Are Hibiscus Plants Poisonous to Dogs?

If you have a yard and love dogs, you might not know that some of your favorite plants could be poisonous to your pets. Numerous types of hibiscus plants grow back every year and add beauty to gardens. You may even have one of these kinds in your own yard.

In case the plant grows somewhere your dog can get to it or the flowers fall to the ground where your dog can eat them, you might be putting your dog in danger. Even though hibiscus is not poisonous to dogs, they will usually get sick if they eat these plants. Many types of hibiscus plants are safe to have around dogs, but some types can be poisonous if they are eaten by our dogs and cause tummy problems and other problems.

What is a Hibiscus Plant?

Are Hibiscus Plants Poisonous to Dogs

There are several hundred species of hibiscus . There are many types of hibiscus, but the most popular one is Hibiscus syriacus, which is also called Rose of Sharon. Also, there is a plant called St. John’s Wort that is not connected. This plant is also known as Rose of Sharon sometimes.

The common yard hibiscus is a bush that has big flowers that look like trumpets. Most of the time they are pink, but sometimes they are white or purple. Most hibiscus plants bloom at the end of summer. They may get as big as 12 feet at some point.

How Safe Is Hibiscus For Dogs?

Ibis plants come in more than 200 different kinds, but only a few are known to be slightly harmful for dogs to eat. Many dogs, especially young dogs that are still learning to walk, will sometimes try to eat things they find in your yard or at home, including some plants.

The ASPCA says that the popular Hibiscus syriacus (Rose of Sharon) plant is safe for dogs to eat, and there are no cases of dogs dying after eating it. Online, though, there are different opinions about how dangerous it is for dogs.

It’s possible for dogs to have stomach problems like sickness and diarrhea if they eat a lot of hibiscus. The roots of the hibiscus plant might be harmful to dogs, even if the plant itself is safe. This may be because there are more dangerous chemicals, such as saponins, in the roots of these plants.

No matter what part of the plant you think your dog ate, you should take them to the vet if you think they ate a lot of it. If the type of hibiscus is known to be harmful to dogs, you should take your dog to the vet even if they don’t seem sick.

Symptoms Of Hibiscus Poisoning In Dogs

is Hibiscus Plants Poisonous to Dogs

Because hibiscus plants come in a lot of different species and have a lot of different properties, the symptoms can be mild or serious. Moreover, if your dog gets hibiscus root in any way, the results are almost always very bad. People have said the following symptoms:

  • Burning of mouth or throat (scratching at mouth and face)
  • Eye pain and damage to cornea (if eye contact occurs)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Coughing and gagging
  • Swelling and blistering in the mouth or tongue (can affect swallowing)
  • Inability to eat or drink


There are more than 650 different kinds of hibiscus plants, all in different shapes, colors, and sizes. They are all in the Malvaceae family. You might see these hibiscus trees a lot:

  • Hibiscus syriacus
  • Marshmallow
  • Rose mallow
  • China’s Rose
  • Rose of Sharon
  • St. Joseph’s rod
  • Syrian ketmia

Causes Of Hibiscus Poisoning In Dogs

There are many things in the hibiscus plant, like the leaves, flowers, and roots.


Other unknown chemicals.

Treatment of Hibiscus Poisoning in Dogs

Hibiscus poisoning is generally treated the same way as other plant poisonings. As a general rule, care includes throwing up, detoxing with fluids, and watching the person.


Your vet will give your dog ipecac or a peroxide solution to make it vomit to speed up the evacuation. Activated charcoal may then be taken by mouth to get rid of any leftover toxins.


During detoxification, intravenous (IV) fluids are used to completely clean the kidneys. This also keeps you from getting dehydrated from diarrhea and vomiting.


In the event that your pet has any cuts or blisters, the vet will use a skin ointment or lotion and give you some to use three times a day. Your vet will give your dog a cortisone shot and may send you home with some spray to use as needed if the blisters are on the inside of its mouth and throat.


Your vet will tell you if your dog needs to stay so they can watch it or if you can watch it from home. Most of the time, it depends on how well the treatment is working for your dog.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Hibiscus Toxic For Dogs?

Most types of hibiscus are safe for dogs to eat, but the Rose of Sharon hibiscus is poisonous but not deadly. What your dog might be going through is worse if he ate hibiscus roots than if he ate other parts of the plant. Thank goodness, serious poisoning is very rare, and most dogs that eat Rose of Sharon will only have a mild stomach upset.

What If My Dog Ate Hibiscus?

It is best to talk to your vet about what to do if hibiscus flowers or any other part of the plant were eaten. Keep a close eye on him and take him to the vet if he starts to vomit, have diarrhea, have stomach pain, or have sores in his mouth.

Why Do Dogs Eat Hibiscus?

Some dogs are naturally more curious than others, which makes them more likely to try different plants. People think that dogs like hibiscus flowers because they taste good to them.


Most hibiscus plants that grow in home gardens aren’t harmful to dogs, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, so keep them out of reach or grow plants that are known to be safe for pets instead. Hibiscus plants have chemicals in their leaves and roots that are irritating to dogs. If your dog eats a lot of hibiscus, they are likely to have stomach problems like vomiting and sickness.

Sometimes, you may need to take a dog to the vet if their symptoms get worse or if they are having an allergic reaction to the plant.