Are Spider Plants Poisonous? Debunking Common Myths

If you’re a plant enthusiast or an indoor gardener, chances are you’ve heard of the Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum). Known for their easy maintenance, air-purifying properties, and seemingly never-ending vines, spider plants have become a popular choice for those looking to add greenery to their homes. However, some rumors regarding the toxicity of spider plants have raised concerns among pet owners and parents. Today, we’re clearing up some myths and answering common questions about the safety of spider plants.

The Myth of Spider Plants Being Poisonous

One of the most common fears associated with spider plants is their supposed toxicity. According to this rumor, spider plants are dangerous to pets and humans and can cause symptoms ranging from mild irritation to death. However, this widespread belief couldn’t be further from the truth.

Several studies, including one conducted by NASA, have found that spider plants are non-toxic and safe for consumption by humans and pets alike. While it’s true that some plants can be harmful if ingested, spider plants are not one of them. The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has classified spider plants as non-toxic to dogs and cats, which means that they won’t cause any significant harm if eaten or chewed on.

What Makes Spider Plants Safe?

So, what makes spider plants safe for consumption? The answer lies in their chemical composition. Unlike some plants that contain poisons like oxalates, alkaloids, or glycosides, spider plants do not produce any dangerous compounds.

In fact, spider plants have been found to have some beneficial properties when ingested. Studies have shown that spider plants can improve indoor air quality by removing pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide. They have also been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments such as digestive disorders and inflammation.

Spider Plants and Pets

Another common concern among pet owners is whether spider plants are harmful to their furry friends. While we’ve established that spider plants are non-toxic to dogs and cats, there are still a few things you should keep in mind if you have pets at home.

Choking Hazard

Spider plants have long, thin leaves that can be tempting for cats to play with or chew on. However, if ingested in large quantities, these leaves can become a choking hazard and may cause your pet to vomit or have trouble breathing. To prevent this, make sure to keep your spider plant out of reach of pets and supervise them when they’re near the plant.

Inducing Vomiting

If your pet does happen to ingest some spider plant leaves, don’t panic. As we mentioned earlier, spider plants are not toxic, and eating a small amount of leaves is unlikely to cause any harm. However, if your pet shows signs of discomfort or begins vomiting, it’s best to contact your veterinarian for advice. In some cases, they may recommend inducing vomiting to prevent any further complications.

Growing Spider Plants Safely

Now that we’ve debunked the myth that spider plants are poisonous, let’s talk about how to grow them safely. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Choose Safe Soil

When potting your spider plant, make sure to use soil that is safe for pets. Some soil additives can be toxic if ingested, so it’s best to avoid them when planting. You can also consider using organic soil to reduce the risk of chemical exposure.

Avoid Chemical Fertilizers

Chemical fertilizers can also be harmful if ingested, so it’s best to avoid them when growing spider plants. Instead, opt for organic fertilizers or natural alternatives like compost or worm casting.

Clean Leaves Regularly

Dust and debris can accumulate on spider plant leaves, which can be harmful if your pet ingests them. To prevent this, make sure to clean your plant’s leaves regularly with a damp cloth or sponge.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to debunk myths about plant toxicity, especially when they can lead to unnecessary fear or cause people to avoid growing certain plants. Spider plants are a safe and beneficial addition to any home or office, and they offer numerous health benefits for both our pets and ourselves. As with any plant or pet, it’s crucial to be aware of potential hazards and take proper precautions.

Common Questions About Spider Plant Toxicity

  • Are spider plants toxic to cats and dogs?
  • Are spider plants poisonous to humans?
  • Can you eat spider plants?
  • Can spider plants be harmful to pets?
  • Do spider plants purify the air?
  • How do I know if my pet has ingested spider plant leaves?
  • What should I do if my pet eats spider plant leaves?
  • How do I clean spider plant leaves?
  • What kind of soil should I use for my spider plant?
  • Can I use chemical fertilizers on my spider plant?


  • NASA Clean Air Study
  • ASPCA Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants List
  • Effects of Chlorophytum comosum on air quality and human reaction, J. Wolverton et al., Acta Horticulturae, August 2001
  • Chlorophytum comosum (Thunb.) Jacques: A Nutritious Indoor Potted Vegetable option with Anti-Diabetic Potential, J.O. Eromosele et al., BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, September 3, 2013

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