Are Camellias Poisonous?

If you own or are considering adding a camellia to your garden, you may be wondering if the plant is poisonous or even potentially fatal to humans or animals? There are several species of camellia – Camellia japonica, sinensis, and sasanqua – and the good news is that none of them are toxic if touched or ingested. 

In fact, they are edible and C. sinensis is the main plant used worldwide to make caffeinated green or black tea. Of course, as with any plant you consume, you want to ensure it is not treated with any pesticide or even chemical non-edible fertilizers.


Are Camellia Poisonous to Children?

All parts of the three major camellia species grown in gardens are safe if eaten by children. So you can sit back and enjoy your freshly brewed camellia tea knowing there is no danger for your kids getting into plants that could harm them.


Are Camellia Poisonous to Dogs?

No, camellias are not poisonous to dogs if consumed. All parts of the plants of the three major species grown are non-toxic.

Are Camellia Poisonous to Cats?

Camellias are non-toxic to cats whether they eat the flower, roots, or stems.

Are Camellia Poisonous to Other Animals?

If you keep livestock or live near wild animals, you don’t need to worry about browsing – camellias – whether C. japonica, sasanqua, or sinensis – are safe if eaten. Birds really love camellias as well!


Symptoms of Camellia Poisoning

Camellias are non-toxic, but if you suspect poisoning from any source, always check with your doctor or veterinarian.

Pet Poison Helpline

Although camellias are non-toxic, if a pet is showing signs of sudden illness and you suspect that they are suffering from any type of poisoning, there is a poison control hotline to call for 24/7 vet advice. Call (855) 764-7661.

Click here for a complete list of Pet Safe Plants.


"Common Camellia." American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

"Camellia japonica - L." Plants for a Future.

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Author Erica Browne Grivas - Published 11-16-2021