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While talking with Joyce at Koi USA when I was the water garden writer about what folks would like to read about, the topic came up about poisonous plants. Hmm, I thought. Great idea! So I set about making phone calls, sent tons of emails, talked to a lot of folks at North Carolina State University in the agriculture department. Every one came up blank with plants that could be poisonous to pond fish. No study, at least that I could find, has ever been done.

So here is what I did. I compiled a list of all poisonous plants. My thinking is that if you have a pond, small children and pets, fish, dogs or cats, then you need to be aware of plants that are fatal/toxic/poisonous in, near, around your pond or landscaped yard.

I am very interested in this topic personally, so what I would like you to do is if you have first hand knowledge, that by eating a plant that your fish died, email me. I will be keeping a list of plants on hand and some time in the future I will update this list.

Here is a classic example of what I am talking about. Tomato plants are listed as the leaves being poisonous. I kept a tomato plant in my pond, last year as an experiment. My fish kept the leaves chewed off and we enjoyed the tomatoes that grew in the pond. I have to believe tomato plant leaves are not poisonous to fish while they are poisonous to humans. I have also kept some of the water plants that are listed as being poisonous in my pond over the years. Cardinal flower, Taro, and Calla in my pond are just a few that are on the list of being poisonous. While I have not seen my fish eat the roots of these plants, the roots are readily available for them to eat should they so desire. I have not found them to be harmful to my fish.

So here is the list. If you do not see a particular plant on this list, the omission DOES NOT necessarily indicate the plant is not poisonous. 


confirmed reports of death means I have confirmed reports that pond fish died

Allamanda – all parts
Aloe - leaves
Alocasia - leaves and stems
Allspice- leaves, seeds
Amaryllis - bulbs
Anemone – all parts
Anthurium all parts
Apricot - leaves
Azalea – all parts
Baneberry - berries, roots
Bird of Paradise - seeds
Black Locust Bark - sprouts, foliage
Black walnut all parts  confirmed reports of death
Boxwood - leaves, stems
Buttercup - sap, leaves
Cactus
Calla Lily - leaves
California tern roots seeds
Cardinal flower – all parts but I have not found that to be true
Carolina jasmine – all parts
Caladium – whole plant
Cherry - bark, twigs, leaves, pits
Chenille plant
Choke cherry – all parts I do have reason to believe that this plant MAY be toxic to fish from correspondence with ponder who lost a lot of fish that ate the cherries that dropped in her pond. Use caution when placing a pond under this tree.
Colocasia - all parts I have several different varieties in my pond and my koi do chew the roots.  I have not had a problem
Coral Plant - seeds
Croton - seeds
Daffodil - bulbs
Datura - all parts
Day lily – very poisonous to cats
Delphinium – all parts
Death Camas - all parts
Dumbcane (dieffenbachia) – all parts
Digitalis – all parts
Easter lily - very poisonous to cats
Elephant's - ear all parts
Eggplant - all but fruit
Elephants Ear - leaves, stem
English Ivy – all parts  confirmed reports of death
Foxglove – all parts
Gloriosa lily – all parts
Hemlock - all parts
Holly - berries
Honeysuckle  I have  a reported case of fish deaths after eating the flowers and leaves.  Once the leaves and flowers were removed from the pond, and the water changed out, the fish stopped dying.
Hyacinth - bulbs
Jack-in-the-pulpit – all parts
Japanese laurel – all parts
Indian Turnip - all parts
Iris – leaves, roots, rhizomes
Jasmine - berries
Java Bean - uncooked bean
Lantana – all parts
Larkspur – all parts
Laurel - all parts
Lily of the valley- all parts toxic to cats
Lobelia - leaves
Locust - bark,leaves, seeds
Locoweed - all parts
Lupine – all parts
Marijuana - all parts
Mayapple - all parts
Mimosa – all parts
Mistletoe - berries
Mock Orange - fruit
Morning Glory - all parts
Mustard – roots and seeds
Narcissus – bulbs
Nightshade
Oak - acorns, foliage
Oleander – all parts
Peach- leaves
Philodendron – all parts
Pine - sap
Poinsettia - leaves, flowers
Potato - eyes, new roots
Privet - berries, leaves
Prunus varieties - seeds, some parts
Ranunculus - all parts
Redwood - sap (from decks also)
Rhododendron – all parts
Rhubarb - leaves
Snapdragon - all parts
Snowdrop - all parts
Taro – all parts
Tiger Lily - all parts, especially to cats
Tomato - leaves
Trumpet vine – all parts
Tulip - bulbs

 
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