At Zito Landscape Design, we prize beautiful plants, particularly those that grow naturally in southern Florida – they’re at the heart of everygarden, yard, or outdoor space that we design and build. But while some plants may look beautiful, they can hide some dangerous properties – and certain plants in southern Florida are poisonous to humans or animals. To help you spot anything that may be a danger to a young child or a pet, we’ve compiled a few of the more common poisonous plant species in southern Florida.
This bush-shaped plant boasts beautiful white, pink, or purple flowers, but it also hides some nasty secrets. Oleander is poisonous if chewed or swallowed, causing vomiting, gastric bleeding, and even seizures. If smoke from the plant is inhaled, it can even cause blindness. It can be fine as a decorative outdoor plant, but be mindful to keep pets and kids away, and never use it as material for a bonfire.
The glory lily, also called flame or fire lily, is quite a sight to behold. Its flowers are a vibrant blend of orange and yellow, looking almost like a flame extending off the plant’s green stalks. Watch out, though, as this flame is dangerous: if ingested, glory lily can cause vomiting, diarrhea, shock, or even multi-organ failure. While it’s beautiful, it’s probably not well suited to households with pets or children.
The deep red leaves of this plant are a common site during the holidays, but beware: it’s not nearly as inviting as it looks. The milky sap of the plant can irritate the skin, and eating its berries can causing drowsiness, vomiting, or diarrhea. It makes a great holiday gift, but keep it out of reach of dogs or small children.
All of these plants can be a beautiful addition to an outdoor space or garden, but their toxicity goes to show how important it is to know exactly what’s in your garden. If you have any questions about poisonous plants, gardening, or would like a well-designed (and poison-free) landscape of your own, feel free to call us 24/7 at (800) 673-9161 or reach out to us at our contact page. We hope to see you back at this blog for more info on plants and gardening in Florida, and until next time, remember that just because a plant looks beautiful doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous!
Depending on your landscape needs, you might want to vary the height of your hedge or privacy screen to make it more visually interesting. That means choosing trees and shrubs of different heights. When you’re looking into shrubs and trees, you’ll also need to consider how much sun and shade they get, as different plants have different needs.