Plants That are Safe for Birds

By 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 the course of 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. Few actual studies are available concerning plant toxicity and 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 information pertaining to other species, including humans, must be extrapolated to birds.

Which plants are safe?

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

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