Is Red Hot Poker Poisonous?

When planting a garden, it is important to consider the health of those that may encounter your plants. Containing no toxic plant parts, Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia spp.) is a vibrant, summer-blooming, full-sun perennial that can provide a fiery pop of color in your yard without the worry of what or who may touch or nibble upon its leaves and flowers. Some species of Kniphofia are even used in folk medicine for chest congestion and stomach issues, though we do not recommend them for general consumption.


Is Red Hot Poker Poisonous to Children?

Red Hot Poker flowers, leaves, roots, and seeds are all nontoxic when touched or ingested by children. Regular consumption of the plant is not recommended, however.

Is Red Hot Poker Poisonous to Dogs?

Though still considered nontoxic and pet safe, if consumed in large quantities, Red Hot Poker may cause an upset stomach in dogs. If you are finding that your furry friend is nibbling at or digging up Red Hot Poker, you can use store-bought deterrents and bitter sprays to make the taste and smell of plants unfavorable. 


Is Red Hot Poker Poisonous to Cats?

All plant parts are considered nontoxic to cats. If the willowy nature of Red Hot Poker is attracting Fluffy’s teeth and claws, citrus and pungent smells like lavender have been known to deter cats.

Is Red Hot Poker Poisonous to Other Animals?

Kniphofia are nontoxic to horses and other livestock. Despite all plant parts being nontoxic, Red Hot Poker is considered deer and rabbit resistant. The most common pests for Kniphofia are slugs and snails.


Symptoms Of Red Hot Poker Poisoning

If consumed in large quantities, one could expect an upset stomach, nausea, or vomiting, though poisoning from Red Hot Poker has not been documented.

Here are some common symptoms to look out for:

  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Preventing Red Hot Poker Poisoning

Though Red Hot Poker is nontoxic to humans, dogs, cats, and livestock, you still may want to prevent plant damage, if anything for aesthetic and plant health purposes. Pet deterrents, either store bought or homemade in the form of citrus sprays and spices, can be used to prevent dogs and cats from digging or chewing on your plants. To ward off deer and rabbits, you can try deterrents as well as physical barriers like fencing. Because of its safeness, Red Hot Poker can be used as a physical barrier itself to keep children and pets away from more toxic plants. 

Pet Poison Helpline

If something were to happen to your furry friend, and you suspect that they are suffering from Kniphofia poisoning, there is a poison control hotline to call for 24/7 vet advice. It is called the Pet Poison Hotline, and their phone number is (855) 764-7661.

Sources: "Torch Lily." American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

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 Author Lynn Gusman - Published 9-21-2022