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Holiday Houseplant Safety
Facts, Figures & General Information
Poinsettias brighten our holiday decorations and being kissed under the mistletoe can bring great joy. However, these are just two of the holiday houseplants that are toxic to humans and our pets.

Here are some other poisonous houseplants and their effects:
  • Amaryllis hippeastrum: Eating the bulb can cause abdominal pain.
  • Cedar Christmas Trees: Ingesting the bark can cause abdominal pain. The sap may cause an itchy skin rash. Christmas trees are a bigger fire danger than poison danger.
  • Holly Berries ilex: Eating 1 or 2 berries should be OK. More than two berries can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Minnesota Poison Control says 20 berries can kill a child.
  • Jerusalem Cherry solanum pseudocapsicum: Ingestion can cause vomiting, skin redness, drowsiness or restlessness, and hallucinations. Seizures are possible, but rare.
  • Mistletoe phoradendron: All parts of mistletoe contain toxins. If ingested, mistletoe can cause vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, one to two berries or leaves eaten by a child will NOT result in serious harm. If you hang mistletoe in your home during the holidays, place it in a piece of netting or a plastic sandwich bag to prevent leaves and berries from dropping to the ground where kids and pets can eat them.
  • Poinsettia euphorbia: Contrary to popular belief, poinsettias have been considered safe for the holiday home since the 1970s. Eating several leaves can give you a stomach ache, while the sap can cause skin rash. Wash away sap with soap and water.
  • Pyracantha: You can eat a large number of berries before getting a stomach ache. Like the poinsettia, this plant is considered safe by experts.
  • Rosary Pea or Jequirity Bean abrus precatorius: These berries are very dangerous. They can be swallowed whole, but can be life-threatening if they are chewed prior to swallowing. Vomiting and abdominal pain occurs within a few hours after swallowing, followed by bloody diarrhea.

Post the Poison Help number by all home telephones and program all cell phones:  (800) 222-1222. The Poison Control Center is a service for all ages, 24/7/365.

For more important safety tips and information on poisoning prevention, visit American Association of Poison Control Centers.
Poison Help Hotline 

10416 Watterson Trail   |   Jeffersontown, KY 40299   |   Ph: (502) 267-8333   |   Fx: (502) 267-0547
10416 Watterson Trail   |   Jeffersontown, KY 40299   |   Ph: (502) 267-8333   |   Fx: (502) 267-0547