Plants That are Safe for Birds

By Gregory Rich, DVM; Laurie Hess, DVM; Rick Axelson, DVM

My bird likes to eat my houseplants. Should I be worried?

Many birds naturally eat plants as part of their diet. Birds will chew on and possibly consume plants in play and curiosity. Birds left unsupervised out of their cages may easily encounter plants kept around the house and in the garden. Owners should be aware of which plants are safe for birds. There are very few scientific studies about plant toxicity and pet birds. Some plants will just make a bird sick, while others can kill them (see handout “Plants That Are Toxic to Birds”). Some of the scientific information pertaining to other pet species and humans must be extrapolated in reference to pet birds.

Which plants are safe?

The following indoor and outdoor plants have been reported as having no adverse effects on animals. Please also reference the handout “Plants That Are Toxic to Birds”. Remember that any plant eaten in excess may be harmful, or at minimum, may cause gastrointestinal upset. If you are concerned about the safety of specific plants not listed here, consult Pet Poison Helpline ( or your avian veterinarian for more information.

There are hundreds of different pet bird species, and each has its own tolerance for certain plants, so the guide below is only a starting point for discussion with your avian veterinarian. The plants listed here may not be proven or guaranteed safe for your bird.

Abelia Acacia Achira Acorn squash African daisy African violet Alfalfa Algaroba Aluminum plant Alumroot American rubber Anthericum comosum Antirrhinum multiflorum Arabian gentian Aralia Arbutus Areca, Butterfly cane Aregelia Artillery plant Ash Aspen Aspidastra Aspidium falcatum Aubepine Autumn olive Baby's tears Bachelors buttons Ball fern Bamboo Bamboo palm Bamboo vine Banana Banana squash Barberry Beech Begonia species Belmore sentry palm Big shellbark hickory Birch Bird's nest fern Bitter pecan Bitternut Black haw Black hawthorn Blaspheme vine Blood leaf Blooming Sally Blue bead Blue daisy Blue echeveria Bluebottle Blue-dicks Blue-eyed daisy Blunt leaf peperomia Blushing bromeliad Bold sword fern Boston fern Bottle palm Bottlebrush Bougainvillea Brazilian orchid Bride's bonnet Bristly greenbrier Brodiaea pulchella Bromeliads Bronze Broom hickory Bullbrier Bur gourd Burro's tail Buttercup squash Butterfly cane Butterfly ginger Butterfly iris Butterfly squash Caeroba Calamint Calathea insignis Calendula (Pot marigold) California holly California pitcher plant Callistemon citrinus Callistemon radyandrus Callistemon viminalis Calochortus nuttalli Calthea lancifolia Camellia Canada hemlock Canary date palm Candle plant Candycorn plant Cantebury-bell Cape jasmine Cape primrose Carob Carob tree Caroba Carobinha Carolina hemlock Carrion flower Carrot fern Carrot flower Casaba melon Cast Iron plant Cat brier Cat ear Cattleya labiata Celosia globosa Celosia plumosa Celosia spicata Chamaedorean Chamonile Chaparral Chenille plant Chestnut Chicken-gizzard Chickens and hens Chickweed Chicory China aster China root Chinese plumbago Chin-lao-shu Chlorophytum Chlorophytum bechetii Chocolate soldier Christmas dagger Christmas orchid Christmas orchid Christmas palm Cinnamon Cinquefoil Cirrhopetalum Cissus kangaroo vines Claw Cactus Clearweed Cliff brake Cocks comb Cocktail orchid Coleus Collinia elegans Color-band Columnar Comfry Common camellia Common catbrier Common garden canna Common greenbrier Common snapdragon Common staghorn fern Confederate jasmine Coolwort Copper rose Copperlead Coral bells Coralardisia Coralberry Cornflower Cottonwood Crab apple Crape myrtle Crataegus phaenopyrum Crataegus spp. Creeping charlie Creeping gloxinia Dahlia Dainty Dainty rabbits-foot fern Dallas fern Dancing doll orchid Dandelion Date Davallia Davallia bullata mariessi Desert trumpet Dichelostemma Dichorisandra reginae Dill Dinteranthus vanzylii Dogwood Donkey tail Duffy fern Dwarf date palm Dwarf feather fern Dwarf palm Dwarf Rose-Stripe Star Dwarf royal palm Dwarf whitman fern Earth star Easter cattleya Easter daisy Easter lily cactus Easter orchid Echeveria Edible banana Elephant foot tree Elephant-ear begonia Elkʼs Horn Elm Emerald ripple peperomia English hawthorn Epidendrum Episcia spp. Eugenia Euopean fan Fairy fountain False aralia Fan tufted palm Feather fern Feathered amaranth Fiery reed orchid Fig leaf gourd Figleaf palm Fingernail plant Fir Fire weed Fish tail fern Flame African violet Flame of the woods Flame violet Florida butter-fly orchid Forster sentry palm Fortunes palm Freckle face Friendship plant Frosty Garden marigold Garden snapdragon Gardenia Garlic German violet Gherkins Ghost leafless orchid Ghost plant Giant aster Giant holly fern Giant white inch plant Gibasis geniculata Globe thistle Gloxinia Gold bloom Gold dust dracaena Golden bells Golden lace orchid Golden shower orchid Gold-fish plant Good luck palm Grape hyacinth Grape ivy Grape vine Great willow herb Green ripple peperomia Greenbrier Hagbrier Hardy baby tears Hardy gloxinia Haworthia Haws Haws apple Hawthorn Hedgehog gourd Hellfetter Hen and chickens fern Hens and chickens Hickory Hindu rope plant Holligold Holly fern Hollyhock Honey locust Honey plant Honeydew melons Honeysuckle fuchsia Hookera pulchella Horse brier Hoya Hubbard squash Hypocyrta spp. Ice plant Imbricata sword fern Indian Hawthorn Irish moss Iron cross begonia Iron tree Ivy peperomia Ivy-leaf peperomia Jackson brier Jacob's ladder Jade plant Japanese aralia Japanese holly fern Japanese moss Japanese pittosporum Jewel orchid Joseph's coat Jungle geranium Kaempferis Kahali ginger Kalanchoe Kenilworth ivy Kentia palm Kenya palm Kenya violet Kharoub King and queen fern King nut King of the forest Kuang-yen- pa-hsieh Lace flower vine Lace orchid Ladies ear drops Lady lou Lady palm Lagerstroemia indica Lance Pleumele Larch Large lady palm Laurel-leaved greenbrier Leather peperomia Lemon balm Leng-fen tu'an Leopard orchid Lesser snapdragon Lilac Linden Lipstick plant Little fantasy peperomia Little zebra plant Living rock cactus Living stones Locust pods Lou-lang-t'ou Luther Madagascar jasmine Magnolia bush Mahonia aquifolium Maidenhair fern Malabar gourd Malaysian dracaema Manila palm Manzanita Mapleleaf begonia Maranta Marbled fingernail Marigold Maroon Mary-bud Measles plant Melons Metallic leaf begonia Metallic peperomia Mexican firecracker Mexican rosettes Mexican snowballs Minature fish tail Minature maranta Minature marble plant Miniature date palm Mistletoe cactus Mockernut hickory Monkey plant Mosaic plant Moses-in-the-cradle Mosiac vase Moss agate Moss campion Moss fern Moss phlox Moss rose Mossy campion Mother fern Mother of pearl Mother spleenwort Mother-in-law's tongue Mountain camellia Mountain grape Mulberry bush greenbrier Mulberry tree Musa paradisiaca Muscari armeniacum Muscari spp. Muskmelon Nadina Narrow leafed pleomele Nasturtium Natal plum Neanthe bella palm Neanthebella Nematanthus spp. Neoregelia Nephrolepsis Nerve plant New silver and Night blooming cereus Odontoglossum spp. Old man cactus Old world orchid Orange star Oregon grape Ossifragi vase Paddy's wig Painted lady Pampus grass Panamiga Pansy orchid Paradise palm Parlor palm Parlor plant Parsley Parsley fern Passion flower Peace begonia Peacock plant Pearl plant Pearly dots Peperomia Peperomia hederifolia Peperomia peltifolia Peperomia rotundifolia Peperomia sandersii Pepper face Peppermint Persian violet Petunia Pheasant plant Piggy back plant Pigmy date palm Pignut Pignut hickory Pilea microphylla Pilea mucosa Pink brocade Pink pearl Pink polka dot plant Pink starlite Pirliteiro Pitaya Pittosporum Plantanus occidentalis Plantanus orientalis Platinum peperomia Platycerium alicicorne Plumbago larpentiae Plush plant Polka dot plant Polystichum falcatum Pony tail Palm Poplar Porcelain flower Pot marigold Prairie snowball Prayer plant Prickly bottlebrush Prostrate coleus Purple baby tears Purple passion vine Purple velvet Purple waffle plant Purpleosier willow Pyracanthus Queencup Queen's spiderwort Queensland arrowroot Rabbits foot fern Rainbow orchid Raphiolepsis Red African violet Red berried greenbrier Red edge peperomia Red hawthorne Red veined prayer Reed palm Rex begonia Rhynchophorum Roosevelt fern Rose Royal velvet plant Russian olive Saffron spike zebra Sand verbena Satin pellionia Sawbrier Scabious Scarlet orchid Scarlet sage Schefflera Sensitive plant Shagbark hickory Shan ku'ei-lai Shellbark hickory Shiny leaf smilax Shrimp cactus Silver bell Silver berry Silver heart Silver nerve plant Silver pink vine Silver star Silver table fern Silver tree anamiga Silver-leaf peperomia Slender deutzia Small fruited hickory Smilax tamnoides vas Spearmint Spice orchid Spider ivy Spider plant Spotted laurel Spruce Squarenut Squirrels foot fern Staghorn (Elk's horn) Star jasmine Star plant Star tulip Star window plant Strawberry Striped blushing Sugar pods Sulfur flower Summer hyacinth Swedish ivy Sweet William Sweetheart hoya Sweetheart peperomia Sword fern Tahitian bridal veil Tailed orchid Tall feather fern Tall mahonia Teasel gourd Texas sage Thea japonica Thimble cactus Thistle Ti hu-ling Ti Plant Tiger orchid Toad spotted cactus Tous-les-mois Trailing peperomia Tree cactus Tree gloxinia Tropical moss True cantalope Tu fu-ling Tulip poplar Tulip tree Turban squash Umbrella plant Urbinia agavoides Usambara violet Variegated laurel Variegated oval leaf peperomia Variegated philodendron leaf Variegated wandering jew Variegated wax plant Velvet plant Venus fly trap Verona fern Verona lace fern Vining peperomia Violet Violet slipper gloxinia Waffle plant Walking anthericum Wandering Jew Washington hawthorn Water hickory Watermelon begonia Watermelon peperomia Watermelon pilea Wax plant Wax rosette Weeping bottlebrush Weeping sergeant hemlock Weisdornbluten West Indian gherkin Western sword White clover White edged Swedish ivy White ginger White heart hickory Whitman fern Wild buckwheat Wild hyacinth Wild lantana Wild sarsaparilla Wild strawberry Willow Willow herb Windmill palm Winter cattleya Withered snapdragon Woolflower Yellow bloodleaf Yellow-flowered gourd Yerba Linda Zebra haworthia Zebra plant Zinnia spp. Zucchini squash

Safe Trees for Perches

Almond Apple Arbutus Ash Beech Birch Cactus Wood Citrus (all) Crab Apple Dogwood Elm Fir Grape vines Guava Hawthorn Larch Magnolia Madrona Mansanita Mulberry Papaya Pear Pine (not with stick sap) Poplar Thurlow Vine Maple
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