Kalanchoe – Toxic Plant of the Week


Image from Quimbaya

Welcome to another weekly edition of the a-z of plants horses should avoid. Today’s plant is incredibly common & found planted in a variety of places. While it’s not a huge danger to horses, Kalanchoe can be quite toxic for such a delicate little plant.

A Little About Kalanchoe

Kalanchoe is also called Flaming Katy or Air Plant. This is a perennial succulent that can grow up to five feet tall on hollow stems. Leaves are fleshy, dark, scalloped & trimmed in red. Flowers are yellow/ orange/ pink/ purple/ white, bell shaped & grow in clusters at the top of the stem.

How Dangerous Is It?

Most horses won’t have access to ornamental plants like this, plus it’s not palatable & rarely a problem unless conditions are dire. However, it contains cardiac glycosides which affect the cardiac system so it’s worth avoiding.

The stem & leaves of this plant are toxic (with highest concentration in the leaves) & can be fatal to equines.


What To Look For

You know your animal the best, so you should know when something is amiss. Kalanchoe toxicity symptoms include gastrointestinal upset, depression, lack of coordination, muscle spasms, trembling, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, convulsions & paralysis.

Learn More

Be sure to check out the Kalanchoe page to learn more about the plant & while you are at it why not check out more toxic plants?

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*It should be noted that we’re not veterinarians. This information is written specifically for horses & should be used for reference purposes only. If you think your horse has eaten something toxic call your vet right away.