The commonly grown houseplants are safe for pets and humans. But there are some plants like philodendrons that are toxic to cats and dogs. The toxic effects only trigger if someone ingests the plant parts in large quantities.

According to the ASPCA, all common philodendron varieties are toxic to pets and humans. Grow them carefully if you have pets and children at home.

The leaves, stems, and other plants of the plant contain a harmful chemical that can cause mild to serve toxicity.

Skin irritation, stomach pain, and vomiting are common toxic symptoms and can be easily treated.

Some pets have chewing habits they chew on everything from shoes to plants. If you have a pet like that then this guide is for you.

In this article, you’ll find every single detail about the toxicity of philodendrons.

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Symptoms List

Below are the symptoms that you need to look for to identify the philodendron toxicity


Swelling of mouth or face

Excessive drooling


Swelling eye and throat

Irregular heartbeat

Difficulty in breathing



Headache or nausea

The list does not end here but these are the common signs that you will see or you need to check in your pets. Remember that all these symptoms appear when your pet ingested the plant parts.

Philodendrons contain Calcium Oxalate Crystals. This compound is present in the sap of the plant. It has the tendency to swell the soft tissues and organs.

Ingestion in large amounts can cause serious health issues. Therefore, place the plant away from the reach of your pets and children.

It is easy to place it away from the reach of dogs but cats can jump. This is the reason cats suffer more than dogs.

Teach your cat not to touch the houseplants or get rid of philodendrons and grow some non-toxic plants.

What to do if your cat or dog eats philodendron?

Whenever your pets eat any part of the philodendron plant, it triggers the above-mentioned symptoms. Because all varieties contain toxic chemicals.

Your first move should be stopping your pet from ingesting the plant parts. If they already eat up the plant then immediately move the plant away from them.

Stop further chewing or ingestion. Then flush their mouth, and clean their paws with clean water. No need to use warm water normal room temperature water is best to use.

Cleaning is necessary to remove the sap of the plant from their mouth and hands.

Then immediately call the vet doctor.

Do not get panic and let the doctor do their job. Your vet doc may start by hydrating your pet. Because vomiting throws the fluid out of the body and makes pets dehydrated.

In 95 % of the cases, doctors save pets. But you need to act fast whenever you see the above symptoms in your pet.

Without wasting a second wash your pet’s mouth and hands and take your pet to the nearest doctor.

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Can I grow philodendron in a fish aquarium?

Yes, you can grow this plant in your fish aquarium but again it is toxic to fish. Philodendrons can grow in water but not underwater.

As long as you keep the leaves above the water level your plant and fish are safe. But once the leaves immerse under the water.

They start to rot and this releases the calcium oxalate in water. This makes the water toxic for the aquarium pets.

This results in the loss of plants and pets.

There are so many plants in the market that are designed by mother nature to grow under the water. Then why do you want to take risk of growing philodendron in an aquarium?

Java moss, and Amazon sword are the two most common aquarium plants. Grow these types of plants and keep your fish safe.

Are philodendrons toxic to humans?

Yes, they are toxic to children, you need to be very careful if you have philodendron and children at home. Teach your children not to touch the plant or place it out of their reach.

It is best to teach them first.

You should also wear garden gloves while working on philodendrons, especially at the time of repotting and propagation.

The sap of the plant can cause skin irritation or inflammation in sensitive skin people.

If your child ingests the parts of a plant then without wasting time immediately call the help (doctor). It does not matter if they show up the symptoms or not. You must visit the doctor and your child must go through a check-up.


The sap of the Philodendrons contains a toxic chemical that can irritate the skin on contact. Wear gloves while working on this plant.

Keep it away from the reach of your pets and children to keep them safe.

In all cases, with mild to severe symptoms, immediately call the doctor or poison control center. Home remedies will not work and please do not waste time on them.

Because every second is important in this case.

I hope you understand the toxic effects of philodendron plants. For more information, you can visit ASPCA or contact us.