Garden Plants to Avoid

Gardens can be beautiful, visually stimulating areas of a yard that attract birds and butterflies, or offer a wonderful aroma during springtime or summer months. However, some plants and flowers may also be quite harmful not only to neighboring plants, but also to pets and small children. Before planting any shrub or flower in a yard garden, make sure it's safe.

Purple Loosestrife

Some plants may look nice and flower very prettily, but they may prove quite invasive to the garden or even the yard when left unchecked. According to MSN Real Estate, common plants to avoid include, but are not limited to, Purple Loosestrife, also known as the Marsh Monster to many home gardeners. While beautiful, the plant may run amok, and it is known to rob neighboring plants of nutrients and water. Seeds are spread by wind, water and insects, and they propagate through the least smidgen of root.

English Ivy

Avoid English ivy, a miniature, needle-nose-pointed version of larger ivy species, unless you have a planter area that is secure and separated from other garden areas. The runners of English ivy grow very fast and soon climb walls, trellises and ground space if not pruned and cut back on a regular basis. English ivy is also known to creep tendrils through brick, mortar and masonry, so use caution when planting any form of ivy around your home.

Japanese Honeysuckle

Japanese honeysuckle is a beautiful plant that sprouts vivid, dark green leaves and yellow flowers, but just one plant can quickly grow tendrils over 50 feet long, according to MSN Real Estate, making it a high-maintenance plant that must be kept trimmed and pruned to prevent it from taking over any yard area.


If you own a dog, avoid planting daffodils of any type, as well as most types of bulbs such as Crocus and Amaryllis, Gladiolas and Iris varieties, among others. Check with your local gardener before planting bulbs, no matter what breed or size dog that you own.


Ferns of many species may prove harmful to your four-legged pets, including Emerald, Lace and Asparagus ferns. Ingestion of ferns often causes diarrhea or vomiting in dogs, and it may also cause tender bellies and decreased appetite.

Toxic Plants to Children

Children love to put things in their mouths, but some plants and plant parts can be especially toxic to small children, including, but not limited to, Wolfsbane, aloe vera, avocado leaves, English ivy, hydrangeas, bulbs and Oleander, just to name a few.

Keywords: toxic plants, plants to avoid, garden plants to avoid

About this Author

Denise Wang is an experienced freelance writer and editor. She has written professionally for six years, and is a published fiction author. She regularly provides content for health-related and elder-care care websites. She is currently completing coursework for a degree in Health Information Management from Penn Foster College.