Are Red Hot Poker Plants Toxic To Cats



New gardeners and old love the red hot poker plant (Kniphofia uvaria, aka torch lily). Hailing from South Africa, the plant is often found in USDA hardiness zones 6 to 9.

Kniphofia Red Hot Poker. A colorful genus of perennial plants from southern Africa, various Kniphofia species and cultivars bloom with showy spikes of tubular orange, yellow, pink and bi-colored flowers. The plant varies in size from compact to huge. The foliage is grassy in appearance and the flowers are highly attractive to hummingbirds. To search for photos of these plants, check the UC Berkeley CalPhotos: Plants site. Toxicity Class (third column in table below). Major Toxicity: These plants may cause serious illness or death. If ingested, immediately call the Poison Control Center - (800) 222-1222 - or your doctor. Minor Toxicity: Ingestion of these plants may cause minor illnesses such as vomiting or diarrhea.

  • Additional Common Names: red hot poker, poker plant. Scientific Name: Kniphofia. Family: Asphodelaceae. Non-Toxicity: Non-Toxic to Dogs, Non-Toxic to Cats, Non-Toxic.
  • Additional Common Names: red hot poker, poker plant. Scientific Name: Kniphofia. Family: Asphodelaceae. Non-Toxicity: Non-Toxic to Dogs, Non-Toxic to Cats, Non-Toxic to Horses. Other Ways to Help: Become a Monthly Member; Fundraise with Team ASPCA; Join the Mobile Action Team; Share this page: Help the ASPCA Put a Stop to Animal Cruelty.
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Its showy flower spikes attract butterflies and hummingbirds. This makes red hot pokers a perfect addition for many garden settings or as border plants.

Some of the 70 species have bi-colored red to yellow flowers. Others have orange flowers, and others range from white to a variety of pastel colors.

Red hot poker plants don’t like growing in containers. Except for a few dwarf varieties, you’ll generally grow them outdoors.

Add new plants to the garden in early spring to start off the growing season. Blooms appear in early summer.

As long as it gets full sun and a well-drained soil type covered in rich, organic mulch, plant care is minimal.

The plants live quite a long time if you deadhead spent flower stalks. Tie spent leaves over the plant in late fall to help it overwinter.

Are Red Hot Poker Plants Toxic To Cats Litter

The biggest draw of this plant is its use for flower arrangements and as cut flowers.

Lilies are toxic plants, there’s a lot of concern that displays may be dangerous around children and pets.

Are red hot poker plants toxic to cats bite

Is The Red Hot Poker Plant Poisonous or Toxic?

The good news is that torch lilies aren’t true lilies and are non-toxic to both humans, pets, and livestock. The bad news is that many plants commonly planted with these plants are.

Try to avoid placing the blooms of a true lily plant in the same arrangement as the torch’s tubular flowers. Daylilies are also believed to be highly toxic to cats and cows, so avoid these as well.

Canna lilies are safe around pets and make wonderful companions to red hot poker plants.

Marigold blooms also go well with torch lily displays. They are generally considered non-toxic (but may cause some mild stomach irritation in dogs).

What Parts Of The Plant Are Poisonous or Toxic?

While it’s not recommended for you or your pets to consume this plant, there are no toxic parts.

One concern of ingestion, especially in larger quantities, is calcium oxalate. This substance is a leading cause of kidney stones and found in a wide range of garden plants.

What Are The Symptoms Of Poisoning?

Ingestion of torch lilies will not harm you or your pets, but many companion plants will.

If your pets or livestock have been snacking on these plants and you have true lilies nearby, watch out for:

Are Red Hot Poker Plants Toxic To Cats
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive drooling
  • Fever

… as these are the most common symptoms of plant toxins.

How To Protect Yourself While Handling The Red Hot Poker Plant

Torch lilies are safe to work with, but one of the best growing tips is to always use gloves and sterile tools.

This helps prevent cross-contamination from rhizomes or other infected or infested plant parts.

Common Name: Red hot poker
Genus: Kniphofia
Species: caulescens
Skill Level: Beginner
Exposure: Full sun
Hardiness: Hardy
Soil type: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Acidic, Chalky/alkaline, Moist
Height: 100cm
Spread: 60cm
Time to plant seeds: February to May
Time to divide plants: March to April

Most red hot pokers (kniphofias) are grown primarily for their showy, torchlike flower heads, but this unusual species is also valued for the tufts of blue-green narrow leaves. The 1m tall flowers arrive in late summer and are yellow and coral red. This plant is toxic If eaten and can irritate eyes and skin.

Looks good with:

Helenium 'Moerheim Beauty'

Buy Red Hot Poker Plants


Cortaderia selloana 'Pumila'