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These Are The Most Popular Poisonous Plants

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On the JJ Barnes Blog, I discovered which are the most popular poisonous plants you could be decorating your home with this summer!

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If you’re anything like me, the warm weather will make you want to get out in nature, smell the flowers, and enjoy the greenery. I love to walk the dog in the day, and sit outside watching my children cartwheeling on the grass in the evening, but it’s also lovely to bring some of that outside nature in. However, I learned that some of the most normal houseplants that we decorate our houses with can really be poisonous, and not just to people but to our pets too!

Because searches for “plants poisonous to dogs” have increased by an incredible 300%* in recent months, London rubbish removal company, Clear It Waste, sent over their research into how the most popular poisonous plants are the most harmful to us and our pets, so we can learn what to look for.

Most Popular Poisonous Plants

Houseplant Average global monthly search volume Toxic level Symptoms
Peace Lily 36,000 High Throat, mouth irritation
Snake Plant 32,000 Moderate Nausea, vomiting
Calla Lily 18,000 High Swelling, pain
Philodendron 14,000 Moderate Pain, burning sensations, swelling of the mouth, throat and tongue
Pathos 12,000 High Diarrhoea, vomiting, liver failure
English Ivy 5,700 Moderate Weakness, vomiting, throat swelling, dermatitis, rash, and ataxia
Dieffenbachia 4,900 Moderate Swelling, drooling, skin irritation, and redness
Sago Palm 2,300 High Diarrhoea, vomiting, liver failure
Caladium 2,100 High Swelling, eye pain, diarrhoea, and vomiting
Arrowhead 1,300 Moderate Skin irritation, stomach ache and vomiting

1. Peace Lily – 36,000 monthly searches [High Toxicity]

Peace lilies have long, polished leaves that are arranged in a whorl around the stem. The leaves are commonly green, yet a few assortments have variegated leaves with white or yellow markings. Peace lilies produce white blossoms that are borne on a spadix, which is a plump spike.

Peace lilies are poisonous to the people and pets. The sap of the plant contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can irritate the skin and mouth. Whenever ingested, peace lilies can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, and breathing difficulties. In serious cases, it might be lethal.

2. Snake Plant (Mother-in-Law’s-Tongue) – 32,000 monthly searches [Moderate Toxicity]

Snake plants, also called Sansevieria or Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, is among the top plants named by NASA to be useful for its air-purifying qualities. However, these plants can be harmful to both humans and animals.

Snake plants contain calcium oxalate crystals, which are sharp and needle like which is aggravating to the skin, eyes, and mouth. Whenever ingested, these crystals can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, and troubles with swallowing In serious cases, snake plant poisoning might even be deadly.

3. Calla Lily – 18,000 monthly searches [High Toxicity]

Calla lilies, otherwise called Zantedeschia aethiopica, are famous houseplants that are known for their delightful white blossoms and the entire plant, including the flowers, leaves, and stems, can be poisonous to both people and animals.

Calla lilies contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals which irritate the skin, eyes, and mouth and can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, and difficulty with swallowing. In extreme cases, calla lily poisoning could be deadly.

4. Philodendron – 14,000 monthly searches [Moderate Toxicity]

Philodendrons are a variety of blooming plants that are native to tropical areas all over the planet. They are popular houseplants since they are generally simple to care for, and come in various shapes and sizes. Be that as it may, philodendrons can be poisonous to people and creatures.

If it’s ingested it can cause immediate pain and burning sensations, plus swelling in the mouth, throat and tongue.

5. Pathos (Devil’s Ivy) – 12,000 monthly searches [High Toxicity]

Pathos plants, otherwise called devil’s ivy or golden pathos, are famous houseplants that are known for their simple care needs and air-purifying characteristics.

The toxicity of pathos plants comes from calcium oxalate crystals that are in all parts of the plant, including the leaves, stems, and roots and irritate the skin, eyes, or mouth and cause a painful burning sensation. In serious cases, ingestion of pathos causes trouble breathing, vomiting, and even death.

6. English Ivy – 5,700 monthly searches [Moderate Toxicity]

English Ivy is known for its pointed leaves and climbing capacities which is poisonous to people and adults.

The toxicity of English ivy comes from a group of compounds called triterpenoid saponins. These compounds are found throughout the plant, but they are most concentrated in the leaves and berries, and cause weakness, vomiting, throat swelling, skin irritation, rashes, and even liver failure.

7. Dieffenbachia – 4,900 monthly searches [Moderate Toxicity]

Dieffenbachia, also known as Dumb Cane, is a popular houseplant that is known for its colorful foliage in wonderful shades of cream, yellow and white which can cause irritation and inflammation when they come into contact with the skin, eyes, or mouth.

The symptoms of Dieffenbachia poisoning typically appear within minutes to hours of exposure. In severe cases, ingestion of Dieffenbachia can lead to difficulty breathing, vomiting, and even death.

8. Sago Palm – 2,300 monthly searches [High Toxicity]

Sago Palms are evergreen trees that are native to tropical Asia known for their long, stiff leaves and their ability to grow in a variety of conditions.

The toxicity of Sago Palms comes from a compound called cycasin which is found in all parts of the plant, but it is most concentrated in the seeds. Ingestion of even a small amount can cause serious health problems, including vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, lethargy, seizures, and coma, and even liver failure and death.

9. Caladium (Elephant’s Ear) – 2,100 monthly searches [High Toxicity]

Caladiums are tropical plants known for their colorful leaves, which can be white, pink, red, green, or a combination of colors, grown from tuberous roots, which can be planted in the spring or fall.

Caladiums are toxic to both humans and animals, causing nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea if ingested.

10. Arrowhead – 1,300 monthly searches [Moderate Toxicity]

Arrowhead plants (Syngonium podophyllum) are popular houseplants that are known for their distinctive leaves, which are shaped like arrowheads which come in a variety of colors, including green, white, pink, and red. The leaves can be solid or variegated, and they often have a striped or mottled pattern.

While this plant is only mildly toxic to humans and animals, itcan cause skin irritation, an upset stomach and vomiting. 

What to do if your pet ingests a harmful plant:

According to the ASPCA Poison Control there are large number of plants that represent a danger to our pets, with a range of consequences for them from mild to life threatening so it’s really important we recognise which plants could hurt them.

If you suspect your pet has eaten a possibly poisonous plant, contact your vets straight away rather than waiting to see if any side effects do happen.

If you catch your pet eating a potentially harmful plant, immediately remove the plant from its mouth and gently wash their mouth out with water. Take note of any immediate side effects and take a photo of the plant to show to the vet.

Ahrefs was used to analyse the global monthly search volumes. Numbers were collected on 06/06/2023 and are as accurate as of then

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