June 17, 2010

Curious Case of the Missing Hydrangea and the Dangerous Plants

Last year I planted two hydrangea plants in my patio garden and was very pleased to seem the grow back beautifully this spring.  Hydrangeas are my favorite flowers and I even had them in my wedding bouquet.  A few months ago (during my mulching update) the hydrangeas were still stark but since then, although they hadn't bloomed yet, I was admiring how large and full they were getting.

Well, imagine my horror when I went outside yesterday morning and saw this:

patio garden

Don't notice anything?  That's because my beautiful hydrangea bush is gone!  It was completely ripped out of the ground, leaving just a hole with no proof of its existence except for one lonely leaf.

Since I didn't have a photo of how beautiful the hydrangea had gotten to be, I compiled this police sketch (ok, not really) of the missing foliage:

While searching my yard for clues, I discovered the withered remains of my beloved hydrangea.  Only a fraction of the plant it used to be, it was strewn carelessly across the lawn:

hydrangea remains

So who or what could have destroyed my lovely flower plant?  My prime suspect is this shady character:


Don’t let the new haircut and party attire fool you, he is ruthless.

This innocent looking puppy has a dark side and I suspect my hydrangea caught the wrong end of it. When I discovered this travesty, besides being upset that my beautiful plant was gone, I suddenly grew worried. I had just happened to read the previous day that hydrangeas were dangerous to dogs! In fact, I had no idea but there are a ton of common plants that are poisonous to cats and dogs. Potentially poisonous plants include popular favorites like azalea, begonia, chrysanthemum, coleus, foxglove, geranium, hibiscus, hosta, peony, and rhubarb. And that's just a sample of the potentially dangerous plants, the ASPCA provides a list of over 400 plants that are dangerous to dogs, cats, and horses.

The danger of each plant varies, some may cause tummy troubles while others can have dire results if ingested. I was shocked to find such a long list of plants to be dangerous. Luckily, my little puppy/criminal didn't seem to experience any side effects from destroying my hydrangea, but we did keep an eye on him to make sure he was okay and he was getting plenty of water.  It seems like he just ripped out the hydrangea and toyed with it, rather than actually ingesting the plant, so he was luckily safe from any side effects.

If you're a pet owner, I would urge you check out the ASPCA guide to toxic plants and contact your vet or their emergency poison control hotline (1-888-426-4435) if your furry friend gets into any trouble.

As for my hydrangea, I replanted it remains and hope it will grow back, but the outcome doesn't look good.  In the meanwhile, I'll admire (and protect) my other hydrangea which hasn't experienced the wrath of my criminal dog.


Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

Oh no! Darn dog! They only look innocent.

Tiny said...

We have 2 dogs and we just moved to the countryside. Thanks for sharing the link for the toxic plants :D