Have you checked your plants?

The minute baby becomes mobile, not necessary crawling but even rolling or pulling themselves around, one will need to look around the home and safe guard against anything that may be harmful to them.

So immediate thoughts come to mind such as that cupboard of cleaning agents under your kitchen sink or the medicine cupboard under the bathroom basin but have you thought about your home and patio plants. ‘You gotta be kidding!’ you say but many of our common plants are toxic to both humans and pets.  Small children are very curious and we know that a baby ‘explores’ everything via their mouths.  Poisonous plants can cause problems if eaten or after skin and eye contact, can cause irritations, skin rashes and sometimes upset stomachs.  For your pets, poisoning can also occur when drinking water from the dip tray of a toxic plant.

If a person or pet needs medical assistance and you suspect it to be from a toxic plant, bag a sample of the plant including the leaves, fruit, flowers or seeds.  This will help identify the plant and assist with the correct treatment.

But not all is bad! House plants are natural air detoxifiers, purifying the air inside your home and they also add to the visual appeal of the home.  It is necessary to go green and there are many great plants available that are non-toxic.  Unfortunately plants are seldom labelled with a warning so be sure to be plant wise when making your purchase.

To assist you in your choices, a list of toxic and non-toxic plants are listed below.

NON-TOXIC pot plants:

African Violet

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Christmas Cactus

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Coleus (these are fine for humans but are listed as toxic for dogs and cats)

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Boston fern

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Other non-toxic plants include:

  • Day Lilies
  • Hens and chicken plant
  • Hibiscus
  • Impatiens
  • Petunias
  • Yucca
  • Ponytail Palm
  • Orchid


TOXIC PLANTS and their effects:

  • Amaryllis – the bulb is toxic and if eaten, may cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Aparagus Fern – all parts causing possible skin irritation
  • Rubber plant – its sap may cause skin irritation
  • Azalea – all parts causing vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle weakness, drowsiness, headaches
  • Daffodil – all parts causing nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, skin irritation
  • Elephant’s ear – all parts causing skin irritation, swelling and pain of mouth, lips and throat
  • Ficus – the sap and leaves cause mouth and skin irritation
  • Oleander – all parts causing stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, confusion, irregular heartbeat

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