13 Deadly Plants You Might Have In Your Backyard

desert rose plant

Plants help make residential gardens look magnificent and infuse an unmissable sense of home. They can purify the air around the property, thus improving air quality.

However, transforming the backyard into a botanical garden may come with significant risks.

It is possible that some of the plants in the garden may be toxic and thus present life-threatening hazards. This is particularly critical for homes with children and pets.

The level of toxicity determines the degree of the health risk posed by the plant.



Hydrangea hortensis is a perennial decorative plant, which has distinctive blossoms that flourish every year starting in spring. The plants are characterized by large, ball-shaped flowers.

The attractiveness comes with a downside in that the entire plant contains cyanide.

The toxic chemical is one of the oldest poisons that can be found in plants. It can cause breathing difficulties, stomach ache, lethargy, vomiting and in severe cases, coma.

Water Hemlock


This plant resembles a blooming carrot, but it is one of the most toxic plants that can grow in the garden. It should not be handled with unprotected hands.

Water hemlock features white buds that have a distinctive umbrella-like appearance.

It contains a highly toxic brownish liquid called cicutoxin that attacks the central nervous system directly and triggers convulsions.



Nerium oleanders belong to the evergreen Apocynaceae plant family. It found its way into residential gardens thanks to the decorative appeal.

However, behind the colorful, fragrant blossoms lies a deadly substance that is known to cause seizures, vomiting, drowsiness, tremors, slow heart rate and arrhythmias.



The Daffodil is a resilient plant that thrives even in harsh winter conditions.

However, it is poisonous and can cause drooling, stomach ache, vomiting, dehydration, tremors, heart irregularities, and convulsions.

A bouquet of daffodils has the capacity to trigger headaches when left in a room for long periods.



Also known as digitalis, this decorative plant has been traditionally used as a medication for the cardiac system.

Its effectiveness is determined by correct use since it contains a deadly poison. Direct ingestion leads to seizures, vomiting, increased heart rate, and nausea.

Elephant Ear

elephant ear

This beauteous plant provides a colorful splendor for any backyard with an intricate mix of red, pink, green and white.

Yet, it comes with calcium oxalate crystals that can trigger drooling and vomiting, among other adverse reactions.

Poison Ivy


Poison ivy is well known for its toxic oils that can cause itchiness and rashes. Homeowners are advised to handle the plant with extreme care.



Philodendron or monstera deliciosa is sometimes called the weeping tree because large water drops appear on its leaves when the air is humid.

Ingesting parts of the Philodendron can lead to tongue swelling, salivation and mouth burning.



The Lily-of-the-Valley boasts equal parts toxicity and medicinal properties.

It is characterized by attractive white bell-shaped petals but the plant can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue when ingested.

In the most severe cases, individuals can experience irregular heartbeat and mental confusion.

Dumb Cane


Also known as dieffenbachia, this plant contains mildly toxic substances that are capable of causing swelling.

The hazards are not life-threatening, but individuals may lose the ability to talk in the event of accidental ingestion. In some cases, people can experience a burning sensation and intense pain.



This decorative plant adds a touch of elegance to any garden with shiny leaves and its beautiful crown.

On the downside, it poses a hazardous risk to both humans and pets.

Contact with the ficus generally triggers itchiness or rash in humans while animals may experience stomach aches and diarrhea.

Desert Rose


Desert rose (or adenium) is characterized by a unique shape, but it contains ouabain, a cardiac glycoside toxin capable of killing an elephant within hours.

Humans can experience a wide range of symptoms, including drooling, diarrhea, vomiting, gastrointestinal disturbances as well as throat and mouth blisters.



Belladonna belongs to the Solanaceae family of plants, which grow in parts of Asia, Europe, and Africa.

It is undoubtedly one of the deadliest plants that homeowners can have in their backyard.

Its poison is capable of killing humans and pets yet it boasts extremely beautiful flowers.

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