February 2013

Plants can be hazardous to your pet’s health

Annabelle (Hydrangea arborescens) and other hydrangeas may cause vomiting, depression or diarrhea if ingested by animals. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Do you have a killer landscape? You might, depending on which plants you have that are poisonous to pets. Here are some that you might want to avoid:

Burning bush (Euonymus alata), Chrysanthemum, Clematis, fleabane (Erigeron), foxglove (Digitalis), Hellebores (Helleborus), Hibiscus, holly (Ilex), Hosta, Hydrangea, ivy (Hedera), lily (Lilium), rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum), sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas), yarrow (Achillea) and yew (Taxus).

I confess I have several of these in my yard and I have dogs. However, they don’t eat plants, except for grass and ripe tomatoes. Depending on the plant, ingestion may cause vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory problems, excessive salivation, drowsiness, lethargy or death in dogs, cats, horses and other pets. Lilies, in particular, are deadly to cats and dogs.

There are many other toxic plants, but these are common in the Indiana landscape. Download a complete list at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Poison Control Center. If you suspect your pet has ingested parts of toxic outdoor or indoor plants, immediately call your veterinarian, or the Animal Poison Control Center, (888) 426-4435.

City Gardener Program

Do you have your first home and would like to learn how to take care of the landscape or plant a garden? Purdue Extension-Marion County’s City Gardener Program might be for you.

“This helped me appreciate and look forward to the whole process of gardening,” said a 2012 participant. Participants also said they felt like the program will make them better gardeners.

Six Wednesday sessions begin at 6:30 p.m., April 3 and continue through May 8, at Discover Hall at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. You can attend one or all of them. The fee is $5 each, or six for $20. Session are two-hours long and topics include: soil and fertilizer; vegetable and flower gardening; lawn-care basics; care of trees and shrubs; combat insects and diseases. The information also is applicable to suburban landscapes.

To register, please call or email Debbie Schelske, (317) 275-9286,