A lot of the beautiful house plants we love to grow are poisonous or can cause severe allergies in pets and humans. You don't have to avoid all of these
plants if you know how to handle them with care and if you are not allergic to them.
The milky sap of plants like Poinsettias or Crown-of-thorns plant can
cause skin irritations and allergic reactions. If you handle these plants with care they are safe to have in your home.
This is the Crown-of-thorns plant (Euphorbia milii). If the plant gets injured it excretes a milky sap that is poisonous.
Of course this is different if you have small children or pets like
cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs or pet birds that are allowed to roam
the house freely.
These pets sometimes like to nibble on leaves, stems or twigs and expose
themselves to the toxins. Check this page for house plants safe for cats and other pets.
Children are often tempted by colorful fruit or berries
and might eat some without anybody noticing. That is just too dangerous!
One such plant is the Winter or Christmas Cherry. This toxic plant has
very attractive orange berries . These berries are of course very
children and nearly look nearly like small cherry tomatoes. This is maybe a
poisonous house plant I would not recommend to have around if you have small
children! It is just not worth taking the risk.
How To Handle Dangerous Plants
- Use rubber gloves when handle these plants.
- Avoid contact with the sap especially with eyes,mouth and open wounds.
- Avoid growing poisonous plants until children are old enough to recognize the danger.
- Pets don't always know which plants are save and
which are dangerous for them. It is best not to have these type of
plants if you keep pets in the house.
- Always wash your hand thoroughly after handling toxic plants.
- Avoid rubbing your eyes while working with these plants.
Plants And Plant Families With Skin-irritating Substances
Some plants are not toxic but they can cause allergies in sensitive
people. The allergies can be caused by the sap or the tiny hairs on
leaves or stems.
A prime example for this is the German Primrose (Primula obconica).
Cyclamen have a substance in their bulbs that can cause allergies but you would seldom
get into contact with it.
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