The dragon tree has a reputation for being poisonous. We got to the bottom of the matter and clarified whether there is really any danger to humans or animals.
Many amateur gardeners wonder whether the dragon tree is poisonous or not. Because: Hardly any other plant genus has so many popular houseplants as the Dracaena. Whether the Canary Islands dragon tree (Dracaena draco), the edged dragon tree (Dracaena marginata), or the fragrant dragon tree (Dracaena fragrans) – our four walls can hardly be imagined without the dragon tree as a houseplant. And yet many are unsure whether the dragon tree is perhaps poisonous after all, especially when small children or pets are involved.
Is the dragon tree poisonous?
In fact, the popular dragon tree can be classified as poisonous, even if only slightly poisonous. It contains so-called saponins in all parts of the plant, i.e. in the leaves, flowers, roots, and trunk. These secondary plant substances are completely harmless and even healthy for humans in small doses – they are also found in vegetables, among other things. However, in such a high concentration as the saponins found in the dragon tree, consumption would have health effects. The consequences range from physical impairments such as nausea and vomiting to the decomposition of vital red blood cells. But only if you ingest the dragon tree in really large quantities, which is highly unlikely.
How poisonous is the dragon tree for adults?
As a rule, healthy adults do not have to expect any impairments when they eat dragon trees. Enormous amounts of leaves and other parts of plants would be required to even feel any of the toxic ingredients. In addition, the likelihood of adults eating the houseplant by mistake or at all is minimal.
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Increased risk in children, allergy sufferers, and asthmatics
However, the danger when toddlers and children are part of the household should not be underestimated. Because of their low body weight and their tendency to put all kinds of things in their mouths, there is indeed a risk, especially as children react more violently to the poisonous saponins of the dragon tree. The typical symptoms are:
- Dizziness and circulatory disorders
- cold sweat
- Increased salivation
Insensitive people, the dragon tree can trigger an allergic reaction when touched, for example when watering
Also at risk from the dragon tree are allergy sufferers and asthmatics, who may react not only to consumers but also to skin contact or the mere presence of the houseplant in the same room. They can cause skin irritation such as redness or a rash and difficulty breathing.
Regardless of whether it is in the case of children or sensitive people such as allergy sufferers: If the symptoms of poisoning mentioned occurring, it is imperative that you consult a doctor and emphatically advise him of consumption or contact with the dragon tree.
How toxic is the dragon tree to pets?
Pets such as dogs or cats also have little to oppose the dragon tree due to their low body weight. Consumption of poisonous leaves, for example, can affect your health. Watch out for symptoms such as suddenly appearing in the animals
- excessive salivation,
- Diarrhea or
As a rule, however, pets are not particularly interested in the bitter leaves of the dragon tree. Should it still be consumed, a veterinarian must be consulted.
Conclusion: toxic yes, dangerous no
In summary, it can be said that a little caution is required when handling the dragon tree. However, this applies to most house plants, of which only a few are suitable for consumption. As a precaution, place the dragon tree out of the reach of children or pets and remove falling parts of plants such as leaves from the ground immediately.