Are Sweet Potato Vine Poisonous?

The leaves, stems, and tubers of sweet potato vine are not toxic. The tubers are edible, but ornamental varieties were bred to produce lovely foliage, not a delicious crop. If you want to eat the tubers, it’s better to plant a variety specifically meant for food production. The seeds are toxic because they contain a hallucinogenic compound similar to LSD. This chemical has neurological effects on adults, children, cats, dogs, and other mammals.


Are Sweet Potato Vines Poisonous to Children?

Ornamental sweet potato vines rarely produce flowers in most annual growing climates. The seeds are toxic to children. Symptoms of poisoning include visual and tactile hallucinations. Additional symptoms may include a flushed face, dilated pupils, diarrhea, vomiting, numb hands or feet, and sleepiness.

Are Sweet Potato Vines Poisonous to Dogs?

Sweet potato vine plants are safe for dogs and puppies to eat as long as they don’t ingest any seeds. The seeds can be toxic if enough are eaten. Eating seed may cause hallucinations, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, or mouth dryness. Sweet potato vines are tropical plants. They do not have a long enough growing season in most parts of the US to produce seeds.

Are Sweet Potato Vines Poisonous to Cats?

The seeds of sweet potato vine are poisonous to cats and kittens. If consumed in a large quantity, the leaves may cause diarrhea. Call your veterinarian if you suspect your cat has eaten any sweet potato vine seeds. Symptoms include hallucinations, dilated pupils, and numb paws.

Are Sweet Potato Vines Poisonous to Other Animals?

The leaves, vines, and roots or tubers of sweet potato vine are not poisonous to horses, pigs, goats, chickens, and other farm animals. If you garden in a zone warmer than 11, your plant may produce seeds. Remove the flowers to prevent this from happening. While most of the plant is safe to eat, the seeds are toxic. 

Symptoms of Sweet Potato Vine Poisoning

Always check with your doctor or veterinarian for guidance if you suspect sweet potato vine poisoning. Here are some common symptoms to look out for:

  • Hallucinations
  • Dilated pupils
  • Difficulty with swallowing
  • Mouth irritation
  • Diarrhea
  • Numbness of the hands, feet, or paws
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness

To prevent anything bad from happening in the first place, you can use physical barriers such as decorative fencing to prevent children or animals from getting too close for a taste. Dogs and cats can sometimes suffer from a nutrient deficiency if they continually gnaw on certain things so it might be time for a thorough check up from your vet to check on your pets health. There are also animal deterrent products on the market that can help prevent animals from chewing on plants.

Pet Poison Helpline

If something were to happen to your furry friend, and you suspect that they are suffering from (insert plant) poisoning, there is a poison control hotline to call for 24/7 vet advice. It is called the Pet Poison Hotline, and their phone number is (855) 764-7661.

Click here for a complete list of Pet Safe Plants.


"Ipomoea batatas." The North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox.

"Sweet Potato Vine." American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

 Maureen Farmer Profile Pic

 Author Maureen Farmer - Published 12-16-2021