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Ten Tips 'Til The Holiday: Potted Plants

Ten Tips 'Til The Holiday: Potted Plants

Along with hanging plants, adding potted plants or flowers is a common seasonal touch to create a festive holiday home. While some don't appeal to pets at all, others can be very dangerous if nibbled on. The first risk of potted plants actually comes from the cocoa mulch. Many florists use cocoa mulch in potted plants – its chocolatey smell attracts animals, and it is just as lethal to them as the real thing. Before purchasing, check with florists about the contents in the soil.

To read about potted plants that can be dangerous to animals,

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  • Lilies. Eating even very small amounts of this plant can be very dangerous, especially to cats. Many kinds of lilies can cause severe kidney damage if ingested by pets.
  • Amaryllis. Growing these in your home can put your pups at risk. The bulbs of this plant are considered to be highly-toxic, and other parts could produce intense gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, and tremors if eaten in large quantities.
  • Morning Glory.The leaves and especially the seeds of this plant are hallucinogenic and can cause significant, life-threatening central nervous system effects if ingested – if you must keep this plant in your home, make sure it is far out of pet's mouths.
  • Poinsettias. While not nearly as toxic as many people think, I still wouldn't tempt a kitty by putting this plant within her reach. The sap from this common holiday plant can irritate stomach and eyes of pets.
  • Other potted plants.I've pulled a couple other festive plants off the ASPCA toxic list as well. Plants like Jerusalem cherry, boxwood, Christmas cactus, and Japanese yew are not safe for pets — once again, don't bring anything near animals unless you're sure it's safe.
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