Some of your indoor plants are just not safe if you have pets or young children, which is a sad but inevitable realization in the road of becoming a plant parent. While many common genera of houseplants are stunning to look at, many of them are moderately or seriously hazardous. Still others, when handled excessively, can irritate the skin.
The good news is that with enough preparation, you can determine which dangerous houseplants to stay away from, evaluate the risk to your family and pets, and still enjoy a lively and stunningly green collection of indoor plants.
Here are 10 toxic houseplants that, while we love them, should be used with caution if your children or pets will have access to them. A word of clarity, though, is in need before we proceed: “toxic is a relative term, and the severity of a reaction will depend largely on the level of exposure (amount consumed), which plant species, and the specifics of your pet. Some poisonous houseplants cause short-lived, acute symptoms (such as vomiting). Some can have more serious, life-threatening effects if swallowed in excess, while others only irritate the skin. This list is by no means intended to be comprehensive, so we strongly advise conducting additional research (ASPCA has a great database for pet owners).
Poisonous Houseplants for Pet Owners and Parents to Avoid
- Starting with one of the biggest players, Philodendron (and Monstera) is a vast genus of tropical plants that is particularly well-liked for usage inside because of its great variety of growing habits, leaf shapes, and colors. Plants in this genus are poisonous to dogs and cats as well as somewhat toxic to humans. Oral irritation, soreness and swelling in the mouth, tongue, and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, and trouble swallowing are all signs of exposure.
Suppose my dog consumes some Monstera?
Your dog may paw at their mouth or otherwise show signs of facial pain if they consume a piece of a monstera plant. Calcium oxalate crystals in a dog’s mouth can inflict pain, irritation, swelling of the mouth, tongue, and throat, as well as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, trouble swallowing, excessive drooling, and choking.
Though each of these signs of poisoning can be concerning, the last one is particularly risky. Your dog may become unable to breathe if the swelling is too severe, prompting an urgent trip to the clinic.
How well your dog’s body can process eating a part of a monstera may depend on factors like age, size, and any underlying medical issues. Thankfully, pets usually do not die after consuming a monstera plant. A dog that has consumed or bit into a portion of a monstera plant, nevertheless, needs to be properly watched for any severe adverse reactions, such as oral discomfort that intensifies.
In order to try and ease the pain or wash out some of the crystals, it is also a good idea to encourage your pet to drink some water. However, this is unlikely to completely relieve their discomfort.
It is also OK to take a dog who has consumed monstera to the doctor as a preventative step, even if it appears that they did not consume much of the plant. Your veterinarian will probably be able to assist your dog manage the pain even if the reaction is not life-threatening.
You might also call the Pet Poison Helpline at (855)764-7661 or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888)426-4425 for help and guidance, but it’s crucial to know that both programs charge $75 for a consultation.
As was already indicated, your dog won’t likely continue chewing on the plant after taking an exploratory bite because of the discomfort the calcium oxalate crystals will cause. Once a dog has experienced the reaction, they are unlikely to want to try to eat the plant again. The reaction sets in quickly (approximately 30 seconds), so they are likely to link cause and effect.
To be cautious, it is generally a good idea to relocate the monstera plant out of your dog’s reach even if he has already bitten a plant in the past and is unlikely to try to get at it again.
What dosage of Monstera is harmful to dogs?
Because of their insoluble sharp or needle-like oxalate crystals, or insoluble calcium oxalate known as raphides, monstera are toxic to cats, dogs, and other pets. When chewed or swallowed, they will embed in mucus, causing intense stinging or burning in the mouth, throat, or lips.
The Monstera plant’s leaves, fruits, stems, roots, and flowers are all poisonous or toxic. And since all 45 species are affected, even M. adansonii, Split-leaf philodendron, and Monstera deliciosa are poisonous to cats, dogs, and other animals.
We are aware that fully ripened Monstera deliciosa fruits are safe to eat and not poisonous. However, avoid giving them to your dog or cat because they might not be the healthiest option.
The majority of the other houseplants in the Araceae family, excluding Monstera, also contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals. These plants consist of:
- stupid cane (Dieffenbachia spp.)
- Asian evergreen (Aglaonema)
- Calm lily (Spathiphyllum spp.)
- Caladium lily
- Huge Taro (Alocasia antiquorum)
- Flowering Flamingo (Anthurium spp.)
- Animal ears (Caladium spp.)
But because the concentration of these crystals varies from plant to plant, the intensity of the symptoms vary as well. For instance, the symptoms from a dumb cane will be more severe.
If you are already frightened, it may help to know that Monstera plants are only moderately toxic, meaning they are not as dangerous as Vinca or Azalea (Rhododendron spp.). Not even in the same league as an amaryllis, a sago palm, some lilies (Lilium sp.), a snake plant, etc. They are hazardous or destructive nonetheless.
Last but not least, Monstera has a level 3 or 4 of severity. Level 1 plants are typically extremely hazardous and may result in serious illness or even death, but level 2 plants are just mildly poisonous and only cause vomiting and digestive problems.
Do dogs get sick from Monstera Swiss cheese plants?
The Araceae plant family includes the Swiss cheese plant, which may or may not also include proteolytic enzymes, calcium oxalate crystals, raphides, or both. Because your pet may lose its voice if they consume the plant, it is known as “dumb cane.” Crystals of calcium oxalate will penetrate and embed themselves in the tissues of the tongue, mouth, stomach, and throat. Your pet will experience immediate discomfort and irritation, as though the region were being injected with a million needles. The idioblasts may continue to expel raphides even after the initial ingestion, forcing the crystals to get entrenched in the lining of the stomach and possibly the intestine. The digestive system will become even more irritated as a result of this.
Your pet could not consume much of the plant because it has a bitter flavor and immediately irritates the tongue. However, if this happens, your pet can have a lot of diarrhea and vomiting along with severe dehydration brought on by an electrolyte imbalance. Your pet can experience shock, coma, cardiac arrest, convulsions, liver and kidney damage, or possibly pass away as a result of this. Don’t let this worry you, but it is a signal that you need to visit the vet right away for a more thorough assessment and treatment.
Idoblasts are distinctive cells found in Swiss cheese plants. The top of the stem, flower, or leaf breaks off when your dog chews on them, releasing calcium oxalate crystals that can cause poisoning.
Which area of the Monstera contains poison?
a decorative climber that is planted in pots or in the garden. The roots of this stumbling climber frequently droop downward.
On a spike or spadix that is 20 to 25 cm long and covered with a hooded white bract or sheath called a spathe that is up to 30 cm long, the tiny flowers are tightly packed.
The rounded leaves have segments that are pierced throughout, usually between the margin and the midvein. The leaf is typically dark green, 25 to 90 cm long, and 25 to 75 cm broad.
Category of toxicity: 2 Consult a doctor right away if your lips or tongue swell, or if you are having trouble breathing or swallowing.
An decorative climber that is either cultivated in the garden or in a pot. The roots of this stumbling climber frequently droop downward.
Flowers: The tiny flowers are tightly packed into a 20 to 25 cm long spike or spadix called a spathe, which is encircled by a hooded white bract or sheath.
The leaves are spherical in shape and have segments that are pierced throughout, usually between the midvein and the margin. The leaf is typically dark green, 25 to 90 cm long, and 25 to 75 cm broad.
Fruit/Berries: The green fruit segments along the spike as it ripens to a cream color. The fruit tastes like pineapple and bananas when it is mature.
Symptoms: The plant contains calcium oxalate crystals in all of its components, which, when consumed or digested, can result in throat, mouth, lip, and tongue enlargement as well as an instant burning discomfort. Huge amounts of salivation and trouble breathing, swallowing, or speaking may result from swelling. Rarely do nausea, stomach pain, or severe gastric irritation develop. When the fruit is mature, it is considered edible, but it can also quickly develop urticaria or hives, a brief swelling and itching rash.
How can I prevent my dog from visiting Monstera?
Some individuals keep their pets out of a specific room in their house. Moving the Monstera plant into such a room, if you already have one, is an excellent technique to prevent your dog from devouring it. You won’t need to change your dog’s routine to prevent them from approaching the plant because they are already accustomed to being barred from that room.
Depending on where you live, you might even think of relocating your Monstera outside, however doing so might not be the best option if your dog has access to the same outdoor space.
Noise deterrents can help keep dogs away from the Monstera
Some dogs dislike loud noises because they frighten them and because they can damage their ears. Make use of their fear to deter them from visiting your plants. Every time they approach the Monstera plant, they need just fill a water bottle with tiny pebbles and give it a thorough shake.
Remember, too, that this noise might be highly obtrusive and upset other residents in the house. As a result, using noise deterrents might not be the ideal option in your case. Trying different alternatives can yield better results.
Use smell deterrents on the Monstera
Dogs can be deterred from the Monstera plant by using their keener sense of smell, which is superior to that of humans. For instance, dogs don’t appreciate the strong smell of vinegar and chili peppers. These scents can be sprayed on the Monstera plant to deter your dog.
Although the most of them are more focused on taste than scent, there are a variety of chemical deterrents available online. It might be preferable to use one of the other techniques to keep your dog away from the Monstera because you don’t want them to nibble on it even once.
Get pet safe plants instead
Consider getting rid of the poisonous Monstera plant entirely and replace it with canine-friendly plants if you can keep your dog away from it. Three well-liked houseplants that are safe for dogs include the prayer plant, hens and chicks, and spider plant.
Your dog wouldn’t have any severe adverse effects or potentially fatal issues even if they ate these non-toxic plants.
Reward their good behavior
Be sure to reinforce your dog’s excellent behavior while trying to keep them away from the Monstera plant.
When you instruct them to leave the plant and they listen, rewarding them with a treat will help reinforce the desired behavior. This can be an excellent strategy to keep dogs away from the Monstera plant since the majority of dogs are treat or food driven.
Play with your dog
Dogs may bother things they shouldn’t because they are bored, for example. Due to our hectic schedules, we occasionally forget to play with our pets. They might then misbehave and act out as a result.
Setting aside daily playtime for your dog will help keep them happy and healthy and keep them away from your plants. An additional choice is to employ a dog walker to assist exercise your dog while you’re at work. Expelling that excess energy will help to curtail undesirable conduct.
Be consistent and don’t give up
To effectively keep your dog away from the Monstera plant, consistency is essential. You are encouraging their negative behavior if you even allow them to smell or otherwise bother the plant once. Any training you conducted to keep them away from the plant will be corrupted, necessitating a new round of training.
Consider shifting the plant if you feel you can’t maintain the consistency and protect your dog from getting to it. The best way to make sure your dog doesn’t eat the Monstera plant is to do this, even if it may not be optimal for everyone.
Which plants are harmful to dogs?
The following plants should never be made available to dogs under any circumstances since they are the most harmful to them: Castor oil or castor bean (Ricinus communis) Cyclamen (Cylamen spp.) Dumbcane (Dieffenbachia)
Is Monstera toxic to handle?
such a rule
Not simply for poison ivy, “Leaves of three, let it be!” Poison oak, a closely related species, with rounder, lobed leaves that resemble oak leaves and can come in groups of three or five. All plant parts, including the leaves, stem, roots, and flowers, contain an oil called urushiol that can bind to the skin in just a minute. If you suspect contact, wash all of your gardening equipment because it can also stick to clothing and tools. Although its pointed-oval leaflets are distributed in groupings of seven or thirteen, poison sumac belongs to the same family.
More than two dozen chemical compounds that are present in stinging nettles can make skin swell, itch, burn, and develop blisters that can last up to 12 hours. This plant has fine hairs all over and pointy, jagged leaves that act as tiny needles to deliver the toxins to anyone who touches it. It can grow to about 6 feet tall.
Numerous types of bulbs, such as hyacinths, elephant ears, tulips, daffodils, and buttercups, might irritate certain people’s skin. Your hands may become irritated and red after touching them without gloves. When I worked at a greenhouse, I usually wore gloves, but after planting hyacinth bulbs, I once touched my eye, and it felt itchy and nasty.
Philodendron and Monstera Deliciosa
Popular houseplants include the philodendron, monstera deliciosa, caladium, dumbcane, and peace lily, all of which are members of the Araceae (arum) family. However: Calcium oxalate crystals on their stems and leaves are poisonous. Although they won’t damage your hands, if you touch your lips, mouth, or tongue after touching the plant, they may sting or irritate you. At its worst, Myers explains, it can feel as though your larynx is paralyzed. It may be beneficial to use gloves or wash your hands after handling these plants.
Poinsettias can be harmful to humans as well as animals if consumed. They can irritate human skin, along with other members of the Euphorbia family (including pencil trees and spurges). Fortunately, the majority of people simply feel slight annoyance. Additionally, while it is untrue that eating poinsettias can make you sick, it is still possible.
English ivy, which grows on the walls of many older homes, doesn’t bother everyone. However, if you have an allergy to it, you should prepare for redness, itching, and possibly even small blisters after touching it. The first time you encounter it, you might not respond, but after the second exposure, your body will become sensitive.