Crape Myrtle: Toxic Threat or Harmless Beauty?

Before you add a new plant to your home, it’s wise to learn about the toxicity to humans and pets. In this guide, we’re going to cover whether or not crape myrtle is poisonous or toxic.

Is Crape Myrtle Poisonous to Humans and Animals?

Is Crape Myrtle Poisonous to Humans?

Pink myrtle flowers in bloom

Before you plant a crape myrtle at home, you probably want to know if it’s poisonous to humans. This is especially true if you have kids.

Crape myrtle is not poisonous to humans and is considered a non-toxic plant. If your child happens to ingest part of the plant, they will probably be okay.

Is Crape Myrtle Poisonous to Animals?

White myrtle flowers in bloom

Fortunately, crape myrtle plants are also non-toxic to cats, dogs, and horses! That means they are a safe addition to your yard, even if you have curious critters. 

All parts of the plant are considered non-toxic to animals. This includes the bark, leaves, flowers, and berries.

That said, it’s always a good idea to keep your animals from eating your crape myrtle plants. The fiber in the plants may cause digestive upset, and your plant can become disfigured if your pets often munch on it.

One way to keep pets away from the plants is to build a small fence around your plants. You can also plant a dense hedgerow around the crape myrtle to keep larger animals out.

Are Other Types of Myrtle Poisonous to Humans and Animals?

A close shot of a white myrtle flower in bloom with long white and yellow stamens

Now that we’ve covered the toxicity of crape myrtle, let’s look at other types of myrtle plants.

Is Common Myrtle (Myrtus communis) Toxic?

Common myrtle, sometimes simply known as myrtle, is a flowering large shrub/small tree. It produces fragrant white flowers and dark blue berries.

All parts of common myrtle are edible and non-toxic to humans. People use multiple parts of the plant to flavor dishes.

The berries are often astringent and tangy when eaten raw but can become delicious once cooked. Therefore, they are used to make products such as jams and syrups.

It’s up in the air whether or not common myrtle is poisonous to animals. Some sources report that the plant is safe for animals to ingest, while other sources state that it contains some toxic compounds.

Is Creeping Myrtle (Vinca minor) Toxic?

Creeping myrtle, also known as vinca and periwinkle, is a sprawling evergreen vine. The plant produces light purple or periwinkle flowers during the warmer months.

According to the ASPCA, Vinca minor is toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. The plants contain vinca alkaloids, which can cause symptoms including depression, vomiting, diarrhea, and low blood pressure.

While some species in the vinca genus are highly toxic, creeping myrtle rarely produces mild toxic effects when consumed.

In fact, the plant has been used to treat various illnesses and conditions in humans. That said, you should always take supplements of this plant under a professional’s guidance.


Crap Myrtle Toxicity FAQs:

What Should I Do If My Pet Ate a Poisonous Plant?

If you see your dog or cat nibbling on a toxic plant, keep a close eye on them. Call your veterinarian for advice and/or assistance if your pet develops concerning symptoms.

Is Crape Myrtle Safe for Animals?

Yes, crape myrtle is safe to plant around animals. It is non-toxic to cats, dogs, and horses.

Is Crape Myrtle Safe for Kids?

Crape myrtle is non-toxic to humans, so it is a safe option for kids. With that said, you should discourage your kids from eating unfamiliar plants.

Is Crap Myrtle Poisonous: Wrapping Up

Since crape myrtle is non-toxic to humans and animals, it is a safe option to plant. However, you should be aware that creeping myrtle is toxic to pets.

Contributing Editor | briana@petalrepublic.com | Full Bio

Briana holds a B.S. in Plant Sciences from Penn State University. She manages a small market garden where she grows vegetables and herbs. She also enjoys growing flowers and houseplants at home.

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