Are Spider Lilies Poisonous? To Touch For Dogs, Cats, Humans

Gardeners and flower enthusiasts often admire the striking beauty of spider lilies, particularly the vibrant red petals that resemble spider-like blooms. In this article, we will delve into the captivating world of spider lilies, examining their allure, identifying characteristics, and the precautions to take when dealing with their potential toxicity.

Are Spider Lilies Poisonous?

Yes, the red spider lily is indeed toxic. These captivating flowers contain alkaloids, notably lycorine, which can lead to various health issues when ingested. It is essential to understand the potential dangers associated with spider lilies, especially if you have curious pets or children around.

Identifying Spider Lilies: Spider lilies, scientifically known as Lycoris, are a variety of Amaryllis flowers. These distinctive blossoms feature long, slender petals and stamens that resemble spider legs. They typically bloom in late summer or early autumn, originating from perennial bulbs. Spider lilies come in a spectrum of colors, including red, orange, pink, white, and yellow, and they emerge on leafless stalks.

Cultivating Spider Lilies: If you wish to cultivate spider lilies, it’s crucial to provide them with the right conditions. These plants thrive in well-drained soil, whether it’s acidic, neutral, or alkaline. They prefer full sun to light shade, whether planted outdoors or in pots. When planting spider lily bulbs, bury them in the soil during autumn, ensuring they are 3-6 inches deep and spaced 6-12 inches apart. Overwatering should be avoided to prevent bulb rot.

Maintenance and Care: Spider lilies are generally low-maintenance plants, but they can benefit from a balanced fertilizer application in the spring to promote robust growth. Once the flowers have bloomed, trim the stems down to ground level, while leaving the leaves intact. This allows the plant to store nutrients for the next growth season.

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The Toxicity of Spider Lilies: The red spider lily is very toxic, with the bulbs containing the alkaloid poison, lycorine. Ingesting any part of the plant, especially the bulbs, can result in severe symptoms such as stomach discomfort, increased salivation, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that spider lilies are out of reach for both children and pets.

Handling Spider Lilies: Aside from ingestion, it’s essential to exercise caution when handling spider lilies. Touching the stems or petals can cause skin discomfort or a rash due to the sap they release. Ensure that you handle these ornamental plants carefully to avoid skin irritation.

Symbolism : Despite their potential hazards, spider lilies remain attractive ornamentals that are resistant to deer and rodents, making them excellent choices for landscaping. In many cultures, spider lilies symbolize themes of death and rebirth. In conclusion, while spider lilies are undoubtedly captivating and intriguing, they should be admired with care and respect for their inherent toxicity.

Are Spider Lilies Poisonous

Specification Description
Plant Spider Lilies (Lycoris species)
Toxicity Poisonous to humans and animals
Toxic Parts All parts of the plant, including leaves, stems, flowers, and bulbs, contain toxic alkaloids
Symptoms Ingestion can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dizziness, and in severe cases, convulsions or coma
Skin Irritation Contact with the sap or juices of the plant can cause skin irritation or rash
Treatment If ingested, seek immediate medical attention, induce vomiting if directed by a healthcare provider; if skin contact occurs, wash with soap and water
Prevention Keep plants out of reach of children and pets, wear gloves and protective clothing when handling
Environment Native to Asia, but widely cultivated in temperate regions as ornamental plants
Appearance Tall, leafless stems produce clusters of showy, spider-like flowers in shades of red, pink, or white
Bloom Time Late summer or early fall
Other Names Also known as Surprise Lilies or Naked Ladies due to their leafless stems


How to Identify Spider Lilies

Knowing how to identify spider lilies is simple. Spider-like flowers have long, narrow petals that curve backward and upward. Flowers can be yellow, white, orange, or deep red.

Spider lilies grow from onions-like bulbs. Spider lilies have papery bulbs that may be peeled. Fall planting produces late summer or early autumn blooms.

Dangers of Spider Lilies

If eaten, spider lilies may induce a variety of symptoms but are seldom deadly. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach discomfort, and seizures may occur. Spider lily poisoning may kill. Due of these risks, these flowers should not be handled by youngsters or dogs.

Symptoms of Spider Lily Poisoning

Symptoms of Spider Lily Poisoning

Spider lilies may poison people and pets, so know the signs. The age, health, and quantity of lycorine consumed will determine the severity of the symptoms. Spider lily poisoning symptoms:

  1. Vomiting
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Abdominal cramps
  4. Convulsions
  5. Fast heartbeat
  6. Low BP
  7. Breathing issues
  8. Confused or disoriented

Spider lily poisoning may cause unconsciousness or death.

Treating Spider Lily Poisoning

Spider lily poisoning should be treated quickly. Call your local poison control center or go to the ER for people. Contact your vet immediately for pets.

Spider lily poisoning treatment depends on severity. Inducing vomiting or administering activated charcoal may eliminate poisons. Hospitalization and assistance may be needed in extreme situations.

Are spider lilies poisonous to dogs?

Wagwalking proves spider flowers poison dogs. The plant may induce vomiting, diarrhea, heart rate decline, cardiac or arrhythmia in dogs. If your dog has eaten spider lilies, get veterinarian care immediately. These symptoms may be fatal.

Lycorine, the spider lily toxin, harms people and animals, including cats and dogs, according to Pet Poison Helpline. The page promotes keeping pets away from spider lilies and other harmful plants.

Rover warns that even non-toxic flowers may make dogs sick. Red spider lilies are poisonous to most animals, including dogs, according to Plantgardener. A vet will treat a dog who eats lily parts for poisoning.

Lilies, particularly spider lilies, harm dogs, according to Pure Pet Food. Even “non-toxic” lilies may make dogs sick, so keep them away.

The Humane Society of Ventura County lists Fiddle Leaf Fig and Spider Plant as other poisonous houseplants for dogs and cats.

Red spider lily poison symptoms

Red spider flower intake may cause vomiting and diarrhea, according to Home Digest. The whole plant contains lycorine, a poisonous alkaloid that may induce convulsions, stiff tongue, weak pulse, and death, according to PictureThis.

North Carolina State University reports minimal toxicity from red spider lily bulb intake, including stomach discomfort, salivation, shivering, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The institution advises against letting children or dogs near the plant. According to WagWalking, dogs who eat the plant may have stomach discomfort, collapse, diarrhea, a reduction in blood pressure, excessive drooling, and electrolyte imbalance.

Are spider lilies poisonous to cats

According to FDA, spider lilies are poisonous to cats and if they eat leaf or petal, lick pollen off their hair, or drink vase water may die within three days. Spider lilies may induce vomiting, diarrhea, heart rate decline, cardiac or arrhythmia in dogs, according to the Pet Poison Helpline. Spider flowers may harm pets.

Red spider lily poisons humans and animals. Lycorine is poisonous. A tiny quantity of this plant may produce salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, stiff tongue, convulsions, chilly hands and feet, weak pulse, and shock. SF Gate reports that the plants contain lycorine, a poison.

Easter Flowers are also poisonous to cats. These plants may cause kidney damage and death with little exposure. The Humane Society of Ventura County recommends keeping cats away from Easter Flowers.

Are spider lilies poisonous to touch

Spider lilies (Lycoris radiata) may cause skin irritation or a rash if touched, however eating is the main cause of poisoning. If consumed, spider lily stems, leaves, petals, and bulbs may induce vomiting, diarrhea, stomach discomfort, convulsions, and death. Spider lilies, like daffodils and snowdrops, contain lycorine, a toxic chemical.

Touching a spider lily plant may cause skin irritation, but it is unlikely to poison you. But, if you touch a spider lily plant and get a rash or skin irritation, wash the area with soap and water and avoid the plant.

Are spider lilies poisonous to humans

Spider lilies are poisonous to humans and All Lycoris species, including spider lilies, contain lycorine, an alkaloid toxin that may kill people and animals. Spider lilies are hazardous, so keep them away from youngsters and dogs, particularly those that like to chew.

The North Carolina State University website states that eating the bulb of the Red Spider Lily, Lycoris radiata, is low-toxic. Consuming the bulb might cause stomach discomfort, salivation, shivering, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Lycoris bulbs contain alkaloid toxin lycorine.

Spider lilies are poisonous if eaten or touched. Gardeninggroot says that handling spider lilies might produce a rash, while Savvy Tokyo warns that ingesting the bulbs is dangerous. If consumed, the plant’s poisonous particles may make you sick.

Are spider lilies poisonous to deer

Poisonous red spider lilies may deter deer. The plant contains lycorine, a poison. The bulbs are low-toxic, but homeowners should be mindful of the plant’s hazardous potential, especially if young children or dogs are around.

The red spider lily is deer-resistant, yet famished deer may eat it. Yet, they prefer alternative food sources and are more likely to ignore it.

While beautiful, the red spider lily is toxic. To protect children and dogs, homeowners should wear gloves and keep the plant out of reach.

Can Pets Get Poisoned by Spider Lilies?

If pets eat spider lilies, they may be poisoned. Dogs, cats, and other small animals are more prone to devour garden plants. Pet spider lily poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, trouble breathing, and convulsions.

Call your vet if you think your pet ate spider flowers. Therapy may include vomiting, activated charcoal, or hospitalization and supportive care.

Precautions to Take When Handling Spider Lilies

Handle spider lilies carefully to prevent poisoning. Remember these tips:

  • Avoid skin contact while handling spider lilies.
  • Handling spider lilies requires thorough handwashing.
  • Keep spider lilies away from kids and dogs.
  • Plant spider lilies in a pet-proof garden if you have pets.
  • If you have youngsters, grow spider lilies in a raised bed or container.

If you think someone has eaten spider flowers, call 911.

Cultural and Mythical Spider Lilies

Spider flowers have long symbolized East Asian culture. Spider lilies are called “flower of the opposite shore” in Japan. They are generally planted around cemeteries or other places connected with death and the hereafter.

Janghwa and Hongryeon, two sisters slain by their stepmother, are connected with spider lilies, or haebaragi, in Korea. After death, the sisters became spider flowers.

Spider Lilies in Culture and Mythology

Spider flowers have long symbolized East Asian culture. Spider lilies are called “flower of the opposite shore” in Japan. They are generally planted around cemeteries or other places connected with death and the hereafter.

Janghwa and Hongryeon, two sisters slain by their stepmother, are connected with spider lilies, or haebaragi, in Korea. After death, the sisters became spider flowers.

Can You Grow Spider Lilies Indoors?

Spider lilies may be cultivated in pots inside. Indoor spider lilies require bright, indirect light and well-draining soil. They need frequent watering but should dry out between waterings. Spider lilies may grow tall, so support or stake them to keep them from tumbling over.

Handling Red Spider Lilies

Red spider lilies are poisonous. So, handling these plants requires safety measures:

Safety precautions when handling red spider lilies

  • Avoid contact with red spider lilies’ sap and other parts by using gloves and protective clothes.
  • Cleanse hands after touching red spider lilies to prevent consuming poisons.
  • To avoid accidental consumption, keep red spider lilies away from children and dogs.

Proper disposal of red spider lily parts

  • Composting red spider lily pieces spreads poisons to other plants.
  • Red spider lily parts should be sealed in a plastic bag and thrown away.

Protection from red spider lily toxicity

  • To minimize misunderstanding with non-toxic plants, red spider lilies must be identified before handling.
  • Put red spider lilies away from children and pets to avoid accidental eating.
  • In case of ingestion, know the signs of red spider lily poisoning so you can seek medical assistance quickly.

Spider lilies care and maintenance

Here are some tips for growing and caring for spider lilies:


Plant spider lilies late summer or early autumn. Put the bulbs 6–12 inches apart with 1/4 inch of each bulb tip (the pointed end) above the soil. Select a well-drained spot with bright, indirect sunshine or moderate shade.


Water the bulbs softly and often until development begins. Maintain appropriate soil moisture throughout the growth season. As summer leaves wither, stop watering and let the soil dry. Spider lilies become dormant in summer and need less water. Remove wilted, yellowed leaves from the plant.


Spring fertilization with a slow-release fertilizer is sufficient for spider lilies. Throughout the growth season, add liquid fertilizer every 2-3 weeks.


To maintain spider lilies, remove wasted blossoms and fading foliage. Avoid damaging the bulb or stem during trimming.


Spider lilies may need to be dug out and preserved inside during cold winters. When the leaves have faded back, dig out the bulbs and discard the dirt. Keep the bulbs cold and dry until spring.

Spider lilies facts

Here are some facts and information about spider lilies:

  • Roman actress and Marc Anthony mistress Lycoris named the species.
  • Hurricane season is when spider lilies bloom, thus their name.
  • Spider lilies have 12–18-inch spikes with crimson, spidery blossoms. Pre-foliage blossoms.
  • Amaryllidaceae (amaryllis) spider lilies bloom late summer.
  • Spider lilies are red, orange, pink, white, and yellow.
  • Spider lilies thrive along roads, rice fields, and residences in Japan. They’re planted for aesthetics.
  • Some cultures equate spider lilies with death, farewell, and sadness.
  • Spider lilies are easy-to-grow and low-maintenance. They are pest-free and deer-resistant.
  • Spider lilies like well-drained sandy, loamy, or slightly acidic soil. They’re sun or shade tolerant.
  • With appropriate care, spider lilies may bloom many times a year.
  • Spider lilies may grow inside or outdoors.
  • Spider lilies may poison people and pets if swallowed, so handle and grow them carefully.


I hope you get the answer on “Are Spider Lilies Poisonous?” and as you know the Spider lilies are lovely yet poisonous blooms. They protect gardens and crops from pests, but ingesting them may be harmful. Spider lilies should be kept away from children and pets and washed thoroughly after contact. Get medical help if you or your pets have spider lily poisoning.

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Amelia Clark

I'm Amelia Clark , a seasoned florist and gardening specialist with more than 15 years of practical expertise. Following the completion of my formal education, I dedicated myself to a flourishing career in floristry, acquiring extensive understanding of diverse flower species and their ideal cultivation requirements. Additionally, I possess exceptional skills as a writer and public speaker, having successfully published numerous works and delivered engaging presentations at various local garden clubs and conferences. Check our Social media Profiles: Facebook Page, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube, Instagram Tumblr

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