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Showing posts with label Plant info and tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Plant info and tips. Show all posts

Monday, March 13, 2017

Caution! Garden May Be Toxic??????


Today I am addressing a serious topic.  I have been getting a lot of emails regarding this specific issue, and thought I would re-post this very important information.  This post has been reprinted in several pet magazines, and has been very helpful to pet owners...I hope it will be helpful to you too.

The other day I was having a conversation about plants in the garden that I avoid planting. One such plant was Heliotrope. I love Heliotrope…it always did what it was supposed to do…and it smelled just glorious…but I abandoned it. Why, you ask? Why would I abandon a plant that was doing well in my greenhouse and gardens?

This is why. Miss Poo LOVED to be in the greenhouse with me , and was never far away when I was planting or weeding or watering the flowers. I would often catch her walking around smelling the flowers…and once I caught her smelling…and nibbling on the heliotrope.

Heliotrope and Lantana are toxic to dogs. When our family’s beloved Miss Poo fell very ill with a mysterious illness that nearly took her life, I got to researching what plants I had in the gardens, that she could possibly have eaten…I was shocked to see that many of the plants that I had been growing all along were poisonous…some even toxic to not just pets, but people too!

Now, most pets and kids do not make it a habit to go around and sample the flowers and things in the gardens, but some may. I made it a point to teach my kids NEVER to put any of the flowers or plants into their mouths right as soon as they learned to crawl. My Miss Poo has since passed away, and my kids are old enough to know not to eat the plants, but I believe that it bears importance to know what we are growing. Just in case- right? RIGHT.

The following is a list of some of the plants that are considered to have adverse effects if eaten, handled etc. This list is far from complete, but it does cover many of our common garden plantings…(and if you live in my area….many of these are houseplants too!) If you do have a plant that is not on my list and you are unsure if it is dangerous or not, you can call your local poison control center and they will have some advice for you.


I love the Bleeding heart plant. (Dicentra spectabilis)…but if eaten the leaves and roots can cause many adverse reactions, such as: loss of balance, weakness, breathing distress and convulsions.

I once had a Castor bean plant. (Ricinus communis)…It was huge and healthy…I had no idea what I had as it was left for me by the previous owner of the house…I was shocked to look it up and find out that it was highly toxic! Just the simple handling of seeds and foliage can cause itching rash! Eating any part of this plant can cause burning in mouth and throat, abdominal pain, digestive problems, convulsions and death. Just one castor bean contains enough ricin to kill an adult within a few minutes! Needless to say…small children and a dog caused this plant to move on to someone else’s house. (that had no pets or kids)

I have always thought Delphinium was such a pretty perennial! (Delphinium spp.)…I had not considered that it was not just pretty but VERY TOXIC! All parts of this plant can cause nausea, abdominal cramps, bloating, paralysis and death. Needless to say…this plant has been relocated to the flower bed in the alley behind the house…just in case.


I plant Flowering tobacco in large quantities each year in my gardens.(Nicotiana alata) I didn’t even consider that it could be highly toxic! All parts of this plant if eaten can cause rapid heartbeat, weakness, blindness, digestive upset, abdominal pain and death. Good thing I didn’t eat any hey?
Foxglove is another common plant.(Digitalis purpurea)…It is also a very toxic toxic one! If ingested. all parts of this plant can cause nausea, abdominal pain, confusion, blurred vision, irregular heartbeat, convulsions and death.

I have not before heard of the Gas plant, but the name of it peaked my curiosity. (Dictamnus albus)…All parts of this plant, especially the seed pods, can cause irregular reddish patches on skin, blistering and staining of skin lasting for several weeks. Handling of this plant is dangerous…which is more than likely why I haven’t heard of it before….no one wants to harvest the seed pods.

Next we discuss Iris.


NOT That Iris!!! YOU GUYS ARE SILLY!!! (that is Grammie… my mom! she is an Iris…but not the one I was looking at…)

Iris (Iris spp.)

Leaves and rhizomes can cause nausea and digestive upset. So can upsetting
Grammie…she doesn’t take no crap ya know…lol

Lily-of-the-valley has never been a favorite of mine. They are invasive!!! (Convallaria majalis)…and as it turns out….also very toxic! All parts of this plant can cause irregulatr heartbeat, nausea, circulatory collapse and death.


Lobelia is one of my all time favorite flowers. I use it in most of my containers. (Lobelia spp.)…In spite of it’s delicate look, and bright flowers, all parts of this plant can cause digestive upset, weakness, tumors and coma if eaten.

OKAY….I LOVE LOBELIA…BUT EAT??? HELLO??? I suppose that what I think of as common sense…isn’t the same for others…lol

Do not eat the Lupine plant! (Lupinus spp.)…All parts of the Lupine plant, especially seeds, can cause breathing problems, convulsions and death.


Monkshood is one of my favorite perennials. (Aconitum spp.)
All parts of this plant, especially the roots and seeds, can cause anxiety, weakness, irregular heartbeat, speech and vision impairment and death if you eat enough of it.


The Poppy plant needs no introduction. (Papaver spp.) It has a reputation of being a prolific bloomer, invasive self seeder…and…Very toxic! Eating unripe seeds can cause deep sleep, dizziness, delirium, slow breathing and death. Ripe poppy seeds are harmless. All other parts of the plant can cause nausea, digestive upset, stomach pain.

Sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus)

Ingestion of large amounts of seed can induce cramps, paralysis, and death. Kinda scary since small children could think it is a regular pea plant…


 I don’t think we need a photo to tell us what an apple tree looks like…or the fruit do we?

Apple seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides. I remember the dietician at the doctor’s office telling me why they don’t like children to drink apple juice. When apple juice is made…they do not peel and core the apple…instead they just crush the juice from the entire apple…seeds, peel and all. The toxins from the apple seed are juiced into the juice and it can affect the behaviour of your kids! If you eat enough of the seeds, you could very well die.

Daffodils are deer- and vermin-resistant, and no wonder -- they have a poisonous numbing effect.
DOLLS'S EYE-The fruit of a doll's eye plant contain cardiogenic toxins that can lead to cardiac arrest and death.


These ornamental plants grow low to the ground with many branches. The leaves and unripe fruit are poison.


 -the berries of these ornamental plants are poison and especially dangerous for small children. Symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.



Large flower clusters grow on this deciduous shrub of vines. The leaves, branches and buds are poison. Symptoms: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, staggering, convulsions and death.


All parts of these noxious common annual weeds are poison, especially weeds and leaves. The symptoms if affected by the plant are: Abnormal thirst, dilated pupils, nausea, hallucinations, convulsions, rapid pulse, high blood pressure, coma.


This erect, coarse perennial plant is found in fields and along damp roadsides . The leaves, stems and sap of this plant are are poison. Upset Stomach will occur if eaten.


This very colorful vine is a popular annual/ornamental plant with seeds that are poisonous. The seeds have a hallucinogenic effect. Symptoms: Digestive upset, stupor, coma and death.


OH BE CAREFUL!….when harvesting these tall annual or perennial bristle weeds. The nettle hairs cause severe itching, burning and skin inflammation. Trust me…been there…done that…a few times.

We all think of the Potato plant as a safe and healthy common garden vegetable, but the sprouts, leaves, shoots and green tubers are poisonous. Symptoms you may feel if you are affected by the non edible parts are: Dilated pupils, digestive upset, numbness, paralysis, circulatory and respiratory depression. This plant Can be fatal.


All of the parts of this woody evergreen /deciduous shrub are considered poisonous, especially the foliage. Persons affected adversely by this plant may feel: Increased saliva and nasal discharge, digestive upset, depression of t he heart and nervous system, paralysis, and stupor. Azalea may be fatal.


 Rhubarb is commonly grown for its edible leaf stock, but beware…the leaves and roots of this common garden plant are poison. Symptoms include: Burning and irritation of the mouth and tongue. May be fatal as this plant can cause the tongue and throat to swell blocking air passage. Other symptoms may include nausea and vomiting. 


The milky sap of the leaves and stems of numerous varieties of this herb or shrub causing severe blistering and burning of the eyes and skin. If eaten these plants may cause acute irritation of the mouth, throat and stomach. These plants can be fatal. 


The vines and leaves of this common plant are poison. ONLY EAT THE FRUIT. The vines and leaves can cause cardiac depression and may be fatal if eaten in large amounts.


I love Wisteria, butit is poison. It may caue stomach upset. Small Children may be poisoned by just one seed!

Other plants that you may wish to be aware of are:
  • Cyclamen -Causes vomiting, gastrointestinal upset and death.
  • Kalanchoe -Causes vomiting and diarrhea.


If your dog loves to dig in your yard or garden, these toxic garden plants are particularly dangerous.
The bulb is the poisonous part of the plant. Keep your dog away from them at all times.
Autumn Crocus

 This is a common houseplant in most homes. It can cause intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips and tongue, excessive drooling, difficulty swallowing, vomiting.

Plants in the Aloe Vera family are toxic to dogs! If eaten they cause diarrhea, tremors, depression…and death


Lacy Tree This plant can cause irritation of the mouth, lips and tongue, excessive drooling, difficulty swallowing, vomiting.


Schefflera This plant causes intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips and tongue, excessive drooling, difficulty swallowing, vomiting.

 This list is by far not complete…but it is a good start at making us aware of some of the houseplants and greenhouse/garden plants that we take for granted because of their beauty. We should always be careful of what we put into our mouths…and if we are not sure if they are edible or not…take a few moments to look them up or ask someone who is an expert.

That is all I have for today…so I wish you lots of blooms…and good growing!
Until next time..

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Fertilizer Friday/ Flaunt Your Flowers Jan 17/14

 Welcome!!!   Today is the first Fertilizer Friday party of 2014!!!!   Isn't that exciting!?   

 Friday is a BIG day for us here at Tootsie Time…(ok, just me really…there is no one else here…lol)  It’s a big deal because it means it’s PARTY TIME!!!!
Fertilizer Friday is the day of the week than an ELITE group of gardeners from all around the world get together, snap photos, link up and Flaunt Their Flowers!!!
If you are new to Tootsie Time and Fertilizer Friday, I just know you are asking yourself…”How do I join?”

Well…it’s easy really. Here’s all you need to know to become a part of this great group of gardeners, bloggers and friends:

If it is spring or summer where you live, you need to snap a few photos of what you have growing, blooming or just love to look at that is of the plant variety…if it is winter where you live, you may post past favorite photos…or indoor plants…whatever you like.
The only criteria is that it is a plant or something growing!
You do not need to use fertilizer to participate in this party, but if you do, this is the reminder to fertilize weekly!
All I ask is that: Your post must include the logo above and/or a link to Tootsie Time, or the linky will be deleted
I would like to invite each and every one of you to join in and share your photos...

This week I am celebrating EVERYONES birthday, by sharing this cute little thing I found while looking online for interesting and new flowers to plant in my yard this coming spring!  I decided that today was as good as any to share it...It isn't my flowers, but I haven't any to is winter here!   So...I am sharing each month in flowers. 

Traditional Birthday Flower Guide.
You have all heard of birth stones...and you have all heard of the traditional gift list....but have you heard of the traditional birthday flower guide? If you have is your lucky day!
I found this online at a site called homestead garden.

Since it IS January...and we have a full year of birthday's to be ready for, I thought maybe everyone would enjoy seeing what the flower is for your birth month.

In Gem stones, I am an emerald...and in flowers I am a Lily of the Valley...(darn!  I wanted a better flower than that!  lol)    What are you?


April--Sweet Pea or Daisy
May--Lily of the Valley




I hope you enjoyed seeing which one you are! (at least no one is a Dandelion)

Until Next Time....Happy Celebrating (if it's your birthday!) :)

*)*)*)... Its not what you say, But how you say it..The tone of your words affect more than the words itself..

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Monday, April 29, 2013

When Their Roots Are Growling….FEED THEM!!! Plant’s Get Hungry Too!!!

A quick tip for fertilizing/ feeding your plants... do it first thing in the morning. Plants are waking up and getting their juices flowing...they will benefit the most from a morning feed.  After all...don't they say "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day?"
Loads of questions have been coming my way about Fertilizing and feeding ... I thought I would take that as a hint to post and share with you some of the things I know about the topic...
It is possible to simply stick your plants into the soil and walk away. Watering alone will help keep them alive, but if you want to see them THRIVE…give them a kick in the roots and add a little fertilizer or organic plant food to your regimen. Fertilizer/ plant food gives your plants the added nutrients that your soil may be missing . These nutrients help keep them strong and healthy, and loaded with blooms.
Chemical Fertilizer is made up of three primary ingredients:   Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium . These will be listed on the label of the fertilizer in number.
Nitrogen (N) will always be the first number.
Phosphorus (P) is the middle number, and
Potassium (K) will follow up last.
If your label reads 26-13-0 that means that you have 26% Nitrogen, 13% Phosphorus and 0% Potassium.
Each element in the fertilizer recipe accomplishes a different task.
Nitrogen helps the leaves and stems grow and stay green.
Phosphorus aids in healthy root growth, flowering, and fruit/seed production.
Finally Potassium helps the plants stay healthy and resist disease. It also helps to keep the actions of the first two ingredients in balance.
When purchasing a fertilizer/ plant food you will need to consider a couple of things:
How often you want to apply the product, and what you are looking to accomplish with the product are the best questions to ask yourself.
The specific rules of fertilizing/ feeding are different for each brand, or plant, but in general you should follow a couple of simple guidelines. NEVER fertilize/ feed a seriously dry (to the point of wilted or collapsed) plant. Pre- water the plant to allow the roots to be ready to absorb the food and then apply the fertilizer treatment.
When watering newly seeded plants, it is best not to water with fertilizer or plant food at the first sign of germination. It is best to wait until the plant has it’s second set of true leaves. The sprout that first pushes out of the soil is very tender and may be burned by the fertilizer of any kind. At this point, the soil should have enough nutrients to sustain life for a few days or weeks until more foliage develops.
More is NOT better when fertilizing/ feeding your plants. It is possible to burn the leaves and roots of a plant by over-fertilizing/ feeding.


If I had to choose, I would choose to err on the side of caution and add a little bit less than to risk adding too much. It is best to feed during daylight hours.   Watering at night leaves us open to a host of issues with moisture and and rot, and problems. (a whole other post in itself)


In the past, I have tried the fertilizer sticks that you add to the side of the soil in potted plants. I have not found them to benefit my houseplants in any way. In fact, a few months after inserting them into the soil, they were in exactly the same condition as the very first day! My plants seemed to take no benefit from this form of feeding.   I have tried many different types of organic and chemical fertilizers in the past.   I think it depends on personal preference and availability as to what will work best.   

I have not touched on the different types of fertilizers/foods today,  but will say that there are MANY different brands and techniques.  I did not want to focus on specifics as I do not endorse any particular brand or type of feeding.   I also did not want to cause a huge fight…there are a lot of people who have very strong feelings about fertilizing/ feeding of any kind.   For some this is a very HOT topic.   I choose to keep my preferences to myself…and not dredge up any drama!  I really love ALL my followers, and do not want to offend anyone!
I will say that I am quite intrigued with the latest trend in organic/natural feeding products that are out there, and have been trying a few of them on my houseplants.


In the case of my gardens…I would love if any of you have any ideas how I can use some of the organic type of plant foods to feed them…I have a LOT of watering to do…and I don’t want to spend the entire day watering with a watering can…I need to use the garden hose to do this…and would love some advice on using one of the sprayers to feed organically!

Water with warm water! Watering with cold water will shock the roots of your plants and stop them growing until they recover. Just think of it as bathing yourself in a pool of ice water…how long does it take you to warm back up?

Well…that’s all I that I know about Fertilizing and/or Feeding the plants!  

Until Next Time…Happy Gardening!
*)*)*)   Silence and a smile are two powerful tools. A Smile is the way to solve many problems but Silence is the way to avoid many problems.
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(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.

All of my house and garden plants are planted in Sunshine potting mediums.  

Monday, March 18, 2013

Creeping and Crawiling and Climbing All Over...Just The Way We Want Them To!

When it comes to vines...there are no limits...

oh my!!! is a dream of mine....

Oh!!! … and here is another...TOOTSIE!!! QUIT DAYDREAMING AND GET TO IT!

Climbing plants bring height to our gardens. They offer us attractive alternatives to the view of our gardens AND offer a feeling of lusciousness that other plants do not. They also help us hide some of the less attractive areas of the garden. Any vertical surface will offer a place of support for climbers to grow on.
Yep! This vine is one that I grew myself.  This was my house!…before the move.

There are climbers that will support themselves, such as the Trumpet Vine, the Ivy's such as Hedra Helix, Virginia Creeper, Climbing Hydrangea, and Boston Ivy to name a few. These plants will require a little bit of help in the beginning, but once established, will cling to pretty much any surface they come into contact with. Others will require constant help to stay in the upright position. This is where the Trellis comes into play.

great idea....

Trellis's come in a variety of styles. There are the ones that offer an attractive backdrop until the vine has covered it up...these might be made of wood, wire or even plastic. The choice of trellis will depend on your location, taste and the type of plant you will be using on it. They come in virtually any shape or size to cover almost any surface imaginable! You can even be creative and make your own to suit your exact needs.

okay...this might be a little over the top...but you get the point.

A trellis that is attached to a wall or fence should be done in such a way that as much air can circulate behind it as possible. This can be achieved by putting a piece of wood attached to the structure or wall and attaching the trellis to that wood. Another thing to consider when attaching a trellis to a wall or a fence is structure maintenance. Make the trellis easily that when the time comes to paint or repair the can do it easily by removing the trellis and laying it down during the repair, and re-attaching it afterward.

…fun for the kids to do!  They can play inside this trellis after it fills in!

I'm in love with this idea...

When you have decided on the location for your climbing can start to think about the type of plant you will want to purchase for this area. Make sure you do your homework before you choose the that you will be guaranteed a better chance at success.
If you want to see an ever changing view...annual vines are a good choice. You can change them each year and see something different. Morning Glory and Sweet Pea are good suggestions.
july 2 2006 022
I used to plant morning glory on my little greenhouse to hide it in the summer months...
rash 129
...Once I got all the seedlings planted into the was used as garden storage.  The vines did a great job of camouflaging what was inside.
If you have a flag pole, or telephone pole you want to hide…
Don’t forget to dress up the top of the pole…ha ha…like I did to my parent’s (Grammie and Grampie’s) flag pole…I added a garden gnome as a joke…and they love it!

If you are going to be planting in a shaded area...Chocolate Vine, American Bittersweet, Clematis (some varieties), Hydrangea, Boston Ivy and Honeysuckle are good choices.

If your climber is to be planted in a sunny area, you might consider Kiwi, Blue Passion Flower, Jasmine, Grape Vines, or Wisteria.

What if you are looking for a sweet smelling plant? Try Clematis Armandii, Clematis Montana, Japanese Honeysuckle, Rose bushes, or Wisteria.

When you have selected the perfect plant for your will need to practice a few simple rules when you plant:
1. Do not plant the vine any closer than 18 inches from the wall or fence. This distance will help make the drying effects of the wall or house less of a problem. Structures are often less hospitable for plantings as they tend to be sheltered from the moisture of rains etc. You will need to remember to add water to the area at regular intervals.
2. Young plants will require a little help in the training process. This means you may need to tie the branches of the vines to the trellis for the first little bit until they become established.
3. Follow planting directions for each plant species. Clematis for example likes to be planted fairly deep. This will guarantee you a better chance for a healthy plant, as all plants have particular likes and dislikes.
4. After you have dug yourself the initial hole for the plant, angle it at about a 45 degree angle toward the trellis. This way the plant will be inclined to grow toward the structure instead of away, or straight up.
5. Remove the support that comes with your plant from the nursery BEFORE you plant it in your garden. It is much easier to remove before rather than after you plant them. Trust me on this one...I know all too well...
6. Cut back to a healthy place. Remove any damaged or unhealthy looking stems as soon as possible. This gives your plant a better survival rate. If you plant it with damaged or broken stems, the plant will concentrate on those rather than on establishing new growth.
7. Dead head and prune regularly. Remove spent blooms as soon as they show signs of wear, to encourage more blooms to appear. If you leave spent blooms on the vine, they will become seed pods and your plant will think it is finished for the season...not to mention look rather icky. Cutting back your vines a little at the appropriate time of year (for each plant this might vary) will encourage new growth and more branching.
By starting out with a good and healthy plant, of good quality and characteristics appropriate for your location, you are sure to be rewarded with plenty of new growth and a lovely display on your trellis.
So, that's it in a nutshell, that is all I know …at least for today!   Long enough post for ya?  :)
If I have missed discussing  anything here...please let me know. After all....I have never claimed to be a professional...and I admit I am self taught. All I know how to tell you is what has worked for me!
I look forward to seeing you all again …hopefully within in the next day or two with some of the progress I have made on my home decorating projects!

You will notice in the comments that there are some dated from 2009.  That is because I had originally written this post WAY back then.  I have since learned a few things, and had some great photos to add and some more experience to contribute!  Thank you for taking the time to stick around if you have already read it!


Until Next Time…Happy Gardening!

*)*)*)   Be with somebody because they make you want to be a better person, NOT because that somebody wants to make you into their version of a better person!

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(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.
***I apologize, that I did not have the credits for the origins of the photos that are not watermarked in this post. I had collected them years ago ....before pintrest..and I do not know who to credit.   I believe most of them were just a simple Google search.   ***