10 Plants You Should Never Grow Indoors

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Simon Goodfellow
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Suyash is a Master Gardener and the Editorial and Strategy Director at BalconyGardenWeb.com. With a focus on houseplant care, he combines over a decade of hands-on horticultural experience with editorial expertise to guide and educate plant enthusiasts.
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Some plants can be harmful if grown indoors, especially if you have kids or prefer easy-to-care-for plants. Oleander and Castor Bean have toxins, while Crown of Thorns can irritate skin. Exotic ones like Pitcher Plants and Azaleas need special care, and the Venus Flytrap is tricky to grow indoors. Avocado Trees and Sago Palms need specific conditions, and Devil's Backbone can cause stomach upset. Learn about these! Choose safer options!

Here is the list of 10 Plants You Should Never Grow Indoors! Why? Because some of them are high-maintenance or extremely toxic.

Growing plants at home can be a rewarding experience, but not all plants are suitable for indoors, especially if you have kids, curious pets at home, or if you are a fussy gardener.

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Plants You Should Never Grow Indoors

1. Oleander

Oleander is a beautiful potted plant 1

Botanical Name: Nerium oleander

Oleander is a beautiful but highly toxic flowering shrub. Its presence indoors or probably on a balcony or patio can pose a significant health risk, especially if you’re a parent, as all its parts contain cardiac glycosides.

2. Castor Bean Plant

Castor Bean Plant in Entrance 2

Botanical Name: Ricinus communis

The castor bean plant has very attractive foliage, but it contains ricin, a deadly toxin. You should definitely avoid growing it around your house, and if you see it growing, remove it. It is said that 4 to 8 castor beans if ingested, can make a lethal dose for an adult.

3. Crown of Thorns

Beautiful pink Crown of Thorns Flowewr 3

Botanical Name: Euphorbia milii

This succulent has one of the most long-lasting flowers, but it produces toxic latex sap, which can cause skin irritation and can even make you blind if it goes into the eyes. It’s a must NO if you have children at home; if not, the best position to grow is on a sunny windowsill.

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4. Pitcher Plants

Hanging Pitcher Plants plant indoor 4

Botanical Name: Nepenthes

Avoid growing it because this carnivorous beauty needs very high humidity and consistent prudent watering, making it a challenge for new plant parents or dry-air homes.

5. Azalea

Beautiful Azalea flower plant on Table 5

Botanical Name: Rhododendron

These beautiful flowering shrubs need cool temperatures and bright, filtered sunlight, conditions rarely found in most homes. This makes them high-maintenance houseplants and not only that, they are toxic.

6. Venus Flytrap

Venus Flytrap plant 6

Botanical Name: Dionaea muscipula

This quirky carnivorous plant might seem like a fun conversation starter, but its specialized needs for sunlight, humidity, and insect prey make it difficult to thrive indoors, especially if you’re new to gardening.

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7. Avocado Trees

 Avocado Trees in Full Sun 7

Botanical Name: Persea americana

While growing your own Avocado might be tempting, they require very specific conditions and can take years to bear fruit. Plus, they’re prone to pests and diseases indoors, unless you’re growing it for a foliage show; avoid this.

8. Sago Palm

Sago Palm plant 8

Botanical Name: Cycas revoluta

This prehistoric-looking palm’s seeds contain cycasin, a toxin that can damage the liver. Also, the pointed ends of the foliage can pose a problem to running pets and kids.

9. Dieffenbachia

Dieffenbachia Indoors plant on wooden stand 9

Botanical Name: Dieffenbachia

This houseplant is a favorite of many, but it truly lives up to its nickname. The sap can cause intense oral irritation – our suggestion is to avoid it if you have pets and kids. Otherwise, it is one of the easiest houseplants to grow!

Here’s the list of the deadliest plants from around the world

10. Devil’s Backbone

Devil's Backbone Potted plant 10

Botanical Name: Euphorbia tithymaloides

The Devil’s backbone is an extremely low-maintenance plant of the Euphorbia genus. It can tolerate drought and low light like a true champion, but it’s highly toxic like other plants of this family. So, if you have a cute puppy that loves nibbling plant leaves, avoid keeping it at home.

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