Are Hydrangeas Poisonous? Know Before You Plant If You And Your Animals Are Safe

pink and blue hydrangeas

An important thing to consider when planting anything in your garden is if they are poisonous! This is an important question whether you have pets that like to snack on plants, or if there are young children around.

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The short answer is to the question are hydrangeas poisonous is YES, when consumed. It’s normally digestive problems that occur when hydrangeas are ingested accidentally. Accidental consumption of hydrangeas does not normally lead to death, but can cause severe problems in excessive quantities.

Poison Hotline Phone Number: 1-800-222-1222

Related: Do deer eat hydrangeas? Types of Hydrangeas, Little Lime Hydrangeas

What Makes Hydrangeas Poisonous?

mophehad hydrangea
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All parts of the hydrangea plant are poisonous, including the stem, flowers, leaves, and bark.

The chemical that is poisonous in the hydrangea is the amygdalin (which is also commonly found in the pits of pitted fruits like plums).

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plum and plum pit and knife
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Amygdalin is not poisonous on it’s own, but only upon going through the digestive tract does it get metabolized and turns into cyanide. This is what causes the poisoning when consumed.

So while you can handle hydrangeas without gloves and be unaffected, make sure to wash your hands (or just be safe and wear gloves while working with hydrangeas and wash your hands after anyways).

Cyanide is a dangerous chemical that in large quantities can cause seizures, comas, and cardiac arrest. These are usually the most severe cases and would require a lot of hydrangea to be eaten to cause these.

Hydrangeas are still poisonous even if they have been dried, so avoid adding these plants to any herbal remedies, teas, or spice mixes!!!!

Are Hydrangeas Poisonous to Humans?

Yes, hydrangeas are poisonous to humans. Likely if some is consumed there will be some digestive problems such as stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and breathing problems. In more severe cases it can lead to hospitalization.

Are Hydrangeas Poisonous to Pets?

dog in front of hydrangea
Image by Katrin B. from Pixabay

Hydrangeas are also poisonous to your pets! The symptoms are about the same as they are for humans. Cats are a bigger worry than dogs purely because many cats love to chew on leaves or other plant parts.

If you think your animal has been eating hydrangeas, call your vet or a local on-call vet!

Should You Still Grow Hydrangeas?

pink hydrangeas
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Hydrangeas are beautiful plants that add so much color and vibrancy to your garden, so it’s hard to resist adding them in. Making the decision to grow hydrangeas really depends!

I would recommend keeping it away from areas where your pets or young children can get to them easily, because they are the ones most likely to eat parts of this flower. If you don’t have to worry about any, plant as many hydrangeas as you’d like!

And don’t forget to wash your hands after handling your hydrangeas!

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Looking for information specific to Colorado? Check out Naturalist Perspective!

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