Houseplants and pets add ambiance and life to a living space. However, at some point, your furry friends will attempt to nibble on your leafy friend. Unfortunately, some plants are unsafe and toxic to pets. They cause tummy aches, seizures, tremors, or worse when ingested.
With no sure way to keep your plants out of the mouth of a determined cat or dog, it is crucial only to keep pet-friendly indoor plants. Interestingly, several indoor plant species can add beauty to your home without posing a threat to your canine, feline, or birds. More importantly, it is best to keep household plants in hanging baskets out of your pet’s reach.
Below is a list of the top 15 pet-friendly plants to have around your pets and the ones you should absolutely avoid.
The prayer plant or praying hands is the peacock of the plant world. The name comes from its spreading leaves that turn upwards in the evening, seeming like a prayer hand. Prayer plants are common as household plants as they grow in temperate climates. They rarely bloom, so it is one of the low maintenance houseplants. More importantly, it is one of the non toxic plants to dogs, cats, and horses. Prayer plant can survive in different soils as long as you’re draining them and are tolerant of low light areas.
Spider plants are one of the most adaptable houseplants and are safe to have around pets. The plant is easy to grow, survives in different conditions, and is only affected by a few problems. Its name is from its spiderettes – spider-like foliage that dangles from the mother spider plant just like a spider. Spider plants are tough and require bright, indirect light and well-drained soil to thrive.
Air plant is a dynamic plant that does not require soil to grow. Yes, that’s right. Air plants thrive in the air, provided there is sufficient water and light. Instead of normal roots, the plant only has short roots for holding onto surfaces. They are also easy to maintain, as some varieties can go weeks without requiring water. Although non-toxic to pets, the small plants are fragile and appealing. Therefore, place air plants out of reach of your pets, possibly in hanging baskets.
Polka dot plant
The polka dot plant is another household plant that is safe around pets. The plant is a delicate tropical foliage plant that has gained popularity thanks to its brightly-colored leaves, stems, and branches. Some of its colors include pink base color and green spots, and there are varieties of white, red, purple, brighter contrasts, and deeper colors. Polka dot plants are easy to grow and boom sporadically. As a result, you must often shear or cut the plant to avoid growing long branches. Polka dot plants prefer soils rich in organic matter and moderate moisture.
Bird’s nest fern
This naturally epiphytic plant is a low maintenance houseplant that is safe around pets. Healthy bird’s nest fern has a slow growth rate as household plants and will grow up to 2 feet long, unlike in the wild. You can plant them anytime in the year, but the key to their survival is providing moisture, humidity, and warmth. The best place to grow a bird’s nest fern is near the bathroom or shower, where moisture and humidity are abundant. Since the plant is very fragile at the center, keeping them away from pets is better. Regardless, your dog or cat won’t be hurt from chewing the plant.
African violet is a pet friendly plant with one of the most beautiful blooms. The native African plant produces vivid, violet-colored flowers and blooms brightest under indirect light. Although the plant has a reputation for being difficult to grow, you only need to maintain a balance between moisture, sunlight, and soil strength. The plant requires a well-drained potting mix to avoid root rot, moist soil, and high humidity. The plant grows less than 12 inches tall and requires larger pots as they grow.
Parlor palm is like a regular palm tree, except these are suitable for growing indoors. As a result, they have a slower growth rate and can take years to reach their full height of 3 – 4 feet. Parlor palm is great for beginners, as the plant requires indirect light and temperatures. They are also hardy and will grow in any high-quality peat-based potting mix. Instead of individual palms, you can plant a few in the same container to look more attractive. You can keep parlor palms in any part of your home without fearing for the safety of your cats and dogs.
Friendship plant is the choice of many gardeners because of their easy care and fuzzy, quilted foliage. The plant’s name comes from its rapid development, even after gifting a part to a friend. The cute plant has veined and deeply crinkled velvety leaves and is easy to maintain. Keep your plant in indirect light around 65 degrees Fahrenheit and allow the soil to dry out between watering. Although it is unlikely your pets eat it, it is one of the best pet friendly household plants in any room.
Ponytail palm is almost like a cross between a palm tree and ponytail hair. The plant is famous for its lush, long curly leaves and sleek bulb-like trunk that give it an appealing appearance. Although it needs bright light to grow, it is a forgiving plant and will grow even if kept in a low light condition. However, it is better to keep ponytail palms in semi-dry conditions and let them grow root before repotting. Other pet-friendly palm plants you can consider for your home include areca palm and butterfly palm.
Staghorn is another epiphyte that is safe to grow around pets. The plant does not grow in soil but on plaques or substrates. Staghorn ferns have two leaf forms that take up nutrients and water and cover the root. Since they are often hung on the wall, they can add glamor to your room, away from your cats and dogs. But even if there is contact, the only victim will be the plant, not your pet.
The rattlesnake plant wraps our list of the best pet-friendly indoor plants. Unlike most we have mentioned, this plant is not one of the best options for beginners since it has specific moisture, heat, and indirect light requirements. However, the beautiful ornamental leaves are worth the effort. The plants can grow over 30 inches and are beautifully marked with green spots, wavy edges, and shades of green. Their underside has a reddish-purple shade, and it won’t harm pets.
9 poisonous plants your pet should avoid at all cost
Lilies are beautiful plants that make a great addition to table centerpieces. However, the lush plant is considered one of the highly toxic plants for pets, as small amounts can cause severe kidney damage.
Tulips are among the rarest grown indoor plants. But if you need more reasons why you shouldn’t have it in your home, it’s toxins. Tulip contains toxins that can cause severe gastrointestinal irritation, loss of appetite, cardiac abnormalities, convulsions, and depression of the central nervous system.
Despite its reputation, ivy makes a beautiful light houseplant. However, English ivy can cause vomiting, hypersalivation, diarrhea, and abdominal pains in pets.
This drought-tolerant plant is another plant you should not keep around if you have cats and dogs. All parts of the sago palm are poisonous, especially the nuts or seeds. Side effects of ingesting one or two seeds include vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and liver failure.
Oleander is tagged as one of the most innocent and delicate-looking houseplants. But don’t let it fool you; oleander is one of the most toxic houseplants to humans and pets. It causes dizziness, arrhythmia, tremors in adults, abnormal heart function, gastrointestinal tract irritation, hypothermia, or death in cats and dogs.
Aloe vera contains a chemical called saponin. If ingested, it causes excessive vomiting, low blood sugar, and severe diarrhea.
The dwarf umbrella treat is a great indoor plant because of its detoxifying powers and attractive leaves. But if you have pets, it is not a good idea. The plant contains calcium oxalate crystals that cause excessive drooling, oral irritation, vomiting, mouth irritation, intense burning, and difficulty swallowing in cats and dogs after ingestion.
Don’t bring marijuana indoors if you have cats and dogs, as it can cause coordination problems in pets after ingestion. Not only this, but it also causes depression of the central nervous system, seizures, liver failure, and vomiting.
Azalea contains grayanotoxins, which can produce drooling, vomiting, and weakness in animals. A severe case of azalea poisoning can cause death from cardiovascular collapse.
Indoor plants enhance a space’s appearance, eliminate air pollutants, and increase creativity. But in your effort to create a happier mood around your room, not all plants are pet friendly. We hope we have brought you a step closer to which pet safe plants to choose and which to avoid with these few tips.