Indoor and Outdoor Plant Poisonous – Facts Analysis

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Indoor and Outdoor Plant Poisonous


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If you have a plant like the one in the picture below, get rid of it.

This plant is very common at our houses, gardens, parks and offices (popular as indoor & outdoor plant). The plant (Dumb Cane or Dieffenbachia) is now proven to be dangerous, so, please take care!

I know that the leaf of this plant causes itching if its sap (milk) touches your skin. But there are more dangerous facts! Read the details below.

May be useful for you. You better believe it. Please read below.
One of my friends almost lost her daughter who put a piece of the leaf of this plant in her mouth and her tongue swelled to the point of suffocation. This is one plant but there are others with the same characteristics of coloring. Those are also poisonous and we should get rid of them. Please watch out for our children. As we all leave our children at home in the hands of a nanny, we should give them a safe environment where they can play.

Name: Dumb Cane or Dieffenbachia
“This plant that we have in our homes and offices is extremely dangerous! This plant is common in Rwanda. It is a deadly poison, most specially for the children. It can kill a kid in less than a minute and an adult in 15 minutes. It should be uprooted from gardens and taken out of offices. If touched, one should never touch his/her eyes; it can cause partial or permanent blindness.”
Please alert your friends.


The story comes with a picture of Indoor-Outdoor plant that is commonly used in houses, gardens, parks and offices, claiming it to be very dangerous and poisonous, warning to avoid it completely. It is a fact that the leaves of this plant Dieffenbachia can be poisonous when ingested by humans or animals, but the seriousness of this effect is exaggerated in this message, and is a hoax to certain extent.

The Indoor-Outdoor plant, also called Dieffenbachia or Dumb Cane, is a potted plant used for decorative purposes, because it can grow and sustain easily. Parts of this plant indeed can have toxic effect on human mouth and tongue when chewed, but the effects are not always potentially deadly. It can cause temporary burning sensation, redness of skin. In children and pet animals, intake and sometimes contact of this plant oral irritation, excessive drooling and local swelling. Death can only happen in severe cases when the resulting swelling is serious enough to block the airways of the victim. Studies show that deaths in these cases is extremely rare, and in most cases, the victims can fully recover from these mild symptoms of poisoning.

The part of the message saying eye contact with this plant can make you permanently blind is a certain hoax, because the fact is that it results in eye pain, redness and lid swelling only, according to eMedicine. According to Medline Plus, the common symptoms of Dieffenbachia poisoning are:

  • Burning in mouth or throat
  • Damage to cornea of the eye
  • Diarrhea
  • Eye pain
  • Hoarse voice
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Swelling in mouth or tongue

Under poisoning conditions, the website also suggests certain home care to reduce the damage:

Wipe out the mouth with a cold, wet cloth. Rinse your eyes and skin well if they touched the plant. Give milk to drink. Call Poison Control for more guidance.

It is a fact that children are easily exposed to these plants, and poisoning of household pets happens regularly, which sometimes results in the death of the animal.

The conclusion is that the Indoor-Outdoor plant Dieffenbachia is not deadly, but it is also important to be careful with this plant, avoiding any kind of direct contact or ingestion, especially when you have children and pets around.

And yes, the message can be shared for spreading awareness.

Hoax or Fact:

Mixture of hoax and facts.


Dieffenbachia Toxicity

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Prashanth Damarla