Toxic Houseplants for Pet Birds

Bird Proofing your home may save the life of your feathered friend

Indoor plants are beneficial to a home environment on many levels: they clean the air, provide oxygen to a room, bring the outdoors in and are a beautiful addition to any home decor. Dog and cat owners are aware their pet can be harmed by certain indoor plants. But many people don’t know the dangers of toxic plants, or which plants are safe.  When it comes to pet birds like cockatiels, parakeets or budgies, other parrots and cockatoos, most plants are poisonous for your bird. Always err on the side of caution if in doubt.  The lists below will give you a good start to learning what you can have in your home.

How can your pet bird be harmed?  Two ways your bird can be poisoned by a toxic plant:

1) By ingesting the leaves, stems or flowers of toxic plants and,

2) By playing in the dirt or soil that may contain fertilizers, plant foods or other additives such as perlite, peat moss.

Pet birds are tiny creatures and it doesn’t take much of any substance to cause them harm.  Bird owners know how much curiosity and chewing on anything is part of their nature.  Remember that in their natural environments, psittacines (birds of the parrot family) eat berries & greenery, and chew on branches — all the time!!!

For those reasons, please be aware that ANY plant can be harmful and possibly poisonous to your when enough of it is eaten, even if it isn’t swallowed.

The compiled lists below detail NON-TOXIC PLANTS and TOXIC PLANTS.  When in doubt, call your Avian Veterinarisn for clarification about your specific bird or you have concerns about a certain plant.

TIP:  Before Shopping for New Indoor Plants

Print out this list before going plant shopping.  It is critical to ask the grower themselves exactly what fertilizer or chemicals may be in the soil.  It is perfectly okay to ask stores like Home Depot, Lowe’s, Menard’s or any store for a phone number to the grower for this purpose. You might be surprised to learn that many of the big stores are supplied by a local greenhouse or grower.  It is safest to purchase from a greenhouse directly, in fact, many of them will grow a plant for you without harmful additives in the soil.

SAFE PLANTS FOR PET BIRDS (of course in moderation)

African Daisy —  Arctotis stoechadifolia
African Violet —  Saintpaulina spp.
Aloe — FLESH ONLY!!! Aloe spp.
Ash — Fraxinus spp.
Aspen — Populus spp.
Baby’s Breath — Gypsophila paniculata
Beech — Fagus, Nothofagus
Birch — Betula spp.
Boston Fern — Nephrolepsis bostoniensis
Bromeliads — Anans comosus
Calendula (Pot Marigold) Calendula officinalis
California Holly — Heteromeles arbutifolia
Chamomile — Chamaemelum nobile
Corn Plant —  Dracaena fragrans
Croton (house variety) — Codiaeum variegatum
Dandelion — Taraxacum officinalis
Elm —  Ulmus spp.
Eucalyptus — Eucalyptus species
Fir — Abies spp.
Gardenia —  Gardeniajasminoides
Garlic — Allium sativum
Grape Vine —  Vitis spp.
Honeysuckle — Lonicera spp.
Impatiens —  Impatiens spp.
Jade Plant — Crassula ovata
Kalanchoe — Kalanchoe clossfeldiana
Larch — Larix spp.
Lemon balm — Melissa officianalis
Lilac — Syringa vulgaris and related species
Lily (Easter or Tiger) — Lilium spp.
Magnolia — Magnolia spp.
Manzanita — Arctostapylos manzanita
Marigold — Tagetes spp.
Nasturtium — Tropaeolum majus
Norfolk Island Pine — Araucaria exceIsa
Parsley — Petroselinum spp.
Peppermint — Mentha x piperita
Petunia — Petunia spp.
Rose — Rosa spp.
Spider Plant — Chlorophytum comosum
Violet — Viola spp.

Keep Away From These Plants!  Do not have them inside of your home, porch or aviary — any place your parrot can get to it by accident.


This list details the most common toxic plants for your pet bird.  I’ve provided other resource links if you are concerned about something in your home.

Amaryllis — Amaryllis spp.
Avocado — Persea americana (pit, leaves, unripe fruit, and stems)
Bird of Paradise — Poinciana and related spp. (seed pods and flowers)
Calla Lily — Zantedeschia aethiopica
Cherry — Prunus spp., (pits, leaves, and bark)
Daffodil — Narcissus tazetta
Figs — Ficus spp.
Hydrangea — Hydrangea spp.
Iris — Iris spp.
Ivy (Boston, English and some others) — Hedera spp.
Marijuana — Cannabis sativa
Mistletoe — Phoradendron villosum
Mushrooms — Amanita spp. and many others
Narcissus — Narcissus spp.
Oak — Quercus spp.
Peach — Prunus persica (leaves, pit, bark)
Pear — Pyrus spp. (leaves, seeds, bark)
Potato — Solanum tuberosum (sprouts, leaves, berries, green tubers)
Tomato — Lycopersicon esculentum (skin, stems and leaves)

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