‘Common’ plants ‘poisonous’ to children and pets – ‘avoid growing’

David Domoney provides advice on popular houseplants

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With so many gorgeous houseplants on the market, it can be tempting to buy without researching prior. However, according to horticulture expert and owner of artificial green wall company Vistafolia, Paul Alder, there are several “common” houseplants plants which could “poison” both children and pets including the philodendron.

The expert explained: “While not fatal to children, eating this plant can cause nausea, burning skin, swelling of the throat, vomiting and diarrhoea.

“Philodendron plants are very common in indoor gardens. They are easy to look after and even inexperienced gardeners will have no problems growing them.

“Because of the popularity with homeowners, you may already have them in your home. If you do, and you have small children, you should consider getting rid of them or replacing them with an artificial version of the plant.”

The English ivy, commonly found in people’s gardens, can also cause severe swelling in the throat if consumed.

According to the expert, the leaves and berries are “hazardous” to both small children and family pets.

“If you do have English ivy in your home, you should make it a priority to have it removed by a professional,”

Similarly, the daffodil, known as the national flower of Wales, contains a toxic chemical called glycerine which can cause nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting.

Paul said: “While they aren’t very poisonous, they can still cause your little ones to be unwell.

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“The daffodil, like many other flowers, look innocent, but it can have some nasty effects on your children and pets if ingested. If you have small children or pets you should avoid growing this flower at home.”

There are also several indoor plants which can be toxic to cats and dogs too and Britons should take extreme care when purchasing plants if they have pets.

One common houseplant which is “poisonous” to cats is the peace lily. While this plant is beautiful and can remove toxins from the air, Paul said “it can have devastating effects on cats”.

The expert recommended swapping out any peace lilies for white orchids because they aren’t toxic and won’t cause long-term damage.

Aloe vera plants which can be found in most households are known for their medical benefits in humans.

However, they can have negative effects on both cats and dogs. Paul said: “The aloe vera plant can cause stomach upset in both cats and dogs.

“If you do have one and want to make your home pet friendly, consider swapping an aloe vera plant with a haworthia zebra.

“These plants are a little smaller than aloe vera plants but are still beautiful to look at and are safe for your pets.”

Monstera deliciosa plants, also known as Swiss cheese plants, have become extremely popular over the years due to their gorgeous leaves.

While this low-maintenance plant can look amazing in your home, it is “highly toxic” to felines.

The expert said: “A great alternative to the monstera deliciosa is the ponytail palm which is just as easy to keep and is friendly for cats and dogs.”

One plant which can cause burning in the mouth, throat and tongue if consumed is the pothos plant, also known as Devils Ivy.

It contains calcium oxalates which is incredibly toxic to children, cats and dogs. Paul recommended swapping this plant with the pile genus which has a similar aesthetic and is non-toxic.

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