What part of fiddle leaf fig is toxic?

Answered by Ricardo McCardle

The toxic part of a fiddle leaf fig plant is primarily the leaves. The leaves of the fiddle leaf fig, also known as philodendron, contain needle-like crystals made from calcium oxalate. These crystals are the main source of toxicity in the plant. When the leaves are chewed or ingested, these crystals can cause irritation and swelling in the mouth, throat, and digestive tract.

It’s important to note that not all parts of the fiddle leaf fig plant are toxic. While the leaves contain the highest concentration of calcium oxalate crystals, other parts of the plant such as the stems and roots may also contain smaller amounts. However, the leaves are the most accessible and commonly ingested part, especially for curious pets or young children.

The toxicity of philodendrons can vary depending on the species and individual plant, but it’s always best to assume that any philodendron plant is potentially toxic. Even a small nibble on a leaf can cause adverse effects in children and pets.

The symptoms of philodendron toxicity can range from mild to severe, depending on the amount ingested and the individual’s sensitivity. Common symptoms may include oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, and in some cases, difficulty breathing. In more severe cases, gastrointestinal upset, abdominal pain, and swelling of the throat can occur.

It’s important to seek medical attention if you suspect that someone, especially a child or pet, has ingested any part of a fiddle leaf fig or philodendron plant. The immediate steps to take would be to rinse the mouth with water and remove any remaining plant material. Do not induce vomiting unless instructed by a healthcare professional.

Prevention is key when it comes to keeping children and pets safe from philodendron toxicity. It’s advisable to keep philodendron plants out of reach or opt for non-toxic alternatives if you have young children or pets in the house. Educating yourself and others about the potential dangers of philodendrons can help prevent accidental ingestions and ensure the safety of your loved ones.

The leaves of fiddle leaf figs, or philodendrons, are the most toxic part of the plant. These leaves contain calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause irritation and swelling in the mouth, throat, and digestive tract when ingested. It’s important to take precautions and seek medical attention if ingestion occurs, especially in children and pets.