Are Orchids Toxic? Are They Poisonous for Your Pets

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If you’re a plant owner, you may be worried about what having pets in the house means for your orchid. Are orchids safe for pets? As you probably know, cats and dogs love to play with or chew on things that can be potentially dangerous.

Not all orchids are toxic to pets, but there are some species that are. Learning what your pet should and shouldn’t eat will keep both of them happy and healthy.

if you love your orchid and you want to keep it close to your pet, there are a few things you can do to avoid your dog or cat from eating it. Here we’ll cover how to keep your pets and children from eating orchids.

There are many ways to keep your pets and orchid plants safe. In this post, we will share some tips for protecting your orchids from the dreaded fate of being chewed up by Fido or attacked by Kitty.

But first of all…

Are Orchids Poisonous?

Most varieties of orchids are not poisonous. Some varieties of orchids have even been used in Chinese medicine for their medicinal properties.

However, the orchid is an extensive family of flowers and not all varieties have been researched for their effects on humans.

Some varieties, like the lady slipper orchid, are categorized as toxic. Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep all orchids out of reach of your child.

Orchid Toxicity:

The answer is complicated. The orchid has different toxins in its roots than it has in its leaves and flowers. While the majority of components are not fatal, it’s best to keep your furry friends away from your orchids.

The toxicity of orchids to cats and dogs is low, but it’s best to keep them away. Not all orchid species are toxic, but if your pet ingests one, they may experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Are Orchids Pet-friendly?

Most of the orchids that are grown as houseplants are not toxic to pets. However, there are some orchid species, such as the Cypripedium or Lady Slipper orchids, which are toxic to cats and dogs.

Also, your pets could potentially choke on the plant parts, especially if you have a dog or a cat that likes to chew on things.

So while it is possible for your pets and your orchids to co-exist in the same space, it is still best to keep your orchids out of your pets’ reach.

Your pets might accidentally knock over your plant, break the orchid stems or leaves, or eat parts of the orchid.

Can My Cat Get Ill By Eating an Orchid?

Cats have very sensitive systems. If your cat eats an orchid, there might not be any immediate reaction. But it is important to observe your cat’s behavior over the next few days.

Cats who eat orchids may be poisoned and show signs of vomiting, gastrointestinal upset, increased salivation, abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, tremor, leg paralysis, weakness and dilated pupils.

What If My Dog Eats an Orchid?

Dogs tend to be less sensitive than cats, so for them, it takes a lot of orchids to cause illness. When a dog eats an orchid, it will cause stomach upset and possibly vomiting, but generally won’t kill the dog.

Are Orchids Poisonous For Babies?

Orchids are not poisonous for babies, but they do require maintenance that could be dangerous for a baby if they get hold of them.

Orchids require daily misting and they need special fertilizers that could be harmful if swallowed by a child. If you have an orchid, it’s best to keep it out of reach of babies.

When a Person Eats an Orchid

Orchids are not known to be toxic to humans but can cause adverse effects in some people.

Other Common Poisonous Houseplants:

  • Umbrella tree
  • Foxglove
  • Flamingo flower
  • Oxalis
  • Elephant’s ear
  • Devil’s ivy
  • Oleander
  • Mistletoe
  • Caladium
  • Dumb cane
  • Amaryllis
  • Clivia
  • English ivy
  • Azalea
  • Holly
  • Ivy

How To Keep Your Pets and Children From Eating Orchids

If your pets or children are eating your orchids, you may be wondering what you can do about it. The best way to keep them from eating your orchids is by using a deterrent spray on the plants.

As long as you are consistent with spraying the orchids, the animals will learn to stay away from them and leave them alone.

Cayenne Pepper as a Deterrent

You can use cayenne pepper as a deterrent against both children and pets eating your orchids.

Cayenne pepper has a strong scent that can cause eye irritation if it gets in their eyes, so they will tend to avoid it.

Aluminum Foil as a Deterrent

Shiny objects fascinate cats, which is why aluminum foil can be used to deter them from eating your orchid plants. Take an aluminum foil sheet and crumple it up so that one side is smooth and shiny.

Wrap the foil around each of your plants making sure that the shiny side faces outwards. Cats will not want to chew on them because they are too sharp, but they will not like how crinkly they sound when touched.

Citrus as a Deterrent

Squeeze citrus fruits like lemons around your plants or soak cotton balls in lemon juice and place them near your orchids to keep pets and children away from them. The smell will not bother humans but is very irritating to animals.


So generally speaking, your pets should steer clear of orchids. They could harm themselves if they inadvertently chew on the plant, or if they eat any of the plant parts.

The best thing to do is to keep your orchid in a place where your pets don’t have access to it.

If you must place it somewhere where your pet can reach it, monitor your pet with the orchid regularly and remove any plant parts from the reach of your pet as soon as possible.

Remember, part of being a good pet owner is knowing how to keep your pets and plants happy and healthy at the same time.

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