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The bromeliad belongs to the pineapple family and is very popular because of its perennial, evergreen appearance. The good news for plant lovers is that the plant is non-toxic, only the fruits are slightly toxic under certain circumstances. However, there is no fatal danger even if large quantities are consumed. Bromeliads are equally suitable for humans and animals, the greatest danger comes from the prickly leaves, which can be unpleasant to touch.

risk of injury

Attention sting - danger for humans and animals

The toxicity of bromeliads is negligible, the thorns pose a greater risk. These are used to ward off enemies and line the edges of the leaves. A careless touch is enough and the skin is injured. While humans can bypass the trap with the right gloves, animals are at risk of injury. If possible, bromeliads should therefore not be placed in the direct reach of cats, dogs and small animals.


The foliage is prickly, but completely non-toxic. Even accidental consumption by pets does not pose a risk of poisoning, but there is a risk of injury. The pleasant smell that bromeliads give off attracts insects again and again, so that the plant is a welcome home for many microorganisms. It is considered to be very robust and keeps predators at bay with the help of its spines. Not least because of their robustness, bromeliads are often used as indoor and balcony plants.


How poisonous are the fruits of the bromeliad?

Very few hobby gardeners succeed in growing a mini pineapple as a bromeliad. In most cases, the plant stays green for years without ever bearing fruit. If it succeeds, the small fruits are slightly poisonous when unripe. This applies to humans and animals alike.

Eating an unripe pineapple can cause the following symptoms:

  • malaise
  • stomach pain
  • nausea and vomiting
  • stomach pain
  • diarrhea

Special hint: Pregnant women should definitely avoid eating bromeliads as there is a risk of miscarriage. This applies to unripe fruit.

Maturity level

How can you tell the degree of ripeness of the bromeliad fruit?

Whether the pineapple is poisonous or not depends solely on the degree of ripeness. When the fruit is ripe, it can be eaten without hesitation. The smell test is a sure way to determine whether the fruit is already ripe. It then gives off a very aromatic smell and has juicy green leaves. When the fruit is ripe, the leaves can easily be pulled out of the tuft without much effort being required.

Notice: Did you know that even commercially available pineapples should only be eaten when they are ripe?


What to do when eating a bromeliad?

Consuming unripe fruit does not necessarily result in symptoms. A healthy stomach often tolerates the consumption without any problems or only reacts with a slight discomfort. The situation is different for people who already suffer from intolerances, such as fructose intolerance. Here even small amounts of the fruit are sufficient to cause strong symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.

If severe intolerance symptoms occur, it makes sense to call the poison control center. There you will find important information on how to proceed. It is often enough to wait a few hours and alleviate the symptoms. For example, medicinal charcoal is available for diarrhea.


If animals have eaten an immature bromeliad, a call to the veterinary emergency service is helpful. A visit to the vet may be necessary at times, particularly if large amounts of the fruit have been consumed. The danger here is more with dogs, as they often appreciate the taste of pineapple. If diarrhea, nausea and vomiting occur, the veterinarian can alleviate the symptoms with suitable medication.

Consuming foliage of the plant

If bromeliad leaves have been eaten, no action is necessary. The foliage contains no poison and is harmless to humans and animals.

However, there is a small risk due to the risk of injury from sharp spikes. When swallowed or ingested, the sharp leaves can cause wounds, which then lead to pain. It is therefore always advisable to keep the plant out of the reach of children and animals. While cats usually go to work cautiously and first sniff before they eat a plant, dogs like to bite carelessly. Since they can consume large portions at once, the mouth should be checked for wounds.

Bromeliad leaves are not used in human nutrition. The plant is considered an ornamental rather than a crop. The ornamental pineapples are edible, but rarely the reason why bromeliads are bought.

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