Can you legally grow poison in your backyard?

Crime, Bizarre, Real estate

Picture a beautiful, lush garden in your backyard, made up entirely of deadly, poisonous plants. Is your lethal landscape permissible? Yes, it is. But while it’s lawful to grow the following toxic plants, you need to make sure no one eats them—or you could find yourself calling a lawyer.

Castor oil plant

This green leafy plant can grow up to 10 feet tall, creating an impressive spectacle in your garden. Castor oil sounds innocuous, but this plant is the source for the toxic chemical ricin. Eating just four of the seeds is enough to kill a person.


This beautiful flowering shrub is found in yards, parks, schools, and public settings just about everywhere. But the leaves, flowers, and fruit contain a number of toxic chemicals and can cause cardiac arrest if eaten.


This plant was famously used to execute the philosopher Socrates in ancient Greece. With delicate white flowers, hemlock is pretty to look at. But the roots of the plant, which resemble parsnips, contain a toxin that if ingested can cause paralysis and then death.


You wouldn’t think there was anything dangerous about the belladonna plant, with its deep purple flowers and black berries. However, this plant is so toxic that just touching it can cause skin lesions. It contains the chemical atropine, which is used in small doses in several kinds of medication. When ingested in larger amounts, atropine can lead to rapid pulse, hallucinations, and death.

Angel’s trumpet

With its showy, trumpet-shaped flowers, angel’s trumpet makes for a gorgeous display of nature. But every part of the plant contains scopolamine and atropine, so be sure to thoroughly wash your hands after tending to it. Ingesting even traces of these toxic compounds can make you extremely ill—or put you in a coffin.