Houseplants can help us relieve mental fatigue and uplift us. Studies have shown that caring for plants, and just having them around, can boost our moods and make the home environment more pleasant.
But some plants are toxic and can pose problems in homes where young children are about to explore (and put things in their mouths as they do so). Part of childproofing your home should include getting rid of poisonous plants. And remember: putting them up high may not work, since leaves and blossoms can fall to the floor and picked up that way.
Here are some plants (in alphabetical order) that can pose a problem. They are pretty, but your kids are better off if you choose other plants. There are plenty of plants that are attractive and nontoxic.
Amaryllis, azalea, bird of paradise, Boston ivy, buttercup, caladium, calla lily, chrysanthemum, crown of thorns, elephant’s ear, emerald duke, holly berries, hydrangea, iris, jonquil, larkspur, lily of the valley, lobelia, marble queen, morning glory, narcissus, periwinkle, philodendron, poinsettia, potato sprouts, pot mum, rhododendron, sprengeri fern, sweet pea, tomato vine, yew.
Visiting http://chppm-www.apgea.army.mil/ento/PLANT.HTM#index, which is the U.S. Army’s guide to poisonous plants can give more insight into additional houseplants and even wild and garden plants that are toxic and can be harmful for human consumption. Make sure to call the poison control if your child eats anything that could be harmful.
However, just because there are plenty of poisonous plants, it does not meat that you cannot have plants at all. There are some lovely nontoxic houseplants that you can choose to brighten the home. Here are few:
All plants in the mint family (i.e. catnip, Swedish ivy, coleus) are nontoxic. This means that you could have a variety of plants with different markings and colorings, all safe, if you go with mint family plants. There are more than 20 kids of plants in the mint family, so you can get quite the diverse indoor “garden” going.
Herbs make great houseplants. Not only do many of them look nice, but they can also smell nice. And, of course, you can use them in your cooking. Fresh herbs are almost always more delicious than the crusty, dried kind. Plus, you’ll save money not having to buy them at the store.
Other houseplants that look nice and are nontoxic include African violets, wandering jew, grape ivy (and other Cissus varieties), prayer plant, burro’s tail, rattlesnake plant, wax plant, and Boston fern (remember that it is Boston IVY that is toxic).