Plants and pets: know the facts to keep dogs and cats healthy

No plant says Christmas quite like the poinsettia. But nary a holiday season goes by without poinsettias being negatively associated with pet health.

Yet the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says poinsettias “may be the most misrepresented plant when it comes to toxicity. Since 1919 poinsettias have been called lethal if ingested by pets. However, many animal studies have shown that it is just not true.”

Relatively few plant and flower species are dangerous to pets, and the effects can range widely.

As the ASPCA notes, poinsettias and other holiday plants are not good for pets to ingest, potentially irritating the mouth and stomach and sometimes causing vomiting, but generally are “over-rated in toxicity.”

The same can’t be said about lilies and cats. Eating just a couple of leaves or licking a few pollen grains off their fur can quickly cause kidney failure, according to CBS News.

“A cat that’s eaten part of a lily will vomit soon afterwards, but this may gradually lessen after two to four hours. Within 12 to 24 hours, the cat may start to urinate frequently. Urination may then stop if kidney failure occurs. If untreated, a cat will die within four to seven days after eating a lily.”

This is the case for any true lily — belonging to the plant genus Lilium — including Easter lily, tiger lily, rubrum lily, Japanese show lily and certain species of daylily.

In contrast, the calla lily, peace lily, lily of the valley and Peruvian lily (alstroemeria) are not true lilies and won’t cause kidney failure in cats although they have other toxic principles, according to the Pet Poison Helpline.

If you love plants and pets, then it’s a good idea to consider which ones are the best fit for your home. Here are several resources:

The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center offers an exhaustive, sortable list of plants that are toxic or non-toxic to dogs and cats. The list focuses on plants “that have been reported as having systemic effects on animals and/or intense effects on the gastrointestinal tract,” according to the ASPCA, which cautions that the list is not meant to be all-inclusive.

If you think your animal is ill or may have ingested a poisonous substance, the ASPCA suggests contacting your veterinarian or its 24-hour emergency poison hotline at 1-888-426-4435.

The Humane Society offers an informative — and highly alliterative — list of “plants potentially poisonous to pets.”

The Pet Poison Helpline offers its Top 10 Plants Poisonous to Pets.

Of course, as the Pet Poison Helpline notes:

“While there are thousands of species of plants and flowers, only a small percentage of plants are truly dangerous and poisonous to your pet.”

Connells Maple Lee gives back 10 percent of online prom purchases to area high schools

No doubt, high school students throughout Connells Maple Lee’s market area will have lasting fond memories of having attended their spring proms.

And two high school prom committees will have a little extra money after participating in Connells Maple Lee’s first prom fundraiser.

Connells Maple Lee sent reimbursement checks representing 10 percent of the $1,194.33 in corsages and boutonnieres purchased for the Bexley High School and Central Crossing High School proms.

The schools may use the reimbursed funds at their discretion. The fundraiser was open to all high schools in Connells Maple Lee’s market.

Connells Maple Lee plans to offer a similar fundraiser next year. Prom committees interested in participating in 2018 should contact Jaime Kevles, Connells Maple Lee’s marketing coordinator, at

Connells Maple Lee Kids Club event June 17 to kick off annual food drive

Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts will hold its annual food drive – Connells Maple Lee Stems Hunger – June 17-July 1.

The Connells Maple Lee Kids Club will kick off the food drive with a June 17 event in all stores. Children ages 5 to 12 are asked to donate a nonperishable food item as the price of admission, and to bring an empty food can in which to make an arrangement for themselves.

Participants will receive a balloon and will have an opportunity to enter the kids club birthday card design contest.

Time slots are available at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Registration is required by calling your nearest Connells Maple Lee store: 3014 E. Broad St., Bexley, 614-237-8653; 2033 Stringtown Road, Grove City, 614-539-4000; and 8573 Owenfield Drive, Powell, 740-548-4082.

Connells Maple Lee Stems Hunger food drive returns June 17-July 1

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Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts’ annual food drive returns June 17-July 1.

Connells Maple Lee Stems Hunger will benefit the nonprofit Neighborhood Services Inc., which operates the Choice Food Pantry at 1950 N. 4th St., Suite J, Columbus.

In 2016, Neighborhood Services ( welcomed 9,867 total family visits for food assistance.

For the food drive, donors will receive a free carnation for each nonperishable food item they contribute (limit six per visit).

Donations may be dropped off during regular business hours at one of Connells Maple Lee’s stores: 3014 E. Broad St., Bexley; 2033 Stringtown Road, Grove City; or 8573 Owenfield Drive, Powell. For Neighborhood Services’ food wish list, click here.

Another drop-off location is the Drayer Physical Therapy Institute outpatient center at 4090 Gantz Road, Grove City.

2017 Stems Hunger food drive wish list

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The 2017 edition of our annual food drive, Connells Maple Lee Stems Hunger, benefits Neighborhood Services Inc., which operates Choice Food Pantry in Columbus (above).

Nonperishable items can be dropped off June 17-July at our stores in Bexley, Grove City and Powell. For every item, the donor will receive a free carnation, up to six per visit.

Neighborhood Services has compiled this wish list of items:

Canned meats: Think beyond tuna and soup, which food banks get tons of. Instead go for canned beef, ham, chicken and canned salmon.

Canned vegetables: Everyone donates green beans and corn. Instead, give potatoes, carrots, spinach, peas or any other veggies your family likes.

Canned fruit: Not pineapple. This is the most commonly donated fruit. Any other fruit, particularly those in fruit juice without extra sugar, would be great. Any dried fruit.

Boxed meals that require only water. Hamburger Helper isn’t helpful if you don’t have hamburger.

Low-sugar cereal such as plain Cheerios.

Peanut butter

Instant oatmeal, instant grits. Require only water.

Beans. Canned or dried. Red kidney, black, northern and chickpeas are popular.

Pasta of any shape, pasta sauce.

Biscuit/baking mixes that require water only.

Evaporated/powdered milk in cans, cartons or boxes.

Diapers in sizes above newborn, plus wipes.

Toiletries: toothbrushes, soap, toothpaste, lotion, shampoo and conditioner, feminine hygiene products (unscented pads will be most universally used), warm soaps, lip balm, gloves, stocking caps

Spices such as cinnamon, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, garlic, cumin, paprika.

Chocolate: It’s not a necessity but just a pick-me-up.

Connells Maple Lee’s annual kids club birthday card design contest runs through June 30

This is one birthday celebration that lasts an entire month.

Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts’ annual birthday card design contest, which is open to children ages 5 to 12, runs through June 30.

The winning design will adorn the Connells Maple Lee Kids Club birthday card, which is emailed to all kids club members on their birthdays. The winning artist will receive free flowers on his or her birthday.

Entry forms are available at all Connells Maple Lee stores or can be downloaded here.

To be eligible, entries must be dropped off at a Connells Maple Lee store by June 30: 3014 E. Broad St., Bexley; 2033 Stringtown Road, Grove City; or 8573 Owenfield Drive, Powell.

Revive your roses with these easy steps


Even when handled with great care, the heads of your beautiful roses could drop over within a few days of receiving a bouquet.

It’s not that the flowers are old. Rather, it’s likely that an air bubble got stuck in the stem, preventing water from getting in.

With these easy steps, you can bring the roses back to a robust state:

1. Fill a sink with 2 inches of water;

2. Remove the roses from their vase and submerge the stems in water;

3. While they are submerged, cut the stems (scissors are fine) approximately 2 inches from the bottom. A diagonal cut is best as it provides the most surface area for water to get in;

4. Allow the stems to soak in the water for an hour.

When you place the roses back in the vase, they should be in good shape once again.

Connells Maple Lee giving back portion of online prom sales to area high schools


Area high schools compete in many ways, from football games to tennis matches, debates to television quiz shows.

Here’s a new one for them to consider: prom flowers. Except in this competition, there are only winners.

For the first time, Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts is returning a percentage of online prom sales to participating area high schools in the form of cash or flowers. For total sales of $2,500 or more, schools will earn 15 percent; for sales below $2,500, they will earn 10 percent.

The schools can use the reimbursed cash or flowers at their discretion.

“It’s not school against school, but we are hoping to generate a little friendly competition among them,” said Greg Royer, president and CEO of family-owned Connells Maple Lee. “If a school registers and records even one online prom sale, it wins. We look forward to seeing which school comes out on top.”

Prom season has begun and continues into early June. Connells Maple Lee has compiled a list of high schools and dates of their proms in the seven counties in which the company operates.

By going to, dance-goers can select their school from a drop-down menu and then shop for corsages and boutonnieres.

As of Tuesday, two schools had registered to participate. If a school has not registered, it can do so by having one of its prom organizers contact Jaime Kevles at

Our flowers are rooted in many places around the world

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North America to South America. Europe, Africa and Asia.

Oh, the places we’ll go to procure high-quality flowers.

We’ve previously told you about our regular trips to Bogota, Colombia, which has an ideal climate for growing roses, for instance.

Here’s a sampling of other flowers and the countries from which we source them:

Hydrangeas/pompons: Medellin, Colombia
Iris/tulips: Holland
Dendrobium: Thailand
Gerbera daisies: Canada
Hypericum: Ethiopia
Carnations/alstromeria: Bogota, Colombia
Gypsophilia: Quito, Ecuador
Sunflowers: United States
Sweetheart roses: Holland

Our proposal: join us at the Bridal Spectacular on April 23 in Grove City


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The pleasure of your company is requested at the 2017 Bridal Spectacular.

The event will take place from noon to 4 p.m. April 23 at Aladdin Shrine Center, 1801 Gateway Circle, Grove City.

Connells Maple Lee will be among the vendors, showing a variety of bouquets for brides and attendants and table arrangements highlighting popular colors and trends for this year.

APRIL 2017

The Bridal Spectacular will feature wedding vendors and health and beauty experts from Columbus and the surrounding area.

Other offerings will include in-home job opportunities, food tasting, product demonstrations. More than 35 door prizes include a free outdoor ceremony package ($500 value) from Aladdin Shrine, complete with setup and an extra hour and a half of event time, and a grand prize of a free night’s stay for two at Candlewood Suites in Columbus.

Guests also may register to win a four-night/five-day honeymoon package, including roundtrip airfare to Blue Diamond Rivera Maya Resort.

You can join us for free by downloading and presenting this Bridal Spectacular 2017 ad. Aladdin Shrine Center offers abundant free parking.