Buddha's hand

scarlet23May 11, 2009

Hi. I bought a Buddha's hand plant (the heart shaped leaf one) and I had a couple of questions about it. Is it harmful to pets. My cat has left it be, but if he eats a little of it will it be bad news? Also, I'm having a hard time finding care instructions for this plant. I know that you are suppose to keep the soil moist between waterings, but that is about it. Do I have to trim it or something ever so often? I'm using it as an indoor plant. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Truly, Scarlet

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If this is the alocasia thingy and not the buddha's hand citron, then yes, it's poisonous, although I don't know how much. Generally aroids have calcium oxalate (?) crystals in them which are a mouth and throat irritant and your cat's probably not likely to eat enough to really get hurt because of this. Eating a lot over a period of time causes kidney damage, but that doesn't seem to be generally likely. Only dieffenbachias and calla lilies are widely considered to be really dangerous, as far as aroids go. I think.

I'm guessing it'll need a lot of humidity. Also you might want to let it dry down a bit between waterings. This seems to be standard advice for most houseplants, and I don't think that would differ here (Unless maybe it was one of those species that tends to grow in rivers, but that's different, because flowing water and stagnant pot-moisture are different things).

I've never had luck with alocasias not completely falling apart on me. They turn orange for no apparent reason and just like, rot from the leaves inward. Apparently humidity causes this, somehow. This might also just be Alocasia x Poly 'African Mask' or whatever the black-and-white ones are, though.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 10:58PM
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