Safe Plants and Toxic Plants for Pet Birds List
By Eleanor McCaffrey
Copyright©, No photos or any portion of this text may be, copied,
printed or reproduced for redistribution without owner's written permission.

 Dr. Jeanne Smith, in the University of California Exotic Bird Report, January.2001, states that "there has only been limited research done on safe and toxic plants for pet birds". Research on safe and poisonous plants for pet birds has been conducted primarily at Washington State University and from isolated  case reports. What has been tested in humans, has not been tested in birds and there are many unknown factors with plant toxicity. Are only certain parts of the plant poisonous?  How much of a plant did a bird ingest?  Is the plant toxic to just one species of pet birds or is it toxic to all species of pet birds? When keeping house plants and birds  use caution with plants that are not on any a safe or toxic plant list. Always keep birds away from the soil which can contain mold spores and bacteria. (Safe trees to use as safe wood for bird perches and bird toys, safe garden herbs for pet birds and safe seeds from garden plants for pet birds are listed below the 2 charts)

Safe Plants    
Abelia Calendula Hibiscus Petunias
African Daisy Camellia Impatiens Pittosporum
African Violet Coleus Kangaroo Vine Prayer Plant
Aloe Vera Coriander (cilantro) Kalanchoe Purple Passion
Anise Corn Plant Lace Fern  Rose
Asparagus Fern Creeping Fig Lady Palm Rosemary
Baby's Breath Crab Apple Lemon Balm Sensitive Plant
Baby's Tears Dahlia Lilac Spearmint
Bachelor's Buttons Dandelion Magnolia Spider Plant
Bee Balm Dill Maiden Hair Fern Spruce
Bamboo Dogwood Marjoram Snake Plant
Basil Dracaena Marigolds String of Beads
Begonia Dragon Tree Milk Thistle Sunflowers (seeds)
Birds Nest Fern Easter Cactus  Mother Fern Swedish Ivy
Boston Fern Eucalyptus  Monkey Plant Thyme
Bottle Brush Fern Fennel Nasturtium Thistle
Bougainvillea Fir Trees Oregano Wandering Jew
Canary Island Palm Flame Nettle Pansy Wax Plant
Chickweed Gardenia Paradise Palm White Cover
Chicory Gloxinia Parlor Palm  Zebra Plant
Chamomile Grape Ivy Parsley ******
Christmas Cactus Helianthus  Passion Flower ******
Cilantro Hens & Chickens ****** ******

Coffee Tree should not be confused with Coffee Plant.
Coffee Plants are toxic


Toxic Plants
Amaryllis Dieffenbachia Marsh Marigold Pothos
Andromeda Elderberry May Apple Privet Hedge
Avocado Elephant Ear Milkweed Prune Trees
Azalea Eucalyptus-dried Mistletoe Purple Seabane
Baneberry Euonymus Mock Orange Ranunculus
Bean Plant Felt Plant Monkshood Red Maple
Belladonna Ficus Morning Glory Rhubarb (Leaves)
Bird of Paradise Firethorn Mountain Laurel Rhododendron
Black Locust Flame Tree Mushrooms Rubber Plant
Bleeding Heart Four O' Clocks Narcissus Salvia
Boxwood Foxglove Nectarine Trees Sandbox Tree
Flowers from Bulbs Heliotrope Nettle Schefflera
Buttercup Holly Nightshade Shamrocks
Braken Fern Honeysuckle Nutmeg Skunk Cabbage
Caladium  Hyacinth Oak Tree Snowdrop
Calla Lily Hydrangea Oleander Sorrel
Clover Iris Peach Tree Spurge
Coffee Plants Ivy Peony Star of Bethlehem
Cherry Tree Jasmine Periwinkle Sweet Pea
Chestnut Tree Jerusalem Cherry Philodendron Tobacco
Clematis Jimsonweed Pigweed Tomato (Plants)
Comfrey Juniper  ********** Trumpet Vines
Coral Plant Lilies  (Lillium) Plum Tree Tulips
Cowslip Lily of the Valley Poinsettia Umbrella Plant
Crocus Lovelia Poison Ivy, Oak & Sumac Vetch
Crownvetch Lupine Pokeweed White Cedar
Daffodil Peace Lily Spathiphyllum Poppy Wisteria
Daphne Marijuana Potato (Plants) Yews
 Delphinium ***** ***** *****
Safe Trees and Safe Wood for Bird Perches and Toys
Choose wood that has NOT been treated with pesticides or other chemicals. Choose wood that is clean, free from visible mold, fungus, disease or rot spots. Safe trees for bird perches and bird toys include Almond, Apple, Arbutus, Ash, Aspen, Bamboo, Beech, Birch, Cottonwood, Crabapple, Dogwood, Elm, Fir, Hazelnut, Palms, Pear, Pecan, Pine, Poplar, Hawthorne, Larch, Lilac,  Magnolia, Manzanita, Mimosa, Mulberry, Redwood, Willow.  To destroy  mold, fungus, parasites and bacteria before using wood, soak all branches in a few gallons of water, with 1 tablespoon of bleach, for 1 hour. Rinse branches well with clean water. To dry small branches, bake in a 250 degree Fahrenheit oven for 1 hour. Dry large branches outdoors in direct sunlight.

Toxic Trees and Poisonous Wood for Bird Perches and Toys: Cedar, Holly, Horse Chestnut, Oak, Red Maple, Sassafras, and Walnut. Trees from the Prunus species include Apricot, peach, prune and nectarine and these are also also toxic. Trees from the Prunus species can release cyanide if ingested by a bird. For more Safe and Toxic Trees, Click Here  

Safe Garden Herbs for Pet Birds : Basil, Chamomile, Chicory, Cilantro (another name for Coriander and Chinese Parsley), Dandelion, Dill,  Ginger Root, Fennel, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme.

Safe Seeds from Garden Plants: Canary Grass, Canola, Caraway, Echinacea, Flax, Hemp, Millet (white proso and red) Nyjer, Pumpkin, Rape, Safflower, Sunflower, Thistle, Hemp, and Sesame.


Special thanks to all who shared photographs of their birds with us!

Sources: Feeding Your Pet Bird, Dr. Petra Burgmann, DVM; Caring for Your Pet Bird, Gary Gallerstein, DVM, The Cockatiel Handbook, Matthew M. Vriends,PHD, Cockatiels for Dummies, Diane Grindol, Cornell University, Department of Animal Science Toxic Plant Database; Merck Veterinary Manual; University of California, Exotic Bird Report; University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Science; Purdue University Cooperative Extension,

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