5 Common But Dangerous Plants That You Could Have In Your Yard

When it comes to your health and the health of your family and your pets, you tend to think of the obvious dangers that you need to stay away from. What most people don’t realize is that there could be harmful items located right in your backyard.

There are many plants that are dangerous to humans and/or animals, and it’s possible that you have some of the following dangerous plants lurking in your backyard.

1. Rhubarb

Yes, it’s true that rhubarb is used as a food in many tasty desserts, but only the stem of the plant is safe. The leaves of rhubarb are actually very poisonous, and if you consume them, whether cooked or uncooked, you could experience burning of the throat or mouth. After the burning is over, you could experience internal bleeding, convulsions, coma or even death. If you want to grow rhubarb, it’s best done in an area that is safe from pets or other animals.

2. Oleander

Oleander is a very beautiful flower that looks and smells great, and it’s one of the most popular choices when it comes to gardens and flower beds. However, Oleander is one of the most poisonous plants, especially when it comes to children. What makes Oleander so dangerous is that it’s not just poisonous to consume, but it’s also poisonous to the touch. Symptoms of poison from an Oleander plant include vomiting and diarrhea, cramping, seizures, coma and death.

3. Hydrangea

Hydrangeas are another popular plant when it comes to yard décor. They can grow to be very tall, and they are available in an assortment of colors. If you were to consume a hydrangea, you would experience massive stomach pain, sweating, itchy skin and even vomiting. In most cases, vomiting is the worst of the symptoms, but some cases of coma have been reported from hydrangea consumption.

4. Chrysanthemum

Many people plant chrysanthemums (or mums) in their yards or near their gardens because they’re known to keep rabbits away. But chrysanthemums are also poisonous to humans. Touching the head of a chrysanthemum could make you experience red and itchy skin along with some minor swelling. Although that’s the worst that will happen, it can still be a nuisance.

5. Rhododendron

Rhododendrons are popular flowers to decorate a lawn due to their bell-like shape, but rhododendron leaves and the honey nectar they produce are very toxic. If you were to eat either the leaves or the honey, you could experience a burning mouth, vomiting, diarrhea or a tingling feeling in your body. Some people have also experienced convulsions and fallen into a coma, and others have experienced a slower heartbeat and difficulty breathing.

Even though most adults know not to consume a flower, young children and animals are often curious and put things into their mouth. It’s very important that you know which plants in your yard are poisonous and keep them out of the reach of children and animals in order to keep them safe.






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I just love gardening in the Spring

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I think I love just about everything about Spring … well ok, maybe not the garbage that seems to blow on my lawn and gets tangled in my roses or the sometimes endless days of rain … but otherwise, Spring just might be my favorite season.

I love watching the grass turn from dry straw like patches to tender green; seeing the first stem and leaves come up out of the soil from a seed I planted only weeks before; and seeing the first few flowers of spring bloom in my garden.

Speaking of Spring flowers … my Danfordia irises – tiny little things, came up in the second week of April, but unfortunately they only lasted about a week. I wish these lovely delicate flowers would last a month instead of just days!

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They’re so pretty!

It’s cool outside today, but yesterday … oh it was one of the best and worst days of Spring! Temps were almost 90 F with the humidity, but then at about 5:30 pm it got really dark and winds suddenly came up out of nowhere. I was outside pruning some roses and our neighbor behind us started to lose part of his eves trough, and the one next to us lost part of his lattice fence …

All the while I was gathering up my gardening tools and trying to get inside the house while things were flying around ie fence, eves trough and small branches from our other neighbors huge maple! My husband was just coming back from a store when he got caught in the wind storm. A tree fell right in front of the car as he was driving! Power lines came down with it too! Surprisingly this didn’t really make the news … but as far as I’m concerned we were both out in a bad wind storm or mini-tornado! That’s what it seemed like anyway! After that the rain started and we had a small thunderstorm – what an end to a beautiful day!

At least my flowers didn’t seem to get damaged in the storm. The hyacinth had just opened up the other day and I took photos of them before the storm … oh that sweet smelling hyacinth perfume … wafting through the garden. I love it!

I also have some tulips that are just starting to bloom today, daffodils that will bloom in a couple of days and several other plants leafing out or developing buds. The garden is going to be lovely this year!

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How is your garden this spring? Are your plants coming up earlier than normal – as they are here in Toronto?

BTW sorry for the lack of Green Thumb Sunday posts in the last two weeks. I’ve been sick lately (bad reaction to a new med), and also discouraged by the lack of participation from members. If you are making GTS posts please remember to check in on this site so we will all know that you’ve made a new Green Thumb post.

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Did you know the Sago Palm is toxic to pets?

676138.jpg I just received a new edition of my ASPCA newsletter and one article in particular caught my eye. It was about the increased incidence of pets being poisoned by the Sago Palm. This plant can also be quite toxic to young children.

The Sago Palm is common in warm climates, but it’s become more popular in Northern homes as a houseplant. The plant is native to Southern Japan. It’s an attractive plant with dark green leaves and a hairy trunk.

Since 2003, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center has seen an increase in cases of Sago palm and Cycad poisonings by more than 200 percent. APCC data also reveals that 50 percent to 75 percent of those cases resulted in fatalities.

sago-palm.jpg A chemical in the plant called cycasin is toxic and often causes permanent liver damage as well as neurological damage if enough of the poison is absorbed by the body. The seeds are the most poisonous part of the plant, although all parts of this plant are toxic, and the effects on humans are seizures, coma and death. Of course the seeds are an attractive reddish color so children and possible curious pets might be drawn to the plant.

Clinical signs of toxic poisoning are vomiting, melena (blood in stool), Jaundice, increased thirst, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, bruising and later liver damage, liver failure and death.

If you have young children or pets in your home and you’d like to check to see if your house or garden plants are toxic you can take a look at this list of Toxic Plants. There’s also a list of non-toxic plants that you might also want to look at if you are planning on adding more plants to your collection.

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