Are Succulents Toxic to Birds?
Learn How to Protect Your Beautiful Birds!

Do you own birds and wish for their safe coexistence with plants? Read more to learn which succulents to beware of and which to turn towards!

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Jimena Bolívar

April 19, 2021


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Introduction

Ensuring your pet bird’s safety and well-being is a significant responsibility. When you have plants in your home, you need to make sure that they are not toxic. In other words, you must only store safe succulents and avoid poisonous ones.

All succulents are not toxic to birds. Toxic ones include Mother of Thousands, String of Pearls, Yucca, Amaryllis, Mother in Law’s Tongue and Jade Plant. Non-toxic succulents include Hens and Chicks, Christmas Cactus, Aloe Vera, Spider Plant and Burro’s Tail.

Are Succulents Toxic to Birds?

All succulents are not a threat to the well-being of birds. Some of them have poisonous sap, which can irritate them if ingested. Generally, avoid Mother of Thousands, String of Pearls, Yucca, Amaryllis, Mother in Law’s Tongue and Jade Plant. Instead, choose safer options like the Christmas Cactus.

Symptoms of bird poisoning can range from mild to extreme. However, in general, you can expect the bird to vomit, experience diarrhoea, lethargy, urinate more often or face tremors. If things are too severe, you can see them falling from their perching place, have convulsions and even go into a coma!

Warning

If you suspect your bird is poisoned rush to the veteranarian

Birds have small organs that react very seriously to exposure to poison. Don't take a risk and rush to the vet if your pet is showing symptoms like vomiting and dizziness

Don’t let your birds suffer, and ensure you give them a safe environment free from toxic plants.

What Succulents are Toxic to Birds?

Here are a few succulents that you need to avoid so that you can protect your beloved birds:

Name of Toxic Succulents Scientific Name
Mother of Thousands Kalanchoe Daigremontiana
String of Pearls Senecio rowleyanus
Yucca Yucca
Amaryllis Amaryllis
Mother in Law’s Tongue Dracaena trifasciata
Jade Plant Crassula ovata

1. Mother of Thousands Plant

When considering the mother of thousands plant, you need to know that every single part of it is toxic!

An image of Mother of Thousands

  • Scientific name: Kalanchoe Daigremontiana
  • Named by: Raymond-Hamet and Perrier de la Bâthie
  • Native to: Africa
  • Family: Crassulaceae (Stonecrop)
  • Genus: Kalanchoe
  • Plant Type: Perennials
  • Plant Type: 6.5 to 7.5
  • Hardiness:USDA Zones 9 to 11

The Mother of Thousands is an attractive houseplant that rarely blooms. While it has stunning foliage and may have beautiful lavender flowers, it is not safe for pets. Every part of this breathtaking succulent is poisonous and can even be fatal if ingested by your feathery friends. Don’t think about keeping this plant anywhere near a bird!

2. String of Pearls Plant

The String of Pearls is not kind to birds and must be avoided!

An image of String of Pearls

  • Scientific name: Senecio rowleyanus
  • Named by: Gordon Douglas Rowley
  • Native to: Southern Africa
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Genus: Senecio
  • Plant Type: Perennials
  • Plant Type: 6.5 to 7.5
  • Hardiness:USDA Zones 9 to 11

The String of Pearls is a trailing succulent that has small spherical leaves that resemble precious tiny pearls. However, don’t let the cuteness fool you. The plant is clearly poisonous. If your birds ingest any part of this, expect drooling, diarrhoea, vomiting, lethargy or even death! Contact the vet if you suspect your bird has consumed a part of this succulent!

3. Yucca Plant

Yucca are perennial shrubs that are toxic to all animals in general!

An image of Yucca

  • Scientific name: Yucca
  • Named by: Linnaeus
  • Native to: U.S.
  • Family: Asparagaceae
  • Genus: Yucca
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Plant Type: 5.5 to 7.5
  • Hardiness:USDA Zones 4 to 11

Plants from the Yucca species tend to be stemless and feature rosette formations with small leaves at the base. The flowers are usually white but can have a tint of pink or green as well. Yucca plants contain a chemical component called saponins which are to blame for the toxicity. Don’t waste any time calling the vet if the bird has ingested it!

4. Amaryllis Plant

The Amaryllis is also hazardous to your birds, so do yourself a favour and keep them away!

An image of Amaryllis

  • Scientific name: Amaryllis
  • Native to: Africa
  • Family: Amaryllidaceae
  • Genus: Amaryllis
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Plant Type: 6.0 to 6.8
  • Hardiness:USDA Zones 9 to 11

The Amaryllis is an attractive bulbous plant with green leaves and luscious pinkish-white flowers. The concerning parts of this succulent include the stems and bulbs. The chemical component known as phenanthridine alkaloids cause symptoms such as vomiting and depression in birds. This plant poses a clear health risk for your pet birds! Therefore, keep it as far away as you can from them.

5. Mother Law’s Tongue Plant

The Mother in Law’s Tongue, also known as the Snake Plant, is ironically a poisonous plant!

An Image of Mother in Law's Tongue

  • Scientific name: Dracaena trifasciata
  • Named by: Vincenzo Petagna
  • Family: Asparagaceae
  • Genus: Dracaena
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Plant Type: 6 to 6.5
  • Hardiness:USDA Zones 10 to 12

The Mother in Law’s tongue is a different succulent with striped leaves and tiny scented flowers, making it memorable. One of its most common names is snake plant, which is ironic, considering it is also toxic. The plant contains saponins which cause birds to drool and vomit. Your best bet is to keep this plant as far away as you can!

6. Jade Plant

The Jade Plant is considered a symbol of luck, but it isn’t lucky for your birds!

An image of Jade Plant

  • Scientific name: Crassula ovata
  • Named by: George Druce
  • Family: Crassulaceae (Stonecrop)
  • Genus: Crassula
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Plant Type: 6.1 to 6.5
  • Hardiness:USDA Zones 10 to 11

The Jade Plant is an extremely common houseplant that people love throughout the world. It has shiny, smooth leaves which release a white sap when dissected. They are classified as highly poisonous to birds and should therefore be avoided. Don’t let misfortune strike your cute pets by protecting them from potential harm!

What Succulents are not Toxic to Birds?

Here are a few succulents that you do not need to avoid for the sake of your birds:

Name of Non-Toxic Succulents Scientific Name
Hens and Chicks Sempervivum tectorum
Christmas Cactus Schlumbergera bridgesii
Aloe Vera Aloe barbadensis miller
Spider Plant Sedum morganianum
Burro’s Tail Chlorophytum comosum

1. Hens and Chicks Plant

The Hens and Chicks Plant is a safe plant you can consider placing near your birds!

An image of Hens and Chicks Plant

  • Scientific name: Sempervivum tectorum
  • Named by: Linnaeus
  • Native to: Mexico
  • Family: Crassulaceae (Stonecrop)
  • Genus: Sempervivum
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Plant Type: 5.6 to 6.0
  • Hardiness:USDA Zone 5 to 10

The Hens and Chicks is a succulent, boasting rosettes that is best described as charming. The larger ones are known as the Hens, and the smaller ones are known as chicks. The leaves tend to be anywhere between red and green. If you have this plant near your bird, you don’t need to worry! It is a plant that is not toxic to animals and hence not a threat!

I know just the place you can purchase this wonderful plant. I have vast experience purchasing succulents and only recommend the best places online! Go ahead and buy the Hens and Chicks Plant from here:

Hens & Chicks Collection of Three 3 Inch Pots

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2. Christmas Cactus

The Christmas Cactus can help you celebrate a safe space for your bird efficiently!

An Image of christmas cactus

  • Scientific name: Schlumbergera bridgesii
  • Native to: Brazil
  • Family: Cactaceae
  • Genus: Schlumbergera
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Plant Type: 6.0 to 8.0
  • Hardiness:USDA Zone 10 to 12

The Christmas Cactus is an extremely common succulent that is also not toxic for your bird. The plant is recognizable by its small roundish stem segments with flowers on its ends (only when it has bloomed). The plant has an attractive double flower that appears between November and January! You can have this plant around as it is a good choice! It may irritate the bird if ingested in large quantities, which is unlikely.

If you’re interested in getting a Christmas Cactus from a reliable seller, here is a recommendation from me:

Pink Christmas Cactus Plant 4 Inch Pot

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3. Aloe Vera Plant

The beloved Aloe Vera plant is also an excellent pick for homes with fellow birds!

An Image of aloe vera

  • Scientific name: Aloe barbadensis miller
  • Named by: Carl Linnaeus
  • Family: Asphodelaceae
  • Genus: Aloe
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Plant Type: 7.0 to 8.5
  • Hardiness: USDA Zones 9 to 11

Aloe Vera is a medicinal plant that has helped humans over the years. It is well-known for its gel which is used in various sorts of products. An aloe vera plant is not poisonous to animals, so you can relax yourself if you have it at home. Aloe Vera is a beneficial plant that should not be taken as a threat!

Here is an awesome link for you to purchase an aloe vera plant:

Aloe Vera Live Indoor 10 Inch Tall Plant

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4. Spider Plant

The Spider Plant is not only a very easy to handle succulent, but it is also non-toxic!

An Image of spider plant

  • Scientific name: Chlorophytum comosum
  • Named by: Carl Peter Thunberg
  • Family: Asparagaceae
  • Genus: Chlorophytum
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous Perennial
  • Plant Type: 6.0 to 6.5
  • Hardiness:USDA Zones 9 to 11

The Spider Plant is a common houseplant that will allow your pet bird to thrive! It isn’t a problematic succulent and looks delightful with its striped leaves. It has a fleshy root and unique foliage. According to NASA, this plant is one of the best at purifying the air! Therefore, you are doing yourselves and your fellow birds a big favour by getting this plant.

If you’re fascinated by the Spider Plant, feel free to get it here:

Spider Plant 6 Inch Hanging Basket

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5. Burro’s Tail Plant

The Burro’s tail is a succulent that will never bother you with any toxicity!

An Image of burro's tail plant

  • Scientific name: Sedum morganianum
  • Named by: Eric Walther
  • Native to: Mexico
  • Family: Crassulaceae (Stonecrop)
  • Genus: Sedum
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous Perennial
  • Plant Type: Ideally 6.0
  • Hardiness:USDA Zones 9 to 11

The Burro’s Tail is a low-maintenance evergreen succulent that is distinguished with its bluish-green leaves. It is a beautiful choice for your home if you keep a pet bird as well. The plant is Mexican in origin and is used to arid climates, so refrain from overwatering it. Don’t worry at all about its toxicity, as it is a safe choice!

To get the Burro’s Tail, you can visit this seller’s product link:

Sedum Morganianum in 4 Inch Pot

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Conclusion

Every succulent is not toxic. Birds can show poisoning symptoms if they interact heavily with Mother of Thousands, String of Pearls, Yucca, Amaryllis, Mother in Law’s Tongue and Jade Plant. Safer non-toxic succulents exist, which include the Christmas Plant and the Spider Plant!

If you’re new to all of this and wish to learn more, I think you should read more about succulents. I recommend this post about the most popular succulents!

8 most popular succulents that will lift your mood!

Succulents are the proven mood-boosters. But have you ever got confused in picking one for your room? If you did, it's time to pick one that suits you the best.

Jimena Bolívar Picture

By Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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Jimena Bolívar Picture

Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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