If you are like most people, working in your garden is relaxing. But what if it could also be dangerous? As it turns out, there are actually quite a few plants that could potentially be hazardous for your health. They may be growing right in your own backyard. It is even possible that you planted them there yourself, in pursuit of a beautiful backyard landscaping project.

Most Common Hazardous Plants

Poison Ivy is one of the most widely found plants, yet one of the most hazardous. Nearly every gardener has at least heard of it.  It generally causes an itchy rash that may or may not require medical attention, depending on the level of exposure and your tolerance to the plant. It is best to avoid this poison ivy whenever possible any time you are working on your landscape maintenance.

The American pokeweed is also a very common plant found nearly nationwide. Unfortunately, the dark purple/blackberries that grow on this plant are poisonous, especially for small children. Ingesting them can make you very ill.

Tulips, daffodils, hydrangea, wisteria, and rhododendron are all plants that are commonly found in gardens and backyards because they produce beautiful and colorful flowers. However, each of these plants can be very dangerous if they are ingested by people or animals. This may not be enough of a reason to want to get rid of all of them. If you have no concern of a person or animal ingesting something from your landscaping, then it would not matter if these are present.

These plants are all quite beautiful and are often used in lawn and garden maintenance or design, to create areas of bright colors. Other examples of hazardous plants include:

  • Oleander
  • Rosary Pea
  • White Snakeroot
  • Deadly Nightshade
  • Water Hemlock
  • Rhubarb
  • Foxglove
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Yew
  • Philodendron
  • Devil’s Helmet
  • Angel’s Trumpet

If you have small children or pets that play and spend time in your yard, it is very important to ensure that you do not have these plants in an easily accessible area. For many of these hazardous plants, a significant amount of the plant has to be ingested for it to pose any kind of problem. In the case of rhubarb, for example, a person would need to eat around twelve pounds of the leaves in order for it to really make them sick.

Some of the other plants are extremely toxic and can make a person ill even in very small amounts. Deadly nightshade is, of course, one example, but so is the lily of the valley and foxglove plants.

Some of these plants do not even have to be ingested in order to make a person very ill. Deadly nightshade can cause skin irritation by simply touching it. The devil’s helmet plant is beautiful, but it has been known to be deadly from just touching it.

What Should You Do To Protect Your Family and Pets

Pictures of all of these plants can be found online. It would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with their appearance. This will allow you to identify any of these potentially dangerous plants that may be in your backyard or garden. Then you can decide if you want them removed or if you are comfortable with their location.

In some cases, the plant may not pose any kind of threat, particularly if everyone that comes into your yard knows not to eat anything that they may find. For example, with tulips, the bulb is the most hazardous part of the plant, so as long as no one will be digging up your tulip bulbs and eating them, everyone will be perfectly safe.

If you decide that you would be more comfortable removing a hazardous plant, landscaping companies are best suited to help you with a safe removal, particularly when it comes to some of the more deadly varieties of plants.

This is especially true with those plants that can be dangerous or deadly simply from coming into contact with your skin; a professional will be much better suited to handle the removal, as they will be aware of the potential hazards of the plant and have the necessary equipment to safely remove and dispose of it. Sometimes simply pulling it and putting it in a trash bag or composting it can be just as dangerous as leaving it in your yard.