House Plants

Are Orchid Leaves Poisonous? (Not Exactly)

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Are orchid leaves poisonous? Many commonly grown orchids and their leaves are not poisonous to dogs, cats and to kids as well. However, I recommend keeping them away from the kids. Orchid leaves are somewhat thick, and one cannot chew them easily. 

Are Orchid Leaves toxic

Are orchid leaves poisonous?

No. But, if you accidentally chew them you would find it difficult to respirat. Further if you ingest them, it would result in stomachache and nausea too. Further it would make you vomit. However, you should not consider all orchids as safe and nonpoisonous plants. There are a majority of the orchids which are nontoxic but that doesn’t mean all the orchids are nontoxic. 

For example, the orchids such as cypripedium lady slipper orchids are mildly toxic. They may result in skin irritations and in some other dermal irritations too.

Furthermore, there is a wide array of orchids which grow in the wild and there should be further studies to discover the toxicity of those plants.  So, you cannot really predict the repercussions which they may cause if you end up eating their leaves.

On another note, to avoid your pets and kids consuming the orchids best would be to grow them in plastic orchid pots as in case they get dropped on the floor the broken pot parts would not harm the kids or your pets.

What happens if my pet eats orchid leaves?

As aforesaid many household orchids are non poisonous for pets, and you can guarantee the fact that it will not bring a fatal impact on them. However, if we consider the lady slipper orchid, chances are that it would create skin irritations and sores in the pet’s mouth. Your pets may find it very uncomfortable. Further they may tend to vomit as well. In addition to that your pets may go through diarrhea too. 

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Your pets may find the orchids very attractive which will make them nibble on the leaves. However, if you ever come across your pets consuming the orchid leaves, you need to stop them doing that at that time itself. Further, if they accidently ingest them, chances are that it may result in breathing difficulties as well. That is because the orchid leaves are thick, and they may get stuck in the throats. 

It would further result in loss of appetite as well. It can even make you lethargic too. However, you do not have to panic as ingesting household orchid leaves would not result in any adverse impact on your beloved pets normally. 

Do pets need to go to the doctor after eating orchid leaves?

I suggest taking your pets to the doctor if they accidentally eat the orchid leaves. Best would be to consult a Vet doctor and get their recommendation, especially if you are unsure of what you should do. Further if there are mild dermal reactions you need to still get the vet doctor instructions.

Even though the majority of the household orchids are nonpoisonous, it is always best to get the doctor’s consultation. Besides, different animals would react in different ways when they eat the orchid leaves. However, before you consult the vet, you need to first take the leaves out of the pet’s mouth. Check the pet’s mouth properly and try to take the leaves out if possible. 

Further if you could spot any skin irritations, you can clean them with warm water. When you go to the vet, you need to be aware of the consumed orchid species. It would make treating the pets easy and they can decide on what they should do next. Further the vet doctor may ask you to contact the poison information center if required too.

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Are Orchid Leaves toxic

How to keep an orchid away from pets and babies?

The simplest thing you could do to keep the orchids away from the pets and from the kids is to keep them out of reach. Ideally you can place the orchids in a higher place where your pets and the kids cannot reach them easily. You can consider placing them on a shelf or even on the center of the table. However you cannot try this method with the cats though. 

Further you can educate the kids and teach the pets to stay away from the plants and not to touch the plants. Teaching your kids and pets to stay away from the plants would be somewhat challenging, but it would be worth trying. They can jump and harm the plants if they find the plant attractive towards them. I recommend using cayenne pepper as a deterrent.

Once you place them, it would release an unattractive smell which your pets may find unpleasant. You may simply sprinkle some cayenne pepper on the leaves edges. Further You may simply place slightly crumpled aluminum foil sheets around the orchid pots. These are simple yet effective ways of overcoming the pest to reach your orchids. 

Apart from these, many people opt to use citrus as a deterrent too. Pets such as cats do not like the fragrance of citrus at all. So, you may simply sprinkle some orange peels around the orchid pots.

Are orchid leaves edible?

People in Africa, Asia and Australia tend to eat the orchid plants. They tend to eat the orchid flowers in particular. They believe orchid plants have a medicinal value. Further as per the Greeks beliefs, orchid plants bulb stimulates the sexual vigor as well as the fertility. Asian people use Soft-cane dendrobium orchids as tea, stirred fried dish and in sauce recipes.

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In Hawaii they use orchids as salad dressing and some desserts. Apart from that in Turkey they use orchid to make drinks and ice creams.


Orchids are undoubtedly one of the most beautiful sets of plants. However, it is best if you could avoid your pets or kids consuming them. Even though they are nontoxic, I recommend keeping the kids and the pest away from the plants so that you could avoid any unwanted troubles. 

Always be on alert if your pets or the kids hang around the plants. If they accidentally end up eating the plant parts you need to act fast and treat them accordingly. 

Credit to : Orchideria

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I'm Dr. Chamika and I'm a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. Our highly qualified team is trying to educate you in various aspects of the day to day life in many ways. Their mission is to help others to enjoy their life to the fullest.