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Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, better known as Flammendes Käthchen, is one of the most popular ornamental plants in Germany and, with its enduring blooms, provides an appealing dash of color in the home even through the winter. People like to keep the succulent as a houseplant or plant it outdoors over the summer. Due to the popularity of the plant, more and more owners are wondering whether the Flaming Katy is a poisonous plant.


Is Kalanchoe blossfeldiana poisonous? This question can be answered with a no and a yes, because the plant is non-toxic to humans, but toxic to highly toxic to animals. Although children and sensitive people can suffer mild symptoms of gastrointestinal complaints such as vomiting or diarrhea, but only if extremely large amounts of the plant have been consumed. Animals are at great risk because of the cardiac glycosides they contain, a group of active substances that can act in different ways:

  • lower the heart rate
  • increase heart rate
  • negatively affects the central nervous system
  • increases sodium concentration
  • more calcium remains in the cells

Flaming Katy does not contain enough cardiac glycosides to poison humans, but there are many other plants with these active ingredients. Some of these are highly toxic and eating them can be fatal:

  • Foxglove (bot. Digitalis purpurea)
  • Lily of the valley (bot. Convallaria majalis)
  • White squill (bot. Drimia maritima)

You see, cardiac glycosides are not to be trifled with. Because of this, mild symptoms are noticed when humans consume large amounts of the plant. However, the leaves and flowers do not really taste interesting and are therefore quickly spat out again. After consumption, it is sufficient if the affected person drinks plenty of water and takes some activated charcoal. You do not have to worry about the care, because the glycosides do not enter the body through the skin.

tip: Another advantage of the Kalanchoe is that the toxins do not increase in the sun or with heat, as is the case with plants such as the giant hogweed (bot. Heracleum mantegazzianum).

effect on animals


If you have a cat as a pet, you should place a Flaming Katie as out of reach as possible. Due to the cardiac glycosides it contains, which act as a steroid in cats, the plant can cause numerous symptoms. As soon as the following symptoms appear, you should definitely contact the veterinarian:

  • irritation of the stomach
  • Vomit
  • diarrhea
  • bouts of paralysis
  • convulsions
  • shortness of breath

From an unknown amount of plant parts consumed, the house tiger can even die. Since a cat only has weak, natural instincts compared to wild species such as tigers or a lynx, they do not recognize poisonous plants. Because of this, they nibble on almost every plant in the area to play with or have new experiences. Succulents are especially popular. However, the toxicity of the plant is too high for cats and should therefore be banned from the home or placed where they cannot be chewed. This also applies to planted specimens in summer.

tip: The Kalanchoe is just as poisonous to birds as it is to cats. Small birds in particular can ingest a lethal dose from the smallest amounts.


A Flaming Katie has a right to the dog little effect, but it is not harmless. The main factors here are the amount consumed and the size of the animal. For example, if the dog is a Chihuahua or Dachshund, a significantly lower amount is toxic to the animals. In most cases, dogs are not interested in the plant, unless they are puppies, which should be avoided as a precaution. An immediate visit to the vet is not necessary, but the animal should be observed. Possible symptoms can be:

  • Vomit
  • diarrhea
  • increased salivation

rodents and rabbits

Rodents and rabbits should also be kept away from the plant as it is just as toxic to them as it is to cats. The lethal dose is also unknown, but due to the small size of guinea pigs, hamsters and rabbits, even small amounts can quickly lead to death. Symptoms are similar to cats. After consumption, you should definitely take the animal to the vet.

farm animals

Farm animals such as cows, sheep or horses are particularly sensitive to the succulent. Pigs are not as affected by Kalanchoe blossfeldiana toxicity. It is known that the lethal dose for a calf is seven grams of the flowers per kilogram of body weight. Since a Flaming Katy can only spend the summer in the garden in Central Europe, the risk of poisoning is very low. However, you should be careful if livestock have access to your garden as the plants are extremely toxic to them.


Note: Please note that this article is by no means a substitute for a doctor's visit. There is no guarantee of the correctness of medical statements.
Detailed information on first aid in the event of poisoning and important information on the poison control centers can be found here.

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