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How to Stop Pets From Eating Hosta Plants

By Melynda Sorrels ; Updated September 21, 2017
Hosta plants aren't safe for cats and dogs.

The intended purpose of introducing a hosta plant into your home was not to serve as an all-you-can-eat salad bar for your furry family members. In addition to not wanting your new plant to be destroyed, hosta plants are toxic to cats and dogs so it’s imperative to keep your plant and your pets separated for both of them to thrive. If you opt to have a hosta plant within your home with your pets, you will need to take precautions to protect them both.

Keep your hosta plant in a room that your pets do not have access to such as a closed-off bathroom or simply put your hosta plant high up where your pets can’t reach.

Coat the leaves with hot sauce or white vinegar by brushing it on lightly with a paper towel. There are also commercial products such as bitter apple that have the same effect. One taste of this unpleasantly seasoned plant and your pets will be more inclined to stay away.

Protect outdoor hosta plants by setting up motion-activated sprinklers such as the ScareCrow to keep animals away.

Grow cat grass or catnip to give your cats something to chew on instead of the hosta.

Reinforce your demands to stay away from the plant with a quick squirt of water from a spray bottle when your pets get too close. Cats especially hate to be surprised, and after awhile they will begin to associate the water bottle with the plant and it will become less appealing.


Things You Will Need

  • Hot sauce
  • White vinegar
  • Motion-activated sprinkler
  • Catnip
  • Water bottle


  • As long as a toxic plant is in or around your home with your pets, there is always a chance that they may still get to it. A safer alternative would be to opt for nontoxic plants as long as you have pets.


  • If your pets begin to display symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting or depression, take them to your vet at once as this could be an indication of poisoning from eating the plant.

About the Author


Melynda Sorrels spent 10 years in the military working in different capacities of the medical field, including dental assisting, health services administration, decontamination and urgent medical care. Awarded the National Guardsman’s Medal for Lifesaving efforts in 2002, Sorrels was also a nominee for a Red Cross Award and a certified EMT-B for four years.