Is Cleyera Poisonous?

Gardeners who share their outdoor space with pets and children understand the importance of growing non-toxic plants in the landscape. Cleyera is a very safe type of broadleaf evergreen shrub with no poisonous parts. The colorful foliage, fragrant flowers, and fire engine red berries are all safe to display in heavy traffic areas of the yard. Individuals that are sensitive to plant pollen may have a mild hay fever reaction during the blooming period in late spring and early summer. 


Is Cleyera Poisonous to Children?

Cleyera is very safe to grow near children's play areas. Cleyera does not exude any toxic sap when pruned, and the berries are completely safe if ingested by curious little ones. Unlike other evergreens such as photinia and azaleas, which may produce a mild toxic reaction, Ternstroemia gymnanthera will only cause mild intestinal upset if a large amount of the leaves are ingested. 

Is Cleyera Poisonous to Dogs?

Dogs of all ages and sizes are not affected by the occasional nibble of Cleyera foliage or flowers. Slight intestinal upset or mouth irritation is more likely from trying to eat the tough, glossy leaves. Dogs may occasionally chew on grass as a way to help them to settle their stomachs. If your dog seems to always be chewing on plants in your garden, it could be a sign that your dog has the condition, pica. This condition compels dogs to eat or chew on plants or objects that are either non-nutritious or harmful. 

Is Cleyera Poisonous to Cats?

Cats are known to chew and eat houseplants. Often, this is a way to help them digest (or dispel) hairballs. Other cats chew on plants purely out of boredom or as a reflexive habit with no known reason. The good news about Cleyera shrubs is that no part is considered toxic to felines. Even the bright red berries are safe enough for your cat to taste with no negative reaction.

Is Cleyera Poisonous to Other Animals?

Using Cleyera as hedging in areas near livestock is safe and a great way to give structure and divide areas of the landscape. Goats browsing on Cleyera will not be bothered any more than if they were devouring brambles and other weedy shrubs. Unlike goats, deer are not attracted to Cleyera and will avoid these shrubs.


Symptoms Of Cleyera Poisoning

Always check with your doctor or veterinarian for guidance if you suspect that a child or pet has eaten a large amount of Cleyera.

Here are some common symptoms to look out for:

  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Sores or pain in or around the mouth

Preventing Cleyera Poisoning

Cleyera is an ornamental, easy-to-grow, and safe broadleaf evergreen shrub to grow in the home garden. There is no need to use physical barriers or fencing to keep people and animals away. 

Pet Poison Helpline

If something were to happen to your furry friend, and you suspect that they are suffering from Cleyera 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.

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 Author Robbin Small - Published 4-26-2023