Is Heather Poisonous?

Heather is a vibrant flowering shrub suitable for growing in USDA zones 4 through 8, depending on the variety. This easy-care perennial is evergreen; after the flowers fade, the foliage typically turns a gorgeous hue. Heather is not poisonous to children or dogs, but consideration should be taken if including Heather in a yard that cats can access. Learn more about the uses of Heather and how to enjoy this plant while keeping your kids and pets safe.

Is Heather Poisonous to Children?

Heather bushes are safe to have around children. No part of the plant is toxic or harmful if ingested or touched. The flowers and leaves can be used in teas or for medicinal purposes, but always consult an informed source before consuming any part of your Heather plant.

Is Heather Poisonous to Dogs?

Rest easy if you have dogs and Heather bushes in your yard. Heathers are non-toxic to dogs and puppies. Eating too much of anything can cause illness, so always monitor pets around plants. 


Is Heather Poisonous to Cats?

Heather plants are toxic to cats. Your feline friend can become ill if eating any part of a Heather plant. Cats that eat Heather bushes may have digestive and neurological issues.


Is Heather Poisonous to Other Animals?

Heather bushes are toxic to most animals. Use caution if you include Heather plants in your yard and have pets or other animals. Heather is not toxic to ruminants and can be an important food source for sheep and deer in the winter.


Symptoms Of Heather Poisoning

Keeping your children and pets safe is a top priority and understanding the signs of Heather poisoning is important. Always check with your doctor or veterinarian for guidance if you suspect Heather poisoning. 

Here are some common symptoms to look out for:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Pain in the abdominal region
  • Neurological issues

Preventing Heather Poisoning

The most effective way to prevent Heather poisoning is not to grow this bush if you have cats or other animals. Using fences or planting Heather in areas not accessible to certain animals is a way to enjoy this shrub while keeping your pets safe. 

Pet Poison Helpline

If something were to happen to your furry friend, and you suspect that they are suffering from Heather 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: "Calluna vulgaris." Plants for a Future.

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Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 08-16-2022