Skip to Content

Is Your Flower Garden Dangerous?

Is Your Flower Garden Dangerous? Many common garden flowers are toxic.  I grow most of them and have had no issues but information is power.

It seems that most folks are unaware of the dangers that exist in the common flower garden.  I did a post on growing Foxgloves and while it seems to be well known as being toxic if eaten many people are unaware that many of their other favorite garden flowers are equally as toxic.

Did you know that many favorite cottage garden flowers are toxic? Come see which ones I grow and why I am not worried.

A couple years back the news media did a sensationalized report on people complaining that big box stores did not have warning labels on the Foxglove plants and since then foxgloves have been massively demonized.

My case in point….. I can do all sorts of posts on growing Delphiniums, Morning Glories, Sweet Peas or Black Eyed Susans and not one person will jump in and comment on how poisonous they are then I write a post on Foxgloves and all sorts of well intentioned folks will be quick to comment on the toxicity.

That alone tells me that people are just not educating themselves on what they are bringing home and planting in their gardens or even keeping indoors as houseplants that could be potentially dangerous.

That being said, I will want to include that I have raised 4 kids and numerous pets with not one case of poisoning by plant.  I grew every single one of these plants in my garden along with a few more that are toxic during that time.  No one seemed to want to run out to the flower garden and make themselves a salad out of them because most of these plants taste horrible. (it is also why many are deer resistant)

To give it perspective kids are 300 times more likely to be poisoned by common household items like laundry detergent, cosmetics and cleaning supplies than plants in or outside of the home!

300 times!    That is no small statistic.

So I want this to be a balanced approach and the message here is:

“Caution and education are always good in making informed choices but lets not blow things out of proportion.”

I am going to list 10 of the poisonous garden favorites that I actually grow now but the list of common plants that are poisonous is extensive.  When you research it I would recommend using verifiable sources and not Joe Blows website or a sensational post on how someone has an allergic reaction to a plant.  This list includes flowers that all or part are toxic to humans and animals if EATEN.

Most of them you would have to eat quite a bit to be lethal but even a little can make you sick. (be especially careful with puppies who will chew on things most adult dogs would turn their nose up at)

1. Foxgloves…I guess that is a given and I don’t really need to list it but I will anyways..
How to Grow Foxgloves, (1 of 27)

  2. Black Eyed Susans or Rudbeckia
How to Grow Black Eyed Susans, easy flowers for your cottage garden. Easily reseeds for years of enjoyment and ease.

3. Delphiniums
How to Grow Delphiniums from Seed (8 of 15)

4. Morning Glory

With morning glory it is mostly the seeds that are poisonous.

5. Sweet Pea
July Garden walk, (40 of 40)

6. Lilies
Trumpet Lily,

7. Rhododendrons

8. Daffodil

The bulb is what is most posoinous that is why gophers and voles avoid eating them. 
Creamsicle Daffodil,

9. Larkspur

10. Wisteria
From what I have read and seen listed under poisonous and/or toxic plants there are more reports of poisoning from children eating the seeds of the wisteria plant than other plants.  And though no deaths have been reported it is good to keep in mind that if you do have wisteria you might want to cut it back before it goes to seed.

Other class 1 toxic plants common in everyday gardens:
Tomato (the leaves and stems)
Angels Trumpet (Datura)
Yew (both Japanese and English)
Pampas Grass
Potato Plants (green parts)

And though this may seem foolish to say I must as a disclaimer “DO NOT EAT ANY PART OF THE ABOVE LISTED PLANTS” !

This all may sound rather scary but in reality we are surrounded with dangers everyday and making good informed choices is always before us.  Thankfully we can find reputable information online if we do careful research and not be bamboozled by sensationalized stories and accounts.

I wish you SAFE and Happy Gardening.
Did you find this helpful?  Please PIN and share.
Did you know that many garden flowers are toxic? Come read which 10 I grow and why you should research before planting.


Feel Free to Share!

A Little visit to Fredericksburg Texas
Garden Journal April 15 2018

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Friday 20th of April 2018

Most herbs are from poison plants...and so over the years many folks have argued the idea of ingesting the toxins. If only the subject was evaluated in a logical approach, one would realize how many of the current meds issued by the medical society are chemically copied from the original source. Interesting how that is not argued. In the many cases of those that ingest on a daily basis the meds issued out, we find the damages to the already compromised areas to be even more dangerous within the inner human system. So we have a surmounting problem of addiction and or death. Use sound judgement, diligent research and study.

Judith L

Saturday 24th of February 2018

Good to know! Thanks!

Charlene G. Bryant

Tuesday 19th of September 2017

We have beautiful Wisteria vines growing on a Gazebo that has finally bloomed after watching and waiting for over three years. I was really excited to see there's these great big seed pods hanging from it now????? Hence, poisonous seed pods!!!!! Oh NOOOOO!!!! We just starting letting our two shetland sheepdogs out into that part of the yard as well. Looks like I need to spend some time taking those down as one of my dogs (Gibson) spends his entire time roaming the new area finding things to munch on. He ate wild mushrooms the other day and spent part of the evening giving it back to us...yuck. Yes, he's okay. The mushrooms are all picked up and gone now too.


Tuesday 19th of September 2017

Bummer about having to take the wisteria down. I guess you have too much of it to just dead head to prevent the seeds from forming. That would work if it was doable.


Thursday 30th of July 2015

We fenced off a portion of our yard for our dogs. They loved it, we loved just being able to open the door and letting them run free, knowing they were safe. Then we got a little dog who could climb like a monkey, yup, the infamous Jug (Jack Russell/Pug), all 12" of her required us to go higher and higher with fencing. Can you believe we had to go 7' high???? And still she'd climb up to the top and fling herself over if she saw us out in the yard. The fence was so unattractive I decided to plant morning glories to try to hide it. They were beautiful and had just started to do what I wanted them to do, climb and flower and hide that awful wire fence when it dawned on me - could they be poisonous? duhhhhh, yeah, I know, why didn't I think of that in the first place??? I literally ran into the house and googled morning glories and then started screaming for my whole family to go out and start ripping them out of the ground, off the fence, making sure every single little vine was gone. I'm not a stupid person, nor am I married to one, but boy did we feel like a couple of dunderheads admiring our lovely morning glory covered fence not even thinking they could be lethal to our dogs. Thanks for your post Pamela, hope it helps others thinking of planting near their dogs, cats, kiddies.


Thursday 30th of July 2015

Better safe than sorry and it is the seeds that are so toxic with Morning Glories but once they go to seed they are everywhere! I had no issues with any eating any of them, kids or our dogs at all, the deer here will eat the leaves and flowers but like I said, it is the seeds that are toxic.


Thursday 30th of July 2015

Then, for southern gardeners, there is oleander....don't use the wood for cooking your hot dog over the campfire, for least that's what i heard years ago...after I planted it in my yard. With a little tot who ate everything he could pick up, that oleander had to go......


Thursday 30th of July 2015

You are so correct and Oleanders grow here too, I just don't have them in my garden. I first learned of the toxicity of flowers back in the 80's when a friend of mine became licensed to open a Day Care in her home. Oleanders were listed as something she would have to remove from her yard (if she had grown them which she did not have any). My children were in their toddler years then and I was intrigued so I educated myself on what was potentially toxic etc. I grew many of these listed anyways as I found the odds of my children eating them were less than them trying to drink our shampoo or dish washing liquid. I always educated my kids as well. They would have to eat more than just a taste to come to harm and the taste is so nasty I did not fret it. But as I said in my post, educating oneself to make choices is important. :)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.