Plants that are Poisonous to Turtles and Lizards
Of course we can't list every plant that could have a bad
effect on the health of your turtles or lizards. But, we will tell
you about some of them that people more commonly plant in
and around their homes. More thorough lists are available in
several places on the Internet, as well as in books. The
list below is simply to help you check what is already
planted or to wisely choose the plants you add to your home.
Some Human Food Plants that may be Dangerous to Reptiles:
Edible But Quantities Should Be Limited:
* Brassicas - vegetables in the Brassica family, such as
broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, bok
choy etc. can cause metabolic problems if they comprise too
much of the diet. Since most of these are high in good
vitamins and minerals, don't avoid them; feeding only a few
times a month should be fine.
* Carrots, parsley, beets and beet greens, spinach, chards,
bananas, beets, romaine lettuce, celery stalks, grapes, if
eaten as the bulk of the diet, can cause damage such as
blocked calcium absorption or thyroid problems. If eaten a
few times a month as part of a varied diet, they are fine.
Seriously Dangerous to your Turtles, Tortoises, and Lizards:
* Onions and Garlic Family - Can cause digestive upset in
small quantities and serious illness if eaten in bulk.
* Avocado - can cause cardiac failure and death.
* Rhubarb - Even small amount causes the formation of
calcium oxalate crystals which damage or destroy the
* Potato - green potatoes, raw sprouts and foliage are
fatally toxic to animals and humans.
Some House/Yard Plants that are Toxic in even small
quantities to Turtles and Lizards:
* All plant bulbs - most are poisonous, be safe rather than
sorry and keep them away.
* All fruit seeds - most contain small amounts of cyanide.
* Anemone - all parts can damage the gastrointestinal tract.
* Bird of Paradise - seeds and leaves damage
* Bluebonnets - leaves are toxic.
* Boxwood and Yew - (common for hedges) - leaves cause
nervous system and gastrointestinal damage.
* Cacti - besides possible physical damage, some cacti are
* Castor Bean - contains a toxic protein that can do major
damage or even kill animals and humans.
* Chrysanthemum - all varieties and parts can be toxic.
* Crocus - all parts are toxic.
* Elephant Ears - plant and fruit are toxic.
* Four O'clocks - the whole plant is poisonous.
* Hyacinth - Water Hyacinth is edible, but the garden plant
is entirely toxic.
* Hydrangea - all parts are toxic.
* Ivies - all parts are very toxic.
* Kalanchoe - this flowering succulent can cause heart
* Lilies - nearly all are toxic.
* Lobelia - all parts of all types are dangerous.
* Marijuana (Cannabis sativa) - leaves, flower bracts are
* Milkweed - leaves and stems contain toxic resins.
* Mistletoe - berries cause liver failure in animals and
* Morning Glories - all parts are poisonous.
* Mushrooms - many wild mushrooms contain toxins that
destroy the liver, and are lethal.
* Oleanders - entire plant is poisonous to animals and
* Poinsettia - leaves and flowers can be toxic.
* Redwood - bark chips are toxic to aquatic animals.
* Rhododendrons and Azaleas - leaves and nectar can cause
* Sago Palm - all are parts poisonous, especially the seeds.
Please note, however, that this is not an exhaustive list of
all plants known to be toxic, but simply a list of the most
common to us. Also be aware that not that much research has
been done on reptiles and plant poisons so we advise that
you not feed your reptiles anything that you don't already
know is safe for them. Additionally, don't plant anything in
their enclosures (or around your home if you let them out of
their enclosures) without at least considering whether it is
safe for your pets and your family.