Do you want to know if pothos is bird safe? If yes, we can give you a detailed answer to this question. Please read our article thoroughly and find out everything you need to know regarding this matter.
Many gardeners and plant enthusiasts love raising pets, specifically birds. But many houseplants are considered poisonous to birds.
Pothos is one of the plants many pet owners debate whether it’s safe or toxic. But in this article, we will tell you precisely if this plant is bird-safe. Then, we will discuss how to keep your birds safe from toxic houseplants. Finally, I will give you a complete list of the plants you can grow and the ones you should avoid if you are a bird owner.
Is Pothos Bird Safe?
Pothos is not a bird-safe plant because it contains Insoluble calcium oxalate. When a bird chews or bites a plant with this substance, it will result in drooling, foaming, and vomiting. But the toxicity of pothos still depends on the quantity the bird will consume. Generally, a small part of a leaf will not be as harmful as consuming a whole leaf.
Additionally, pothos or any other houseplant can become highly toxic when fertilized by chemicals. Therefore, to keep your birds safe, try to fertilize your plants using organic and natural fertilizers.
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How to Keep Your Birds Safe when Growing Pothos?
If you are a bird owner who loves to grow pothos at home, there are still some solutions to consider to keep your bird safe from this toxic plant. My number one tip for keeping my plants away from my pets is placing them high. I know this might not be efficient with birds because they can fly to reach the plant, but I mentioned that to help you in case you have other pets like cats and dogs.
The most efficient solution for someone who wants to grow pothos while raising a bird is to have a plant-free room in the house. This room can be explicitly dedicated to birds or serve as a place to keep all your pets when you leave them alone at home.
I find this solution to be the most efficient for birds because they are one of the few pets you can’t take with you everywhere. On the other hand, pets like cats and dogs can come with you to every place you can imagine, even the bathroom!
When you grow pothos or any other toxic plant, you should consider the safety of your pets and your toddlers. In this case, you can’t lock your little ones in a room and leave to keep them safe from your pothos. Instead, I advise you to grow all your plants in a specific place your pets and children can’t access.
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Which Plants Are Poisonous to Birds?
Many plants are considered toxic or poisonous to birds. However, the deadliness or toxicity to our birds does depend on the quantity and the part of the plant your bird eats. So, not every aspect of every plant is toxic. For example, Bird of Paradise isn’t super unhealthy, but the flowers it produces are very harmful. So, if your birds take a little nibble off of a leaf, it will not be as deadly or as dangerous as if they eat an entire leaf. I just want you to keep that in mind in case your bird takes a small part of a plant that is considered toxic. In this case, you don’t have to worry a lot unless you see signs of illness, like drooling, foaming, and vomiting.
Now let’s get into the plants you should avoid If you have birds.
Number one is a very common plant which is aloe vera. The innard of the aloe vera gel itself isn’t toxic to birds, but the outer tissue is harmful to their digestive systems. So, be careful about aloe vera because it’s a super common plant with many health benefits. But for birds and pets in general, it’s not the case.
The second plant known to be toxic for birds is Hedera or ivy. This can cause rash, breathing problems, and paralysis. However, this depends on the correlation between the pet’s size and the amount of the plant consumed. For example, if a small pet eats one plant leaf, it will have a more severe reaction than when a 100-pound dog eats it. But, because birds are usually small in size, this plant can cause serious harm to them.
Next on our list is the jade succulent, another super common plant that can cause serious problems when consumed by birds. This plant can cause vomiting and decreased heart rate. Another symptom that might be produced by consuming jade succulent is depression, which is not really something you’d think would affect our pets, but it can happen very quickly.
Another plant that may harm our birds is Dieffenbachia. This plant can cause numbing if ingested. Also, the amount eaten will have a different effect on the bird. The impact may go from difficulty swallowing and vomiting to breathing issues and potential death.
Next up is the ZZ plant or Zanzibar Gem, which can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea when consumed by birds. There are a lot of plants that can cause vomiting and diarrhea, but they aren’t technically considered toxic to pets. But, according to the ASPCA, the ZZ plant can cause a severe reaction if a bird eats it. So it is regarded as hazardous for birds, even though it has the same effects as many other plants that aren’t considered toxic.
Click Here to Find out If Your Pothos Plant Is Safe for Your Furry Friends.
Which Plants Are Bird Safe?
Many plants are safe for birds and pets in general. However, not every pet-safe plant is easy to grow. In fact, many famous and easy-to-grow plants like pothos and aloe vera are known for being toxic for pets. But in this article, we decided to focus only on bird-safe plants that are easy to grow and find in your local plant shop.
The first bird-friendly plant on our list is peperomia. Any peperomia you bring in your home will pass the safe pet test. Still, one that I highly recommend, which is not only easy to grow but pretty easy to find too, is peperomia argyria or the watermelon Peperomia. I love these because they are absolutely gorgeous and have that striking watermelon appearance. It’s actually quite interesting. How similar these look to watermelons!
I find peperomia to be a really easy-to-grow plant. It’s a very set-and-forget plant that you can keep in a sunny location and water only about every seven to ten days.
Our second bird-safe plant is the Pilea or the aluminum plant. This one is also an easy-to-grow, easy-to-find plant. What I love about this plant is that when it is happy, the leaves become very upright. But, as soon as it turns thirsty, those leaves are going to droop, and the plant will look on the brink of death. However, after you water this plant, it will pop back up and look completely normal within a few hours to the next day.
Hoyas are also known for being non-toxic for pets. These plants are characterized by their waxy leaves and long stems that trail down and their blooms, with clusters of flowers. But the reason why I added hoyas to this list is that they are beautiful to cats. In fact, the long stem of this plant looks like a cat toy.
Hoyas are also suitable for beginners. So, if you have a bird and want to start growing houseplants, I advise you to go with hoyas because they can tolerate underwatering and different lighting conditions. Also, hoyas variants are prevalent in plant shops. The most common ones you can find easily are the carnosaurs and the Hindu rope.
The next type of plants I want to talk about are orchids, known for having beautiful flowers and pet safety. There are many different orchids, but my favorite is the jewel orchid, the judicial.
Growing orchids is a bit complicated because they like humidity but don’t like sitting in wet soil. You can change out the soil and use LECCAS, porous balls that allow more water circulation for the roots to breathe and not rot in the soil.
Orchids are known for growing in bright light, but you must adjust the lighting when growing these plants until you find the sweet spot. Generally, each orchid needs different lighting conditions.
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Pothos is one of the plants that are not safe for birds. As a result, you should avoid pothos and any plant that is not pet-safe if you have a bird. There are still some preventive measures that you can take to reduce the risk of these plants on your birds, such as having a dedicated area for your plants that the birds can’t access. But such a solution is impossible if you live in a small house or an apartment. As a result, bird owners, and pet owners in general, must grow only non-toxic plants such as peperomia and orchids.
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