Deadly Plants to Avoid in Your Garden

Deadly Plants to Avoid in Your Garden

by Ann Harrison

Your garden can be a nice place to relax on a warm spring or summer day, but there are plants that are beautiful, yet harmful to small children and animals. Here is a list of just a few of the deadliest plants that can be poisonous if a child or animal ingests them.

Image Credit: Dileepcyriac
Image Credit: Dileepcyriac

Although these plants should be kept away from children and plants, there’s no reason to be afraid of them. There are many poisonous toxins in our kitchens and bathrooms, but we aren’t afraid of them; we just keep them out of the reach of little hands or paws. We can do the same for these plants. It’s important to remind children that not all plants are people food.


Oleander is one of the most common and most widely known poisonous plants, grown in warm climates throughout the US. In California, it’s even grown along roadside medians, because it is drought-resistant, and any deer that run along the highways won’t eat it. These colorful and fragrant flowers make your back yard lovely, but if you have pets or small children, I do not recommend planting these flowers, because children are attracted to the colorful flowers. If a small part of the Oleander plant is eaten, it can cause severe digestive and cardiac reactions. If Oleander salve comes in contact with your skin, it can cause numbness, skin irritation, and eye inflammation, so be sure to wear gloves when removing these plants.

Castor Bean

The Castor Bean is a popular plant, that is grown all across the nation. In some cases, it is an annual plant while in others, it is a perennial plant in tropical areas. Its palm like leaves and spiny flowers add a tropical flare to gardens, but the Ricin-laced seeds can be deadly to children. If one seed is eaten, the symptoms of poisoning occur a few hours after the seed has been ingested. These Symptoms include, but are not limited to: pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and finally, death.


Daphne is a shrub, whose pink, white, and green flowers are a sign of spring in warmer climates. However, the berries can be deadly to children if they pop them into their mouths, so it is best to either plant these evergreen shrubs in an area where kids can’t get to them, or not plant them at all, to keep your family safe.

About the Author

Ann Harrison is a totally blind author, who grew up in the small town of Rochelle, Georgia, and has moved back to her family home after living in North Georgia for several years. Ann has written many articles of general interest for a number of clients since June of 2010, including the Cordele Dispatch. She has also published a short story entitled “The Big Climb” in Awethology Light. Ann also published a story entitled “The Woods” in December Awethology Light Volume by The #Awethors. She is currently working on several novels, and a self-help book. To read more of Ms. Harrison’s inspirational writings, visit her blog at

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