Dumb Cane

What kind of plants should you avoid?

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Using plants in interior design is very popular. Indoor plants have numerous health benefits and can make any room come to life with minimum effort. You can decorate your home with plants in countless ways, from making a plant wall to hanging them from the ceiling. 

Before decorating, you must know the plants you’ll use. There are many hard-to-kill plants you can choose from. But there are also many plants you should avoid, whether they’re bad for your health or too hard to keep alive. Keep reading to learn more!

Plants to avoid for your health

Interior decoration with indoor plants has recently gained much popularity. But before you think about decorating your home with plants, it’s essential to do some research. Not only do you have to learn how to care for your plants, but you also should know which indoor plants to avoid. 

Many poisonous houseplants have unpleasant and even lethal effects on our health. Common symptoms include skin irritations, upset stomachs, and nausea. Below are 5 harmful plants to avoid at home.

Oleander

Oleander

This beautiful flower is known for its colorful, pointed leaves but is also one of the most poisonous houseplants. All its parts are toxic when ingested, causing mild to severe skin irritations.

English yew

English yew

This evergreen is popular for surviving in almost any condition. However, all parts of this plant are poisonous. According to the European Heart Journal, its ingestion can cause cardiac arrhythmias, resulting in death.

Dumb Cane

Dumb Cane

This plant receives its name because of the symptoms one experiences after eating it. The sap causes the tongue to burn and swell enough to block airflow. And, if ingested in large amounts, it can be fatal.

Devil’s Trumpet

Devil's Trumpet

Also known as the thorn apple because of the similarities of its leaves with this popular fruit. This plant is poisonous if eaten. It can cause headaches, hallucinations, coma, or even death.

Daffodils

Daffodils

These beautiful flowers are toxic to both humans and pets. Eating the bulbs can cause symptoms such as stomach aches, high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias, and even death. 

Plants to avoid if you have pets

Believe it or not, there are many toxic plants for pets, mainly cats and dogs. These poisonous houseplants can cause symptoms such as upset stomach, vomiting, and even death. Therefore, avoiding these plants altogether is the best way to prevent accidents. You can read more here to learn about what plants are toxic to pets.

Top 5 poisonous plants for pets

  • Lillies. All varieties of lilies, such as the lily of the valley and the peace lily, are poisonous to cats and dogs. In addition, they can cause severe kidney damage.
  • Sago palm. This indoor tree can cause vomiting, seizures, and liver failure in dogs and cats. A great pet-friendly alternative is the parlor palm!
  • Tulips. These poisonous flowers contain a toxin that can cause loss of appetite, stomach aches, convulsions, and even cardiac abnormalities. 
  • English ivy. This plant can cause vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea in dogs and cats. 
  • Pothos. If ingested, this plant can cause irritation and swelling of the gastrointestinal tract of your pets, which can be lethal.

Pet-friendly plants to use instead

Fortunately, keeping plants and pets doesn’t have to be complicated. There are many pet-friendly plants you can choose from. Some great examples are the rattlesnake plant, the ponytail palm, most succulents (except aloe vera), and the Boston fern. 

Plants to avoid if you have children

Just like there are toxic plants that are bad for our health, there are plants that are only harmful to babies and young children. Creating distance is the best way to keep your children and plants safe. You can keep your plants out of children’s reach by hanging them from the ceiling or putting them on a high shelf.

As an additional preventive measure, avoiding poisonous plants is better. Here are five plants you don’t want to have at home if you have children:

  • Philodendron. This popular indoor plant can cause symptoms such as mouth swelling and dermatitis reactions when ingested. If consumed in large amounts, it can be lethal.
  • Pothos. This is one of the most popular household plants because it’s so easy to care for. But it is also toxic for pets and children. Ingesting pothos can cause mouth, lips, and tongue swelling, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, and nausea.
  • Arrowhead. This plant is known for its bushy, heart-shaped leaves and long vines. It can cause skin irritations, stomach upset, and vomiting if ingested.
  • Peace lily. These houseplants contain calcium oxalate crystals, which can lead to irritated skin and mouth symptoms, nausea, and vomiting when consumed.
  • Snake plant. Although this plant is only mildly toxic to humans, keeping it out of children’s reach is best. It can cause mouth irritation and pain, excessive salivation, and nausea.

Plants to avoid if you don’t have a green thumb

Another good reason to avoid certain plants is that they’re hard to care for. If you don’t have a green thumb or don’t know much about gardening, it’s best to avoid these 5 high-maintenance indoor plants:

Fiddle-Leaf Fig

Fiddle-Leaf Fig

Indoor trees are a great addition to any living room, and the fiddle-leaf fig is no exception. But it’s not a good choice for beginners. Its thick, leathery leaves drop or turn red easily if overwatered. It can be quite challenging to take care of.

Bonsai Tree

Bonsai Tree

Growing a bonsai tree takes years. Because they are planted in small pots,  these small trees need to be watered and fertilized regularly, so they’re not a good option for people with limited time. I have a bonsai tree, and even though I love it so much, it needs constant care because it can easily die 🙁

Orchid

Orchid

Orchids are known for their beauty, as well as for being one of the most high-maintenance flowers. They must be kept in an area with bright, dappled sunlight and a steady temperature. In addition to this, orchids tend to die if they’re not maintained in a humid environment. Even if I don’t own any, I adore them so much. Over a ten-year period, I bought my grandmother a number of them, and she looks after them with love and care.

Begonia Maculata

Begonia Maculata

Begonias, in general, can be hard to keep alive. But this colorful plant requires the most care. It needs to be kept in steadily moist soil and an environment with high humidity. If overwatered, the leaves and stems can wilt easily.

Croton

Croton

The Codiaeum variegatum is popular for its colorful leaves. In its native habitat, this bushy shrub can grow up to 10 feet, which is why this plant can’t be grown indoors easily. If crotons aren’t maintained in a space with bright light and high moisture and humidity levels, their leaves will exhibit dull coloration.

Although there are many plants you should avoid, whether because they are poisonous or because they’re hard to maintain, there are many other alternatives you can choose from. Low-maintenance plants you can use as decorations include the ZZ plant, the spider plant, and numerous succulents.


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