You asked

Which houseplants or outdoor plants should we avoid having with a child on the loose?

When it comes to childproofing a home, many parents worry about plants that could be potentially dangerous to their children. The good news is that most plants, even those who are known to be toxic, are not so dangerous that just one bite will be fatal. There are, however, plants that you do need to avoid. These include:

Azaleas
Baneberry
Belladonna
Black locust
Buckeye
Castor bean
Cherry
Chinaberry
Caladium
Caper spurge
Daffodil bulbs
Daphne
Duranta
Death camas
Delphinium
Dumb cane
False hellebore
Foxglove
Goldenchain
Holly
Hyacinth
Hydrangea
Jessamine
Jimsonweed (weed found in gardens)
Larkspur
Lantana
Lily of the valley
Lupine
Monkshood
Moonseed
Mistletoe
Mountain laurel
Nightshade
Oleander
Philodendron
Poison hemlock
Pokeweed
Privet
Pyracantha (firethorn)
Rosary pea
Rhododendron
Rhubarb leaves
Rubber vine
Sandbox
Tansy
Tung
Various mushrooms
Wisteria
Water hemlock
White snakeroot
Yew

Aside from plants that are poisonous, such as those on this list, you should avoid plants that have hanging leaves or vines that your child could tug on, or heavy pots perched on unstable stands. Avoid using potentially toxic chemical fertilisers, and steer clear of small stones in pots – those could easily be choking hazards. Fine chicken mesh over soil can stop your child from digging, or you could simply avoid having plants in rooms that your child spends time in, or opt for faux versions, that look pretty, but aren’t dangerous!

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