Are Alocasia plants poisonous?
The Alocasia is one of the most popular houseplants in the UK. Their large, showy leaves make them a stunning feature in your home.
However, if you have pets and children, you may need to reconsider your placement of the plant as the Alocasia is known to be toxic. In this guide we will take through everything you need to know about Alocasia toxicity.
How toxic is an alocasia plant?
Alocasias contain a protein called asparagine and oxalic acid, which cause poisonous reactions to those who ingest the plant. If any part of the plant is ingested you may experience nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, burning of the mouth and throat, and swelling of the eyes or mouth. The severity of these symptoms will vary from person to person, and are often worse in children. As soon as you start experiencing symptoms you should go to a doctor immediately for help. Do not try to self medicate and the chemicals in the plant may not react well to all medications.
Is it safe to own an Alocasia plant?
Thousands of houseplant owners across the world own Alocasia plants without any issues. If handled and treated correctly you can enjoy the beauty of an Alocasia in your home with no hassle. Make sure you put your plant in a location that is out of reach of both pets and children. If you own cats this may be more difficult, and putting the plant in a room that they have no access to would be easiest. There are a few more simple steps you can take to safely live alongside an Alocasia:
Wear gloves - You should always wear gloves when handling your Alocasia to avoid any contact with bare skin.
Wash hands - If your skin does make contact with the plant, wash your hands immediately and avoid touching your eyes or mouth.
Keep out of reach of pets and children - Always place your plant in a location that is out of reach of children and pets. You can easily turn this into a feature in your home by putting hanging or trailing plants on a well placed shelf or displaying the plant where it makes a statement.
Dispose of water safely - You should avoid touching or reusing the water used to feed this plant as it can still carry toxins. Dispose of the water immediately into a garden or down the drain.
What to do if your pet eats an Alocasia plant?
As soon as your pet eats any of your Alocasia plant, it’s important to contact your vet. If you leave this too long crystals will begin forming in their urine which can make their condition a lot worse. To give your animal the easiest experience possible there is a few steps you should follow:
Never try home remedies - You will find potential home remedies for Alocasia poisoning all over the internet, but you should always avoid these as you can end up making the condition worse.
Contact your vet immediately - The longer you wait to see your vet, the worse the condition may get. If your normal vet is not available then contact your nearest emergency veterinary service.
Take a sample of the plant - When you go to see your vet you should take a sample of the leaf or part of the plant your pet has eaten as this may help diagnose and treat the condition.
How should I keep my pets away from my Alocasia ?
If your pets can’t reach your Alocasia then there is no way that they can get curious and eat it. The easiest way to do this is to put it in a room that your pet has no access to, but in some cases this may not be possible. The next best option is to put your Alocasia out of reach. This is a method that works well and can be incorporated into your home design by putting trailing varieties on a floating shelf, in a hanging pot or as an ornament on a bookshelf.
To specifically keep your Alocasia away from cats, make sure to surround it with other objects. Cats don’t like crowded clusters and this will make the area around your plant less interesting to them.
Cats and dogs are curious creatures who will explore anything new in their environment and once they are used to a new Alocasia they should begin to ignore it. After that your only worry will be falling leaves. Try to remove any yellowing or dropping leaves before they can fall, but if any do drop before you can do so make sure to pick them up as soon as you see them or ensure that your pets can only access the plant when you are there.