Every Christmas season, people worry about poisonous plants, pets and toddlers and rightly so. A popular myth is that poinsettias are poisonous, probably due to their bright red colour. In reality, they are not really toxic; the milky sap in the leaves can cause skin irritation, drooling and sometimes vomiting if your babies decide to chew on them, but rarely anything more serious.
A gorgeous poinsettia growing naturally in Valpairso, Chile.
Another popular plant is the Christmas cactus and it is nontoxic and one of the few plants my determined to be bovine cats do not eat!
On the other hand, there are several holiday plants that are toxic and even deadly. Holly, mistletoe, amaryllis and daffodils (usually paperwhites at Christmas) are all toxic and can cause severe intestinal problems in pets. Lilies, including daylilies, often found in floral bouquets, are extremely toxic to cats and do cause death if eaten by them.
The amaryllis bulb is even more toxic than the leaves and lovely flowers. Luckily my cats don’t seem to eat them either. For more information on plants and pets, check out petmd.com/dog/seasonal/evr_multi_dangerous_winter_holiday_plants . As with any plant you are not sure of, check it out first before exposing it to your pets and toddlers.
Happy Holidays from Garden Graces!!