Are Fiddle Leaf Figs Poisonous to Dogs, Cats, and Children?
When you are considering bringing a new plant into your home, you most likely will look to see if it is poisonous in any way to your dog, cat or child. Which brings us to an important question. Are fiddle leaf figs poisonous?
The short answer is yes, potentially. But, only mildly so.
Fiddle leaf figs can cause slight dermatitis or irritation to your pet or child.
What are Fiddle Leaf Figs
Fiddle leaf figs are a member of a mulberry family. They have a white, sticky sap that can be irritating to some people or pets. It can cause blistering of the skin. You certainly want to keep it away from your eyes.
For example, if you are propagating or pruning your fiddle leaf fig, you will want to take care not to come into contact with the sap from the plant.
How to Determine Toxicity
These resources are very helpful when you are looking to determine the toxicity of your household plants.
UC Davis Safe and Toxic Plant List
This ASPCA site lists the fiddle leaf fig as a philodendron but that is incorrect. So be careful when reviewing toxicity articles.
Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants
How do we Measure Toxicity in Plants
When it comes to measuring toxicity, there are 4 classes of toxicity identification.
Toxicity Class 1
This signifies major toxicity that causes serious illness or death. Coming into contact with a Class 1 can cause you to go into a coma or have significant organ or liver damage.
Toxicity Class 2
Class 2 Toxicity is minor. It may cause a mine illness if ingested, like vomiting or diarrhea.
Toxicity Class 3
Oxalates are the next class where the sap contains oxalate crystals which can cause drooling and breathing difficulties if ingested. In this case, you would not want your dog or cat or child ingesting any plant identified as Class 3.
Toxicity Class 4
Dermatitis is identified in plants under Class 4 toxicity. Lip and mouth irritation will be present if the plant is ingested and it can cause skin irritation and rash if you have come in contact with the sap.
Which Plants Are Very Poisonous?
Some plants that are very poisonous are Azaleas, Mistletoe, Hydrangea, several Lily varieties, Oleander, Rhododendron to name a few.
Fiddle Leaf Philodendron or Horse Head Philodendron (philodendron bipennifolium) is poisonous and sometimes gets confused with Ficus Lyrata, fiddle leaf figs, because of its name.
Fiddle leaf Figs are Toxicity Class 4
Fiddle leaf figs are in the Toxicity Class 4. This means that when you handle your plant, you want to take care not to come into contact with the sap. Especially when pruning or propagating.
Wear gloves, put a tarp down, and stay safe.
Here are additional resources for you so you can take precautions with the plants you choose for your home to keep your pets and children safe:
Poison Control List
UConn Safe Houseplant List
To learn more:
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