emerald7
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Poisonous plants-buyer beware

I am a newbie at this, but I have been doing my homework lately getting ready to set up my indoor container garden.

Most of the plants that I have been wanting, I've researched before buying. But you know how it is, you go to the nursery and see all these beautiful flowers, and think "Ooh pretty". In most cases, I just wrote down the names and came home to do research before buying, and in a lot of cases I ended up ruling those out because they were inappropriate (wrong lighting type, huge plant, poisonous, etc.). I am trying to get plants that are not poisonous, in case my cat eats them.

But today I saw a seemlingly harmless-looking flower (lantana camara), and I made an impulse buy. I brought it home, but little did I know, tonight when I looked it up, I discovered that not only did the plant have the capability of growing to a 6-ft high x 8-ft wide bush (which I think would be important for buyers to know), it would grow as a perennial for years if not killed by frost, all parts of the plant are poisonous, it is known to be a species that is causing a problem as an invasive plant in several states, and to top all of this off, apparently the leaves and flowers generate a smell like cat pee if crushed. None of this was written on the tag! It said "annual" and "full sun" and the name. That's it.

During these past couple of weeks, I have run across at least a half-dozen plants being sold that are toxic, without any kind of warning whatsoever.

I am really appalled at how these nurseries will just try to sell you anything, without mentioning the important fact that your pet might die if it decides to make an afternoon snack of some of the leaves. I think all they care about is to make a buck--not what is good for consumers.

I think the moral of the story is, make sure you research plants before you buy them! Because the places that sell the plants aren't going to tell you anything. Otherwise you could end up with a poisonous 6 foot bush in your livingroom, lol.

I don't remember all of the poisonous ones I found, but lantana camara is poisonous, hyacinths are poisonous (especially the bulb), cineraria is poisonous, and some parts of hydrangeas and cyclamens are poisonous. All of which are beautiful flowers, that I would love to have if I didn't have to worry about my cat maybe eating them.
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rainbowgardener
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Nice post! You are right, I have NEVER seen plants labelled as to toxicity. It would be a good thing. I can't believe they labelled your lantana as an annual though, that is beyond the usual!

If you want to check on toxicity, the ASPCA makes it easy. Here's a list they publish of plants that are toxic to animals. If you want you can set it for just plants toxic to cats, or dogs, horses...

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/plants/

emerald7
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Toxic to cats

rainbowgardener wrote: If you want to check on toxicity, the ASPCA makes it easy. Here's a list they publish of plants that are toxic to animals. If you want you can set it for just plants toxic to cats, or dogs, horses...
https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/plants/
Wow, thanks for the list! It's good to be able to sort by pet. It takes a few minutes to look through the list. This list is not all-inclusive, but here are some common plants that are toxic to cats, that I got from the above site:

TOXIC TO CATS

Pretty much any plant with 'lily' in the name
(Asian lilies, Barbados lilies, Arum lilies, Calla lilies, Climbing lilies, daylilies, etc.)
Anything labeled “nightshadeâ€
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gixxerific
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Good heads up there. I am thinking about planting several of those plants, though outdoors. i do have a dog that loves to eat tall anything green.

I have 5 buckets, so far, of potatoes that I was planning on putting out in my yard, but last night i was rethinking this because of toxicity of the leaves my dogs love of eating EVERYTHING.

emerald7
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gixxerific wrote:Good heads up there. I am thinking about planting several of those plants, though outdoors. i do have a dog that loves to eat tall anything green.

I have 5 buckets, so far, of potatoes that I was planning on putting out in my yard, but last night i was rethinking this because of toxicity of the leaves my dogs love of eating EVERYTHING.
Glad it was of help. My cat doesn't typically eat plants or seem interested in them, but I have no idea what she does at night (lol) and you never know what she might do out of curiosity one day.
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a0c8c
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I'm glad our nursery is run by a Master Gardener, she can tell me everything about the plants she carries.
Home Gardener from Austin, TX; by way of Iowa.

Sasha
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I understand your concern for your cats, but I don't think it's really the nurseries job to look out for our pets. Especially given that toxicity isn't really a black-and-white concept. Some toxic plants will kill your pets, while other will simply upset their stomachs. If you look at online lists of toxic plants, you'll see they're very inconsistent. Some list spider plants as poisonous, others list it as safe. All I know is that my cat ate a whole one without showing any ill effects (I didn't know they were toxic at the time, so I wasn't worried either).

I think the advice to keep anything in the lily family (including onions) away from cats is well-founded. Besides that, I just use caution. I know what kind of plants my cats will eat and what kinds don't interest them. I keep the tasty ones up high. You could also look into those bitter apple/bitter orange sprays if your cats are inclined to eat anything that's green. Or grow them some cat grass and see if that satisfies their need for veggies.

Tigerlilylynn
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Re: Poisonous plants-buyer beware

emerald7 wrote:... I discovered that not only did the plant have the capability of growing to a 6-ft high x 8-ft wide bush (which I think would be important for buyers to know), it would grow as a perennial for years if not killed by frost, all parts of the plant are poisonous, it is known to be a species that is causing a problem as an invasive plant in several states, and to top all of this off, apparently the leaves and flowers generate a smell like cat pee if crushed. None of this was written on the tag! It said "annual" and "full sun" and the name. That's it.
Worst.Plant.Ever. At least the rotting flesh flower uses it's decomp stench to get pollinated. >_<

a0c8c
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Get some Cat Grass and gorw some Cat Nip and your cat will never eat another plant. Especially if you grow Cat Nip. We always had 5 or six 5'' pots of Cat Nip growing, and our cat never could finish them all off.
Home Gardener from Austin, TX; by way of Iowa.

JONA878
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I guess that there are untold numbers of toxic plants that we grow without realising the danger.
A couple that cause problems over here are Laburnums.........very toxic and the pods are something that the kids can't resist picking and popping.
Also Hog weed.....again its the children who are at risk as the stems are a very tempting for making pea-shooters, making for nasty skin burns on hands and mouths.

Jona.

Dixana
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Consulting your vet can be a good idea a well. I once had a cat who finished off an entire poinsettia (sp?) and had me rushing him to the vet ina panic only to be laughed at. Evidentally a cat his size could have eaten 4 whole plants before showing any ill effects. :roll: Gotta love animals though, they make life interesting

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