Spring is just around the corner & soon it will be time to start thinking about pruning & replacing the plants in our gardens that didn’t survive the winter. We’ve talked about the importance of using Native Plants in the garden & how some plants are edible, but did you know that many common garden & water garden plants are toxic? Some of these commonly used plant species can be harmful to our pets as well as to humans. House plants can also be dangerous. Toxic houseplants include elephant ear, philodendrons, English Ivy, Amaryllis & the peace lily to name a few. Remember if they are toxic to us or our pets they will also be toxic to our Koi. Plants that are not toxic to humans may still be a problem for your pond fish. The seeds of most plants will swell in the pond & if your Koi eat the seeds they could plug up the digestive tract. Don’t panic, you don’t have to start ripping plants out of your yard & pond. If you have children or pets you could transplant these plants to an area out of reach. Of course, it’s also important to keep an eye on small children & curious pets while they are in your garden. As for the pond, all you need to do is make sure the toxic plants are out of reach from the Koi. Before you make your wish list of new plants for your garden you may want to consider the list below. These are just a few of the more common toxic garden plants, some of which you will recognize as pond plants. Keep in mind this is just a partial list using common names & the part of the plant that is known to be toxic.
Plant Part Plant Part
Amaryllis: bulbs Black Locust Bark: sprouts, foliage
Bird of Paradise: seeds Buttercup: sap, leaves
Baneberry berries, roots Cherry: bark, twigs, leaves & pits
Calla Lily: leaves Coral plant; seeds
Daffodil: bulbs Eggplant: everything but the fruit itself
English Ivy: berries Elephant Ears: leaves, stem
Foxglove: leaves, seeds Hemlock: all parts
Hyacinth: bulbs Iris: bulbs
Jasamine: berries Java Bean: uncooked bean
Lantana: immature berries Laurel: all parts
Locoweed: all parts Mistletoe: berries
Mock orange: fruit Morning Glories: all parts
Oak: acorns, foliage Pine: sap
Poinsettia leaves, flowers Potato eyes, new roots
Redwood sap Rhubarb: leaves
Snapdragon: all parts Tiger lily: all parts
Tomato: leaves Tulip: bulbs
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