Poisonous plants are not allowed in Head Start settings that are accessible to children. See Oregon Poison Control Lists of Toxic Plants and The National Health and Safety in Childcare Resource Poisonous Plants List)


Since most house plants are poisonous, they must be approved and labeled before they are placed in our Head Start settings. To get a plant approved for the classroom the teacher should first know what the plant is. Then they must check the toxic plant list (see links above). If they are not sure whether the plant is on the toxic list they can get support from our Master Gardner.

1. All plants in the classroom or in other areas of the Head Start environment that are accessible to children must have the name of the plant clearly labeled on the pot. If office space is used for childcare or during times when children are ill and waiting for parent pick up, the plant name must be clearly listed on the pot and should not be found on the list.

2. Poisonous plants that are in child outdoor areas (playgrounds) that are used but not owned by Head Start will be made inaccessible to children.
3. Teachers are required to choose plants for gardens from the approved list Oregon Poison Control “Non-Toxic Plant List”: Oregon Poison Control Lists of Toxic Plants

4. If a teacher wishes to plant something that is not on the approved list they must get written approval from the Master Gardener: Marika Sturman:

This policy complies with Head Start Performance Standard 45 CFR Section 1304.42.
It has not yet been approved by Policy Council. Updated June 2012
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REVIEWED: April 2021