Christmas cactus and cyclamen are among the plants that can be harmful to children and pets

Christmas cactus and cyclamen are among the plants that can be harmful to children and pets

The holiday decorations we display in our homes each December are important cultural, familial and emotional touchstones for many individuals and families. These treasures evoke memories of loved ones and are a treasured part of many families' holiday traditions. Many plants are an integral part of holiday decorations and traditions as well.

While these plants provide festive color and a unique scent and add to the joy of the holiday season, they can also be dangerous to young children and pets. Holiday plants are often placed in locations around the house without thinking about the potential toxicity of these plants, or the possibility of young children and curious pets getting access to the plants. Let's take a look at the potential toxicity of some of our favorite holiday plants.

Mike Hogan

Mistletoe: While hanging live mistletoe (Phoradendron flavescens) may bring an extra peck on the cheek this holiday season, it should be avoided in homes with pets, as it is highly toxic. Ingesting a small amount of live mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset, seizures, and even death when pets ingest large amounts. Pet lovers should choose plastic or silk versions of this plant as a backdrop for their holiday hugs.

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