Succulents are ideal houseplants for toddlers, such as this hens-and-chickens plant because succulents are generally nontoxic and safe to touch.

Which Succulent Plants Are Safe for a Toddler?

by Eliza Martinez

Toddlers are notorious for tasting things they've never seen before -- and for things they have. You know, however, that even though your local poison control center keeps a record of calls, you don't want your child sampling too many houseplants. Plants in the house are beneficial for many reasons, but it's important to choose the right ones to keep your toddler safe. Succulents are good choices because many are nontoxic -- and they don't require much care.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a common succulent and it's fairly easy to grow and care for. They also hold up well to toddler hands, which are bound to pull and pinch them. It grows well indoors and outdoors, and unlike some succulents, it doesn't contain large spikes, although larger leaves might have small ones. Use a sharp knife to shave them off or you'll probably have a yowling toddler on your hands. While you should never let your toddler near the stove or oven, aloe vera is a natural treatment for burns, should he slip past you in the kitchen.

Christmas Cactus

Your tike probably doesn't want cactus as a Christmas gift unless it's delivered with a toy, but a Christmas cactus is actually a succulent that offers a bright bloom at Christmas, and it's not likely to stab tiny hands or make toddlers sick, should they taste it. The flower blooms during only the holiday season, making it a fun and safe way to decorate your toddler's room. It also has a ridged texture, which is perfect for curious fingers and is easy to care for -- which gives your toddler, and you -- a fighting chance of keeping it alive until Christmas comes and goes.


Jade plants come in a variety of shapes and sizes -- most of which are without spines or thorns. The leaves are squishy and fun for toddlers to play with and they won't hurt her if she decides to chomp down on a few. Planting a variety of jade plants in a small pot creates a texture garden that differs from the same old boring texture toys she plays with everyday. Plus, you can proudly display this "toy" anywhere in your house! Choose jade plants with thick trunks and sturdy leaves to prevent them from ending up in tatters on the floor.

Hens and Chickens

Hens and chickens might appeal to toddlers, many of whom love tiny things. They've been a favorite of this age group for years, because they're cute and their name is so charming to kids. This type of succulent is small, but safe for toddlers and pets, and doesn't contain any prickly spines. Be cautious with this succulent, however, as it spreads faster than the water in your toddler's bath. It grows well indoors and outdoors, but propagates quickly with excess space to grow. Hens and chickens are available in a variety of colors and shapes, making this plant a fun way to engage your child's senses in the garden.

About the Author

Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.

Photo Credits

  • John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images