Top 10 Holiday Plant Guide – Poisonous or Safe?
The lowdown on popular Christmas plants
By Grace Sovine
The holidays are right around the corner! As people get out their decorations, try incorporating one of these top wintertime plants for some fresh holiday flair. Careful though! Read on to get the lowdown on popular Christmas plants that are poisonous to you and your pets.
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An obvious fan favorite, this beautifully vibrant plant is a great way to add some holiday cheer to any decor style. Poinsettias are a time-honored tradition, dating back as early at the 16th century. Want to a twist on tradition? Check out the purple, cream, green, or marbled varieties. This plant is mildly toxic to cats and dogs.
Image via MentalFloss
Does a Christmas carol come to mind? Holly and the Ivy, Deck the Halls, and a number of other traditional carols mention this classic holiday plant. The green leaves and bright red berries certainly lend themselves to Christmas decor. Beware of bringing this into a home with small children or animals, though – the leaves and the berries both carry toxins that can cause digestive issues for humans, cats, and especially dogs.
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English ivy is common in Christmas decorations. While beautiful, English ivy is toxic to both humans and animals. The ivy leaves are toxic when ingested, though it would take a amount of ingested plant material to cause major symptoms. More dangerous, the plant can cause intense skin irritation when handled, which may include blisters.
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Everyone loves a hanging mistletoe during the holiday season and having a traditional kiss underneath it (said to bring luck, especially to marriages!). Some find it surprising to learn that mistletoe is a parasitic plant that steals nutrients from its host and that mistletoe refers to multiple species of plants. European mistletoe is the species most commonly associated with Christmas and is poisonous to humans and very poisonous to dogs.
Image via Good Housekeeping
A fun, vibrant plant that blooms just in time for the holidays, a Christmas cactus is a great addition to a home. The plant is long-lived, low-maintenance, and available in blooming colors such as pink, red, yellow, orange, purple, and white. This is perfect for a home with children and animals, as it is not toxic.
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Amaryllis is popular for its trumpet-shaped flowers that come in multiple colors, including a gorgeous Christmas red. The flowering plant is easy to care for and a good addition to a home. Be careful, though, as the plant is likely poisonous to humans and pets, especially if ingesting the bulb of the plant.
Image via Plantopedia
This white flower resembles wild roses and flowers in the middle of the winter, hence its name, Christmas rose.The flower can either be white or pale pink. A Christmas rose is yet another holiday plant that is poisonous if ingested.
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A member of the nightshade family, Jerusalem cherry also goes by the names winter cherry and Christmas cherry. The plant produces vivid orange-red berries that can easily be confused with cherry tomatoes. Unfortunately, a mixup with a cherry tomato and a Jerusalem cherry would be very bad and potentially deadly. This plant, while beautiful, is not recommended for households with children or animals.
Image via Plant Rescue
Kalanchoe is a popular succulent house plant with colorful blossoms. You can easily find this plant in stores around the holidays in white or red, which look great against the glossy green leaves. While safe for humans, this plant is dangerous to cats and dogs.
Image via Harris Seeds
A beautiful plant with variegated (multicolored) leaves. The leaves can be red and green – perfect for holiday decor! This plant is not dangerous to humans, but is poisonous for both dogs and cats.
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