Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Non-toxic Houseplants

One thing it is always nice to know when purchasing houseplants is whether or not the plant is dangerous to children or pets. There are many different ways a plant can be dangerous. They can have poisonous compounds that will sicken small children or pets to varying degrees. Plants can contain oxalates that would make you think you’re eating fiberglass. Some plants can cause skin reactions, called dermatitis. These are the types of dangers you can avoid by sticking with the plants listed here. Remember that there are always special cases where one may be allergic to a plant and have an unusual reaction. To be safe, it’s not a bad idea to keep houseplants out of reach of children and pets at all times.

African Violet – Saintpaulia species

Aluminum Plant – Pilea cadierei

Air Plant – Tillandsia species

Airplane Plant – Chlorophytum comosum (a.k.a. Spider Plant)

Aralia – Aralia japonica (a.k.a. Fatsia)

Artillery Plant – Pilea microphylla

Baby Tears – Soleirolia soleirolii

Banana Tree- Musa species

Bear’s Paw – Cotyledon tomentosa

Begonia – Begonia species

Boston Fern – Nephrolepis exaltata (a.k.a. Sword Fern)

Bridal Veil – Gibasis geniculata

Bromeliads – Guzmania species

Cabbage Palm – Cordyline species

Calathea – Calathea zebrina (a.k.a. Zebra Plant)

Cast Iron Plant – Aspidistra elatior

Cat Grass – Avena sativa (a.k.a. Common Oat)

Catnip – Nepeta cataria (a.k.a. Catmint)

Cattleya orchid – Cattleya species and cultivars

Christmas Cactus – Schlumbergera species

Coleus – Coleus species

Cordyline – Cordyline species (a.k.a. Spike Plant)

Creeping Jenny – Lysimachia nummularia (a.k.a. Gold Moneywort)

Cymbidium orchid – Cymbidium species and cultivars

Donkey’s Tail – Sedum morganianum

False Aralias – Schefflera elegantissima

False Banana Tree – Ensete species

Fatsia – Aralia japonica

Ferns – All houseplant types

Friendship Plant – Billbergia nutans (a.k.a. Queen’s Tears)

Gardenia – Gardenia jasminoides

Gloxinia – Gloxinia slyvatica

Goldfish Plant – Nematanthus gregarious (Handling plant may irritate skin)

Hens and Chicks – Sempervivum tectorum

Hindu Rope Plant – Hoya species

Hoya – Hoya species (a.k.a. Wax Plant, Hindu Rope Plant)

Irish Moss – Sagina subulata

Jade Plant – Crassula ovata

Lipstick Plant – Aeschynanthus species

Living Stones – Lithops aucampiae

Moneywort – Lysimachia nummularia (a.k.a. Creeping Jenny)

Money Tree – Pachira aquatica

Mother-Of-Thousands – Tolmiea menziesii

Moth Orchid – Phalaenopsis species and cultivars

Odontoglossum orchid– Odontoglossum species and cultivars

Orchid Cactus – Epiphyllum species

Peperomia – Peperomia species

Phalaenopsis orchid – Phalaenopsis species and cultivars

Piggyback Plant – Tolmiea menziesii (a.k.a. Mother-Of-Thousands)

Poinsettia – Euphorbia pulcherrima

Ponytail Palm – Beaucarnea recurvata (a.k.a. Bottle Palm)

Prayer Plant – Maranta leuconeura

Purple Heart – Tradescantia pallida (Handling plant may irritate skin)

Spider Plant – Chlorophytum comosum

Swedish Ivy – Plectranthus coleoides

Tahitian Bridal Veil – Gibasis geniculata

Ti Plant – Cordyline species

Wandering Jew – Tradescantia species (Handling plant may irritate skin)

Wax Plant – Hoya species

Zebra Plant – Calathea zebrine

Zygocactus – Schlumbergera species

Some plants may not be listed because it is not known with certainty how toxic the plant is. Plants with conflicting opinions have been omitted, for the sake of a reliable list. Of course, if new information arises, additions can be made. Enjoy, and try out a new plant. I recommend the Living Stones, if you are not familiar with them!

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