Hello! This is a brief listing of some of the more commonly found toxic and non-toxic plants. The non-toxic group can be used; if you wish, in plantings in an aviary, or in pots around your birds – with most species, though, you can expect at least a little pruning! A group of canaries can mow all of the green off almost any plant in incredibly short order, so if you keep these birds, you should plan on rotating or replacing your plants fairly often.

There are two dangers to remember to watch for when buying nursery plants. If you get your plants at a non-organic nursery, be sure to check carefully to see that they do not have pelleted fertilizer mixed into the dirt. This is usually a sign of a good quality plant, BUT the birds can eat these, and they are poisonous. If you buy a plant with these pellets in the soil, take out the top inch or so of dirt and replace it with plain organic potting soil.

No matter what the nursery you buy from uses for fertilizers and pesticides, plan to leave all nursery plants outside in the rain or hose them off thoroughly for several days running to be sure to have remove all traces of any sprays and insecticides before giving the birds access to the new plants.

Please note that this is a very limited, basic list – if you have a plant you would like to check on, and it is not listed here, please use a good meta-search engine like Google to find out more before deciding whether or not to use it. Never offer your birds any plant unless you are absolutely sure that it is non-toxic. The risk is quite simply not worth it – plants can be had fairly cheaply, but you can’t replace your bird’s life.

Non-Toxic Plants

 

  • African Violets
  • Asparagus Fern
  • Australian Umbrella Tree
  • Babies Tears
  • Bromeliads
  • Burro’s Tail, Donkey Tail
  • Christmas Cactus, Thanksgiving Cactus, Easter Cactus
  • Coffee
  • Dracaena, Corn Plant
  • Dragon Tree, Cold Dust, Red-margined
  • Elephant Foot Tree, Bottom Palm, Ponytail Palm
  • Ferns-birds nest, mother fern, boston, sword, brake, ribbon, dish, button, lomaria, maidenhair, polypody, squirrel’s foot, ball, deers foot, fiji, staghorn, elk’s horn
  • Figs-edible fig, fiddleleaf fig, weeping fig
  • Gardenis
  • Golddust
  • Grape Ivy
  • Hen and Chicks
  • Hibiscus
  • Jade Plant
  • Kalanchoe
  • Mango
  • Nerve Plant
  • Norfolk Island Pine
  • Palms-areca, butterfly, cane, golden feather, madagascar, european fan, parlor, neanthe bella, sentry, pygmy date, roebelin lady, bamboo fern, rhapis excelsa, miniture fan fishtail, wine
  • Peperomia
  • Prayer Plant
  • Rubber Plant
  • Snake Plant, Mother in Law’s Tongue
  • Spider or Airplane Plant
  • Swedish Ivy
  • Velvet Plant, Purple Passion
  • Wandering Jew Pendula
  • Yucca
  • Zebra

 

Plants To Avoid

Controversy over which plants are safe around birds and which are toxic continues to confuse bird owners trying to safeguard their feathered friends. Although we don’t know if each plant listed here could poison all birds. We believe your birds are safer if you avoid the following plants.

 

  • Avocado
  • Arum Lily
  • Autumn Crocus or meadow saffron
  • Australian Flame Tree
  • Azalea
  • Baneberry
  • Belladonna
  • Bird of Paradise
  • Bishop’s Weed
  • Black Laurel
  • Black Locust
  • Bleeding Heart, or Dutchman’s breeches
  • Bloodroot
  • Bluebonnet
  • Blue-Green Algae
  • Bulb flowers: amaryllis, daffodil, hyacinth, narcissus, iris
  • Burdock
  • Buttercup
  • Boxwood
  • Bracken Fern
  • Broad Bean
  • Buckthorn
  • Cacao
  • Camel Bush
  • Castor Bean
  • Caladium
  • Calla Lily
  • Cardinal Flower
  • Cedar
  • Chalice (trumpet vine)
  • Chestnut (buckeye)
  • Cherry tree
  • Christmas Candle
  • Clematis (Virginia bower)
  • Cocklebur 
  • Coffee (senna)
  • Coffee bean (rattlebush, rattlebox, coffeeweed)
  • Coral Plant
  • Conander
  • Coyotillo
  • Cowslip
  • Cutleaf Philodendron
  • Daffodil
  • Daphne
  • Death Camus
  • Delphinium
  • Devil’s Ivy
  • Dieffenbachia (dumb cane)
  • Elderberry
  • Elephant Ear (taro)
  • English ivy
  • Ergot
  • Eucalyptus (particularly dried, dyed or treated for floral arrangements)
  • Euonymus (spindle tree)
  • False Hellebore
  • Fava Bean
  • Flame Tree
  • Felt plant (maternity plant, air plant, panda plant)
  • Firethorn
  • Four O’Clock
  • Foxglove
  • Glory Bean
  • Glottidium
  • Golden Chain
  • Grass: Johnson, sorghum, Sudan, broomcorn
  • Ground Cherry
  • Heather
  • Heaths:  Kalmia, leucotho, peires, rhododendron, mountain laurel, black laurel, Andromeda, azaleas
  • Heliotrope
  • Henbane
  • Holly
  • Honeysuckle Horse 
  • Horse Bean
  • Horsetail
  • Hemlock:  poison, water
  • Hydrangea
  • Iris
  • Ivy: English, other varieties
  • Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Ind turnip)
  • Jasmine (Jessamine)
  • Jerusalem cherry
  • Jimsonweed
  • Kentucky coffee tree
  • Lantana
  • Larkspur
  • Lily of the valley
  • Lily, arum
  • Locoweed (milkvetch)
  • Locusts: black and honey
  • Lords and Ladies (cuckoopint)
  • Lupine
  • Malanga
  • Marijuana (hemp)
  • Mayapple (mandrake)
  • Mescal
  • Mexican Poppy
  • Milkweed (cotton bush)
  • Mistletoe
  • Mock Orange
  • Monkshood
  • Moonseed
  • Morning Glory
  • Mountain Laurel
  • Mushrooms (Amanita)
  • Navy Bean
  • Nettles
  • Nightshade: deadly black, garden, woody bittersweet, eggplant, Jerusalem cherry
  • Oak
  • Oleander
  • Periwinkle
  • Philodendrons: split leaf, Swiss cheese
  • Philodendron
  • Pigweed
  • Poinciana
  • Poinsettia
  • Poison Ivy
  • Poison Oak: western, eastern
  • Pokeweed
  • Potato shoots
  • Precatory Bean
  • Privet
  • Purple foxglove
  • Pyracantha
  • Ranunculus (buttercup)
  • Rattlebox (Crotalaria)
  • Red Maple
  • Rhubarb Leaves
  • Rhododendrons (azalea and laurels)
  • Sandbox Tree
  • Rhubarb
  • Rosary Pea
  • Scarlet runner
  • Skunk cabbage
  • Sorrel (dock)
  • Snowdrop
  • Spurges: pencil tree, candelabra tree, crown of thorns, snow-on-the-mountain
  • Sweet Pea
  • Tansy ragwort
  • Tobacco
  • Vetch: hairy and common
  • Virginia Creeper
  • Wattle
  • White Cedar (Chinaberry)
  • Wisteria
  • Yellow Jasmine
  • Yellow oleander
  • Yews

 

Safe Trees

The following trees may be used in an aviary, or their branches may be cut, cleaned, and used as perches as long as they have not been sprayed with pesticides and/or fertilizers.

  • Ash
  • Alder
  • Aspen
  • Birch
  • Dogwood
  • Eucalyptus
  • Fruit and Nut trees (except cherry and black walnut)
  • Manzanita
  • Maple (as long as there is NO bark on it whatsoever)
  • Sycamore
  • Willow

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