Q & A

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Eric Vinje

Hi Adrienne –

The ZZ plant, or Zamioculcas zamiifolia, is a perfect house plant for low-light situations. This drought-tolerant plant belongs to the araceae family, a family of plants with many of them being toxic.

The ZZ plant produces calcium oxalates, the same substance that kidney stones are made of, which isn’t necessarily considered “poisonous”, but the sharp edges of the crystals can cause irritation to skin or internal tissues, so keeping pets and children away from this one is preferred. During the 2010’s, speculations about the level of toxicity may have been exaggerated – leading people to wear gloves when handling this plant. While this practice may be excessive, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to handle with care, and be sure to wash your hands after dealing with this plant, especially if any juices or sap may touch exposed skin.

As for pets and children, touching this plant may not do any harm, but ingesting or getting sap on exposed skin could lead to irritations.

Hope this helps!