasiaAfrican Mask, Alocasia Frydek, Elephant’s Ear, and moreTOXIC
AgaveAgaveTOXIC
Aloe spp.Aloe genera including aloe veraTOXIC
Syngonium podophylumArrowhead vine, SyngoniumsTOXIC
Caesalpinia gilliesii and Poinciana gilliesiiBird of ParadiseTOXIC
Caladium spp.Caladium genera including Elephant Ear, Heart’s Desire, Moonlight Caladium, and MoreTOXIC
AglaonemaChinese EvergreenTOXIC
Coffee ArabicaCoffee PlantTOXIC
Crassula spp.Crassula genera including the Jade PlantTOXIC
Codiaeum spp.Croton generaTOXIC
Dieffenbachia spp.Dieffenbachiea genera, all dumb canesTOXIC
Euphorbia spp.Euphorbia genera (often mistaken for cacti, includes Poinsettia, baseball cactus, milk barrel, ghost cactus, dragon bone cactus, pencil cactus and more)TOXIC
Ficus spp.Ficus genera including Rubber Trees, Fiddle Leaf Figs, Ficus Benjamina, and moreTOXIC
Rhaphidophora TetraspermaMini-monsteraTOXIC
Oxalis spp.Oxalis genera including Shamrock PlantsTOXIC
Spathiphyllum spp.Peace LiliesTOXIC
Philodendron spp.Philodendron genera (Heart Leaf Philodendron, Neon Philodendron, Philodendron Lemon Lime, Velvet Leaf Philodendron, and all other Philodendrons)TOXIC
Epipremnum aureumPothos, Devil’s Ivy, Golden Pothos, Marble Queen Pothos, Pothos n’ Joy, Manjula Pothos, Neon Pothos, Jade Pothos, Snow Queen Pothos, and all other PothosTOXIC
Scindapsus spp.Satin Pothos, Exotica Pothos, Silver Splash Pothos, Silvery Ann Pothos, Moonlight Pothos, Dark Form PothosTOXIC
Senecio spp.Senecio genera including String of PearlsTOXIC
Sansevieria spp.Snake plant, all varieties (Snake Plants were Sansevieria and are now scientifically classified as Dracaena)TOXIC
Monstera spp.Swiss Cheese Plant, Mexican Bread Fruit, Monstera Deliciosa, Monstera Adansonii, and all other MonsterasTOXIC
Anthurium spp.Tailflower, Flamingo flower, and LaceleafTOXIC
Schefflera spp.Umbrella PlantTOXIC
Zamioculcas zamiifoliaZZ PlantTOXIC

Houseplants that are SAFE for Kids but TOXIC for Pets

Scientific or Latin NameCommon NameSAFE for KidsTOXIC for Pets
Begonia spp.Begonia generaSAFETOXIC
Dracaena (not including snake plants)Corn PlantsSAFETOXIC
Dracaena sanderianaLucky BambooSAFETOXIC
Kalanchoe spp.Mother of Thousands succulentsSAFETOXIC

The Complete List of 48 Houseplants by Scientific or Latin Name

Scientific
or
Latin Name
Toxic
for Kids?
Toxic
for Pets?
Aeschynanthus spp.SAFESAFE
AgaveTOXICTOXIC
AglaonemaTOXICTOXIC
Alocasia and colocasiaTOXICTOXIC
Aloe spp.TOXICTOXIC
Anthurium spp.TOXICTOXIC
Begonia spp.SAFETOXIC
Cactaceae
family (does not include Euphorbia)
SAFESAFE
Caesalpinia gilliesii and Poinciana gilliesiiTOXICTOXIC
Caladium spp.TOXICTOXIC
Calathea spp.SAFESAFE
Ceropegia spp.SAFESAFE
Chlorophytum comosumSAFESAFE
Codiaeum spp.TOXICTOXIC
Coffee ArabicaTOXICTOXIC
Coleus spp.SAFESAFE
Crassula spp.TOXICTOXIC
Dieffenbachia spp.TOXICTOXIC
Dracaena (not including snake plants)SAFETOXIC
Dracaena sanderianaSAFETOXIC
Echeveria spp.SAFESAFE
Epipremnum aureumTOXICTOXIC
Euphorbia spp.TOXICTOXIC
Ficus spp.TOXICTOXIC
Fittonia spp.SAFESAFE
Haworthia spp.SAFESAFE
Hoya spp.SAFESAFE
Kalanchoe spp.SAFETOXIC
Lithops spp.SAFESAFE
Maranta spp.SAFESAFE
Monstera spp.TOXICTOXIC
Orchidaceae FamilySAFESAFE
Oxalis spp.TOXICTOXIC
Peperomia spp.SAFESAFE
Philodendron spp.TOXICTOXIC
Pilea spp.SAFESAFE
Rhaphidophora TetraspermaTOXICTOXIC
Saintpaulia ionanthaSAFESAFE
Sansevieria spp.TOXICTOXIC
Schefflera spp.TOXICTOXIC
SchlumbergeraSAFESAFE
Scindapsus spp.TOXICTOXIC
Sedum spp.SAFESAFE
Senecio spp.TOXICTOXIC
Spathiphyllum spp.TOXICTOXIC
Syngonium podophylumTOXICTOXIC
Tillandsia spp.SAFESAFE
Zamioculcas zamiifoliaTOXICTOXIC

The Complete List of 48 Houseplants by Common Name

Common NameToxic for Kids?Toxic for Pets?
African Mask, Alocasia Frydek, Elephant’s Ear, and moreTOXICTOXIC
African VioletSAFESAFE
AgaveTOXICTOXIC
Air PlantsSAFESAFE
Aloe genera including aloe veraTOXICTOXIC
Arrowhead vine, SyngoniumsTOXICTOXIC
Begonia generaSAFETOXIC
Bird of ParadiseTOXICTOXIC
Cactus family – DOES NOT INCLUDE EUPHORBIASAFESAFE
Caladium genera including Elephant Ear, Heart’s Desire, Moonlight Caladium, and MoreTOXICTOXIC
Ceropegia genera including Rosary Vines, String of Hearts, SAFESAFE
Chinese EvergreenTOXICTOXIC
Christmas cactus, Thanksgiving CactusSAFESAFE
Coffee PlantTOXICTOXIC
Coleus generaSAFESAFE
Corn PlantsSAFETOXIC
Crassula genera including the Jade PlantTOXICTOXIC
Croton generaTOXICTOXIC
Dieffenbachiea genera, all dumb canesTOXICTOXIC
Echeveria succulentsSAFESAFE
Euphorbia genera (often mistaken for cacti, includes Poinsettia, baseball cactus, milk barrel, ghost cactus, dragon bone cactus, pencil cactus and more)TOXICTOXIC
Ficus genera including Rubber Trees, Fiddle Leaf Figs, Ficus Benjamina, and moreTOXICTOXIC
Haworthia succulentsSAFESAFE
Lipstick plantSAFESAFE
Living Rocks, Living Stones, Lithops generaSAFESAFE
Lucky BambooSAFETOXIC
Mini-monsteraTOXICTOXIC
Mother of Thousands succulentsSAFETOXIC
Nerve PlantsSAFESAFE
OrchidsSAFESAFE
Oxalis genera including Shamrock PlantsTOXICTOXIC
Peace LiliesTOXICTOXIC
Peperomia genera including Golden Gate Peperomia, String of Turtles, Watermelon Peperomia, and MoreSAFESAFE
Philodendron genera (Heart Leaf Philodendron, Neon Philodendron, Philodendron Lemon Lime, Velvet Leaf Philodendron, and all other Philodendrons)TOXICTOXIC
Pilea genera including Pilea peperomioides commonly known as the Chinese Money Plant, Friendship Plant, UFO Plant, and moreSAFESAFE
Pothos, Devil’s Ivy, Golden Pothos, Marble Queen Pothos, Pothos n’ Joy, Manjula Pothos, Neon Pothos, Jade Pothos, Snow Queen Pothos, and all other PothosTOXICTOXIC
Prayer PlantsSAFESAFE
Prayer Plants including Rattlesnake, Pendant, Peacock, Fishbone, Tricolor, and MoreSAFESAFE
Satin Pothos, Exotica Pothos, Silver Splash Pothos, Silvery Ann Pothos, Moonlight Pothos, Dark Form PothosTOXICTOXIC
Sedum genera including Burro’s TailSAFESAFE
Senecio genera including String of PearlsTOXICTOXIC
Snake plant, all varieties (Snake Plants were Sansevieria and are now scientifically classified as Dracaena)TOXICTOXIC
Spider plantSAFESAFE
Swiss Cheese Plant, Mexican Bread Fruit, Monstera Deliciosa, Monstera Adansonii, and all other MonsterasTOXICTOXIC
Tailflower, Flamingo flower, and LaceleafTOXICTOXIC
Umbrella PlantTOXICTOXIC
Wax Plants, Hoya genera including Krimson Queen, Krimson Princess, Hindu Rope, Carnosa, Compacta, and MoreSAFESAFE
ZZ PlantTOXICTOXIC

When a houseplant is labeled pet-safe or kid-safe, what does that mean?

Plants that are labeled as pet-safe or kid-safe have not been found to cause serious physical harm if touched or ingested.

However, just as some people have allergies to certain foods, certain people or pets could be allergic to these safe plants and have a more serious reaction.

Additionally, while these safe plants will not cause a serious reaction, some may cause a mild reaction. For example, spider plants are labeled as safe for pets and kids. If ingested though, it may cause stomach upset.

What can you do if you have a toxic plant that you would like to keep?

If you have a toxic plant that you really love and want to keep and have small children or pets (like I do!), the advice from reputable sources is to keep these plants out of reach of pets and kids.

My favorite suggestion has been to use a plant hanger, which is both great to look at, great for giving your plants access to the light they need, and perfect for keeping them out of the reach of pets and kids!

Where can you search for an unlisted houseplant to determine if it is Kid-Safe?

The California Poison Control System has a very extensive list of plants that you can scan.

I would highly encourage you to cross-reference the information here with another resource elsewhere because the information pertaining to plants and human safety does sometimes vary between sources for certain plants.

Crassula/jade plants is a good example of this where some sources list these plants as safe for humans and others list it as toxic. This same confusion applies to Schefflera/umbrella plants.

Access the California Poison Control System Plant Resource Here

Where can you search for an unlisted houseplant to determine if it is Pet-Safe?

ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has a pretty extensive database that you can search and is the agreed-upon resource for determining whether a plant is pet-safe.

Click here to go to the ASPCA’s website

FAQ for the Houseplant Safe and Toxic List:

What is a Genus?

A Genus is a group of species that are similar or related in some way(s).

What is a species?

A species is a group of individuals that has the ability to reproduce in nature.

What is Genera?

Genera is the plural form of Genus

What does spp. mean?

spp. refers to all the species of a specific genus of plants.

What is the relationship between Family, Genus, and Species?

These three are levels used to classify plants scientifically. The broadest term is Family. Within Families, plants are classified into a specific Genus (the plural form is Genera). Within each Genus, individual plants are classified as a specific Species.

Important notes for this article on plant safety

Note #1: The resources used

I spent more time on this article than on any other so far. It was very difficult to find authoritative sources on plant toxicity with regard to humans. As a result, I consulted many universities, state websites, and poison control centers for information.

Some of the information from these sources is conflicting. If some of the resources said a certain plant was safe, but other resources said it was toxic: I chose to label it as toxic.

My personal feeling is that I would rather be overly cautious than believe that a plant is safe when it is in fact toxic.

Note #2: How to use the information in this article

This content is accurate and true to the best of my knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Resources used for this article

A Natural Curiosity
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