In winter, the Christmas cactus enchants with its colorful blooms. But is it poisonous and dangerous? Here is the answer!
The Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi) is a real cactus plant (Cactaceae) – even if it doesn’t really look like it. The wild species of the hybrids bred by us are located in the tropical and subtropical areas of Brazil.
The green, leaf-like structures are phylloclade. These are transformations of the stem axis that serve the Christmas cactus to store water and to operate photosynthesis. If these leaf-like structures are damaged, a sap is released. Like all other plant parts of the Christmas cactus, this is slightly poisonous.
Is Christmas cactus toxic to cats?
The Christmas cactus, even if only slightly toxic, can pose a threat to cats. Therefore, it should not only be placed out of the reach of children but also for cats. If a hungry cat has got off the decorative Christmas cactus, the vet should be consulted.
If you do not want to do without the blooming Christmas cactus with your child and / or cat, there is a compromise that solves the problem: The cactus can simply be planted in a hanging basket and will also feel at home in the lofty heights – completely out of the reach of children and cats.
Is Christmas cactus toxic to dogs?
The Christmas cactus is weakly toxic in all parts – flowers and leaves. Even if you believe that your dog would not eat plants on its own, the animals can come into contact with the poisonous plants faster than you might think. Especially when playing and romping around, dogs tend to bite into something or to dig in questionable places.
Young animals that nibble on one or the other plant out of curiosity are, particularly at risk. It is helpful if your dog learns to put down everything that it carries in its mouth when called.
Is Christmas cactus toxic to children and adults?
The Christmas cactus, which is considered to be slightly poisonous, does not usually pose a threat to adults. However, no parts of the plant should be consumed. The sap that escapes when the leaf-like phylloclade are injured can lead to skin irritations.
The Christmas cactus should be placed out of the reach of children. If parts of the Christmas cactus plant have been consumed by a child, a doctor must be consulted immediately!