Are succulents poisonous to humans: a complete guide

Are succulents poisonous to humans? Succulent plants have become quite popular as indoor plants because of their distinctive shapes, vivid colors, and ease of upkeep. As more people use these plants that have evolved into the desert, concerns about their safety, particularly about possible human toxicity, may develop.

It’s essential to know whether or not succulents are hazardous or poisonous to ensure a secure and joyful encounter with these adored plants.

In this article, we’ll talk about the dangers of succulent toxicity on human health. We’ll look at the overall traits of succulents, why are some succulents poisonous to humans and pets, some of the usual uses for them, and any concerns involved with contact or ingestion.

are succulents poisonous to humans
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Investigating this topic will help us better understand the safety issues around poisonous succulents, enabling plant enthusiasts to make knowledgeable choices about how to handle and care for them.

Why are some succulents poisonous?

Because poisonous succulents contain toxins that prevent herbivorous animals from eating them. It is a form of defense used by poisonous succulents to deter animals from consuming them. Although some poisonous succulents have physical defenses like thorns, spines, and prickles, chemical defenses are the most efficient.

If the leaves and stalks of poisonous succulents are consumed, the toxins can cause animals to experience a variety of unpleasant symptoms, including mouth and stomach irritation, nausea, temporary blindness, diarrhea, and weakness, as well as effects on their neurological and muscular systems.

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What are the common toxic euphorbia succulents?

Although euphorbias are highly popular indoor plants, sadly not all owners are aware of their toxicity and they are in the group of toxic succulents.

The leaves of these poisonous succulents contain latex, a white, milky toxic sap that can irritate the skin.

Not only contact with the toxic sap can result in a rash in both pets and humans, but also the digestion of this plant material. Euphorbias or poisonous succulents are known to cause mouth burning and vomiting when consumed.

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Euphorbia Tirucalli (Pencil Tree Plant, Pencil Cactus)

An evergreen succulent known as Euphorbia tirucalli ( Pencil cactus) has spineless cylindrical branches that are typically a vibrant orange/red color in the cooler winter months and are considered to be a toxic succulent or toxic plant.

It is recommended to avoid having these plants around if you have curious furry friends like cats and dogs because they contain a white latex poisonous sap that is irritating and dangerous to cats and dogs.

This toxic succulent shows symptoms like mild irritation to the mouth and stomach.

In addition, if you suspect that your dog consumed something dangerous you can reach out to the animal poison control center for help.

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What is the common toxic Kalanchoe plant?

The majority of the 150–200 plant species that make up the genus Kalanchoe are indigenous to southern Africa, Madagascar, and Australia. The prominent kalanchoe species described below contain cardiac glycosides and are poisonous to animals because of the class of bitter chemical compound called bufadienolides.

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Kalanchoe Daigremontiana (Mother in law’s tongue)

This poisonous succulent is a fascinating and distinctive Crassulaceae succulent plant native to Madagascar.

This plant of poisonous succulent is derived from the numerous toxic plants that grow along the borders of the plant’s big, bluish-green leaves.

These little toxic succulent plants expand swiftly, even forming roots, and then eventually die off and sprout.

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Kalanchoe Delagoensis (Mother in law’s tongue)

This plant is one of the toxic succulents, it grows quickly and can multiply readily wherever it lands. The best way to refer to them is as the mother of millions.

They produce little plantlets that grow around the borders of the plants.

Wherever they are, they can grow quickly, and their seeds can continue to develop for many years after the toxic plants have been removed.

Kalanchoe Tomentosa (Panda Plant)

The Kalanchoe Tomentosa sometimes referred to as the “Panda Plant,” is included in the list of toxic succulents.

The fluffy leaves have brown dots on the tips and are sage green in color. It is a common houseplant and is regarded as the best choice for beginners because it is very simple to maintain and does not require a lot of effort to thrive.

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Other toxic succulents

Here are some other toxic succulents.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is considered to be one of the most toxic succulents in a certain way.

Aloe vera is safe for humans and pets to be around because it is not typically regarded as harmful. Because of its numerous health advantages, aloe vera plant gel from the leaves is very frequently used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes.

Aloe vera is not harmful, but it can in certain cases cause mild skin irritation, so it’s crucial to keep that in mind. Before using aloe vera gel to a wider area of skin if you have sensitive skin, test a small patch first.

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Jade plant, Crassula ovata

Jade plant, or Crassula ovata, is thought to be one of the toxic succulents to humans, dogs, cats, and horses.

Jade plant leaves contain a sap that, if consumed in excessive quantities, can irritate the skin or mildly upset the stomach.

Pets who consume jade plants may experience sadness, incoordination, and vomiting. Large doses of the jade plant may, in extreme situations, result in more severe symptoms like lethargy, convulsions, or even coma.

It’s crucial to keep jade plants out of the reach of pets and young children and to watch them carefully if they come into contact with the plant. Consult a doctor right away if your pet or child exhibits any symptoms of sickness after consuming the jade plant.

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Crassula Arborescens

Some common names for this plant include Silver Jade plant, Chinese Jade plant, Lucky plant, and Money plant. They are lethal to dogs and cats alike. This plant is unique to South Africa.

This succulent stands out for having reddish-edged silver dollar leaves. However, the poisonous component of this hasn’t yet been identified. Nausea and vomiting would be general symptoms.

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Snake Plant

A common houseplant with a reputation for cleansing the air is the snake plant, also known as Sansevieria trifasciata.

Pets, however, may become ill if they consume the plant.

The plant contains saponins, which in dogs and cats can result in vomiting, diarrhea, and other digestive issues.


The Chrysanthemum, sometimes known as the Alligator plant, is a common indoor plant because of its beautiful and unusual appearance. The plant can thrive under challenging environmental circumstances and has large, green leaves.


How toxic are succulents?

Succulents are typically thought to be safe for both pets and humans. They lack chemicals that, when consumed, are known to cause serious illness, skin irritation, or injury.

Individual sensitivities and allergies can differ, therefore it’s vital to keep in mind that some people may react mildly or develop allergies and skin irritation to particular succulent species or their sap.

Succulents are not commonly grown or eaten as food, however before attempting to do so, it’s vital to use caution and the right understanding. Despite the existence of some edible succulent species, any toxins or spines may need to be removed using particular preparation techniques.

It is advised to speak with botany or horticulture professionals who can offer precise information and advice if you have specific questions or are unsure about the toxicity of a particular type of succulent plant.

Why shouldn’t you touch succulents?

Generally speaking, holding or touching succulents has no inherent risks. A lot of people find its thick leaves and distinctive textures to be pleasing to the touch.
However, there are a few factors that call for some caution when treating succulents:

Prickly or spiny varieties

As a kind of defense, some succulent plant species, like cactus, may have sharp spines or thorns. If handled improperly, these structures have the potential to physically harm a person. To prevent pricks or punctures, it’s crucial to use caution and protective gloves when handling spiky succulents.

Skin irritation

Although succulents are generally not harmful, some people may experience skin irritation and rashes or allergic responses after coming into contact with particular species or their sap. This could show up as a rash, itching, or redness.

Fragility and breakage

It is advised to cleanse the afflicted area with soap and water if you experience any negative side effects after touching a succulent.

Succulent leaves are frequently delicate and vulnerable to damage or breaking. The health and appearance of the plant may be harmed by excessive handling or rough touch that causes the leaves to snap off. Succulents are generally safe to touch, however, it’s best to handle them carefully to prevent unneeded injury.

It’s important to keep in mind that these factors only apply to particular situations or species and that not all succulents carry the same dangers. Many succulents are safe and delightful to handle because their leaves are smooth or don’t have spines. It’s vital to become familiar with the unique traits of the succulents you have and take precautions for those qualities.

Can humans eat succulents?

Succulents are not commonly cultivated or eaten as food, and eating them is not a widespread practice.

Even though certain succulent species may technically be edible, it’s best to use caution and have the right information before trying to consume them.

Several succulent species, including certain cacti (like the prickly pear cactus) and several agave plants (used to make tequila or agave syrup), are known to be used in specific culinary traditions or as flavorings.

To verify that you have accurately recognized the plant and have obtained it from a secure and reliable source, it is vital to note that even with these edible species, particular preparation techniques are frequently needed to remove any toxins or spines.

It’s important to remember that many succulents are not meant to be eaten and may contain substances that could be dangerous or result in negative reactions if consumed.

Others may contain thorns, spines, or other defensive features that might hurt consumers if consumed. Some succulents may have harsh or disagreeable flavors.

It is strongly advised to speak with botany or ethnobotany professionals who can provide correct information on particular edible species, secure preparation techniques, and any hazards associated with intake if you are thinking about consuming succulents or using them in culinary recipes.

Succulents are generally safer and more enjoyed as beautiful plants rather than as food unless you have solid information and direction about the particular species and its suitability for consumption.

Is it bad to have succulents in your room?

Succulents are generally not bad and can even be advantageous in several ways.
Here are some things to think about.

Aesthetics and ambiance

Succulents are renowned for their distinctive and aesthetically pleasing shapes, colors, and textures. Infusing your space with a little bit of nature and beauty can improve its overall aesthetics and foster a relaxing ambiance.

Air purification

Succulents, like other plants, can help purify the air inside buildings by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen as a result of photosynthesis. This could help create a fresher and healthier atmosphere in your room.

Stress reduction

Many people discover that having plants, even succulents, around them can be beneficial to their health. It has been demonstrated that plants can lower stress levels, elevate mood, and promote relaxation. Succulents can help you create a calm and relaxing environment in your space.

Low maintenance

Succulents are known for their capacity to flourish in arid environments and call for little maintenance. They are perfect for busy people or those who lack the gift of gardening because they can withstand indoor settings and sporadic watering.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when putting succulents in your room:

Sunlight. To thrive, succulents often need bright, indirect sunshine. Make sure your space gets enough natural light, and if it does not, add some artificial lighting. The leggy growth or health problems brought on by inadequate light.

Temperature and ventilation. Most succulents prefer moderate to warm temperatures as well as sufficient airflow. Make sure your room has adequate ventilation and that the temperature is kept at a level that will support the health of your plants.

Allergies and sensitivities. Even though succulents are typically harmless and healthy, some people may be allergic or sensitive to specific plant species or their pollen. Research certain succulent species and their potential allergenic qualities before bringing them into your room if you have known allergies.

In the end, having succulents in your room has several advantages, such as improved aesthetics, improved air quality, and less stress.

Succulents may flourish and create a welcoming atmosphere in your living area as long as you provide them with the right growing conditions and care.


The answer to the question if succulents poisonous to humans is, succulents are typically thought to be non-poisonous to pets and humans.

While some people may react mildly to particular succulent species or develop allergies and skin irritation when they come into touch with them, most succulents lack chemicals that would cause serious disease or harm if consumed.

Some edible succulent species are used in culinary traditions even if they are not generally grown or consumed as food. Before attempting to eat them, however, caution should be taken, and accurate information and identification of the plant are crucial.

Succulents can offer many advantages for your room, including air purification, visual improvement, and a peaceful environment. Succulents are a common selection for indoor plants due to their low maintenance requirements.

Being mindful of any potential personal responses or allergies is always advisable when handling or being close to succulents because it’s crucial to remember that everyone has different sensitivities and allergies.

Succulents can add beauty, freshness, and a touch of nature to your living space without posing a serious risk to human health, provided you choose the right species, provide ideal growing conditions, and take the necessary precautions, like washing your hands after handling plants.

Vanessa Sharon

I am the founder of the Deep Nature Gardens website! I, along with the experts, want to provide you with our avid readers, with accurate and compelling knowledge about gardens, plants and design techniques.