Avoid Poisonous Plants in Your Yard

Plants add color, texture and style to the landscaping. They are a beautiful addition that increases home value and makes your yard more attractive. However, they can also be dangerous. There are some plants that can be deadly to your dog, cat and even your children. Here are a few poisonous plants that you should avoid when working on a new landscape.

Green Dieffenbachia

A relative of skunk cabbage, dieffenbachia is also referred to as dumbcane. The large, variegated green leaves are attractive in any landscape, but they cause swelling and burning of the lips, mouth and throat if they are chewed on. If you have young children who like to nibble from the landscape, this should be avoided.

Bulbs for Spring

You may not know it, but most bulbs are actually poisonous plants. While eating the daffodil or amaryllis won’t harm your child, chewing on the bulb can be dangerous to your dog. If you have pets who like to dig and chew on items they find, you should avoid planting any bulbs.

Colorful Caladium

Also known as elephant ears or angel’s wings, this plant comes in more than a dozen styles with colorful variations. Eating any part of the caladium plant will result in serious illness including vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain. It may also result in death if eaten in larger quantities.

Cheerful Holly

There are benefits to adding holly to your landscape. It blooms in the winter with bright berries, and the sharp spines on the leaves will deter criminals from trying to hide near it. However, cheerful holly has a deadly undertone. One of the more common poisonous plants, holly berries are highly toxic. Eating more than 20 of the bright red fruits can result in death for a child. While you may like the idea of planting holly under a bedroom window to keep intruders away, this plant should be avoided if you have young children.

Bright Azaleas

The beautiful flowers of azaleas make them a popular shrub, but the flowers and leaves are toxic for humans and animals alike. Human fatalities are rare, but victims will be miserable with nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure and abdominal problems.

Lovely Hydrangeas

Another plant that is mildly poisonous is the hydrangea. The leaves, buds, bark and flowers are all poisonous. Consumption of any part of the plant can lead to stomach pain, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, sweating and lethargy. While it is not usually deadly, people who come in contact with the plants can develop contact dermatitis. When planning your new landscape, be aware of these poisonous plants. These are all commonly seen in gardens around the country, but you may want to rethink using them if you have pets that can access the gardens or young children.

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