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Bird of paradise
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Bird of paradise
Bird of paradise
Bird of paradise
Bird of paradise
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Bird of paradise
Strelitzia reginae
Also known as: Mini craneflower, Queen's bird-of-paradise
The bird of paradise is a bright, flowering plant. It is native to South Africa, where it is important to national culture, even being featured on the country's 50-cent coin. The bird of paradise has also become the official flower of Los Angeles in spite of its non-native status. In the wild, these flowers attract sunbirds as pollinators.
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Every week
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Toxic to Human & Pets
care guide

Care Guide for Bird of paradise

The soil should be kept moist but well-drained throughout the year. This can require daily watering in warm/dry months. Mist Bird of paradise's leaves daily or use other means to increase air humidity as much as possible around the plant.
Fertilization
Fertilization
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Feed bird of paradise with a slow-release fertilizer in early spring, and supplement with a weekly liquid fertilizer weekly during the growing season.
Deadhead (or remove) withered flowers after flowering.
Loam, Sand, Chalky, Clay, Sandy loam, Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Potting Suggestions
Potting Suggestions
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Needs excellent drainage in pots.
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Questions About Bird of paradise

Watering Watering Watering
Pruning Pruning Pruning
How Much to Water Bird of paradise?
When it comes time to water your Bird of paradise, you should not be shy about how much water you give. With the first two to three inches of soil dry, this plant will appreciate a long and thorough watering. Supply enough water to soak the soil entirely. The amount of water you add should be enough to cause excess water to flow through the drainage holes at the bottom of your pot. If you don’t see excess water draining from the pot, you have likely underwatered your plant. But do not let the water accumulate inside the soil, which will be very dangerous to the plant as well. Alternatively, a lack of water draining through the pot could indicate poorly draining soils, which is detrimental to the health of this plant and should be avoided. If the plant is outside, 1 inch of rain per week will be sufficient.
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How Often to Water Bird of paradise?
If your plant is in a pot. The most precise way to decide whether your Bird of paradise needs water is to plunge your finger into the soil. If you notice that the first two to three inches of soil have become dry, it is time to add some water.

If you grow your Bird of paradise outdoors in the ground, you can use a similar method to test the soil. Again, when you find that the first few inches of soil have dried out, it is time to add water. During the spring and early fall, this method will often lead you to water this plant about once every week. When extremely hot weather arrives, you may need to increase your watering frequency to about twice or more per week. With that said, mature, well-established the Bird of paradise can show an admirable ability to withstand drought.
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How to Water Bird of paradise at Different Growth Stages?
The water needs of the Bird of paradise can change depending on growth stages as well. For example, when your Bird of paradise is in the first few years of its life, or if you have just transplanted it to a new growing location, you will need to give more water than usual. During both of those stages, your Bird of paradise will put a lot of energy towards sprouting new roots that will then support future growth. For those roots to perform their best, they need a bit more moisture than they would at a more mature phase. After a few seasons, your Bird of paradise will need much less water. Another growth stage in which this plant may need more water is during the bloom period. Flower development can make use of a significant amount of moisture, which is why you might need to give your Bird of paradise more water at this time.
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How to Water Bird of paradise Through the Seasons?
The Bird of paradise will have its highest water needs during the hottest months of the year. During the height of summer, you may need to give this plant water more than once per week, depending on how fast the soil dries out. The opposite is true during the winter. In winter, your plant will enter a dormant phase, in which it will need far less water than usual. In fact, you may not need to water this plant at all during the winter months. However, if you do water during winter, you should not do so more than about once per month. Watering too much at this time will make it more likely that your Bird of paradise will contract a disease.
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What Is the Best Way to Water the Bird of paradise?
When watering the Bird of paradise, you should aim to use filtered water that is at room temperature. Filtered water is better for this plant, as tap water can contain particles that are harmful to its health. The reason that the water should be at room temperature or slightly warmer is that the Bird of paradise comes from a warm environment, and cold water can be somewhat of a shock to its system. Also, you should avoid overhead watering for this plant, as it can cause foliage complications. Instead, simply apply your filtered room temperature water to the soil until the soil is entirely soaked. Soaking the soil can be very beneficial for this plant as it moistens the roots and helps them continue to spread through the soil and collect the nutrients they need.
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What Is the Difference between Watering Bird of paradise Indoors and Outdoors?
It is most common to grow the Bird of paradise indoors for any gardener that does not live in temperate and tropical regions. Those gardeners should consider the fact that soil in a container can dry out a bit faster than ground soil. Also, the presence of drying elements such as air conditioning units can cause your Bird of paradise to need water on a more frequent basis as well. if you planted it outside. When that is the case, it’s likely you won’t need to water your Bird of paradise very much at all. If you receive rainfall on a regular basis, that may be enough to keep your plant alive. Alternatively, those who grow this plant inside will need to water it more often, as allowing rainwater to soak the soil will not be an option.
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What to Do If Your Water Bird of paradise Too Much or Too Little?
Both overwatering and underwatering will be detrimental to the health of your Bird of paradise, but overwatering is a far more common issue. When this species receives too much water, its stems and leaves may begin to wilt and turn from green to yellow. Overwatering over a prolonged period may also lead to diseases such as root rot, mold, and mildew, all of which can kill your plant. Underwatering is far less common for the Bird of paradise, as this plant has decent drought tolerance. However, underwatering remains a possibility, and when it occurs, you can expect to find that the leaves of your Bird of paradise have become brittle and brown.

It is crucial that you notice the signs of overwatering as soon as possible when caring for your Bird of paradise. Some of the diseases that arise from overwatering, such as root rot, may not be correctable if you wait too long. If you see early signs of overwatering, you should reduce your watering schedule immediately. You may also want to assess the quality of soil in which your Bird of paradise grows. If you find that the soil drains very poorly, you should replace it immediately with a loose, well-draining potting mix. On the other hand, if you find signs that your Bird of paradise is receiving too little water, all you need to do is water more regularly until those signs have subsided.
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pests

Common Pests & Diseases

Common issues for Bird of paradise based on 10 million real cases
Brown spot
Brown spot Brown spot
Brown spot
This infection can cause brown spots or patches to appear on the plant.
Solutions: In minor cases of brown spot, there isn’t any need to treat the disease. However, if much of the foliage is affected and defoliation occurs, the plant will benefit from getting rid of the infection. It is recommended to start by applying organic treatment options, working up to the more potent synthetic, chemical fungicides if necessary. Organic options won’t kill the fungus, but will prevent it from spreading. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water. Using a spray bottle, spray on tops and bottoms of leaves until the mixture drips off. Repeat every two weeks until existing spots stop enlarging and new spots no longer appear. Spray a copper-based fungicidal soap on the leaves, coating the top and bottom leaf surfaces. Reapply as directed on the product label. Copper penetrates the leaf surface and prevents germination of spores so the fungus cannot spread. Apply an all-purpose fungicide to the entire plant, following the label instructions carefully.
Scars
Scars Scars
Scars
Any light-colored markings that appear on stems but which do not enlarge or multiply are simply scars that have healed.
Solutions: Each source of scarring requires a different approach to help your plant recover. Protect the trunk and leaves from physical damage like scrapes. If pests or disease are the cause of scarring, isolate the plant from others to avoid further spread. Some pests can be removed with organic remedies such as a soft cloth and soapy water solution or diluted isopropyl alcohol spray. Stop sunburn by moving your plant away from direct sunlight and making sure it has the water it needs. Frequent leaf or bud loss may be due to insufficient light or nutrients.
Aged yellow and dry
Aged yellow and dry Aged yellow and dry
Aged yellow and dry
Natural aging can cause leaves to turn yellow and dry out.
Solutions: If the yellowing and drying of leaves and flowers is a natural progression due to age, nothing can be done to slow or stop the process. Once hormones within the plant begin the process of senescence, it’s irreversible.
Leaf rot
Leaf rot Leaf rot
Leaf rot
This pathogen can cause the leaves to rot.
Solutions: Bacterial infections need to be treated quickly to prevent the spread to neighboring, healthy plants, potentially wiping out large sections of your indoor or outdoor garden. In mild cases: Use sterilized (10% bleach solution) pruning shears or scissors to remove any infected plant parts, making sure to dispose of them off site. Use a copper-based bactericide to treat the unaffected foliage, as well as the soil, and neighboring plants. Follow the manufacturer’s rate and timing directions found on the product label. In severe cases, where more than half the leaves are affected: Remove all of the infected plants from the garden, disposing of them off site. Treat the soil and neighboring plants using a copper-based bactericide. Follow the manufacturer’s rate and timing directions found on the product label.
Low humidity
Low humidity Low humidity
Low humidity
Low air humidity can cause the edges of the leaves to curl.
Solutions: To help with low humidity, you must apply more moisture to the air. This can be done in the following ways. Mist: Use a spray bottle to mist the plant and surrounding air with water daily. Water your plant regularly. Humidifier: Utilize a humidifier to add moisture to the air. Humidity dome: Place a clear plastic or glass dome above your plant to trap moisture.
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Brown spot
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Brown spot
This infection can cause brown spots or patches to appear on the plant.
DiseaseOverview
DiseaseOverview
Discolored spots on the foliage of plants are one of the most common disease problems people observe. These spots are caused by fungal and bacterial diseases, with most infections related to a fungal pathogen.
Brown spot can occurs on all houseplants, flowering ornamentals, vegetable plants, and leaves of trees, bushes, and shrubs. No plants are resistant to it, and the problem is worse in warm, wet environments. It can occur at any point in the life stage as long as leaves are present.
Small brownish spots appear on the foliage and enlarge as the disease progresses. In severe cases, the plant or tree is weakened when the lesions interrupt photosynthesis or cause defoliation.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
In most cases, brown spot only affects a small percentage of the whole plant, appearing on a small amount of the leaves. A small infection only puts minor stress on the plant. However, if left untreated and the disease progresses over numerous seasons, it will severely impact the health and productivity of the infected specimen.
  • Sporulation begins (reproduction of the fungal spores), and tiny spots appear on leaves.
  • Placement is often random and scattered as diseases are spread through raindrops.
  • May appear on lower leaves and the interior of the plant where humidity is higher.
  • Brown spots enlarge and grow large enough to touch neighboring spots to form a more prominent blotch.
  • Leaf margins may turn yellow.
  • Tiny black dots (fruiting bodies of the fungi) appear in the dead spots.
  • Blotches grow in size until the entire leaf is brown.
  • The leaf falls off the plant.
Severe Symptoms
  • Partial or complete premature defoliation
  • Reduced growth
  • Increased susceptibility to pests and other diseases
DiseaseCause
DiseaseCause
Brown spot, or leaf spot, is a common descriptive term given to several diseases affecting the leaves of plants and trees. Around 85% of diseases exhibiting leaf spots are due to fungus or fungus-like organisms. Sometimes brown spot is caused by a bacterial infection, or insect activity with similar symptoms.
When conditions are warm and the leaf surfaces are wet, fungal spores being transported by wind or rain land on the surface and cling to it. They do not rupture the cell walls but grow in the space between the plant plasma membrane and the plant cell wall. As the spores reproduce, they release toxins and enzymes that cause necrotic spots (i.e., dead tissue) on the leaves, allowing the fungi to consume the products released when the cells degrade.
Solutions
Solutions
In minor cases of brown spot, there isn’t any need to treat the disease. However, if much of the foliage is affected and defoliation occurs, the plant will benefit from getting rid of the infection. It is recommended to start by applying organic treatment options, working up to the more potent synthetic, chemical fungicides if necessary.
Organic options won’t kill the fungus, but will prevent it from spreading.
  1. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water. Using a spray bottle, spray on tops and bottoms of leaves until the mixture drips off. Repeat every two weeks until existing spots stop enlarging and new spots no longer appear.
  2. Spray a copper-based fungicidal soap on the leaves, coating the top and bottom leaf surfaces. Reapply as directed on the product label. Copper penetrates the leaf surface and prevents germination of spores so the fungus cannot spread.
  3. Apply an all-purpose fungicide to the entire plant, following the label instructions carefully.
Prevention
Prevention
Like many other diseases, it is easier to prevent brown spot than cure it, and this is done through cultural practices.
  • Clear fall leaves from the ground before winter to minimize places where fungi and bacteria can overwinter.
  • Maintain good air movement between plants through proper plant spacing.
  • Increase air circulation through the center of plants through pruning.
  • Thoroughly clean all pruning tools after working with diseased plants.
  • Never dispose of disease plant material in a compost pile.
  • Avoid overhead watering to keep moisture off of the foliage.
  • Keep plants healthy by providing adequate sunlight, water, and fertilizer.
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Scars
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Scars
Any light-colored markings that appear on stems but which do not enlarge or multiply are simply scars that have healed.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Scars form when the plant repairs wounds. They can be the result of people or pets passing by and scraping the plant. Once the underlying issue is resolved, the plant will heal but a scar may remain.
Pests and pathogens can also cause scarring. Insects may attack the plant for a meal, resulting in extensive scarring when a few invaders turn into an infestation. Diseases such as fungus and bacteria can weaken the plant, causing brown spots, mushy areas, or blisters that lead to scars.
Scars occur on stems when a leaf or bud has been lost and the plant has healed. The harder tissue is like a scab that protects a wound.
On other occasions, scars can signal problems from environmental conditions, such as overexposure to sunlight or heat. It might surprise you to know that plants can suffer from sunburn, even desert dwellers like cactus!
Solutions
Solutions
Each source of scarring requires a different approach to help your plant recover.
  1. Protect the trunk and leaves from physical damage like scrapes.
  2. If pests or disease are the cause of scarring, isolate the plant from others to avoid further spread. Some pests can be removed with organic remedies such as a soft cloth and soapy water solution or diluted isopropyl alcohol spray.
  3. Stop sunburn by moving your plant away from direct sunlight and making sure it has the water it needs.
  4. Frequent leaf or bud loss may be due to insufficient light or nutrients.
Prevention
Prevention
Preventing some sources of scarring is easier than others, but all start with careful attention to your plants once you decide to bring them home.
  1. Review specific guidelines for your plant, including soil drainage, watering, and fertilizer requirements.
  2. Inspect plants before planting and use sterile pots and fresh potting soil or media to limit transfer of fungi or bacteria.
  3. Once established, check your plants regularly for signs of scarring or the presence of pests, as it is better to catch problems as early as possible.
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Aged yellow and dry
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Aged yellow and dry
Natural aging can cause leaves to turn yellow and dry out.
DiseaseOverview
DiseaseOverview
Regardless of the type of plant or where it is grown, at some point, it will begin to aged yellow and dry. This is a natural, unavoidable process that happens when the plant has completed all of the steps in its life.
Annual plants go through this process at the end of a single growing season. Perennial plants live for multiple years, if not tens or hundreds of years, but will still ultimately exhibit these symptoms.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
When plants have progressed through their natural developmental stages and are nearing the end of their lifecycle, they begin showing signs of decline. Leaves will start to yellow and droop, and over time they turn papery brown and dry.
Once completely dry, the leaves begin to fall from the plant until the entire plant has dried out.
DiseaseCause
DiseaseCause
At the end of its life, genetic coding within the plant increases the production of ethylene, a phytohormone that controls senescence or natural aging and death. Cell division stops, and the plant begins catabolizing resources to use in other parts of the plant.
As this happens, the tissues begin yellow and drying until the entire plant is desiccated and perishes.
Solutions
Solutions
If the yellowing and drying of leaves and flowers is a natural progression due to age, nothing can be done to slow or stop the process. Once hormones within the plant begin the process of senescence, it’s irreversible.
Prevention
Prevention
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent plants from dying of “old age.” To help prolong their life, and put off symptoms of aged yellow and dry for as long as possible, take care of them by giving them enough water, fertilizing them appropriately, and making sure they get enough sunlight.
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Leaf rot
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Leaf rot
This pathogen can cause the leaves to rot.
DiseaseOverview
DiseaseOverview
Leaf rot is very common among both house plants and garden plants. It affects foliage and occurs mainly when the leaves become wet due to rain or misting by the gardener. The cause is fungal disease and this is facilitated by the fungal spores adhering to wet leaves then penetrating the leaf and expanding rapidly. Damp conditions and poor air circulation will increase chances of infection taking place. Another factor are leaves that are damaged or have been penetrated by sap sucking insects that facilitate plant penetration.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
  1. Spores are able to cling to a damp leaf and penetrate, often through an existing wound.
  2. A small dark brown mark appears which expands rapidly as sporulation starts to take place.
  3. Quite quickly these bull's eye like circles can link together and the whole leaf turns dark and loses texture.
  4. Leaf drop occurs.
DiseaseCause
DiseaseCause
These symptoms are caused by a bacterial infection invading the plant. Bacteria from many sources in the environment (air, water, soil, diseased plants) enter a plant through wounds, or in some cases the stomata when they are open. Once inside the leaf tissue, the bacteria feed and reproduce quickly, breaking down healthy leaves.
Bacterial infections threaten most plant species, and are more prominent in wet weather that more easily transfers the bacteria from plant to plant, or from soil to plant.
Solutions
Solutions
Bacterial infections need to be treated quickly to prevent the spread to neighboring, healthy plants, potentially wiping out large sections of your indoor or outdoor garden.
In mild cases: Use sterilized (10% bleach solution) pruning shears or scissors to remove any infected plant parts, making sure to dispose of them off site. Use a copper-based bactericide to treat the unaffected foliage, as well as the soil, and neighboring plants. Follow the manufacturer’s rate and timing directions found on the product label.
In severe cases, where more than half the leaves are affected: Remove all of the infected plants from the garden, disposing of them off site. Treat the soil and neighboring plants using a copper-based bactericide. Follow the manufacturer’s rate and timing directions found on the product label.
Prevention
Prevention
  1. Clean up garden debris at the end of the season, especially if it contains any diseased plant tissue. Diseases can overwinter from season to season and infect new plants.
  2. Avoid overhead watering to prevent transferring pathogens from one plant to another, and to keep foliage dry.
  3. Mulch around the base of plants to prevent soil-borne bacteria from splashing up onto uninfected plants.
  4. Sterilize cutting tools using a 10% bleach solution when gardening and moving from one plant to another.
  5. Do not work in your garden when it is wet.
  6. Rotate crops to prevent the buildup of bacteria in one site due to continuous cropping.
  7. Use a copper or streptomycin-containing bactericide in early spring to prevent infection. Read label directions carefully as they are not suitable for all plants.
  8. Ensure plants are well spaced and thin leaves on densely leaved plants so that air circulation is maximised.
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Low humidity
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Low humidity
Low air humidity can cause the edges of the leaves to curl.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Your plants’ leaves are curled either upward or downward. Only the edges of the leaves or whole leaves may be curled. You may also notice brown tips on your plants’ leaves.
Both curling edges and entirely curled leaves indicate low humidity or a lack of enough moisture in the air. Plant leaves curl to reduce transpiration and slow water loss.
Solutions
Solutions
To help with low humidity, you must apply more moisture to the air. This can be done in the following ways.
  1. Mist: Use a spray bottle to mist the plant and surrounding air with water daily.
  2. Water your plant regularly.
  3. Humidifier: Utilize a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
  4. Humidity dome: Place a clear plastic or glass dome above your plant to trap moisture.
Prevention
Prevention
Many houseplants naturally grow in humid tropical forests, so try to recreate their natural conditions. To prevent low humidity, don’t allow the air to dry out. You can use a humidity meter to measure the humidity around your plant and adjust if it gets too low.
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Toxicity

Highly Toxic to Humans
Highly Toxic to Humans
Bird of paradise is generally considered non-toxic but can be poisonous when ingested in large quantities. Cases of poisoning are typically mild to moderate with symptoms including abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Cases of poisoning may be more serious in children. The fruit and seeds are considered to be the most toxic parts of the plant. The frequent use of this plant as a houseplant could be a factor in poisoning frequency. This plant can be mistaken for another more toxic species, Poinciana gilliesii, as they share the same common name, bird of paradise.
Toxic to Dogs
Toxic to Dogs
Bird of paradise plants may be mildly to moderately toxic to dogs. The seeds - which are found in long pods - are the most toxic and most often-ingested, but any part of this plant may cause adverse reactions. Common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, indigestion, and labored breathing. Most experts recommend taking your dog to the vet if you believe they have ingested part of a bird of paradise, regardless of the strength of their reaction.
Toxic to Cats
Toxic to Cats
The seeds and fruits of the bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae) are moderately toxic to cats. Their leaves and stems may be mildly toxic, too. Symptoms following ingestion can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Usually, cases are not so severe as to warrant a trip to the vet. Still, keeping bird of paradise in your home is highly discouraged if you have cats.
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Who Is Most at Risk of Plant Poisoning?
Your pets like cats and dogs can be poisoned by them as well!
1
Do not let your lovely pets eat any parts, nor contact with the sap of toxic or unknown plants;
2
It’s better to kill those growing around your house. Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants and gloves with sharp tools to dig it out completely;
3
Clean the tools with rubbing alcohol or soap and water but do not do that with bare hands;
4
Clean your hands and skin once exposed to plants with soap and water;
5
Consider using barrier creams that contain bentoquatam to prevent poison oak, ivy and sumac rashes;
6
Dump it in special trash cans in sealed garbage packages, and do not let your pets reach it;Do not let your lovely pets eat any parts, nor contact with the sap of toxic or unknown plants;
7
If you take your pets to hike with you in the wild, please don’t let them eat any plants that you don’t know;
8
Once your pets eat, touch or inhale anything from toxic plants and act abnormally, please call the doctors for help ASAP!
pets
Pets
Some pets are less likely than children to eat and touch just about everything. This is good, as a pet owner. However, you know your pet best, and it is up to you to keep them safe. There are plenty of poisonous weeds that can grow within the confines of your lawn, which might make your dogs or cats ill or worse if they eat them. Try to have an idea of what toxic plants grow in your area and keep them under control and your pets away from them.
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Common Toxic Houseplants
Common Toxic Houseplants
When it comes to decorating a house, there is nothing more refreshing than adding some beautiful houseplants. Some common house plants can also be toxic.

Aloe

aloe
Aloe is famous for its sunburn-soothing properties and its gorgeous desert design. However, many people do not realize that the latex the aloe vera plant produces can be mildly toxic to pets and children.

The latex contains a chemical compound known as saponin. Which when ingested, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and low blood sugar. This, if left unchecked, can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. The proper response is to contact poison control or a veterinarian to know what to do in your particular circumstance if either your child or pet consumes aloe.

The latex of the plant is similar to the sap of the tree. It is inside the leaf, but sticks mainly toward the edges. If aloe gel is prepared properly it should be safe for use, but be sure to apply it only topically when treating burns.

Philodendron

Philodendron
Philodendron, also known as sweetheart vine, has become a resident at many houses and even businesses. They are glossy green and the leaves elegantly split, displaying interesting designs. Behind this beauty there is a needle-like toxin called calcium oxalate crystals.

These crystals are held within the plant and only affect you, your pets, or your loved ones if the plant tissue is broken. If ingested, the crystals can cause severe swelling, difficulty breathing, stomach pain, burning and pain. If they are accidentally caught on the skin, they can cause skin irritation.

If anyone accidentally ingests philodendron and they find it difficult to breathe or their tongue starts to swell up, it is important to seek medical attention immediately to avoid suffocation. If you have very young children or pets who have a tendency to tear at plants, keep them away from any philodendrons.

Peace Lily

Peace Lily
Peace lilies produce stunningly white flowers that bring to mind peace and serenity. This is one reason they are invited into our homes and given a place to stay. However, similar to philodendrons, the peace lily contains oxalate crystals known as raphides.

The raphides, once ingested, will cause swelling and burning sensations and can also cause skin irritation. Both pets and humans can get these symptoms so it is important to keep these plants from anyone who is likely to tear or chew it. Symptoms can become dire if the raphides cause the tongue and throat to swell to a point where the person or pet is having difficulty breathing. Seek proper medical attention if this is the case.

Snake Plant

Snake Plant
The snake plant is an interesting and popular house plant. Its stark architecture and wavy coloring has made it a fan favorite. This plant too, however, is toxic when ingested or if the sap touches your skin.

Snake plant sap will cause rashes if it comes into contact with your skin. In addition, it will cause diarrhea and vomiting when ingested. Again these symptoms are very serious and would be best avoided by keeping snake plants out of reach or by choosing a different houseplant.
Common Toxic Garden Plants
Common Toxic Garden Plants

Daffodil

Daffodil
Daffodils are a strikingly colorful flower. This can sometimes bring them much attention not from just onlooking adults but children as well. Since kids are more drawn to colorful objects, they may have a higher chance of just grabbing the flower and eating it. Adults have also been known to accidentally grab daffodil bulbs instead of onions.

Why are these mistakes so dangerous? Daffodils contain lycorine, which can induce nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It also contains oxalates which can cause swelling and pain. The symptoms can be worse in animals, because if your pets eat daffodils they may experience drowsiness, low blood pressure or even liver damage.

Make sure to call poison control when these symptoms set in. The vomiting and diarrhea have been known to go away after 3 hours, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Ingesting liquids to keep hydration up can be important. If the patient is having difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately.

Hydrangea

Hydrangea
Hydrangeas are unique, with their soft blue and pink flowers. They are a great addition to any garden, but should not be snacked on—not that you would want to. Hydrangeas can be especially nasty because they contain compounds known as glycosides. These will release hydrogen cyanide into the bloodstream when consumed. This will block your body’s ability to uptake oxygen to the cells in your body.

The way to combat this kind of poisoning is through getting IVs from the vet or doctor. It is important to contact your medical professional immediately since the symptoms can be fatal within minutes or hours.

Rhododendrons

Rhododendrons
Rhododendron, the state flower of Washington, is also toxic. The multitudinous, pink flowers can be quite dangerous. All parts of this plant are toxic, the leaves and seeds more so than the flowers. However, even the nectar of the flower is toxic and in the Mediterranean, where rhododendrons grow in more dense quantities, the honey from bees who gather rhododendron nectar can be poisonous.

Normally kids and pets do not eat enough to experience the full poisoning effect. However, just eating two leaves is enough to be considered dangerous. The grayanotoxin glycosides within the rhododendron can cause vomiting, diarrhea and irregular heartbeats. Things can get very serious when too much rhododendron is consumed and can lead to necessary medical intervention.

Start by calling poison control first if you suspect anyone has been munching on rhododendrons. The experts there will be able to help guide you through the necessary processes to cure your loved one.

Rhubarb

Rhubarb
Yummy rhubarb has a nasty side to it. While the stems are used in many recipes, including for rhubarb strawberry pie, the leaves are toxic. They contain oxalic acid which is known to blister the mouth, cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and kidney stones. The leaves are known to be more toxic to pets than humans, but in either case, it is important to contact poison control immediately to figure out necessary steps to cure the patient.
Common Toxic Weeds in the Yard
Common Toxic Weeds in the Yard

Bittersweet Nightshade

Bittersweet Nightshade
Nightshade is an invasive, noxious weed that is extremely poisonous. It has been found along the East and West Coast of the U.S. It makes its home in areas with disturbed soil. This could be near your garden or areas that have recently had bushes/trees put in.

These plants are dark green with purple flowers that develop into bright red berries. The whole plant is toxic and should be avoided by pets and children alike. If ingested it can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The colorful berries are especially enticing to young children. If you see any plants that look similar to tomato or pepper plants that you did not plant in your yard, it is best to just pull them immediately.

Call poison control immediately if you think someone has fallen victim to nightshade.

Buttercups

Buttercups
Buttercups are found throughout the United States, especially in wet areas. The shiny, yellow flowers will pop up in the springtime, accompanying their dandelion friends. However, unlike dandelions, buttercups are not edible.

Buttercups will release a compound called protoanemonin. This toxin is known to cause vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stool, hypersalivation, depression, blisters, and more. These symptoms will affect both humans and animals. The sap may also cause irritation when it comes into contact with skin. These yellow flowers are dangerous and children should be observed cautiously when around them.

Foxgloves

Foxgloves
Foxgloves are beautiful plants that build towers out of vivid purple bell-shaped blossoms. They are very pretty to look at, but they contain a compound known as digoxin. This chemical is used in certain medicines to help people with certain heart conditions. However, the medicine is made by specialists, whereas someone eating foxgloves will receive unregulated amounts of the chemical.

This toxin can make you vomit and lower your heartbeat. This often causes dizziness and faintness. It is extremely important to call poison control immediately to know what to do in the case of foxglove poisoning. Some people have confused the young leaves of foxglove with borage, making adult foragers at risk as well as kids and pets.
How to Tend to or Get Rid of Toxic Plants
How to Tend to or Get Rid of Toxic Plants
Now that you know where to start with toxic plant identification, let us discuss how to either tend to the poisonous plants you decide to keep or get rid of them that plague your yard.

How to Tend to Poisonous Plants

Many plants that are toxic when ingested are also skin irritants. The philodendron is a good example of this. When the sap comes into contact with skin, it can cause a rash to form. To help protect yourself when tending to toxic plants, it is important to wear some sort of gloves.
Tend
Latex gloves may be the best solution due to their disposability. Regular gloves could potentially keep the poisonous sap on their surface. If the gloves aren’t cleaned then you could accidentally touch the irritant or pass it to someone else.

In addition you will want to plan where to keep your deadly beauties. If you have a toxic indoor plant try to keep it up high or out of reach of children and pets. This will keep accidents few and far between. Another idea is keeping your plants in areas that are usually inaccessible to children or pets. Areas such as an office, study room, or guest bedroom could be good locations. If applicable, you could also set up a terrarium for your little plant baby, making it more difficult for curious hands or paws to access.
tend2
If you plan to have outdoor plants, location will be key. You will want to put plants in an area that will be inaccessible to children, pets and even wild animals. You will probably want to avoid planting the plants in the front of your house if kids walk by on a regular basis, just to be cautious. Having the plants behind a fence will be best, but use your discretion when choosing a spot.

How to Get Rid of Poisonous Plants

plants
The easiest but possibly most controversial way to get rid of poisonous plants is by using herbicides. This can be especially easy if you own a grass lawn and use an herbicide that targets broadleaf (non-grass) species. You can find many herbicides meant for yard use by simply searching the term online. Once you have purchased the herbicide you will want to make sure to follow the label posted on the container. If you follow the instructions precisely, then everything should run smoothly for you.

If you don’t plan on using herbicides, there are a few organic methods you can use to try to get rid of toxic plants. You can manually pull the plants out of the ground. This is probably one of the most difficult methods because there is no assurance that you will get the whole plant out this way.

You can also try pouring boiling hot water or spraying white vinegar on the target plants. This may take more time than using a synthetic herbicide, but you can feel a little better about using these products.

You can also try to use wood chips to cover a certain area where you do not want anything to grow. This will not stop all the weeds, but the few that make it through can be easily picked by hand.
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Who Is Most at Risk of Plant Poisoning?
Everyone should keep the following in mind to prevent being poisoned:
1
Do not eat any parts, nor contact with the sap of toxic or unknown plants;
2
If you need to kill it, wear long-sleeved shirts, pants and gloves with sharp tools to dig it out completely;
3
Clean the tools with rubbing alcohol or soap and water but do not do that with bare hands;
4
Clean your hands and skin once exposed to plants with soap and water;
5
Consider using barrier creams that contain bentoquatam to prevent poison oak, ivy and sumac rashes;
6
Dump it in special trash cans in sealed garbage packages;
7
Wear properly when you hiking or working in the wilderness. Long pants, long sleeves, gloves, hiking shoes, etc., that protect you from being hurt by any plants;
8
Once you or your family aren’t feeling well after eating, touching or inhaling anything from toxic plants, please call your doctor for help ASAP!
Outdoor Workers
Outdoor Workers and Recreationalists
Those who enjoy the outdoors either as a hobby or as part of their work will rarely see a plant and decide to munch on it (although the scenario is not unheard of). However, they do tend to deal with moving through and brushing aside plants. These people are more at risk of being poisoned by touching toxic plants than by ingesting them.
Outdoor Workers
Foragers
Foragers
Foraging for food and medicinal plants is a desirable skill among people who want to feel at one with the land. This hobby can be very useful and enjoyable, but if done wrong , it can lead to disastrous effects. People who forage are picking and grabbing plants with the full intention of using those plants, most of the time to ingest them.
Foragers
Children
Children
While outdoor workers are more likely to touch poison and foragers are more likely to ingest poison, children can easily do both. These bundles of joy just love to run around and explore the world. They enjoy touching things and occasionally shoving random stuff in their mouth; this is a terrible combination with toxic plants in the mix.
If you let your children run about, it is important to know what are the local toxic plants that they could accidentally get into. Try to educate the children and steer them away from where the toxic plants are located.
Children
Common Toxic Houseplants
Common Toxic Houseplants
When it comes to decorating a house, there is nothing more refreshing than adding some beautiful houseplants. Some common house plants can also be toxic.

Aloe

aloe
Aloe is famous for its sunburn-soothing properties and its gorgeous desert design. However, many people do not realize that the latex the aloe vera plant produces can be mildly toxic to pets and children.

The latex contains a chemical compound known as saponin. Which when ingested, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and low blood sugar. This, if left unchecked, can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. The proper response is to contact poison control or a veterinarian to know what to do in your particular circumstance if either your child or pet consumes aloe.

The latex of the plant is similar to the sap of the tree. It is inside the leaf, but sticks mainly toward the edges. If aloe gel is prepared properly it should be safe for use, but be sure to apply it only topically when treating burns.

Philodendron

Philodendron
Philodendron, also known as sweetheart vine, has become a resident at many houses and even businesses. They are glossy green and the leaves elegantly split, displaying interesting designs. Behind this beauty there is a needle-like toxin called calcium oxalate crystals.

These crystals are held within the plant and only affect you, your pets, or your loved ones if the plant tissue is broken. If ingested, the crystals can cause severe swelling, difficulty breathing, stomach pain, burning and pain. If they are accidentally caught on the skin, they can cause skin irritation.

If anyone accidentally ingests philodendron and they find it difficult to breathe or their tongue starts to swell up, it is important to seek medical attention immediately to avoid suffocation. If you have very young children or pets who have a tendency to tear at plants, keep them away from any philodendrons.

Peace Lily

Peace Lily
Peace lilies produce stunningly white flowers that bring to mind peace and serenity. This is one reason they are invited into our homes and given a place to stay. However, similar to philodendrons, the peace lily contains oxalate crystals known as raphides.

The raphides, once ingested, will cause swelling and burning sensations and can also cause skin irritation. Both pets and humans can get these symptoms so it is important to keep these plants from anyone who is likely to tear or chew it. Symptoms can become dire if the raphides cause the tongue and throat to swell to a point where the person or pet is having difficulty breathing. Seek proper medical attention if this is the case.

Snake Plant

Snake Plant
The snake plant is an interesting and popular house plant. Its stark architecture and wavy coloring has made it a fan favorite. This plant too, however, is toxic when ingested or if the sap touches your skin.

Snake plant sap will cause rashes if it comes into contact with your skin. In addition, it will cause diarrhea and vomiting when ingested. Again these symptoms are very serious and would be best avoided by keeping snake plants out of reach or by choosing a different houseplant.
Common Toxic Garden Plants
Common Toxic Garden Plants

Daffodil

Daffodil
Daffodils are a strikingly colorful flower. This can sometimes bring them much attention not from just onlooking adults but children as well. Since kids are more drawn to colorful objects, they may have a higher chance of just grabbing the flower and eating it. Adults have also been known to accidentally grab daffodil bulbs instead of onions.

Why are these mistakes so dangerous? Daffodils contain lycorine, which can induce nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It also contains oxalates which can cause swelling and pain. The symptoms can be worse in animals, because if your pets eat daffodils they may experience drowsiness, low blood pressure or even liver damage.

Make sure to call poison control when these symptoms set in. The vomiting and diarrhea have been known to go away after 3 hours, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Ingesting liquids to keep hydration up can be important. If the patient is having difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately.

Hydrangea

Hydrangea
Hydrangeas are unique, with their soft blue and pink flowers. They are a great addition to any garden, but should not be snacked on—not that you would want to. Hydrangeas can be especially nasty because they contain compounds known as glycosides. These will release hydrogen cyanide into the bloodstream when consumed. This will block your body’s ability to uptake oxygen to the cells in your body.

The way to combat this kind of poisoning is through getting IVs from the vet or doctor. It is important to contact your medical professional immediately since the symptoms can be fatal within minutes or hours.

Rhododendrons

Rhododendrons
Rhododendron, the state flower of Washington, is also toxic. The multitudinous, pink flowers can be quite dangerous. All parts of this plant are toxic, the leaves and seeds more so than the flowers. However, even the nectar of the flower is toxic and in the Mediterranean, where rhododendrons grow in more dense quantities, the honey from bees who gather rhododendron nectar can be poisonous.

Normally kids and pets do not eat enough to experience the full poisoning effect. However, just eating two leaves is enough to be considered dangerous. The grayanotoxin glycosides within the rhododendron can cause vomiting, diarrhea and irregular heartbeats. Things can get very serious when too much rhododendron is consumed and can lead to necessary medical intervention.

Start by calling poison control first if you suspect anyone has been munching on rhododendrons. The experts there will be able to help guide you through the necessary processes to cure your loved one.

Rhubarb

Rhubarb
Yummy rhubarb has a nasty side to it. While the stems are used in many recipes, including for rhubarb strawberry pie, the leaves are toxic. They contain oxalic acid which is known to blister the mouth, cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and kidney stones. The leaves are known to be more toxic to pets than humans, but in either case, it is important to contact poison control immediately to figure out necessary steps to cure the patient.
Common Toxic Weeds in the Yard
Common Toxic Weeds in the Yard

Bittersweet Nightshade

Bittersweet Nightshade
Nightshade is an invasive, noxious weed that is extremely poisonous. It has been found along the East and West Coast of the U.S. It makes its home in areas with disturbed soil. This could be near your garden or areas that have recently had bushes/trees put in.

These plants are dark green with purple flowers that develop into bright red berries. The whole plant is toxic and should be avoided by pets and children alike. If ingested it can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The colorful berries are especially enticing to young children. If you see any plants that look similar to tomato or pepper plants that you did not plant in your yard, it is best to just pull them immediately.

Call poison control immediately if you think someone has fallen victim to nightshade.

Buttercups

Buttercups
Buttercups are found throughout the United States, especially in wet areas. The shiny, yellow flowers will pop up in the springtime, accompanying their dandelion friends. However, unlike dandelions, buttercups are not edible.

Buttercups will release a compound called protoanemonin. This toxin is known to cause vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stool, hypersalivation, depression, blisters, and more. These symptoms will affect both humans and animals. The sap may also cause irritation when it comes into contact with skin. These yellow flowers are dangerous and children should be observed cautiously when around them.

Foxgloves

Foxgloves
Foxgloves are beautiful plants that build towers out of vivid purple bell-shaped blossoms. They are very pretty to look at, but they contain a compound known as digoxin. This chemical is used in certain medicines to help people with certain heart conditions. However, the medicine is made by specialists, whereas someone eating foxgloves will receive unregulated amounts of the chemical.

This toxin can make you vomit and lower your heartbeat. This often causes dizziness and faintness. It is extremely important to call poison control immediately to know what to do in the case of foxglove poisoning. Some people have confused the young leaves of foxglove with borage, making adult foragers at risk as well as kids and pets.
How to Tend to or Get Rid of Toxic Plants
How to Tend to or Get Rid of Toxic Plants
Now that you know where to start with toxic plant identification, let us discuss how to either tend to the poisonous plants you decide to keep or get rid of them that plague your yard.

How to Tend to Poisonous Plants

Many plants that are toxic when ingested are also skin irritants. The philodendron is a good example of this. When the sap comes into contact with skin, it can cause a rash to form. To help protect yourself when tending to toxic plants, it is important to wear some sort of gloves.
Tend
Latex gloves may be the best solution due to their disposability. Regular gloves could potentially keep the poisonous sap on their surface. If the gloves aren’t cleaned then you could accidentally touch the irritant or pass it to someone else.

In addition you will want to plan where to keep your deadly beauties. If you have a toxic indoor plant try to keep it up high or out of reach of children and pets. This will keep accidents few and far between. Another idea is keeping your plants in areas that are usually inaccessible to children or pets. Areas such as an office, study room, or guest bedroom could be good locations. If applicable, you could also set up a terrarium for your little plant baby, making it more difficult for curious hands or paws to access.
tend2
If you plan to have outdoor plants, location will be key. You will want to put plants in an area that will be inaccessible to children, pets and even wild animals. You will probably want to avoid planting the plants in the front of your house if kids walk by on a regular basis, just to be cautious. Having the plants behind a fence will be best, but use your discretion when choosing a spot.

How to Get Rid of Poisonous Plants

plants
The easiest but possibly most controversial way to get rid of poisonous plants is by using herbicides. This can be especially easy if you own a grass lawn and use an herbicide that targets broadleaf (non-grass) species. You can find many herbicides meant for yard use by simply searching the term online. Once you have purchased the herbicide you will want to make sure to follow the label posted on the container. If you follow the instructions precisely, then everything should run smoothly for you.

If you don’t plan on using herbicides, there are a few organic methods you can use to try to get rid of toxic plants. You can manually pull the plants out of the ground. This is probably one of the most difficult methods because there is no assurance that you will get the whole plant out this way.

You can also try pouring boiling hot water or spraying white vinegar on the target plants. This may take more time than using a synthetic herbicide, but you can feel a little better about using these products.

You can also try to use wood chips to cover a certain area where you do not want anything to grow. This will not stop all the weeds, but the few that make it through can be easily picked by hand.
Show More
more
Become a premium member to read the full content!
Learn more about how to prevent toxic plants for your loved ones.
distribution

Distribution Map

Habitat

Pastures
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Cultivated
Invasive
Potentially invasive
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No species reported
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More Info

Plant Type
Plant Type
Herb
Flower Color
Flower Color
Orange
Blue
Yellow
Purple
Bloom Time
Bloom Time
Summer, Fall, Winter
Leaf Color
Leaf Color
Green
Gray
Silver
Blue

Name story

Bird of paradise
The bird of paradise gets its name that its flower is made of three bright orange petals and three blue petals that are fused together into a single bud. The open flowers of the plant is a resemblance to the head and beak of a colorful exotic bird.

Symbolism

magnificence, faithfulness, love, optimism

Usages

Garden Use
Bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae) is a herbaceous perennial whose showy golden-yellow flowers are a common sight in warm-climate ornamental gardens. This plant does not fare well in the cold, however, and so should be grown in containers in cooler climates so it can be brought indoors in winter. Outdoors bird of paradise looks best when grown in groups in beds or wall-side borders and makes a great addition to city, cottage, informal, or Mediterranean gardens. It grows well with other drought-tolerant plants like mondo grass and juniper.
other_plant

Related Plants

Madagascar periwinkle
Madagascar periwinkle
The madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus) is an evergreen subshrub or herbaceous plant. It has a long history of cultivation. Over the years, many cultivars have been developed, most commonly with the aim of incorporating new colors or making the plant more tolerant to cold.
Toxic to
Humans
Cats
Dogs
Scarlet firethorn
Scarlet firethorn
Scarlet firethorn (Pyracantha coccinea) is a semi-evergreen shrub featuring spiky branches that are covered abundantly by clustered white flowers, which contrast attractively with its lustrous, deep green foliage. It also bears vibrant crimson berries which the birds devour. From the genus name, Pyracantha, "Pyr" means "fire" in Greek, while "Akantha" means "thorn" in English, which apparently refer to the plant's thorny stems and crimson fruits.
American pokeweed
American pokeweed
Although its berries look juicy and tempting, the fruits and the root of american pokeweed are toxic and should not be eaten. American pokeweed is considered a pest species by farmers but is nevertheless often grown as an ornamental plant. Its berries can be made into pokeberry ink as well.
Toxic to
Humans
Redroot amaranth
Redroot amaranth
While the redroot amaranth is considered a weed in most areas, some parts are edible. Fresh leaves may be included in soups and stews, while the dried leaves can be utilized in tea or ground into flour for bread or used as a thickening agent. Seeds can also be eaten, but the stalks, roots, and older leaves contain toxic substances. Redroot amaranth is sometimes used as fodder for livestock - it is nutritious in small amounts but toxic if too much is fed over a span of several days.
Toxic to
Humans
Evergreen spindle
Evergreen spindle
Evergreen spindle(Euonymus japonicus) is a popular ornamental evergreen shrub with numerous cultivars. Due to its superb adaptability and decorative looks, evergreen spindle can be found in parks and gardens all over the world. Its flowers produce a lot of nectar, which makes this plant very attractive to bees.
Toxic to
Humans
Purple heart
Purple heart
Tradescantia pallida is an evergreen perennial trailing plant, colloquially known as purple heart. This beautiful perennial is famous for its spectacular deep purple, pointed leaves. Purple heart is a common houseplant, but it is also often used in landscaping as a bedding plant.
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Bird of paradise
Bird of paradise
Bird of paradise
Bird of paradise
Bird of paradise
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Bird of paradise
Strelitzia reginae
Also known as: Mini craneflower, Queen's bird-of-paradise
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Toxic to Human & Pets
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Common Pests & Diseases

Common issues for Bird of paradise based on 10 million real cases
Brown spot
Brown spot  Brown spot  Brown spot
This infection can cause brown spots or patches to appear on the plant.
Solutions: In minor cases of brown spot, there isn’t any need to treat the disease. However, if much of the foliage is affected and defoliation occurs, the plant will benefit from getting rid of the infection. It is recommended to start by applying organic treatment options, working up to the more potent synthetic, chemical fungicides if necessary. Organic options won’t kill the fungus, but will prevent it from spreading. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water. Using a spray bottle, spray on tops and bottoms of leaves until the mixture drips off. Repeat every two weeks until existing spots stop enlarging and new spots no longer appear. Spray a copper-based fungicidal soap on the leaves, coating the top and bottom leaf surfaces. Reapply as directed on the product label. Copper penetrates the leaf surface and prevents germination of spores so the fungus cannot spread. Apply an all-purpose fungicide to the entire plant, following the label instructions carefully.
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Scars
Scars  Scars  Scars
Any light-colored markings that appear on stems but which do not enlarge or multiply are simply scars that have healed.
Solutions: Each source of scarring requires a different approach to help your plant recover. Protect the trunk and leaves from physical damage like scrapes. If pests or disease are the cause of scarring, isolate the plant from others to avoid further spread. Some pests can be removed with organic remedies such as a soft cloth and soapy water solution or diluted isopropyl alcohol spray. Stop sunburn by moving your plant away from direct sunlight and making sure it has the water it needs. Frequent leaf or bud loss may be due to insufficient light or nutrients.
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Aged yellow and dry
Aged yellow and dry  Aged yellow and dry  Aged yellow and dry
Natural aging can cause leaves to turn yellow and dry out.
Solutions: If the yellowing and drying of leaves and flowers is a natural progression due to age, nothing can be done to slow or stop the process. Once hormones within the plant begin the process of senescence, it’s irreversible.
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Leaf rot
Leaf rot  Leaf rot  Leaf rot
This pathogen can cause the leaves to rot.
Solutions: Bacterial infections need to be treated quickly to prevent the spread to neighboring, healthy plants, potentially wiping out large sections of your indoor or outdoor garden. In mild cases: Use sterilized (10% bleach solution) pruning shears or scissors to remove any infected plant parts, making sure to dispose of them off site. Use a copper-based bactericide to treat the unaffected foliage, as well as the soil, and neighboring plants. Follow the manufacturer’s rate and timing directions found on the product label. In severe cases, where more than half the leaves are affected: Remove all of the infected plants from the garden, disposing of them off site. Treat the soil and neighboring plants using a copper-based bactericide. Follow the manufacturer’s rate and timing directions found on the product label.
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Low humidity
Low humidity  Low humidity  Low humidity
Low air humidity can cause the edges of the leaves to curl.
Solutions: To help with low humidity, you must apply more moisture to the air. This can be done in the following ways. Mist: Use a spray bottle to mist the plant and surrounding air with water daily. Water your plant regularly. Humidifier: Utilize a humidifier to add moisture to the air. Humidity dome: Place a clear plastic or glass dome above your plant to trap moisture.
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Brown spot
plant poor
Brown spot
This infection can cause brown spots or patches to appear on the plant.
DiseaseOverview
DiseaseOverview
Discolored spots on the foliage of plants are one of the most common disease problems people observe. These spots are caused by fungal and bacterial diseases, with most infections related to a fungal pathogen.
Brown spot can occurs on all houseplants, flowering ornamentals, vegetable plants, and leaves of trees, bushes, and shrubs. No plants are resistant to it, and the problem is worse in warm, wet environments. It can occur at any point in the life stage as long as leaves are present.
Small brownish spots appear on the foliage and enlarge as the disease progresses. In severe cases, the plant or tree is weakened when the lesions interrupt photosynthesis or cause defoliation.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
In most cases, brown spot only affects a small percentage of the whole plant, appearing on a small amount of the leaves. A small infection only puts minor stress on the plant. However, if left untreated and the disease progresses over numerous seasons, it will severely impact the health and productivity of the infected specimen.
  • Sporulation begins (reproduction of the fungal spores), and tiny spots appear on leaves.
  • Placement is often random and scattered as diseases are spread through raindrops.
  • May appear on lower leaves and the interior of the plant where humidity is higher.
  • Brown spots enlarge and grow large enough to touch neighboring spots to form a more prominent blotch.
  • Leaf margins may turn yellow.
  • Tiny black dots (fruiting bodies of the fungi) appear in the dead spots.
  • Blotches grow in size until the entire leaf is brown.
  • The leaf falls off the plant.
Severe Symptoms
  • Partial or complete premature defoliation
  • Reduced growth
  • Increased susceptibility to pests and other diseases
DiseaseCause
DiseaseCause
Brown spot, or leaf spot, is a common descriptive term given to several diseases affecting the leaves of plants and trees. Around 85% of diseases exhibiting leaf spots are due to fungus or fungus-like organisms. Sometimes brown spot is caused by a bacterial infection, or insect activity with similar symptoms.
When conditions are warm and the leaf surfaces are wet, fungal spores being transported by wind or rain land on the surface and cling to it. They do not rupture the cell walls but grow in the space between the plant plasma membrane and the plant cell wall. As the spores reproduce, they release toxins and enzymes that cause necrotic spots (i.e., dead tissue) on the leaves, allowing the fungi to consume the products released when the cells degrade.
Solutions
Solutions
In minor cases of brown spot, there isn’t any need to treat the disease. However, if much of the foliage is affected and defoliation occurs, the plant will benefit from getting rid of the infection. It is recommended to start by applying organic treatment options, working up to the more potent synthetic, chemical fungicides if necessary.
Organic options won’t kill the fungus, but will prevent it from spreading.
  1. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water. Using a spray bottle, spray on tops and bottoms of leaves until the mixture drips off. Repeat every two weeks until existing spots stop enlarging and new spots no longer appear.
  2. Spray a copper-based fungicidal soap on the leaves, coating the top and bottom leaf surfaces. Reapply as directed on the product label. Copper penetrates the leaf surface and prevents germination of spores so the fungus cannot spread.
  3. Apply an all-purpose fungicide to the entire plant, following the label instructions carefully.
Prevention
Prevention
Like many other diseases, it is easier to prevent brown spot than cure it, and this is done through cultural practices.
  • Clear fall leaves from the ground before winter to minimize places where fungi and bacteria can overwinter.
  • Maintain good air movement between plants through proper plant spacing.
  • Increase air circulation through the center of plants through pruning.
  • Thoroughly clean all pruning tools after working with diseased plants.
  • Never dispose of disease plant material in a compost pile.
  • Avoid overhead watering to keep moisture off of the foliage.
  • Keep plants healthy by providing adequate sunlight, water, and fertilizer.
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Scars
plant poor
Scars
Any light-colored markings that appear on stems but which do not enlarge or multiply are simply scars that have healed.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Scars form when the plant repairs wounds. They can be the result of people or pets passing by and scraping the plant. Once the underlying issue is resolved, the plant will heal but a scar may remain.
Pests and pathogens can also cause scarring. Insects may attack the plant for a meal, resulting in extensive scarring when a few invaders turn into an infestation. Diseases such as fungus and bacteria can weaken the plant, causing brown spots, mushy areas, or blisters that lead to scars.
Scars occur on stems when a leaf or bud has been lost and the plant has healed. The harder tissue is like a scab that protects a wound.
On other occasions, scars can signal problems from environmental conditions, such as overexposure to sunlight or heat. It might surprise you to know that plants can suffer from sunburn, even desert dwellers like cactus!
Solutions
Solutions
Each source of scarring requires a different approach to help your plant recover.
  1. Protect the trunk and leaves from physical damage like scrapes.
  2. If pests or disease are the cause of scarring, isolate the plant from others to avoid further spread. Some pests can be removed with organic remedies such as a soft cloth and soapy water solution or diluted isopropyl alcohol spray.
  3. Stop sunburn by moving your plant away from direct sunlight and making sure it has the water it needs.
  4. Frequent leaf or bud loss may be due to insufficient light or nutrients.
Prevention
Prevention
Preventing some sources of scarring is easier than others, but all start with careful attention to your plants once you decide to bring them home.
  1. Review specific guidelines for your plant, including soil drainage, watering, and fertilizer requirements.
  2. Inspect plants before planting and use sterile pots and fresh potting soil or media to limit transfer of fungi or bacteria.
  3. Once established, check your plants regularly for signs of scarring or the presence of pests, as it is better to catch problems as early as possible.
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Aged yellow and dry
plant poor
Aged yellow and dry
Natural aging can cause leaves to turn yellow and dry out.
DiseaseOverview
DiseaseOverview
Regardless of the type of plant or where it is grown, at some point, it will begin to aged yellow and dry. This is a natural, unavoidable process that happens when the plant has completed all of the steps in its life.
Annual plants go through this process at the end of a single growing season. Perennial plants live for multiple years, if not tens or hundreds of years, but will still ultimately exhibit these symptoms.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
When plants have progressed through their natural developmental stages and are nearing the end of their lifecycle, they begin showing signs of decline. Leaves will start to yellow and droop, and over time they turn papery brown and dry.
Once completely dry, the leaves begin to fall from the plant until the entire plant has dried out.
DiseaseCause
DiseaseCause
At the end of its life, genetic coding within the plant increases the production of ethylene, a phytohormone that controls senescence or natural aging and death. Cell division stops, and the plant begins catabolizing resources to use in other parts of the plant.
As this happens, the tissues begin yellow and drying until the entire plant is desiccated and perishes.
Solutions
Solutions
If the yellowing and drying of leaves and flowers is a natural progression due to age, nothing can be done to slow or stop the process. Once hormones within the plant begin the process of senescence, it’s irreversible.
Prevention
Prevention
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent plants from dying of “old age.” To help prolong their life, and put off symptoms of aged yellow and dry for as long as possible, take care of them by giving them enough water, fertilizing them appropriately, and making sure they get enough sunlight.
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Leaf rot
plant poor
Leaf rot
This pathogen can cause the leaves to rot.
DiseaseOverview
DiseaseOverview
Leaf rot is very common among both house plants and garden plants. It affects foliage and occurs mainly when the leaves become wet due to rain or misting by the gardener. The cause is fungal disease and this is facilitated by the fungal spores adhering to wet leaves then penetrating the leaf and expanding rapidly. Damp conditions and poor air circulation will increase chances of infection taking place. Another factor are leaves that are damaged or have been penetrated by sap sucking insects that facilitate plant penetration.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
  1. Spores are able to cling to a damp leaf and penetrate, often through an existing wound.
  2. A small dark brown mark appears which expands rapidly as sporulation starts to take place.
  3. Quite quickly these bull's eye like circles can link together and the whole leaf turns dark and loses texture.
  4. Leaf drop occurs.
DiseaseCause
DiseaseCause
These symptoms are caused by a bacterial infection invading the plant. Bacteria from many sources in the environment (air, water, soil, diseased plants) enter a plant through wounds, or in some cases the stomata when they are open. Once inside the leaf tissue, the bacteria feed and reproduce quickly, breaking down healthy leaves.
Bacterial infections threaten most plant species, and are more prominent in wet weather that more easily transfers the bacteria from plant to plant, or from soil to plant.
Solutions
Solutions
Bacterial infections need to be treated quickly to prevent the spread to neighboring, healthy plants, potentially wiping out large sections of your indoor or outdoor garden.
In mild cases: Use sterilized (10% bleach solution) pruning shears or scissors to remove any infected plant parts, making sure to dispose of them off site. Use a copper-based bactericide to treat the unaffected foliage, as well as the soil, and neighboring plants. Follow the manufacturer’s rate and timing directions found on the product label.
In severe cases, where more than half the leaves are affected: Remove all of the infected plants from the garden, disposing of them off site. Treat the soil and neighboring plants using a copper-based bactericide. Follow the manufacturer’s rate and timing directions found on the product label.
Prevention
Prevention
  1. Clean up garden debris at the end of the season, especially if it contains any diseased plant tissue. Diseases can overwinter from season to season and infect new plants.
  2. Avoid overhead watering to prevent transferring pathogens from one plant to another, and to keep foliage dry.
  3. Mulch around the base of plants to prevent soil-borne bacteria from splashing up onto uninfected plants.
  4. Sterilize cutting tools using a 10% bleach solution when gardening and moving from one plant to another.
  5. Do not work in your garden when it is wet.
  6. Rotate crops to prevent the buildup of bacteria in one site due to continuous cropping.
  7. Use a copper or streptomycin-containing bactericide in early spring to prevent infection. Read label directions carefully as they are not suitable for all plants.
  8. Ensure plants are well spaced and thin leaves on densely leaved plants so that air circulation is maximised.
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Low humidity
plant poor
Low humidity
Low air humidity can cause the edges of the leaves to curl.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Your plants’ leaves are curled either upward or downward. Only the edges of the leaves or whole leaves may be curled. You may also notice brown tips on your plants’ leaves.
Both curling edges and entirely curled leaves indicate low humidity or a lack of enough moisture in the air. Plant leaves curl to reduce transpiration and slow water loss.
Solutions
Solutions
To help with low humidity, you must apply more moisture to the air. This can be done in the following ways.
  1. Mist: Use a spray bottle to mist the plant and surrounding air with water daily.
  2. Water your plant regularly.
  3. Humidifier: Utilize a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
  4. Humidity dome: Place a clear plastic or glass dome above your plant to trap moisture.
Prevention
Prevention
Many houseplants naturally grow in humid tropical forests, so try to recreate their natural conditions. To prevent low humidity, don’t allow the air to dry out. You can use a humidity meter to measure the humidity around your plant and adjust if it gets too low.
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toxic

Toxicity

Highly Toxic to Humans
Highly Toxic to Humans
Toxic to Dogs
Toxic to Dogs
Toxic to Cats
Toxic to Cats
* The judgment on toxicity and danger is for reference only. We DO NOT GUARANTEE any accuracy of such judgment. Therefore, you SHALL NOT rely on such judgment. It is IMPORTANT TO SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE in advance when necessary.
Bird of paradise is generally considered non-toxic but can be poisonous when ingested in large quantities. Cases of poisoning are typically mild to moderate with symptoms including abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Cases of poisoning may be more serious in children. The fruit and seeds are considered to be the most toxic parts of the plant. The frequent use of this plant as a houseplant could be a factor in poisoning frequency. This plant can be mistaken for another more toxic species, Poinciana gilliesii, as they share the same common name, bird of paradise.
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Identify toxic plants in your garden
Find out what’s toxic and what’s safe for your loved one.
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Who Is Most at Risk of Plant Poisoning?
Your pets like cats and dogs can be poisoned by them as well!
1
Do not let your lovely pets eat any parts, nor contact with the sap of toxic or unknown plants;
2
It’s better to kill those growing around your house. Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants and gloves with sharp tools to dig it out completely;
3
Clean the tools with rubbing alcohol or soap and water but do not do that with bare hands;
4
Clean your hands and skin once exposed to plants with soap and water;
5
Consider using barrier creams that contain bentoquatam to prevent poison oak, ivy and sumac rashes;
6
Dump it in special trash cans in sealed garbage packages, and do not let your pets reach it;Do not let your lovely pets eat any parts, nor contact with the sap of toxic or unknown plants;
7
If you take your pets to hike with you in the wild, please don’t let them eat any plants that you don’t know;
8
Once your pets eat, touch or inhale anything from toxic plants and act abnormally, please call the doctors for help ASAP!
pets
Pets
Some pets are less likely than children to eat and touch just about everything. This is good, as a pet owner. However, you know your pet best, and it is up to you to keep them safe. There are plenty of poisonous weeds that can grow within the confines of your lawn, which might make your dogs or cats ill or worse if they eat them. Try to have an idea of what toxic plants grow in your area and keep them under control and your pets away from them.
pets
Common Toxic Houseplants
Common Toxic Houseplants
When it comes to decorating a house, there is nothing more refreshing than adding some beautiful houseplants. Some common house plants can also be toxic.

Aloe

aloe
Aloe is famous for its sunburn-soothing properties and its gorgeous desert design. However, many people do not realize that the latex the aloe vera plant produces can be mildly toxic to pets and children.

The latex contains a chemical compound known as saponin. Which when ingested, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and low blood sugar. This, if left unchecked, can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. The proper response is to contact poison control or a veterinarian to know what to do in your particular circumstance if either your child or pet consumes aloe.

The latex of the plant is similar to the sap of the tree. It is inside the leaf, but sticks mainly toward the edges. If aloe gel is prepared properly it should be safe for use, but be sure to apply it only topically when treating burns.

Philodendron

Philodendron
Philodendron, also known as sweetheart vine, has become a resident at many houses and even businesses. They are glossy green and the leaves elegantly split, displaying interesting designs. Behind this beauty there is a needle-like toxin called calcium oxalate crystals.

These crystals are held within the plant and only affect you, your pets, or your loved ones if the plant tissue is broken. If ingested, the crystals can cause severe swelling, difficulty breathing, stomach pain, burning and pain. If they are accidentally caught on the skin, they can cause skin irritation.

If anyone accidentally ingests philodendron and they find it difficult to breathe or their tongue starts to swell up, it is important to seek medical attention immediately to avoid suffocation. If you have very young children or pets who have a tendency to tear at plants, keep them away from any philodendrons.

Peace Lily

Peace Lily
Peace lilies produce stunningly white flowers that bring to mind peace and serenity. This is one reason they are invited into our homes and given a place to stay. However, similar to philodendrons, the peace lily contains oxalate crystals known as raphides.

The raphides, once ingested, will cause swelling and burning sensations and can also cause skin irritation. Both pets and humans can get these symptoms so it is important to keep these plants from anyone who is likely to tear or chew it. Symptoms can become dire if the raphides cause the tongue and throat to swell to a point where the person or pet is having difficulty breathing. Seek proper medical attention if this is the case.

Snake Plant

Snake Plant
The snake plant is an interesting and popular house plant. Its stark architecture and wavy coloring has made it a fan favorite. This plant too, however, is toxic when ingested or if the sap touches your skin.

Snake plant sap will cause rashes if it comes into contact with your skin. In addition, it will cause diarrhea and vomiting when ingested. Again these symptoms are very serious and would be best avoided by keeping snake plants out of reach or by choosing a different houseplant.
Common Toxic Garden Plants
Common Toxic Garden Plants

Daffodil

Daffodil
Daffodils are a strikingly colorful flower. This can sometimes bring them much attention not from just onlooking adults but children as well. Since kids are more drawn to colorful objects, they may have a higher chance of just grabbing the flower and eating it. Adults have also been known to accidentally grab daffodil bulbs instead of onions.

Why are these mistakes so dangerous? Daffodils contain lycorine, which can induce nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It also contains oxalates which can cause swelling and pain. The symptoms can be worse in animals, because if your pets eat daffodils they may experience drowsiness, low blood pressure or even liver damage.

Make sure to call poison control when these symptoms set in. The vomiting and diarrhea have been known to go away after 3 hours, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Ingesting liquids to keep hydration up can be important. If the patient is having difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately.

Hydrangea

Hydrangea
Hydrangeas are unique, with their soft blue and pink flowers. They are a great addition to any garden, but should not be snacked on—not that you would want to. Hydrangeas can be especially nasty because they contain compounds known as glycosides. These will release hydrogen cyanide into the bloodstream when consumed. This will block your body’s ability to uptake oxygen to the cells in your body.

The way to combat this kind of poisoning is through getting IVs from the vet or doctor. It is important to contact your medical professional immediately since the symptoms can be fatal within minutes or hours.

Rhododendrons

Rhododendrons
Rhododendron, the state flower of Washington, is also toxic. The multitudinous, pink flowers can be quite dangerous. All parts of this plant are toxic, the leaves and seeds more so than the flowers. However, even the nectar of the flower is toxic and in the Mediterranean, where rhododendrons grow in more dense quantities, the honey from bees who gather rhododendron nectar can be poisonous.

Normally kids and pets do not eat enough to experience the full poisoning effect. However, just eating two leaves is enough to be considered dangerous. The grayanotoxin glycosides within the rhododendron can cause vomiting, diarrhea and irregular heartbeats. Things can get very serious when too much rhododendron is consumed and can lead to necessary medical intervention.

Start by calling poison control first if you suspect anyone has been munching on rhododendrons. The experts there will be able to help guide you through the necessary processes to cure your loved one.

Rhubarb

Rhubarb
Yummy rhubarb has a nasty side to it. While the stems are used in many recipes, including for rhubarb strawberry pie, the leaves are toxic. They contain oxalic acid which is known to blister the mouth, cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and kidney stones. The leaves are known to be more toxic to pets than humans, but in either case, it is important to contact poison control immediately to figure out necessary steps to cure the patient.
Common Toxic Weeds in the Yard
Common Toxic Weeds in the Yard

Bittersweet Nightshade

Bittersweet Nightshade
Nightshade is an invasive, noxious weed that is extremely poisonous. It has been found along the East and West Coast of the U.S. It makes its home in areas with disturbed soil. This could be near your garden or areas that have recently had bushes/trees put in.

These plants are dark green with purple flowers that develop into bright red berries. The whole plant is toxic and should be avoided by pets and children alike. If ingested it can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The colorful berries are especially enticing to young children. If you see any plants that look similar to tomato or pepper plants that you did not plant in your yard, it is best to just pull them immediately.

Call poison control immediately if you think someone has fallen victim to nightshade.

Buttercups

Buttercups
Buttercups are found throughout the United States, especially in wet areas. The shiny, yellow flowers will pop up in the springtime, accompanying their dandelion friends. However, unlike dandelions, buttercups are not edible.

Buttercups will release a compound called protoanemonin. This toxin is known to cause vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stool, hypersalivation, depression, blisters, and more. These symptoms will affect both humans and animals. The sap may also cause irritation when it comes into contact with skin. These yellow flowers are dangerous and children should be observed cautiously when around them.

Foxgloves

Foxgloves
Foxgloves are beautiful plants that build towers out of vivid purple bell-shaped blossoms. They are very pretty to look at, but they contain a compound known as digoxin. This chemical is used in certain medicines to help people with certain heart conditions. However, the medicine is made by specialists, whereas someone eating foxgloves will receive unregulated amounts of the chemical.

This toxin can make you vomit and lower your heartbeat. This often causes dizziness and faintness. It is extremely important to call poison control immediately to know what to do in the case of foxglove poisoning. Some people have confused the young leaves of foxglove with borage, making adult foragers at risk as well as kids and pets.
How to Tend to or Get Rid of Toxic Plants
How to Tend to or Get Rid of Toxic Plants
Now that you know where to start with toxic plant identification, let us discuss how to either tend to the poisonous plants you decide to keep or get rid of them that plague your yard.

How to Tend to Poisonous Plants

Many plants that are toxic when ingested are also skin irritants. The philodendron is a good example of this. When the sap comes into contact with skin, it can cause a rash to form. To help protect yourself when tending to toxic plants, it is important to wear some sort of gloves.
Tend
Latex gloves may be the best solution due to their disposability. Regular gloves could potentially keep the poisonous sap on their surface. If the gloves aren’t cleaned then you could accidentally touch the irritant or pass it to someone else.

In addition you will want to plan where to keep your deadly beauties. If you have a toxic indoor plant try to keep it up high or out of reach of children and pets. This will keep accidents few and far between. Another idea is keeping your plants in areas that are usually inaccessible to children or pets. Areas such as an office, study room, or guest bedroom could be good locations. If applicable, you could also set up a terrarium for your little plant baby, making it more difficult for curious hands or paws to access.
tend2
If you plan to have outdoor plants, location will be key. You will want to put plants in an area that will be inaccessible to children, pets and even wild animals. You will probably want to avoid planting the plants in the front of your house if kids walk by on a regular basis, just to be cautious. Having the plants behind a fence will be best, but use your discretion when choosing a spot.

How to Get Rid of Poisonous Plants

plants
The easiest but possibly most controversial way to get rid of poisonous plants is by using herbicides. This can be especially easy if you own a grass lawn and use an herbicide that targets broadleaf (non-grass) species. You can find many herbicides meant for yard use by simply searching the term online. Once you have purchased the herbicide you will want to make sure to follow the label posted on the container. If you follow the instructions precisely, then everything should run smoothly for you.

If you don’t plan on using herbicides, there are a few organic methods you can use to try to get rid of toxic plants. You can manually pull the plants out of the ground. This is probably one of the most difficult methods because there is no assurance that you will get the whole plant out this way.

You can also try pouring boiling hot water or spraying white vinegar on the target plants. This may take more time than using a synthetic herbicide, but you can feel a little better about using these products.

You can also try to use wood chips to cover a certain area where you do not want anything to grow. This will not stop all the weeds, but the few that make it through can be easily picked by hand.
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Who Is Most at Risk of Plant Poisoning?
Everyone should keep the following in mind to prevent being poisoned:
1
Do not eat any parts, nor contact with the sap of toxic or unknown plants;
2
If you need to kill it, wear long-sleeved shirts, pants and gloves with sharp tools to dig it out completely;
3
Clean the tools with rubbing alcohol or soap and water but do not do that with bare hands;
4
Clean your hands and skin once exposed to plants with soap and water;
5
Consider using barrier creams that contain bentoquatam to prevent poison oak, ivy and sumac rashes;
6
Dump it in special trash cans in sealed garbage packages;
7
Wear properly when you hiking or working in the wilderness. Long pants, long sleeves, gloves, hiking shoes, etc., that protect you from being hurt by any plants;
8
Once you or your family aren’t feeling well after eating, touching or inhaling anything from toxic plants, please call your doctor for help ASAP!
Outdoor Workers
Outdoor Workers and Recreationalists
Those who enjoy the outdoors either as a hobby or as part of their work will rarely see a plant and decide to munch on it (although the scenario is not unheard of). However, they do tend to deal with moving through and brushing aside plants. These people are more at risk of being poisoned by touching toxic plants than by ingesting them.
Outdoor Workers
Foragers
Foragers
Foraging for food and medicinal plants is a desirable skill among people who want to feel at one with the land. This hobby can be very useful and enjoyable, but if done wrong , it can lead to disastrous effects. People who forage are picking and grabbing plants with the full intention of using those plants, most of the time to ingest them.
Foragers
Children
Children
While outdoor workers are more likely to touch poison and foragers are more likely to ingest poison, children can easily do both. These bundles of joy just love to run around and explore the world. They enjoy touching things and occasionally shoving random stuff in their mouth; this is a terrible combination with toxic plants in the mix.
If you let your children run about, it is important to know what are the local toxic plants that they could accidentally get into. Try to educate the children and steer them away from where the toxic plants are located.
Children
Common Toxic Houseplants
Common Toxic Houseplants
When it comes to decorating a house, there is nothing more refreshing than adding some beautiful houseplants. Some common house plants can also be toxic.

Aloe

aloe
Aloe is famous for its sunburn-soothing properties and its gorgeous desert design. However, many people do not realize that the latex the aloe vera plant produces can be mildly toxic to pets and children.

The latex contains a chemical compound known as saponin. Which when ingested, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and low blood sugar. This, if left unchecked, can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. The proper response is to contact poison control or a veterinarian to know what to do in your particular circumstance if either your child or pet consumes aloe.

The latex of the plant is similar to the sap of the tree. It is inside the leaf, but sticks mainly toward the edges. If aloe gel is prepared properly it should be safe for use, but be sure to apply it only topically when treating burns.

Philodendron

Philodendron
Philodendron, also known as sweetheart vine, has become a resident at many houses and even businesses. They are glossy green and the leaves elegantly split, displaying interesting designs. Behind this beauty there is a needle-like toxin called calcium oxalate crystals.

These crystals are held within the plant and only affect you, your pets, or your loved ones if the plant tissue is broken. If ingested, the crystals can cause severe swelling, difficulty breathing, stomach pain, burning and pain. If they are accidentally caught on the skin, they can cause skin irritation.

If anyone accidentally ingests philodendron and they find it difficult to breathe or their tongue starts to swell up, it is important to seek medical attention immediately to avoid suffocation. If you have very young children or pets who have a tendency to tear at plants, keep them away from any philodendrons.

Peace Lily

Peace Lily
Peace lilies produce stunningly white flowers that bring to mind peace and serenity. This is one reason they are invited into our homes and given a place to stay. However, similar to philodendrons, the peace lily contains oxalate crystals known as raphides.

The raphides, once ingested, will cause swelling and burning sensations and can also cause skin irritation. Both pets and humans can get these symptoms so it is important to keep these plants from anyone who is likely to tear or chew it. Symptoms can become dire if the raphides cause the tongue and throat to swell to a point where the person or pet is having difficulty breathing. Seek proper medical attention if this is the case.

Snake Plant

Snake Plant
The snake plant is an interesting and popular house plant. Its stark architecture and wavy coloring has made it a fan favorite. This plant too, however, is toxic when ingested or if the sap touches your skin.

Snake plant sap will cause rashes if it comes into contact with your skin. In addition, it will cause diarrhea and vomiting when ingested. Again these symptoms are very serious and would be best avoided by keeping snake plants out of reach or by choosing a different houseplant.
Common Toxic Garden Plants
Common Toxic Garden Plants

Daffodil

Daffodil
Daffodils are a strikingly colorful flower. This can sometimes bring them much attention not from just onlooking adults but children as well. Since kids are more drawn to colorful objects, they may have a higher chance of just grabbing the flower and eating it. Adults have also been known to accidentally grab daffodil bulbs instead of onions.

Why are these mistakes so dangerous? Daffodils contain lycorine, which can induce nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It also contains oxalates which can cause swelling and pain. The symptoms can be worse in animals, because if your pets eat daffodils they may experience drowsiness, low blood pressure or even liver damage.

Make sure to call poison control when these symptoms set in. The vomiting and diarrhea have been known to go away after 3 hours, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Ingesting liquids to keep hydration up can be important. If the patient is having difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately.

Hydrangea

Hydrangea
Hydrangeas are unique, with their soft blue and pink flowers. They are a great addition to any garden, but should not be snacked on—not that you would want to. Hydrangeas can be especially nasty because they contain compounds known as glycosides. These will release hydrogen cyanide into the bloodstream when consumed. This will block your body’s ability to uptake oxygen to the cells in your body.

The way to combat this kind of poisoning is through getting IVs from the vet or doctor. It is important to contact your medical professional immediately since the symptoms can be fatal within minutes or hours.

Rhododendrons

Rhododendrons
Rhododendron, the state flower of Washington, is also toxic. The multitudinous, pink flowers can be quite dangerous. All parts of this plant are toxic, the leaves and seeds more so than the flowers. However, even the nectar of the flower is toxic and in the Mediterranean, where rhododendrons grow in more dense quantities, the honey from bees who gather rhododendron nectar can be poisonous.

Normally kids and pets do not eat enough to experience the full poisoning effect. However, just eating two leaves is enough to be considered dangerous. The grayanotoxin glycosides within the rhododendron can cause vomiting, diarrhea and irregular heartbeats. Things can get very serious when too much rhododendron is consumed and can lead to necessary medical intervention.

Start by calling poison control first if you suspect anyone has been munching on rhododendrons. The experts there will be able to help guide you through the necessary processes to cure your loved one.

Rhubarb

Rhubarb
Yummy rhubarb has a nasty side to it. While the stems are used in many recipes, including for rhubarb strawberry pie, the leaves are toxic. They contain oxalic acid which is known to blister the mouth, cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and kidney stones. The leaves are known to be more toxic to pets than humans, but in either case, it is important to contact poison control immediately to figure out necessary steps to cure the patient.
Common Toxic Weeds in the Yard
Common Toxic Weeds in the Yard

Bittersweet Nightshade

Bittersweet Nightshade
Nightshade is an invasive, noxious weed that is extremely poisonous. It has been found along the East and West Coast of the U.S. It makes its home in areas with disturbed soil. This could be near your garden or areas that have recently had bushes/trees put in.

These plants are dark green with purple flowers that develop into bright red berries. The whole plant is toxic and should be avoided by pets and children alike. If ingested it can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The colorful berries are especially enticing to young children. If you see any plants that look similar to tomato or pepper plants that you did not plant in your yard, it is best to just pull them immediately.

Call poison control immediately if you think someone has fallen victim to nightshade.

Buttercups

Buttercups
Buttercups are found throughout the United States, especially in wet areas. The shiny, yellow flowers will pop up in the springtime, accompanying their dandelion friends. However, unlike dandelions, buttercups are not edible.

Buttercups will release a compound called protoanemonin. This toxin is known to cause vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stool, hypersalivation, depression, blisters, and more. These symptoms will affect both humans and animals. The sap may also cause irritation when it comes into contact with skin. These yellow flowers are dangerous and children should be observed cautiously when around them.

Foxgloves

Foxgloves
Foxgloves are beautiful plants that build towers out of vivid purple bell-shaped blossoms. They are very pretty to look at, but they contain a compound known as digoxin. This chemical is used in certain medicines to help people with certain heart conditions. However, the medicine is made by specialists, whereas someone eating foxgloves will receive unregulated amounts of the chemical.

This toxin can make you vomit and lower your heartbeat. This often causes dizziness and faintness. It is extremely important to call poison control immediately to know what to do in the case of foxglove poisoning. Some people have confused the young leaves of foxglove with borage, making adult foragers at risk as well as kids and pets.
How to Tend to or Get Rid of Toxic Plants
How to Tend to or Get Rid of Toxic Plants
Now that you know where to start with toxic plant identification, let us discuss how to either tend to the poisonous plants you decide to keep or get rid of them that plague your yard.

How to Tend to Poisonous Plants

Many plants that are toxic when ingested are also skin irritants. The philodendron is a good example of this. When the sap comes into contact with skin, it can cause a rash to form. To help protect yourself when tending to toxic plants, it is important to wear some sort of gloves.
Tend
Latex gloves may be the best solution due to their disposability. Regular gloves could potentially keep the poisonous sap on their surface. If the gloves aren’t cleaned then you could accidentally touch the irritant or pass it to someone else.

In addition you will want to plan where to keep your deadly beauties. If you have a toxic indoor plant try to keep it up high or out of reach of children and pets. This will keep accidents few and far between. Another idea is keeping your plants in areas that are usually inaccessible to children or pets. Areas such as an office, study room, or guest bedroom could be good locations. If applicable, you could also set up a terrarium for your little plant baby, making it more difficult for curious hands or paws to access.
tend2
If you plan to have outdoor plants, location will be key. You will want to put plants in an area that will be inaccessible to children, pets and even wild animals. You will probably want to avoid planting the plants in the front of your house if kids walk by on a regular basis, just to be cautious. Having the plants behind a fence will be best, but use your discretion when choosing a spot.

How to Get Rid of Poisonous Plants

plants
The easiest but possibly most controversial way to get rid of poisonous plants is by using herbicides. This can be especially easy if you own a grass lawn and use an herbicide that targets broadleaf (non-grass) species. You can find many herbicides meant for yard use by simply searching the term online. Once you have purchased the herbicide you will want to make sure to follow the label posted on the container. If you follow the instructions precisely, then everything should run smoothly for you.

If you don’t plan on using herbicides, there are a few organic methods you can use to try to get rid of toxic plants. You can manually pull the plants out of the ground. This is probably one of the most difficult methods because there is no assurance that you will get the whole plant out this way.

You can also try pouring boiling hot water or spraying white vinegar on the target plants. This may take more time than using a synthetic herbicide, but you can feel a little better about using these products.

You can also try to use wood chips to cover a certain area where you do not want anything to grow. This will not stop all the weeds, but the few that make it through can be easily picked by hand.
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Distribution Map

Habitat

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Map

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More Info

Plant Type
Plant Type
Herb
Flower Color
Flower Color
Orange
Blue
Yellow
Purple
Bloom Time
Bloom Time
Summer, Fall, Winter
Leaf Color
Leaf Color
Green
Gray
Silver
Blue

Name story

Bird of paradise
The bird of paradise gets its name that its flower is made of three bright orange petals and three blue petals that are fused together into a single bud. The open flowers of the plant is a resemblance to the head and beak of a colorful exotic bird.

Symbolism

magnificence, faithfulness, love, optimism

Usages

Garden Use
Bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae) is a herbaceous perennial whose showy golden-yellow flowers are a common sight in warm-climate ornamental gardens. This plant does not fare well in the cold, however, and so should be grown in containers in cooler climates so it can be brought indoors in winter. Outdoors bird of paradise looks best when grown in groups in beds or wall-side borders and makes a great addition to city, cottage, informal, or Mediterranean gardens. It grows well with other drought-tolerant plants like mondo grass and juniper.
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