Safe holiday decorating
December 21st, 2020
Live plants are a beautiful addition to your holiday décor. Wreaths of evergreen, eucalyptus, or herbs add a touch of nature and fragrance to your home, and the scent of a fresh evergreen tree really adds to the Christmas ambiance.
Make the holidays safe
Safety is important, too. Keep your live wreaths and cut trees properly watered to avoid a fire hazard. And if your household has curious kids or critters who may chew on plants, avoid these popular holiday plants:
- Amaryllis plants are very toxic and the bulb more so.
- American holly has potentially toxic compounds that can cause gastrointestinal irritation.
- Mistletoe berries and leaves can cause mild gastritis—but the most serious threat to pets is the plastic berries often included in the package. Many holiday vet visits are due to pets ingesting these berries. Plastic berries also pose a choking hazard to curious kiddos.
- Kalanchoe, a flowering succulent, is popular at the holidays because of its showy blooms. It, too, can cause gastrointestinal problems for pets. The flowers can cause kidney failure in cats, which can be deadly.
What about poinsettias?
Despite what you may have heard, poinsettias are not poisonous. According to WebMD and Mayo Clinic, poinsettia can cause a skin rash or cause nausea/vomiting in children or pets but they are not deadly. People with latex allergies or certain food allergies (avocado, chestnut, kiwi, banana, passion fruit) are more likely to have an allergic reaction to poinsettia. But as long as you keep them out of reach of children and pets, poinsettias are a beautiful choice for holiday decorating.