3 Holiday Plants to Avoid to Keep Your Pets Safe

Hannah Mitchell

December 7, 2017

The holidays are a great time to keep beautiful flowers in and around your home. The beauty of these festive blooms can be misleading as some are toxics to the pets in your home. As a pet owner, you'll do anything you can to keep your four-legged creatures as healthy as possible. Read below to learn about some holiday plants that could be toxic to your pets.


Poinsettias in full leafage

When you think of holiday flowers, bright red poinsettias probably come to mind. It is not uncommon to drive down the street and see these plants sitting in your neighbors' yards this time of year. What you may not know, though, is that these vibrant plants can also present a health hazard to your pets.The leaves of a poinsettia plant contain a sap that are irritating to the tissues of the mouth and esophagus. If these leaves are ingested, they will often cause nausea and vomiting. The good news is that it would take a lot of the plants' material to poison your pet, and they are unlikely to eat such a large amount due to the irritating taste and feel of the sap.

Holly and Mistletoe

Holly and mistletoe are also popular holiday plants to have around your home. Unfortunately, these plants, along with their berries, have an even higher toxicity than poinsettias. If ingested, symptoms you may notice from your pet include intestinal upset, such as vomiting and diarrhea, excessive drooling, and abdominal pain.Mistletoe alone contains multiple substances that are toxic to both cats and dogs. This plant is know for causing severe intestinal upset, severe drop in blood pressure, and abnormal behavior. Seizures and death may follow if a large enough amount of these plants are ingested.To avoid potential health scares as you decorate your home this holiday season, the leaves and berries of holly and mistletoe should be kept out of your pet's reach.


Amaryllis is another bright red holiday plant you may have in and around your home. If you have pets, though, you will want to be sure you steer away from these blooms this holiday season.Much like holly and mistletoe, Amaryllis contains toxins that can be harmful to your pets. These toxins, such Lycorine and other substances, cause excessive salivation, gastrointestinal abnormalities (such as vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, and abdominal pain,) lethargy, and tremors. Your pet can suffer from these reactions if they ingest any part of the plant, but the bulb is considered the most toxic part.Regardless of the beauty of this plant, the health risks for your pets aren't worth the added decor.

LawnMore of Gainesville Know Plants

Here at LawnMore of Gainesville we're experts in all things plants. When you're looking to create your own outdoor oasis, it's important to know that the flowers you choose are the best choice for your yard and safe for your family pets, too. We have been serving the Gainesville and Haile areas for over 20 years, and we are committed to ensuring your landscape is everything you want it to be. Ask our experts if you're unsure about the toxicity of certain blooms planted around your home. We're glad to answer any and all questions, give us a call today! From our team a LawnMore, we'd like to wish you and your family a very merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season!

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