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Which plants are not good for home: Precautions for common houseplants

[ecis2016.org] If you are unsure about which plants are not good for home, follow this guide on the precautions you should take.

Houseplants serve a range of practical purposes. They provide aesthetic flair to the home, cleanse the air and may even be edible or therapeutic. Some common plants, such as aloe vera, are commonly found in homes, because of their ease of maintenance, gorgeous form and soothing gel. Even such widely cultivated and helpful plants, on the other hand, can turn out to be harmful, if one is not careful

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Which plants are not good for home: Precautions for common houseplants

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If you are unsure about which plants are not suitable for home, follow this guide on the precautions you should take.

1. English ivy

Which plants are not good for home: Precautions for common houseplants

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English ivy is a fast-growing climber widely seen in people’s houses, on building exteriors and beneath trees as a ground covering. However, these toxic plants may irritate the tongue and cause discomfort if consumed. When taken excessively, it may induce severe swelling farther down the neck.

2. Pothos

Which plants are not good for home: Precautions for common houseplants

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Pothos is another very popular houseplant, with pointy, heart-shaped leaves available in white, yellow, or light green. Taking a bite will not endanger you, but it may be pretty unpleasant. If you suspect your kid has eaten anything, keep an eye out for symptoms such as burning and swelling of the mouth, lips and tongue, trouble speaking or swallowing, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhoea.

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3. Daffodils

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These trumpet-shaped blooms may seem to be completely harmless, but they might make you ill. Even though they are not very deadly, eating a large amount of them may be harmful. Depending on how much is consumed, they may induce irritation of the mouth and throat and nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea.

4. Mistletoe

Which plants are not good for home: Precautions for common houseplants

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Even though it is a global emblem of happiness and good cheer, this festive favourite is also on the list of dangerous plants. Eating mistletoe may result in gastroenteritis, an intestinal illness that manifests as diarrhoea, cramps, nausea, vomiting and fever. It may also cause a reduction in blood pressure, albeit the American mistletoe seems to be less poisonous than the European type.

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5. Caladium

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Caladium, also known as elephant ear, has leaves fashioned like arrows, hearts, or lances and come in various colours, including pink, red, white, rose, green, and chartreuse. These hazardous houseplants, often found in homes, may irritate mucous membranes in the mouth, nose, throat, and stomach, resulting in nausea and vomiting.

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6. Peace lily

Which plants are not good for home: Precautions for common houseplants

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The peace lily is a shade-loving plant, making them an excellent choice for flats and places with little natural light. Even though it is not related to actual (and truly dangerous) lilies, the peace lily has potent medicinal properties of its own. The insoluble calcium oxalates in it may induce painful stinging and swelling of the lips and tongue, as well as nausea and diarrhoea in both, humans and pets.

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7. Aloe vera

Which plants are not good for home: Precautions for common houseplants

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Aloe vera is a popular houseplant, known for its use in helping heal human skin that has been sunburned, frostbitten, or is prone to psoriasis, by reducing inflammation. It is due to anthraquinones, which are chemical molecules that have anti-inflammatory properties. On the contrary, those same substances work as purgatives, increasing mucus and water production in the colon, making them somewhat hazardous to your pets. The ingestion of aloe vera leaves by your dog or cat may result in vomiting, fatigue, and diarrhoea.

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8. Azalea

Which plants are not good for home: Precautions for common houseplants

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Azaleas are a popular choice for decorating lawns and gardens, because of their lovely, vibrant flowers. Chances of getting severe poisoning from eating a small piece of the plant are slim; mild symptoms such as mouth irritation, nausea, and vomiting are more common. However, swallowing these poisonous plants, whether the leaves, flowers, or nectar, can be life-threatening if consumed in large quantities.

9. Holly

Which plants are not good for home: Precautions for common houseplants

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While the boughs of this plant are not harmful, the berries are poisonous and even a small amount (two berries) may induce vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration and sleepiness. Permanently remove the berries from fresh holly before using them to decorate your house to keep your children safe from these potentially deadly plants.

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10. Rubber tree

Which plants are not good for home: Precautions for common houseplants

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These common home trees produce a sap (fiction) that may irritate the tongue, throat, and skin when consumed in large quantities. If you were to take the risk of ingesting any of this sap yourself, you might also find yourself with impaired coordination. Keep an eye out for indications of reduced appetite, drooling, vomiting, and diarrhoea in your animals.

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Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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