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Ten Toxic Houseplants to Avoid

Growing plants in home is mostly safe. Houseplants provide visual interest to the home, purify air and are edible or medicinal. But if there are children or pets at home who are most likely to chew or crush plants. Then there are a few plants to ignore for your home.

Tooba Maher

Growing plants in home is mostly safe. Houseplants provide visual interest to the home, purify air and are edible or medicinal. But if there are children or pets at home who are most likely to chew or crush plants. Then there are a few plants to ignore for your home. Some plants are more toxic than others. They cause skin irritations and stomach upsets. Toxic plants can be a hazard to children, pets and elderly persons with dementia. 

How Poisoning can occur in Houseplants? 

Poisoning can occur by Eating or touching leaves 

  • Ingesting berries, blossoms, or roots

  • Skin contact with sap or juices

  • Eating soil

  • Drinking water from plant tray

 Poisonous Home plants

 1. Dumbcane

The sap produced by it causes the tongue to burn and swell that even blocks air to the throat. It can be dangerous to both humans and pets if ingested in large amounts.  

It has thick stems and fleshy leaves that are usually solid green. 

2. Peace Lily 

There are many varieties of Peace Lily with “Mauna Loa” lily being one of the most common indoor ornamentals. Though they are excellent air purifiers but can cause painful symptoms and sometimes death if ingested by humans or animals.  In human they cause burning and swelling of lips, mouth and tongue difficulty in speaking or swallowing, vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. 

In animals, it can lead to burning mouth, diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, lack of appetite, excessive salivation. If left untreated it can cause renal failure. 

3. Lily 

Not all lilies are toxic. Some are more toxic to animals especially cats than to humans. 

Different types of Toxic Lilies are- 

  • Calla Lily

  • Easter Lily

  • Rubrum lily

  • Tiger Lily

  • Day Lily

  • Asian lily

In humans, it causes stomach upset, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, and skin irritation. Whereas in cats all parts of the plant are thought to be toxic. Common symptoms are vomiting, lethargy; lack of appetite, renal or liver failure could also occur and if left untreated could cause death.   

4. Arrowhead plant

Young Arrowhead plants appear bushy with heart-shaped leaves. Older plants produce climbing stems.  In humans and animals it causes irritated skin, vomiting and stomach upset. 

5. Pothos

It is considered as one of the best air purifier. It is mildly harmful that too in small quantities.  In humans it causes burning of mouth, skin irritation, swelling of lips, tongue, throat, vomiting and diarrhea.  In cats and dogs it leads to drooling, choking, swelling of mouth and tongue, difficulty in breathing, stomach upset, renal failure or even death. 

6. Philodendron

In humans it causes dermatitis reaction, swelling of mouth and digestive tract. It causes more serious effects on pets like spasms, seizures, pain, and swelling. 

7. English Ivy

It causes skin irritation, burning throat, fever, and rash.

8. Oleander

It is a popular indoor flowering shrub which is extremely poisonous.  One must take precautions like wearing gloves and washing hands when pruning. 

9. Sago Palm

It is one of the oldest living plants on earth. All parts of the plants including seeds and roots are poisonous. Ingesting it causes vomiting, diarrhea and death. 

10. ZZ Plant

All parts of this plant are poisonous. While handling this plant wear gloves and then wash hands. Proper precautions must be taken while handling this plant as it is very poisonous. 

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