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10 Non-Toxic Plants for Parrots (with Pictures)

Last Updated on January 28, 2024 by Carrie Stephens

Plants are vibrant and colorful, providing parrots with an enriching living environment. Live plants can be a food source, hiding place, and improve air quality.

African violets, aloe vera, baby tears, bamboo, callistemon, ferns, hibiscus, money plants, petunias, and velvet plants are parrot-safe. These plants can be kept in a cage or nearby.

Many plants are toxic, so never expose parrots to amaryllis, daffodils, lilies, philodendron, or shamrocks. Holiday-themed plants like holly, ivy, mistletoe, and poinsettias are also dangerous.

Best Plants for Parrots

Wild parrots hail from tropical and subtropical territories, so they’ll be familiar with lush, forest-like environments. Plants and flowers can help them replicate these surroundings at home.

Adding plants for parrots to eat, observe, and interact with requires research. Not all plants are safe because some can cause severe illness or death if ingested or inhaled.

If you’d like to add more color to a cage, the flora below is safe:

African Violets

African Violets

These small, hardy plants are ideal for cages of all sizes.

They won’t take up much space, are safe to eat, and look beautiful. It’s easy to get African violets to thrive indoors.

Best of all, African violets don’t like to be placed in front of a window – they need access to indirect light.

This makes a parrot’s cage in the corner of a room the ideal location for this beautiful flower.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera plants are straightforward to care for and will take up minimal cage space.

They look great, make the air in a parrot’s room more breathable, and are a healthy plant to eat.

Of course, aloe vera is famed for its medicinal properties. Vet Times explains how aloe treats skin conditions, contains antioxidants, and promotes digestive health.

Baby Tears

Baby Tears

This Irish plant has various names, with baby tears being the most common. It’s also known as ‘peace in the home,’ the ‘Corsican creeper,’ ‘Paddy’s wig,’ and ‘mind-your-own-business.’

Baby tears grow in a small pot and are ideal for leaving at the bottom of the cage. They appear like a mossy carpet.

A parrot can sit in the plant, pecking and grazing.

Baby tears are easy to maintain indoors, and as they grow over time, they may hang from the bottom of the cage. This creates a striking aesthetic and a safe plant to eat.

Bamboo

Bamboo plant

Bamboo plants are among the most versatile. Because bamboo can grow tall, it’s best kept beside the cage.

It’s hard-wearing, so it’ll withstand the attention of a parrot’s beak. A bamboo plant will help a bird feel at home by providing a lush, jungle-like feel.

Bamboo leaves and the wood in the plant provide nutrition.

Callistemon (Bottle Brush)

Callistemon

This is a non-toxic shrub native to Australia.

It’s best grown outside in rich soil and watered regularly, translated inside to a cage once fully cultivated.

Callistemon may not survive too long after you relocate it to a cage. The contrasting colors of deep greens and reds make it a beautiful addition that a parrot will enjoy.

Take cuttings in the spring to enjoy the maximum impact.

Fern

Fern

Ferns, especially the Boston fern, are perfect cage decorations.

A parrot won’t suffer ill effects if it chooses to eat the leaves of these hardy plants. Many parrots will have fun hiding within the lush leaves of a fern.

Some ferns are easier than others to care for, especially indoors.

Hibiscus

Hibiscus

Hibiscus flowers grow in many subtropical territories.

Introducing continental flair to a cage, hibiscus is best grown outdoors and moved inside in a container.

The primary appeal of hibiscus is its beautiful appearance. The flower also has health benefits for humans and parrots.

The African Journal of Food Science explains how hibiscus boasts antioxidant properties.

If bringing a hibiscus into a cage, the only variety to avoid is the Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus). When consumed in large quantities, this can cause stomach upsets.

Jade Plants (Money Plants)

Jade Plants

A money plant is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a safe, low-maintenance plant for a parrot to eat.

Money plants are succulents, so they’re bird-safe. This plant is also hardy – it can flourish without much light or water.

Jade plants are relatively self-contained and can be kept in slightly smaller cages than other plants and flowers.

While you should always leave space in a bird’s habitat, this plant will not be considered intrusive.

Petunias

Petunias

Petunias are annual plants that grow all year round.

Petunias are a staple of hanging baskets. While they’re most commonly associated with outdoor spaces, they can be grown inside with care and attention.

Petunias aren’t toxic to animals, which is fortunate, as a parrot will likely be attracted to the bright, soft petals. As long as the parrot doesn’t consume petunias to excess, it won’t experience any ill effects.

Petunias are best enjoyed from a distance because they need direct sunlight. If you grow petunias, leave them by a window in the parrot’s eyeline.

When curious, a parrot can admire petunias from the cage and interact with them during exercise.

Purple Passion (Velvet Plant)

Purple Passion

The purple passion, named for its distinctive color, is among the most common houseplants.

This plant flourishes indoors in temperatures similar to what a parrot needs and is non-toxic, making it a good cage addition.

Purple passion plants can grow quite large.

If you keep one in the cage, you may need to prune them occasionally. A bird will likely handle this by pecking and nibbling at the leaves.

As the purple passion can become quite sprawling, parrots will enjoy hiding within its leaves.

Plants Toxic To Parrots

Here are the plants that must be kept away from parrots:

  • Amaryllis. These beautiful indoor flowers look striking, but ingestion causes salivation, stomach problems, and anorexia.
  • Daffodils. Although bright and cheerful, daffodils cause vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures.
  • Holly, ivy, poinsettias, and mistletoe. They are festive favorites that cause gastric distress to parrots, and ingestion of holly berries can be fatal.
  • Lilies. All lilies, including the ever-popular peace lily, will irritate the mouth of parrots, leading to drooling and vomiting.
  • Philodendron. Consuming the leaves can be fatal.
  • Shamrock. There’s nothing lucky about shamrocks for parrots, who will develop muscle problems.

Veterinary Clinics of North America: Exotic Animal Practice warns that exposure to toxic plants, inhaled or ingested, can be dangerous for birds.

Plants are an excellent addition to a cage because they remind parrots of their natural environment.