Is Christmas Cactus Poisonous?

December 20, 2012 – 07:11 am

The Christmas cactus, also called 'true cactus' or Schlumbergera bridgesii, is one of the easiest tropical flowering plants to take care of and it lasts for many years. People don't just plant it to increase the aesthetic beauty of interior designs, Christmas or Holiday cactus is also popular as gifts during holiday festivities like Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter, the time of the year when they bloom. That is also how this species of cactus got its name. This cactus is grown in an environment with cool temperatures, with no direct sunlight or sources of heat. But, the place must be sufficiently lit. Don't mistake it to be similar to other species of cacti, because the Holiday cactus needs to be watered at timely intervals, with adequate quantities of water. It is not immune to lack of moisture. Even though, this cactus has been classified as non-toxic house plants, one of the most common questions people ask is regarding its toxicity for kids or pets.

Is Christmas Cactus Poisonous?

There are some house plants that can cause severe poisoning in pets and so, you need to be very careful while choosing which plants to decorate your house with. That could be a lot of risk just to enhance the beauty of your house. Christmas or Thanksgiving cactus is a popular house adornment, especially during the holidays, and has been often categorized as a safe-but-better-avoid flowering plant. You can plant this cactus in your garden or keep them at home, but, you need to be wary of a few details. This question has been dissected here in two parts for your ease of understanding.

To Pets: Dogs that have consumed this cactus, have been reported to show signs of poisoning such as vomiting, dullness, loss of appetite and diarrhea. But, on the other hand, there are many people who claim that their pets have often ingested cladodes and flowers of this cactus. The pets are still alive and their health is just fine. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or ASPCA, affirms the latter testaments and has declared the Holiday cactus to be non-toxic to dogs, cats and other pet animals. Hence, it is not harmful to your pets.

To Children: Ideally, your children should not be eating any sort of plants that are not recommended for a human diet. Although, Thanksgiving cactus has been deemed as safe for consumption by pets, would you eat your garden plants? The same theory applies to your children. They should not be ingesting this cactus or any other plants, as chemicals in the plant could lead to an upset stomach and may be a cause of allergy. As a preventive measure, keep all house plants away from the reach of toddlers and kids who are likely to ingest them.

The Verdict

Is Christmas Cactus Poisonous?


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Sounds like you will be traveling...

I suggest you have a live flower sent to their home to arrive just before you get there... something like an azalea or a Thanksgiving cactus plant, or a Christmas Cactus plant.
While there, I recommend you be very active in helping prepare meals, serve and clean up after the meals.
Offer to do things like peeling the potatoes, set the table, etc.
Since you are going to be there for 4 days, offer to run the vacuum before guests arrive, etc.
Offer to make quick trips to the grocery store as you see the need.
If there are children in the family, help entertain the children to give their parents a break

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