Are Poinsettias Poisonous?

Are Poinsettias Poisonous?

Posted by Scott Sharkey on Nov 27th 2023

Every year right as the holiday season starts ramping up I see several posts on social media about poinsettias. It's usually some dramatic post about keeping your pets safe by not having a poinsettia in your home because the leaves are poisonous and little Fluffy will surely drop dead if he even comes near it.

Poisettias are not Lethal

Don't worry...Fluffy will be just fine with a leaf or two. It might make their stomach mildly upset, but there are far more toxic Christmas decorations to be concerned with like glass ornaments, tinsel and lights. You don't need to worry about a vet visit if your pet decides to eat your poinsettia. 

One year our puppy Fern (below) pretty much ate everything under the Christmas tree. She made the Naughty List.

The never ending myth.

The myth that poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are poisonous has been repeated every Christmas since at least the early 1900's. That's when the urban legend started and unfortunately hasn't stopped. In fact since the 1960's it has been debunked and noted that it would take 500-600 leaves to make any effect on a 50lb. animal. Since the leaves are bitter anyways, it is very unlikely.

So what is a dangerous plant in the home for the holidays? 

Holly, Mistletoe and Jerusalem Cherry are in fact toxic and should be in an area where children or pets will not get to them. Also be sure no berries have fallen on the floor.

So hopefully we have put you at ease about enjoying both your pets and a beautiful poinsettia in your home. Be sure to share this article with your friends.

For our article on How To Care For Poinsettias go here:

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