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Succulents are adorable plants to add to your interior. Aside from bringing extraordinary beauty, these plants are known for their low-maintenance reputation, being drought-tolerant species. It’s no doubt that many gardeners love including succulents in their indoor plant collection.
The problem though is that there are some succulent plants that are poisonous or toxic to your cats and dogs. If you have pets at home, make sure to take extra caution. We want to keep our furry friends safe as much as possible.
Following are Plantly’spopular succulent houseplants that you should treat with great caution as they can be harmful to your cats and dogs.
Succulents That Are Poisonous to Cats and Dogs
Aside from having thorny stems, there’s something about euphorbia that makes it harmful to cats and dogs. It produces a milky sap that is not only sticky but is potentially toxic when consumed in large amounts. This latex contains diterpene esters which react which are known to be blistering compounds.
Gastrointestinal signs such as salivation, vomiting, and diarrhea may occur in your pets if they happen to consume high amounts of euphorbia. It doesn’t matter if it’s the leaves, flowers, or stems. You’ll also notice your pets to have developed mouth irritation caused by the blisters.
Aloe vera seems like a friendly succulent plant. However, don’t be deceived because aloe plants contain toxic properties in the form of saponins and anthraquinones. Such compounds could lead to vomiting, lethargy, and diarrhea of your cats and dogs.
Although the toxicity level is mild to moderate, make sure that your pets won’t mess with aloe plants to avoid trouble.
The Kalanchoe genus is also considered one of the toxic succulents. All parts of the kalanchoe including the stems, leaves, roots, and flowers have toxic properties. However, it is the flowers that are most harmful because it contains a higher concentration of glycosides. That’s why during summer when the flowers are present, there are higher incidences of toxicity.
The clinical signs of this toxicity include depression, excessive salivation due to oral irritation, and gastrointestinal problems which show just a few hours after plant ingestion.
You’re probably familiar with aJade plant as this is a common favorite among owners of succulent plants. This is because this species is known to be a lucky plant. However, it is also included in the list of toxic plants. Hence, you must keep it out of reach if you have furry family members at home.
Once your pet eats jade plants, they’ll experience vomiting, depression, and incoordination. Skin irritation is also possible if the white latex sap gets in touch with your pet’s skin.
Succulents That Are Safe for Cats and Dogs
While the abovementioned species are known to be toxic to your pets, don’t worry because we have another bunch of list of nontoxic plants for a succulent lover like you.
Haworthia succulent plants are just like your aloe vera. They have almost the same appearance except that haworthia has stripes resembling that of a zebra, hence, it’s called zebra cactus. It also has a smaller size.
You can use this plant as an alternative because it’s one of the non-toxic succulents on our list. You can be 100% sure pets will be safe.
Hens and Chicks Plant
If you have the hens and chicks growing indoors, rest assured that you have your pets safe. Even though the leaves contain alkaloids, this plant wouldn’t bring any serious harm that would warrant veterinary advice.
Hens and chicks is a member of the Crassulaceae family. We’re just lucky that this species is not as harmful as its cousin, the Jade plant.
Another member of the non-toxic plants is the Burro’s tail. This South Mexico native has plump, fleshy leaves that can be very tempting. We wouldn’t be surprised if your furbabies get a taste. The good thing though is that it’s completely a non-toxic succulent.
While this plant isn’t threatening at all, it would be much better to have placed in hanging planters. This is because it has trailing leaves that will appear more gorgeous when hanged.
Another member of the Crassulaceae family, blue echeveria is definitely a safe alternative to poisonous succulents. This species forms a waxy rosette making it compact yet attractive. Unlike its close relative jade plant, blue echeveria is perfectly safe for pets.
Aside from growing it in pots, this succulent will also fit rock gardens. Locations with direct sunlight is suitable for growing blue echeveria.
Bunny Ear Cactus
Bunny ear cactus has barbed bristles around its stem that could be irritating to the skin. However, aside from such, this plant poses no further danger as it is considered non-toxic. The flowers and fruits it produces do not have toxic properties as well.
Although we recommend having bunny ear cactus as an alternative to poisonous succulents, we also advise that you take caution. Keep it away from your pets as their bristles could irritate your furbabies’ coat.
Variegated Wax Plant (Echeveria sp.)
Fortunately, we have another echeveria species that is not poisonous to cats or dogs. This one is the variegated wax plant (Echeveria sp.). You can have this plant added to your collection and let it bring joy to your home.
Chinese Money plant (Pilea peperomiodes)
Popularly known as the Chinese money plant, Pilea peperomiodes is a real gem. It has glossy oval-shaped leaves that are of dark green shade. It’s also among the popular succulents you’ll easily find in garden stores.
Luckily, Pilea is pet-friendly. You won’t need to worry about the safety of your pets around.
Aside from Bunny Ear Cactus, we also have tree cactus, another non-toxic succulent plant. It belongs to the Opuntia genus. This species can grow up to 5 meters (16 feet) in height and is also covered in prickly bristles.
Although the cactus plant can irritate the skin, there’s no harmful effect when the plant is eaten. It doesn’t contain any toxic properties at all.
Maroon Chenille Plant
Maroon chenille plant is another echeveria species that are non-poisonous. It has bright, green leaves as with the common echeveria but the edges are marked with pink to red color. It also produces orange flowers during the spring season.
You can grow maroon chenille plants safely at home even with pets around. This plant is generally not toxic.
Growing succulents can be a real challenge if you have furry friends at home. While we want to collect more succulent plants, we don’t want to put our pets in life-threatening situations. So, it pays to always check whether the species is poisonous or not.
If you ever encounter the clinical signs mentioned above, be quick to bring your lovely pets to the vet for diagnosis.
Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!