Garden Moments: Poisonous plants

Melinda's Garden Moment

Nationally recognized gardening expert Melinda Myers helps everyday gardeners find success and ease in the garden through her Melinda’s Garden Moment television segments. Melinda shares tips that hold the key to gardening success, learned through her more than 30 years of horticulture experience.  New Melinda’s Garden Moment web tips will be added throughout the growing season, so be sure to check back for timely, seasonal tips to help you be successful in your gardens!

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Beware of Poisonous Plants

Two tropical beauties are pretty to look at but beware of the poisonous nature.

Castor beans (Ricinus communis) grow 6- to 10-feet tall and produce large star shaped leaves up to two and a half feet across.

The spiny red seedpods add to their beauty but the seeds within are very toxic. Remove these or plant them where they can’t be accessed by children.

Castor beans provide vertical interest and a tropical feel to garden borders and containers. Red leafed and shorter varieties are available.

Two groups of plants, Datura and Brugmansia, go by the common name “Angel’s Trumpet.” Some are grown as ornamentals while others are considered weeds and even invasive plants in some states. All have fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers of white, purple, yellow or apricot and thorny seedpods. All parts of the “Angel’s Trumpets” are highly toxic.

Grow them in full sun and well-drained soil.

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