Friday, December 14, 2007

Not for Nibbling

Deck the halls with boughs of holly mistletoe Boston ferns...

So, after our 1 year old wolfed down a leaf off our lipstick plant this morning, I called poison control (love them! love my operator's calm, calm voice and subsequent willingness to talk about every single plant in our house) for some plant 911 411. Turns out the plant in question was safe, mainly because I did some serious houseplant purging five years ago in preparation for kid one. Gotta love the pre-kid frenzy. Anyhoo, I thought I would share what I (re)learned with y'all.

Safe plants: spider plants, Christmas cacti, aloe (may cause stomach upset), poinsettias (despite causing stomach upset, these actually get an undeserved bad rap for being toxic), Boston ferns, African violets, and hibiscus, among others.

Lethal plants: holly, mistletoe, rhododendrons, philodendrons (including pothos and calla lilies), peace lilies, delphinium, foxglove, lantana, and lupines, among others.

Check out these guides to poisonous houseplants and make sure you have those blecch face stickers on your phones with the poison control phone #s on them.

Lucky for us I gave away and/or hung up our dangerous plants years ago. I probably even could have told you yesterday that lily of the valley, nightshade and belladonna were bad news. But I am newly reminded of the need to be aware of all our plants (in our tiny front yard, we have yew bushes, azaleas, a cherry tree, and vinca vines -- all fatal if ingested! -- and hydrangeas, which can cause serious illness and vomiting. We're hoping for the cessation of constant mouthing by spring).

Before I leave the flora front, houseplants can also do remarkable double duty as air purifiers -- some of the best are also poisonous (pothos) but some aren't (spider plants, Gerber daisies). Check out this guide to plants that can clean up your indoor air.

And for goodness' sake, lose the mistletoe.


Mrs. G. said...

You can buy the fake stuff at works for our kisses.

MamaBird said...

For a second I thought you meant fake lips. Great idea, I love seasonal excuses for kisses and my DD could use a catalyst to plaster my whole face with them more routinely...