There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing family and friends enjoy your garden after hours of hard work, from pulling out hundreds of weeds to planting new flowers and even painting the fence (again).

But when it comes to making your garden a safe space for children to play in, it often requires attention to detail that might not be immediately obvious.

This includes being aware of plants that can be toxic to children and knowing what steps to take when it comes to preventing exposure is crucial for parents and caregivers.

Home expert Neil Mckenzie from Halton Stairlifts has given us a guide to some of the most common and dangerous plants to watch out for in our homes and gardens.

Poisonous Plants Found in the UK

Common poisonous plants to keep away from children


While they are stunning to look at, certain species of lilies are very toxic if ingested, especially to pets like cats. For children, touching the pollen and then rubbing their eyes or mouth could cause irritation or more severe reactions.


This is one of the most toxic, commonly grown garden plants. Ingestion of its leaves, flowers, or even water from its vase can lead to severe cardiac issues, potentially fatal in both children and adults.


Popular in many homes for its lush, attractive foliage, philodendrons can cause severe irritation to the mouth and gastrointestinal tract, leading to swelling, pain, and difficulty swallowing if chewed or swallowed.

@verahouseplanthub 5 houseplants that are toxic for children: Snake plant- can cause mouth irritation Dieffenbachia - airway swelling, drooling, rashes, eye damage Lillies- bloody vomiting & diarrhoea, kidney failure, liver damage, paralysis, death Oleander- contains digoxin. Shortness of breath, heart failure, death Sago Palm- vomiting, jaundice, liver damage & failure, and death #plantlover #houseplantaddict #houseplantclub #houseplanttips #houseplanttipsandtricks #homesafetytips #houseplantstruggles #houseplantproblems #plantfacts ♬ original sound - verahouseplanthub

Pothos (Devil’s Ivy)

Known for its hardy nature and striking leaves, pothos can be quite harmful if ingested. It can cause significant irritation to the mouth and other parts of the digestive tract, leading to symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea.


With their large, beautiful clusters of flowers, hydrangeas are a common decorative plant. However, their buds and leaves contain compounds that can release cyanide when chewed, potentially leading to oxygen depletion at the cellular level.

Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia)

This plant is attractive and easy to care for but contains oxalate crystals that can cause intense oral irritation, drooling, and swelling, which can lead to difficulty breathing if the throat swells too much.


The source of the heart medicine digoxin, foxglove is highly poisonous if ingested. Eating even a small amount of the plant can cause heart palpitations, severe digestive distress, and potentially life-threatening heart issues.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Do you have foxgloves in your garden?Do you have foxgloves in your garden? (Image: Getty)

How to keep children safe from poisonous plants

To keep your children safe from the dangers posed by these and other poisonous plants, consider implementing the following strategies:

Educational awareness: Teach your children about the risks associated with unknown plants and the importance of not touching or ingesting them.

Plant placement: Keep all potentially harmful plants out of reach of children, preferably in areas they do not usually access.

Plant identification: Learn to identify the plants in and around your home. If unsure, consider consulting a botanist or using a plant identification app.

Immediate action: If you suspect that your child has ingested part of a poisonous plant, contact poison control and seek medical attention immediately.

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Neil commented: “While the vibrant greens and florals of plants can enhance the beauty and atmosphere of our homes, they can also pose hidden dangers to the littlest members of our families.

“By staying informed and vigilant, parents can significantly mitigate these risks and ensure a safer play environment for their children.

“Remember, the key to safety with plants, as with all aspects of childproofing, is vigilance and education.”