Plants that look like poison oak are ones that you should be aware of. Poison oak is one of the deadliest plants, and knowing how to identify it or any of its substitutes could save you from an itchy and unwanted red rash, however the ones that look like it don’t have the same properties, they just look alike.

Plants That Resemble Poison Oak

In this article you will discover ways that you can grow these without the deadly danger, there are a few other plants to help you. 

List of Plants That Look Similar to Poison Oak 

1. Virginia Creeper 

The Virginia creeper is a famous substitute that looks utterly similar to poison oak. This five-leaved vine is one that most gardeners despise because of how invasive it can be. 

Virginia Creeper Buds Growing Vines

– Characteristics

Virginia vine is a prolific woody vine that can climb walls and fences quickly, covering anything in its way. Which means that, if you also have flowers, shrubs, trees, or even windows, you may want to look out. 

Many gardeners are seen using this vine as ground covers for more prominent open spots that need it. In addition, this vine is known for being even more invasive when planted in more shaded regions. Direct sunlight can suppress its growth to some extent, but more reliable ways exist. 

While the Virginia vine can be seen as an attractive vine to some, it is also one of the most exasperating plants due to its need for invasive growth. Luckily, some gardeners have found ways to maintain this vine if growing it seems like an option. 

– Ways to Control

When you spot Virginia vine in your garden, it is only right to learn how you can control it. It is ideally easiest to control this vine when it is small. However, once the plant is bigger, it can up much more time and patience. This is why you should always look into ways of dealing with it early on while it is still immature.

The poisonous sap in the Virginia vine can irritate the skin, so it is best to be careful. You can always wear gloves while handling it to avoid an allergic reaction. On the other hand, the younger the vines are the easier it will be dealt with by pulling at them. 

If they’re small enough, this should be easy and not require much effort. If, however, the vine in your gardens is bigger, using a handsaw or other garden pruning tools will be needed. Don’t be afraid, though.

Cut the vines using your tools, and you should be okay; however, if you plan on getting rid of the entire plant after dealing with the vines, you can easily do so. 

2. Poison Ivy 

Poison ivy is one of the most famous and highly toxic types of weed found in North American home landscapes, along roadsides, in forests, and even in urban areas. The toxicity is based on an active irritant called urushiol, found in all plant parts as an oily resin. Poison ivy is less likely to bother pets, but it occasionally occurs.

Antifreeze Damage to Your Grass

– Characteristics

The plant’s scientific name is Toxicodendron radicans. Knowing the old rhyme “Leaves of three, let it be” may be the simplest way to tell if it’s poison ivy, but more information is required to be certain. These images will help you identify the plant, both with and without leaves, and at different stages of maturity.

The leaves are the most toxic, but other parts of this plant (even when the plant is bare of foliage) can be harmful. Even if your cat or dog comes into contact with the plant, it can be passed on to you. 1 That is why learning to identify poison ivy throughout the growing season and beyond is critical. This leaf close-up shows plants less than a foot tall but have already turned green for the summer. Here are some plants that look like poison ivy that you should be able to identify.

– Features

Young poison ivy plants have orange or reddish leaves in the spring. Be aware that the leaf margins may have notches at times, of course, not always, which means that this feature is not enough to identify the weed. 

Although the plants are barely above the ground, the oil, which is known as the urushiol, makes this plant toxic when secreted and can still cling to the fabric of shoes and socks. Because the oil from your clothes can be transferred to your skin, be cautious when removing the garment if you suspect it has come into contact with poison ivy. 

– Ways to Control

This ivy can be extremely harmful because of its poisonous abilities. Which measn that you must make sure that one would stay safe throughout the process, wearing safety gloves and a face mask should always be a priority. 

Known for having a complex root system, removing poison ivy from the above ground but not the roots will cause it to grow back. First, remove the stems with shears or pruners. Do not rip or tear the vines because this will disperse the poisonous sap or oil into the air. Then, about eight inches below the plant, dig out the roots

You can, after, pour some boiling water over the poison ivy is another good way to kill it. However, any plant part that comes into contact with boiling water will be killed, so use caution when working with desirable plants. 

3. Poison Sumac 

Poison sumac is considered a small tree or shrub which can reach heights up to 25 feet tall. It has eye-catching red stems and medium-sized green leaves that turn red-orange in the fall. 

Will Antifreeze Harm Your Lawn

– Characteristics

Sumac grows slowly and is best planted in the spring after the last frost. Furthermore, because the plant is native to North America, it will not disrupt the natural flora balance. 

However, this sumac should not be used in landscaping because of its toxicity, even though it is a highly admired plant, because of the way that it vines. The goal is usually to eradicate it rather than to foster it. Toxic sumac contains toxins in all of its parts, which means that even for its aesthetic characteristics, it should not be used.

– Features

If you spend time outdoors, you should know how it looks, or else the damage it makes would be a great one. Toxic sumac is a big shrub or mini tree that can grow to be 20 when mature but is usually only five or six feet tall.

Its stems are red, and the leaves are seven to 13 pairs of glossy green leaflets with pale green undersides. This poison oak lookalike tree is one that thrives in wet, swampy, or boggy environments alongside shores. 

– Ways to Control

Although Toxic sumac can be controlled at any time of year, it is most effective when the plant is in bloom, which occurs from late spring to midsummer. Glyphosate-containing herbicides are an effective control method. 

You can always use the product exactly as directed on the label, and try to remember that glyphosate is non-selective and will kill any plant it comes into contact with, and in this case it will degenerate this one. 

Alternatively, cut the plants to about six inches in height, then apply the weed killer to the cut stems. To avoid releasing irritating plant parts into the air, use pruning shears rather than a weed trimmer or mower. 

4. Boston Ivy 

Boston ivy is an attractive climbing vine that covers the outside walls of many older buildings, particularly in Boston. 

Elegant Anthurium Warocqueanum

Boston ivy, also known as Japanese ivy, can quickly take over the area where it is planted, climbing by tendrils on any nearby support. 

– Characteristics

If you consider growing Boston ivy as houseplants or in containers outdoors then, you would be adhering to the look of the shiny leaves but don’t want to deal with the plant’s aggressive behavior, because of its characteristics of being a poisonous plant. 

Grow Boston ivy in a dish garden alongside other upright houseplants. When planting Boston ivy outside, make sure it is what you want to fill the space permanently. 

Within a few years, the plant will spread to 15 feet or more and climb to 50 feet. Keeping it trimmed may encourage it to mature into a shrub. On outdoor-grown plants, insignificant flowers and black berries appear.

– Growth Requirements

When planting Boston ivy for indoor use, select a container that allows for the desired growth. Larger containers allow for more development and growth. Next, place the newly planted container in direct sunlight. 

This variety of an ivy can grow indoors, regardless of location, will include pruning the rapid growth. On the other hand, full or excessive direct sunlight may burn the leaves or cause browning tips on Boston ivy plants. 

Boston ivy can be grown as a houseplant that climbs on a trellis or other structure. This is simple because this ivy plants climb easily via tendrils with adhesive discs. However, when planting this vine indoors, avoid allowing it to climb on painted walls because it will damage the paint.

These plants that are not supported will soon cascade over the sides of the pot. As part of Boston ivy care, trim the leaves at the tips. This promotes fuller growth on the draping stems and aids the plant’s ability to fill the container. 

It is simple to learn how to care for a Boston ivy. First, keep the soil moist as much as possible; although dry soil does not usually kill Boston ivy as a houseplant, it does make it appear dull and wilted. When planting Boston ivy, no fertilizer is required. 

Caring for a Boston ivy primarily entails learning to keep it within its boundaries, which is why it is best grown in containers and used as a houseplant. 

5. Jack-in-the-Pulpit 

Although less common than Boston ivy, Jack-in-the-Pulpit also known as Arisaema triphyllum MoreLess common than Boston ivy is Jack-in-the-pulpit known as Arisaema triphyllum. While its leaves may resemble oak in some ways, this interesting plant has unique flowers and berries that look nothing like it. However, the leaves appear slightly similar in the early stages of growth, resulting in the occasional mix-up.

Discovering the Charm of Anthurium

This plant’s leaves are always smooth and never jagged. The leaves of Jack-in-the-pulpit grow on long, upright stems and do not alternate along a vine. The leaves are also larger and wider than most poison oak varieties, particularly when mature. If that isn’t enough to persuade you, consider the centre vein of the leaves. If it makes it to the end, you have poison oak. 

– Characteristics

The wildflower jack-in-the-pulpit is native to the lower 48 states and parts of Canada. The roots were harvested for food by Native Americans, but they contain calcium oxalate crystals that cause blisters and painful irritations when eaten raw. To safely prepare the roots, peel and cut them into small pieces, then roast them for at least an hour at a low temperature. 

Growing jack-in-the-pulpit is easy in the correct location. They thrive in wooded areas and prefer a shady location with moist or wet, slightly acidic soil rich in organic matter. These plants tolerate poor drainage and are ideal for rain or bog gardens. Hostas and ferns are wonderful companion plants.

– Growth Requirements

There isn’t much to growing Jack-in-the-pulpit plants. Start to grow this plants in containers in the spring or corms six inches deep in the fall. In the spring, plant seeds that have been freshly harvested from ripe berries. Plants grown from seeds have only one leaf in the first year, and flowering takes three or more years.

Growing and caring for the flowers are both simple. However, the plant’s survival depends on moist, organically rich soil. Work a generous amount of compost into the soil before planting and fertilize annually with additional compost. 


There you have it, folks! Here are the top plants that look just like poison oak. Unfortunately, some of them may still be poisonous and invasive. So, following the tips mentioned above, you can control and grow some of them.

But, before you do anything, keep in mind:

  • Virginia creepers are a highly invasive and slightly poisonous variety. If you see it growing in your home, it is best to control it, especially if you have younger kids or pets.
  • Poison ivy is probably the most deadly one to touch alongside poison oak. As a result, avoiding it is in your best interests, but with caution. To get rid of this plant, ensure you have the right tools.
  • If you don’t want the toxicity of poison oak but like how it looks, growing Boston ivy is your best bet. It can be used as an ideal indoor plant with easy-to-grow abilities. However, Boston ivy is another climbing variety and can be invasive, so make sure you can afford to look after it.

Now that you know all about the poison oak look alike plants, you can now be able to distinguish between them through their characteristics, and avoid being near them, as some are more toxic than the others. 

5/5 - (5 votes)
Evergreen Seeds