Live to Plant

Is Cup Plant Safe for My Pets?

Updated: October 26, 2022

If you are a pet owner and a plant enthusiast, you must be aware of the potential dangers that some plants pose to your furry friends. One such plant is the cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum). Cup plant is a native North American plant that is popular for its ornamental value and medicinal properties. However, if you have pets, it’s natural to wonder if cup plant is safe for them. In this article, we will explore the safety of cup plant for your pets.

What is Cup Plant?

Cup plant is a tall, herbaceous perennial that can grow up to 8 feet tall. It has large, opposite leaves that are fused at their base, forming a cup-like structure that holds water. The plant produces yellow, daisy-like flowers that bloom in mid to late summer. Cup plant is drought-tolerant and prefers full sun to partial shade.

Cup plant has been used traditionally by Native Americans for its medicinal properties. It has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties and has been used to treat various ailments such as rheumatism, fever, and dysentery.

Is Cup Plant Toxic to Pets?

Cup plant is not considered toxic to pets. According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), cup plant is non-toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. This means that if your pet ingests cup plant accidentally or chews on its leaves, it is unlikely to cause any harm.

However, it’s important to note that even non-toxic plants can cause gastrointestinal upset in pets if ingested in large quantities. If your pet ingests a large amount of cup plant, they may experience vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Therefore, it’s best to keep an eye on your pets when they are around cup plants and prevent them from ingesting the plant in large quantities.

How to Care for Cup Plant

Cup plant is a low-maintenance plant that is easy to care for. It prefers well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. It’s drought-tolerant, but it’s best to water it regularly during dry spells. Cup plant can be propagated through seeds or by dividing the root ball in spring or fall.


In conclusion, cup plant is a safe plant to have around your pets. It’s non-toxic and has many medicinal properties. However, as with any plant, it’s important to prevent your pets from ingesting it in large quantities. If you have any concerns about your pet’s health after ingesting cup plant, contact your veterinarian immediately.


1. Can cup plant be toxic to other animals?

While cup plant is non-toxic to dogs, cats, and horses, it’s important to note that other animals may have different reactions to the plant. If you have other animals such as rabbits or birds, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian before exposing them to cup plant.

2. Can my pet use cup plant medicinally?

It’s not recommended to use cup plant medicinally for your pets without consulting with your veterinarian first. While cup plant has many medicinal properties for humans, the dosage and efficacy may differ for pets.

3. Are there any other plants I should be aware of that are toxic to pets?

Yes, there are many plants that are toxic to pets such as lilies, azaleas, and daffodils. It’s important to research the plants in your home and garden and avoid exposing your pets to any toxic plants. If you suspect that your pet has ingested a toxic plant, contact your veterinarian immediately.