Going green is the in thing these days, especially in home decor, but can pets and plants live together safely and peacefully in the same house? The answer is yes; there are plants which are non-toxic to animals, but also beautiful, easy to care for and even help purify the air.
Here is our list of Pet-Safe Plants for your home.
- African violets: For those who want more than just green, the African violet comes with ongoing blossoms in a variety of colors. These small plants fit just about anywhere but love sun and warmth so thrive on windowsills. (This preference may cause competition with your cats!)
- Bromeliads: These plants come in a variety of colors and are low maintenance. Their low-light tolerance makes them great indoor plants.
- Palms: Palms add elegance to any home decor, help clean and purify indoor air and offer a wide variety of choice as to size and type. Two favorites of these non-toxic plants include the areca and the pony-tail palm. The areca can grow up to seven feet tall, so it needs a lot of space. It also likes bright but indirect light found near windows. It requires little water, usually only once a week. Let the soil dry completely before adding water. You might want to keep an eye on canine pets, as they might think this a good “tree” on which to hike a leg. The pony-tail palm also likes bright light and casual watering, going up to two weeks between drinks.
- Spider plants aka airplane plant: These air-cleaning plants practically grow themselves, including putting out “baby” plants for easy propagating. They fare well in just about any light condition and enjoy ordinary, moist soil. They make lovely hanging baskets, which keep them out of reach of cats who love to play with them, often ripping the plant up and digging in the dirt. Don’t worry about your pet, though; it’s only the plant that suffers.
- Succulents: Easy to grow, succulents offer a variety of types and colors to brighten up the house. Not all, however, are pet safe, so you need to do some research if you want to use these plants. Two of the prettiest, safe ones are Burros-tail and Haworthia.
- Phalaenopsis orchid: This plant has beautiful small blossoms in white, yellow and various shades of pink. While many orchid plants may be considered high-maintenance, this one is one of the easier ones to grow. By the way, the blossoms are edible for people as well as pets and make lovely garnish on food.
- Prayer plant: This plant’s name comes from the fact it closes its leaves at night. Its leaves are rounded and consist of various shades of green with pink veins. It prefers medium level light and moist but not wet soil.
- Baby rubber plant: Want something more unusual in plant decor? The baby rubber plant fits the bill with its thick, shiny leaves. It requires infrequent watering, likes bright but indirect sunlight and offers a dramatic look for the home.
- Bamboo: This is a favorite plant because of its simplistic, yet elegant look, reputation for bringing luck and easy care.
- Ferns: Most ferns are non-toxic to pets yet look good anywhere. Two favorites are the Boston fern and the lemon butter fern. Boston ferns have feathery-looking leaves while the lemon butter offers small, oval leaves on long stems. Ferns do well in high humidity and low to medium light.
While all these plants are pet-friendly, keep in mind that pets can over-indulge on munching them or may like to root around in the plant dirt, upsetting pots and causing messes. For more information on keeping your pets out of trouble while living with plants, check aspca.com.