Poisonous Plants Around Ponds

When you create a water garden around a pond, you will of course use plants that do well under home conditions. The selection of plant life is even more critical if you have fish in your pond. A pond is a small ecosystem and plants are a valuable part of this environment. Plants provide an important source of food for aquatic creatures; however, some plants are toxic to fish because they contain poisonous chemicals. If these toxic substances fall into the water, they can poison the fish.
Do you know which plants are poisonous to Koi and Goldfish? To provide just a few examples, water plants, such as Cardinal flower, Yew, Oleanders, Taro, Aloe leaves, and Yellow Star Thistle, may be toxic to fish. There are many more, so do your homework before choosing plants to surround your pond. The plants you choose to surround your pond should harmonize with the environment, and help balance the ecosystem; they should not add toxins to the water.


Trees can also be hazardous to fish, especially deciduous trees, so skip the deciduous trees near a Goldfish aquarium or a Koi pond. Depending on which direction they are located in relation to a pond; deciduous trees may be able to shed their leaves, berries and pollen into a pond from far away. Stay away from messy trees. Anytime a tree casts off leafage into a pond, there is a risk that the ecological system may be overloaded. Tress that can be hazardous around fish ponds, include the Rhodendron, Oleander, Yew, Poplar, Maple, and Oak.

Points to Remember

When you create a water garden around a pond, the plants you choose should balance the ecosystem and harmonize with the environment; they should not add toxins to the water. Never position poisonous pond plants next to your pond. If you think that you may have accidentally planted any type of poisonous growth, get rid of it immediately, and watch your fish keenly for a few days.

Bushes and TreesToxic parts
Daphne mezereumberries
Laburnum anagyoridespods and seeds
Privetberries and leaves
Prunus (peaches, apricots, plums, cherries)pits
Rhododendronall parts
Taxus (yew)seeds, needles, branches
Viburnum opulus (snowball bush)berries
VinesToxic parts
Aristolochia durior (Dutchman’s Pipe)all parts
Wisteria sinensis, W. floribundaleaves and berries
Toxic parts
Aconitum (Monkshood)all parts
Arum maculatum (Wake Robin) A. italicumberries
Brugmansia/Datura stramonia (Angel’s Trumpet)all parts
Colchicum autumnale (Autumn Crocus)all parts
Convollaria majalis (Lily of the Valley)all parts (including water the flowers have been kept in)
Daffodil, Narcissus, Jonquilall parts
Delphinium (Larkspur)all parts
Digitalis purpurea (Foxglove)foliage and seeds
Euphorbia (Snow on the Mountain)sap
Hedera helix (English Ivy)berries
Helleborus Niger (Christmas Rose)all parts
Lantana camaraunripe fruit
Polygonatum (Solomon’s Seal)same as Lily of the Valley
Rincinus communis (Castor Bean Plant)seeds
The NightshadesPoison: solamine
Atropa belladonna (Belladonna)berries
Lycopersicon lycopersicum (tomato)green fruit (if eaten in quantity)
Solanum dulcamara (Bittersweet)unripe berries
Solanum nigrum (deadly nightshade)berries
Solanum tuberosum (potato)all parts but tubers; tubers if green