Houseplants always add something to a room. Not just an attractive plant to admire, but there are other hidden benefits in that plants help to purify the air in a room. Unfortunately some houseplants have hidden drawbacks in that they are poisonous so can be a hazard to children and pets. While few adults would try eating leaves or berries problems can arise just from touching some leaves or from skin contact with sap. I found this list of ten toxic houseplants on the HubPages website.
Houseplants play several beneficial roles in our home environment. They provide visual interest to the home, purify the air, and may be edible or medicinal.
Some common plants are a common staple in kitchens, such as aloe vera, which is praised for its easy care, beautiful shape, and soothing gel. However, even such commonly grown and useful plants may be toxic.
Toxic plants can be a hazard to children and pets, as well as to elderly persons with dementia. Whereas it is advisable to keep all plants out of the reach of those who might crush, eat, or taste them, it is not always possible to prevent accidental encounters. If you’re worried your loved ones may ingest your houseplants, you may want to keep the plants in this article out of your house.
Poisoning can occur from:
- Eating or touching leaves
- Ingesting berries, blossoms, or roots
- Skin contact with sap or juices
- Eating soil
- Drinking water from plant tray
Most garden centers don’t provide warning labels on their potted plants noting possible toxicity. Before you purchase that philodendron or lovely lily, learn which common plants can pose the biggest threat to the more vulnerable members of your home.
PhilodendronQuite possibly one of the most popular house plants, the lovely philodendron is easy to grow. While it is often the perfect complement to any room, it contains calcium oxalate crystals, which are toxic to humans and animals.
The philodendron may be vining or non-vining. It is very important to keep vining plants hung well out of reach of children or pets and to keep tendrils and leaves trimmed. Non-vining plants should be kept on high window sills or shelves.
Humans: In humans, even small children, ingesting philodendron usually has only mild side effects, including a dermatitis reaction and the swelling of the mouth and digestive tract. In rare cases or after ingesting large amounts, there have been fatalities in children.
Cats and Dogs: Philodendron has a much more serious effect on pets, with reports of spasms, seizures, pain, and swelling. It seems to be more toxic to cats.
PothosPothos Ivy, also called Devil’s Ivy, is recommended for its beautiful variegated leaves, forgiving nature, and air purification abilities. In fact, it is cited as one of the best plants for removing impurities from the air.
It is also easy to propagate from cuttings. Because of this, many people receive these as starter plants or housewarming gifts. They then go on to have several plants rooted from the parent plant.
Pothos is considered to be only mildly harmful in small quantities, but can produce uncomfortable and sometimes serious side effects in animals and people.
Humans: Burning of the mouth, skin irritation, swelling of lips, tongue, and throat, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Cats and Dogs: Drooling, choking, swelling of mouth and tongue, difficulty breathing, and stomach upset. Can lead to renal failure and/or death.
Arrowhead PlantThis plant is related to the philodendron and is also easy to care for. It is commonly mixed in dish gardens with other plants that require similar care. Many people receive arrowhead plants as gifts.
Young plants appear bushy with heart-shaped leaves. Older plants produce climbing stems and arrowhead-shaped leaves.
The leaves are constantly shedding and being regrown, so even if this plant is out of reach, it is a good idea to check often for fallen leaves.
Humans and animals: Irritated skin, stomach upset, vomiting.
Lily (and Plants called Lilies)Few flowers are as beautiful as lilies. From the elegant curved bloom of the calla lily to the seasonal favorite, the Easter lily, these colorful plants are popular indoors and out.
Not all lilies are toxic, and some are more toxic to animals, especially cats, than to humans. If you are aren’t certain what type of lily you have, err on the side of caution and keep lilies either out of reach indoors, or planted away from play areas outdoors.
The more toxic varieties include:
- Calla Lily (which can be fatal to children)
- Easter Lily
- Rubrum Lily
- Tiger Lily
- Day Lily
- Asian Lily
Different lilies will produce different symptoms in pets or humans. Cats are more susceptible to lily poisoning than dogs.
Humans: Stomach upset, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, and skin irritation.
Cats: All parts of the plant are thought to be toxic. Symptoms will include vomiting, lethargy, and lack of appetite. Renal and liver failure could occur and, if not treated, lead to death.
See the rest of the list at Hubpages