Is Croton Poisonous?

Croton is in the Euphorbia family of plants. All Euphorbia plants have varying levels of diterpenes in their leaves and sap, which is released when they are pruned or damaged. The diterpenes are very bitter tasting to both humans and animals, signaling that eating this plant could be dangerous. Croton is mildly toxic and rarely causes more than temporary symptoms. All parts of Croton can cause skin irritation or mouth and intestinal upset if ingested. Medical attention may not be required, although calling local poison or nurse advice lines will be helpful in treating any contact at home. 


Is Croton Poisonous to Children?

Children are much more likely to put a fallen leaf or other plant part in their mouths than an adult. Skin irritation from the white sap will present as a red rash and may be painful. The sap can also stain the delicate skin of a child. Rinsing the area with warm, clear water will help to flush toxins.  

Is Croton Poisonous to Dogs?

Dogs can be affected by the diterpenes in Croton either by ingesting moderate amounts or coming into contact with the sap. The dog may have a rash on their mouth or tongue as well as show signs of intestinal upset, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive drooling.

Is Croton Poisonous to Cats?

Although Croton is poisonous to cats, they typically don’t show much interest in it. Cats can be affected by the milky sap of a damaged or freshly pruned stem and show signs of skin irritation in and around the mouth and lips. Cats that are suffering from Croton poisoning may be moodier than usual, have excess drooling, or appear to be overly tired. 

Is Croton Poisonous to Other Animals?

Croton should be kept out of the reach of any small pet who may be interested in grazing on the plant. Rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, etc. can suffer skin irritation and intestinal upset from nibbling on the leaves. 

Symptoms Of Croton Poisoning

If you suspect that a child or pet has ingested Croton leaves, contact your local poison control hotline or family doctor for further advice and a course of at-home treatment. The following are possible symptoms of Croton poisoning in both humans and animals. 

  • Rash on skin or inside mouth
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive drooling
  • Mood changes
  • Tiredness 
  • Restlessness

Preventing Croton Poisoning

Keep Croton out of the reach of pets and children when growing it as a houseplant. Do not use Croton plants for decoration in a child’s room. Use gloves when handling the plant. Always dispose of pruned stems and leaves immediately to keep them away from pets and children. 

Pet Poison Helpline

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

Croton 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.

Sources: "Crotons." University of Florida / IFAS.

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Author Robbin Small - Published 11-14-2023