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Are umbrella plants safe for pets?

Looking for pet-safe house plants? Let’s talk about are umbrella plants safe for pets and what you need to do if your pet is exposed.

Umbrella plants are super popular houseplants. They have a tree shape and tropical leaves in clusters of 8, making them a beautiful addition to any houseplant collection.

The umbrella plant is also known as:

  • Octopus tree
  • Starleaf
  • Australian ivy palm
  • Schefflera
  • Parasol plant

If you have any of these plants and have pets, you need to keep reading! It’s important that you are aware of the toxicity of umbrella plants to pets.

are umbrella plants toxic

Printable Umbrella Plant care guide

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Umbrella Plant plant care guide

Are umbrella plants safe for pets?

Umbrella plants are toxic to cats and dogs and are not pet safe houseplants.

All parts of this plant has insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, saponins and terpenoids which is an irritant to pets.

Is schefflera plant toxic to cats?

Yes – all parts of umbrella plants are toxic to cats.

Are umbrella plant toxic to dogs?

Yes – all parts of Schefflera plants are toxic to dogs.

umbrella plant leaves

What happens if a pet eats an umbrella plant?

Umbrella plants are definitely toxic if eaten. Eating the plant will cause irritation where ever it touches – so, in the mouth and throat area.

This can cause:

  • drooling
  • swelling of the mouth and face
  • swelling of the esophagus (could lead to difficulty breathing)
  • pawing at the mouth and face
  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • agitation
  • itchy skin

If you think that your pet ate an umbrella plant, I advise you to call your vet’s helpline immediately. It’s not necessarily a full crisis – depending on how much they ate and the size of your pet – but you should seek professional medical advice for a risk assessment and steps to take.

Vets may perform blood work, urinalysis, and a biochemistry profile on your pet to determine exactly how the toxins have effected them.

What happens if a pet touches an umbrella plant?

Brushing the leaves of your plant should not cause a major issue, but, if there is a broken stem or leaf, it could have exposed sap, which is the main irritant. In this case, it could cause itchy skin and irritation.

If you think that your pet was exposed to this, consider giving them a bath and definitely keep an eye on them to be sure they don’t start acting strange.

umbrella plant on a high shelf to keep away from the cat
umbrella plant on a high shelf to keep away from the cat

Where should I put an umbrella plant in my house?

If you have pets (or small kids!) You want to keep your umbrella plant on a high shelf that your pets will not be able to get to.

Keep in mind if you have a cat that jumps, it might not even be safe on a shelf. Be realistic about your circumstances. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Any questions about umbrella plants and pets?

Thanks for reading!

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