Protect Your Customer's Pets: Avoid These Poisonous Plants

As a professional landscaper, you know how important it is to make sure that your client has the garden they have been dreaming of. Many of your clients probably know very little about plants and they rely on you for guidance. One area where this becomes incredibly important is if they have pets! There are many common landscaping plants that are actually very harmful to pets and so they should be avoided if you know your client has a furry friend in their family.

Some common plants which should be avoided for pet owners include:

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Azalea is incredibly popular in landscaping due to its evergreen nature. They are also available in a whole rainbow of different colors. However, they are very toxic to dogs and can result in vomiting, dropping blood pressure, and even unconsciousness.


Begonias are a very common plant both in gardens and as a houseplant. However, they contain a needle-like crystal of calcium oxalate which can cause irritation and inflammation of the tissue. These crystals are particularly concentrated in the stems and tubers. In pets, these will cause vomiting and excessive salivation when consumed.


If dogs ingest Amaryllis it can result in severe abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and loss of appetite thanks to the toxins that the plant contains. It is best avoided if you are designing a garden for a dog lover.


Cats in particular do not get on well with lilies. In fact, acute renal failure is very common in cats who ingest any part of a lily. It's also worth mentioning that although in a different family, lily-of-the-valley is also poisonous to pets and can result in cardiac arrest.

So What Plants Are Pet-Safe?

So, once you know what to avoid using in landscaping if your client has pets, what about the plants that are safe to use around cats and dogs. There are plenty of options to choose from including Hibiscus, Snapdragons, Crape Myrtle, Aster, Pansies, Marigolds, and Petunias.

As always if you need additional help or advice contact Northshore Nursery at 865-830-6531.


We are your landscape’s best friend!

Northshore Nursery is Knoxville's premier destination for all of your landscaping and horticultural needs. Our certified Proven Winners Garden Center is a hidden gem that sits off Northshore, just west of Choto Circle, and features approximately 10 acres of annuals, perennials, compost, topsoil, trees, shrubs, and other landscaping and gardening essentials for both professional landscapers and home gardeners!

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