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Are Your Pets in Peril? Getting to the Root of Chinese Evergreen Toxicity

Are Your Pets in Peril? Getting to the Root of Chinese Evergreen Toxicity

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Do you want to buy a Chinese evergreen plant but you’re unsure if it’s suitable for animals? You’ve come to the right place!

Chinese evergreens are the perfect indoor plants for most families. However, it does come with its drawbacks.

In this article, I dive deep into the Chinese evergreen’s toxicity to people and their pets. You’ll learn to identify the signs of ingesting this plant and find out whether you have to go to the vet.

Plus, if you want to keep your fur babies safe, stay till the end for tips on where to best grow your Chinese evergreens!

Chinese Evergreen Overview

The Chinese evergreen, or aglaonema, is a popular plant in households. That’s because it’s super hardy and has great air-cleaning properties.

According to Healthline, Chinese evergreens absorb air pollution from furniture fumes. They can clear stagnant air from cleaning solutions, making them an ideal indoor plant.

What’s great about these plants is their resilience to environmental changes. They survive in low-light conditions, and you don’t have to water them often.

Aside from this, Chinese evergreens look stunning. As an indoor plant, they’re useful for reducing stress and boosting creativity!

Chinese Evergreen Toxicity

Unfortunately, there’s one critical downside to Chinese evergreens.

The North Carolina State University says Chinese Evergreens have low-severity poisonous characteristics. What this means is it can cause extreme discomfort.

These plants have toxic barks, flowers, leaves, roots, and stems. Ingesting it will have effects that vary depending on the animal.

Chinese evergreens are usually not fatal, but you should remain vigilant. Even touching the juice from the leaves can affect humans and pets!

Are Chinese Evergreens Toxic to Pets?

Yes, Chinese evergreens contain calcium oxalate crystals, which are toxic to pets.

Calcium oxalate can irritate the mouth and gastrointestinal tract. In rare cases, these crystals can also cause lethal airway obstructions.

Fortunately, Chinese evergreens don’t contain much of this substance. You’ll have to eat copious amounts of the plant to reach dangerous levels.

If your pet accidentally consumes Chinese evergreen leaves, you should observe it. Consult your vet if you see adverse reactions.

Is Chinese Evergreen Toxic to Birds?

Yes, Chinese evergreen is toxic to birds. What’s more, because of their small size, ingesting a tiny portion of the plant could have serious effects!

It’s a good idea to remove Chinese evergreens from areas your birds can access. Doing this is essential since this plant produces red berries that attract avians.

If your bird eats Chinese evergreen leaves, you should wash its beak as soon as possible. Watch out for vomiting and unusual droppings.

Observe changes in your pet’s behavior, and bring it to the vet. As a rule of thumb, anything mildly poisonous to cats and dogs may be deadly to birds.

Is Chinese Evergreen Toxic to Cats?

Yes, Chinese evergreens are toxic to cats!

We all know cats love to chew on plants to help fur balls pass through the digestive system. Because of this, it’s important to keep Chinese evergreens out of their reach.

This plant can irritate your cat’s throat and mouth. Watch for signs of vomiting, drooling, lip licking, or excessive swallowing.

If you spot any of these symptoms, bring your cat to the clinic. The vet will likely give your pet antacids to relieve indigestion.

Don’t worry. Chinese evergreen has short-term effects on felines. It won’t cause kidney damage in cats.

Is Chinese Evergreen Toxic to Dogs?

Yes. The Chinese evergreen plant is poisonous to dogs.

If you have a curious puppy, be careful where you grow your Chinese evergreen! You don’t want your dog to play with its leaves.

When your dog chews or bites Chinese evergreens, it releases calcium oxalate crystals. This will cause drooling, swelling, decreased appetite, and vomiting.

Plus, if you notice your pet pawing at its mouth, it’s a sign of oral pain. In this case, it’s important to wash your dog’s mouth and call your veterinarian immediately.

Is Chinese Evergreen Toxic to Rabbits?

Yes, Chinese evergreen is toxic to rabbits.

This plant can lead to allergies and dermal sensitivity in rabbits. The good news is that it doesn’t cause as bad a reaction as it would in cats and dogs.

Still, rabbits will inevitably chew on Chinese evergreens. Due to this, it’s a must to protect the plant from your pets.

Always place Chinese evergreens in an area that your rabbits can’t reach.

If your pet accidentally ingests this plant, feed it hay and water. Make sure to watch your rabbit’s appetite and pooping behavior.

What Should I Do If My Pet Ingests Chinese Evergreen?

Did your pet ingest Chinese evergreen? Here are the steps you can take to help your pet.

  • Check for Plant Pieces: First, remove any remaining pieces of the plant from your pet’s mouth.
  • Wash Your Pet’s Mouth: Rinse your pet’s mouth with clean water. Doing this should remove any residual calcium oxalate crystals that may irritate.
  • Observe for Poisoning Signs: Watch your pet for signs of lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea. If the symptoms don’t disappear within a day, it’s time to call the vet.
  • Visit the Vet: Your vet may prescribe medicine to alleviate the symptoms. Depending on the situation, they may give pain relievers, antihistamines, or antacids.
  • Move the Plant: It’s unlikely that your pet learned its lesson from this incident. You should re-evaluate where you can relocate the plant and block your pet’s access.

Finally, remember not to panic. Eating Chinese evergreens isn’t fatal, and symptoms will last a few hours at most.

Are Chinese Evergreens Toxic to Humans?

Yes, Chinese evergreen is toxic to humans, which is why you should keep it out of your children’s reach!

If you ingest this plant, it may irritate your stomach and mouth. You should observe for diarrhea, vomiting, and rashes.

Be aware that in rare cases, Chinese evergreens may result in allergies and swelling of airways.

Moreover, if you repeatedly consume Chinese evergreens, the oxalates in it can build up in your urine. As a result, you may get hyperoxaluria and become prone to kidney stones.

Can I Touch Chinese Evergreens With My Bare Hands?

Yes, you can touch Chinese evergreen leaves and stems with your bare hands without experiencing symptoms.

Still, if you come into contact with the liquid within the leaves, it may cause a rash. It’s a good idea to avoid touching your eyes and wash the juice off immediately.

Best Places for Growing Chinese Evergreen Plants

Where can you grow Chinese evergreen plants if you have pets?

For those with dogs and rabbits, you may place it on a high windowsill out of their reach. The windowsill is a great spot since it provides partial shade to the plant.

Meanwhile, for people with cats and birds, it’s best to keep Chinese evergreens in a room they can’t access.

For instance, you may grow Chinese evergreens in the restroom and close the door at all times. This location is perfect since it’s warm and has humid conditions that help your plant thrive.

5 Alternatives for Chinese Evergreens

According to NASA, indoor air may be up to 30 times more toxic than outdoors. The reason for this is we often use cleaning chemicals within the home.

Additionally, our furniture and house structures constantly release volatile organic compounds. This may go on even years after their manufacture!

In short, you need air-cleaning plants to detoxify your living space.

So, what other plants can you use besides Chinese evergreen? Below are some non-toxic air-purifying plants that are safe for your pets!

1 – Bamboo Palm

Like the Chinese evergreen, bamboo palm is one of NASA’s clean air plants. The difference is it’s non-toxic to dogs, cats, horses, and humans.

You may grow bamboo palms indoors with minimal sunlight. They can give your home a beautiful tropical aesthetic as well!

2 – Spider Plant

Studies show that spider plants work well to absorb particulate matter and carbon monoxide from the air.

They’re non-toxic to cats and dogs. Plus, you can even feed them to rabbits, guinea pigs, and hamsters!

3 – Barberton Daisy

If you love flowers, then the Barberton or Gerbera daisy may be your ideal plant. The barberton daisy is a powerful absorber of benzene, a dangerous carcinogen.

Aside from being non-toxic to cats and dogs, it increases oxygen levels in the air. What’s more, its flowers bring pops of colors and joy into your living space!

4 – Lady Palm

Another alternative for Chinese evergreen is the lady palm. This plant is one of the few that can purify ammonia, formaldehyde, and xylene from the air.

Lady palms are low-maintenance and aesthetic. You don’t have to worry about your pets chewing on them.

5 – Pineapple

The pineapple plant is one of the most fun and unique indoor plants you can own.

According to the New York Post, pineapple plants prevent snoring as they help you breathe in the night. They can improve air quality so much that you get better sleep.

Like Chinese evergreen, pineapple plants are non-toxic for pets. However, they do have spikes that may scratch rowdy kids!

Final Thoughts

Chinese evergreens are one of the top indoor plants for improving air quality. The only downside is they can be toxic to birds, dogs, cats, rabbits, and humans.

Ingesting Chinese evergreens may lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. Touching its sap can cause allergies and rashes.

It’s important to find a suitable spot for Chinese evergreens within your home. Always keep them out of your pets and children’s reach.

Lastly, if all else fails, you may buy alternatives to Chinese evergreens, such as bamboo palms and spider plants!

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