Is the philodendron poisonous to humans and animals?

Is the philodendron poisonous to humans and animals?

Toxic to humans

Philodendrons have a white milky sap flowing through them. This contains toxic ingredients such as calcium oxalate or various pungent substances. Even after mere skin contact, severe irritation, rashes and itching can occur. If parts of the leaf, a flower or a fruit are eaten, the mucous membranes in the mouth and throat swell. This is followed by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps.

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The tree friend should therefore not be placed within the reach of children. During maintenance and cutting work, wearing gloves and long-sleeved clothing prevents skin contact. Clippings should be disposed of in the garbage can if there is a risk that animals can get to the compost heap in the garden.

Highly toxic to cats, dogs and rodents

The poisonous content of philodendron takes on a life-threatening dimension for cats, dogs and rodents such as guinea pigs and hamsters. You can recognize poisoning by these symptoms:

  • Profuse salivation
  • Tremors and restlessness
  • diarrhea
  • Vomit

Poisoning can be fatal for cats as the toxins cause irreversible damage to the kidneys. Living together with domestic animals thus excludes the simultaneous cultivation of philodendrons. This also includes birds that are allowed to fly around in living spaces.


If consumed, the philodendron is poisonous to humans and life-threatening for cats. Its numerous advantages should not be overlooked. In addition to the unique decorative value, the mighty leaves on the Baumfreund filter toxic substances from the room air, such as formaldehyde or carbon monoxide.