Monday, December 22, 2014

Poinsettias are NOT Poisonous



This is the time of year many people buy poinsettias. Yet, some are concerned because they think the plants are poisonous.  Are poinsettias truly poisonous? No, this myth has been around since the early 1900’s. The American Society of Florists has been trying to dispel the myth for a long time. They say that no other commercial plant has been tested for toxicity more than the poinsettia.

According to the American Medical Association’s Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants, ingestion of the poinsettia plant has been found to produce no ill effects except an occasional case of vomiting. According to the POISINDEX information source, a child who weighs 50 lbs. would have to consume over 500 leaves before he reaches a potentially toxic level. Since the taste of poinsettia leaves is reportedly very unpleasant, it is unlikely that a child or animal who attempts to eat or chew the leaves, will continue to do so after the first taste. Some people, however, can develop a skin and eye irritation from contact with the milky sap of the plant.
Care
  • Poinsettia plants prefer indirect light, six hours daily is ideal.
  • Poinsettias require daytime temperatures of 60 to 70°F and night time temperatures around 55°F for best growth; high temperatures will shorten the plant’s life.
  • Standing water can be harmful for the plant.  Remove any wrappings from around the pot or at least punch holes in the foil so water can drain into a saucer; discard excess water.