Landscaping in Central Florida is a dream come true for avid gardeners because of the wide variety of colorful and exotic plants that grow in tropical climates. However, those who have dogs must be extra vigilant about learning which plants are toxic, so they don’t accidentally sicken, or even kill, their furry best friend.
Protect Your Pup from Poisonous Plants!
If you’re a gardener who loves dogs, avoid planting the following flora and fauna in the landscape where your pooch plays.
Angel’s Trumpet – Contrary to its name, this beautifully flowering shrub or small tree is far from heavenly when you consider that all parts of this plant are poisonous.
Coral Bean – This lovely dark pink flowering perennial is a perfect addition to natural landscapes, but it’s extremely lethal when consumed.
Flowering Tobacco – Ideal for planting in the back of gardens because of its height, this gorgeous flowering plant does indeed contain nicotine, which will make Fido deathly ill if he chews on its dark emerald green leaves or colorful trumpet-shaped flowers.
Lantana – Floridians are more than familiar with this colorful annual because the native variety grows anywhere its seeds can take root. While there is a non-native species that isn’t invasive, gardeners need to practice caution when adding it to their landscape because it’s toxic to pets if they consume it. Take note that the native species is just as dangerous.
Milkweed – If you want to help Monarch butterflies and honeybees, plant your pollinator garden far away from your dog’s territory. Milkweed produces a sap that can be irritating to skin and toxic if consumed.
Oleander – This showy shrub is a Florida favorite because of its vibrant flowers and its ability to thrive in less than hospitable conditions. However, those who want to enjoy its beauty need to plant it where their dog cannot get to it because every part of this evergreen bush is highly lethal.
Red Buckeye – If you want to attract hummingbirds, this compact deciduous tree will do just that with its red tubular flowers. Just be sure to plant it where it won’t drop its poisonous seed pods where your dog can get ahold of them.
Yesterday-today-and-tomorrow – This unique bush loves morning sun and afternoon shade, but you’ll have to enjoy gazing upon its delicate color-changing flowers where your pup doesn’t play. All parts of this elegant shrub contain poisonous alkaloids, and the berries it produces are especially deadly.
Sago Palm – This popular low growing ornamental is popular in Florida landscapes, but beware because it will poison dogs if they munch on it.
Castor Bean – As more Floridians are adding this attractive ornamental to their landscapes, many don’t know that consuming just three or four of its seeds can kill, so don’t plant it where your dogs might be tricked into thinking they’re a tasty treat.
No matter what you plant or where you plant it, remember that all greenery needs the proper amount of water to thrive. Considering this fact, it’s good practice to monitor your irrigation system on a regular basis to make sure it’s turning on and shutting off in accordance with the settings. If you’re not sure your system is running like it should, call us or complete our request service form and we’ll happily take a look.
Enjoy a flourishing landscape and a happy, healthy dog!
When a person loves both plants and dogs, it’s reassuring to know that the two can easily coexist when careful gardening is involved. The above list is just a sampling of the toxic plants that grow in Florida, so it’s important to research the plants that are currently growing in your yard, then remove or relocate the ones you discover are poisonous. Once this is accomplished, you can safely add new plants to your landscape that you know won’t harm your pup. It’s smart to be diligent about searching the yard every spring and fall to ensure that toxic invasive species such as lantana haven’t taken root where your dog plays.