Who says we pet parents can’t have beautiful things? Yes, we can!
Earlier, we’ve already debunked this myth by revealing pretty, pet-friendly flower arrangements that it’s OK to get without worrying our fur babies would drop dead on the floor the minute they become curious about it.
Now let’s delve into the hot new trend of stylish indoor plants, which has been turning us all green with envy when we see them on our Instagram and Pinterest feeds. Great news! Now you can go plant shopping without distressing that it’s going to kill your dogs and cats.
Here’s an informative list of pet-friendly houseplants you can keep even if you live with a cat or dog.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)
Otherwise called airplane plant, ribbon plant, and St. Bernard’s lily, spider plant is one of the easiest indoor plants to grow. It’s also made NASA’s list of air-purifying plants that are proven effective against busting formaldehyde and xylene in the air.
It’s a fact: orchids are safe for pets. While all orchid species are regarded as harmless, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals specifically listed Phalaenopsis orchids or moth orchids as non-toxic for dogs, cats, and even horses. ASPCA’s comprehensive list of pet-friendly plants and flowers also includes particular species of Oncidium, Odontoglossum, and Cattleya orchids, so it’s definitely worth checking out.
However, you might want to hold off plans of bringing home a Lady Slipper orchid (Cypripedium spp.). The University of California, Davis classifies this orchid as mildly toxic to dogs and some humans, citing possible allergic reactions if touched or eaten, such as contact dermatitis.
Growing your very own herb garden at home is not just pretty but practical, too. Aside from a plethora of wonderful and natural scents, you can use many different kinds of herbs to infuse your dishes with delicious flavors when cooking. Some herbs are even considered medicinal.
The awesome thing about herbs is that they can be compact, can be grown indoors, and are ideal candidates for a cute container garden, which you can have on your balcony, a sunny kitchen window, or windowsill.
To start with, check out these pet-friendly herbs:
Oregano is considered safe for dogs but not for cats. Chamomile is toxic to both furry babies.
Air Plant (Tillandsia spp.)
Tillandsia, more popularly known as air plants, is gaining a reputation as a tasteful indoor plant that is effortless to grow and almost “un-killable.” Air plants are a lifesaver for aspiring plant parents who have limited space and a crazy hectic schedule. They are fairly resilient and truly forgiving houseplants that last for years with a decent amount of care. Because most air plants are best kept in hanging containers or high above surfaces, your dog or cat will think twice to mess with it.
Putting potted Palm trees instantly adds a tasteful tropical feel to your home’s overall ambiance. Other than being decorative, Palm plants are also natural air purifiers that get rid of VOCs and other indoor air pollutants.
Pet-safe indoor Palm plants are:
- Pony Tail Palm
- Parlor’s Palm
- Chinese Fan Palm
Hate to break it to you but the American Rubber plant, beautiful as it may be, is not safe for both dogs and cats. However, plant enthusiasts have discovered that Ludisia, otherwise known as the Jewel orchids, do make a lovely alternative with its deep, dark burgundy leaves. An added bonus is that, because it’s actually an orchid plant, Jewel orchids come with pretty pink stems that produce little white flowers during its blooming season.
Cast Iron Plant
Tough and hardy, the cast iron plant is a brilliant choice for a pet-friendly indoor plant. It’s resilient enough to withstand indoor temperature and humidity and even survive occasional neglect. Its lush leaves may be tempting to chew for your creature, luckily cast iron plant is non-toxic to pets.
With their delicate and draping leaves, it’s hard not to fall in love with an indoor fern. When grown on hanging pots, you can worry less about your dog or cat nibbling on them.
Good pet-friendly ferns to try include:
- Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
- Staghorn fern (Platycerium)
- Button fern (Pellaea rotundifolia)
On the contrary, we suggest you steer clear from Asparagus fern (Asparagus densiflorus) and Lace fern (Asparagus densiflorus cv sprengeri). They are not true ferns and come from the notoriously plant-toxic plant family, Liliaceae. While safe for dogs, Maidenhair fern (Adiantum), is toxic to cats.
African violets are almost always on the top of the list when it comes to flowering indoor plants. They are considered harmless to both dogs and cats, too.
These twins of violets have a thousand cultivars that give you options when it comes to flower colors. As if they’re dark, velvety foliage is not enough reason to hoard them, African violets also bloom in lavenders, blues, pinks, reds, and white, with some blooms combining two or more colors.
Read more about flowering indoor plants.
Whoever said money doesn’t grow on trees has probably never had a classy Pachira aquatica. A fuss-free, easy-to-grow indoor plant, the Money Tree is said to bring good luck. While this claim remains unfounded, we know that it’s a safe indoor plant we pet parents are allowed to enjoy at home.
The ASPCA has not listed Money Tree in its dangerous plants that are toxic to pets but still warns against unwitting critters pecking at it.
Otherwise known as the Rose of China, hibiscus is another vibrant flowering plant that is listed as non-toxic to cats, dogs, and even horses by the ASPCA. This tropical shrub gives an authentic oriental feel to any space during its blooming season. Choose from the many captivating colors of its trumpet-shaped flower, which can go from pink, red, orange, peach, yellow, or purple that can be as big as eight inches in diameter. Another amazing thing about hibiscus is that it can be trained to grow as a statuesque indoor tree.
Everyone is going crazy about succulents these days. We can’t blame them. Gorgeous greens that don’t need to be watered daily? Yes, please. Succulents are a great way to introduce a green, organic vibe to your space in small doses.
While there are thousands of species of stunning succulents to choose from, it’s recommended to stick to pet-friendly succulents. When buying potted succulents or succulent arrangements for your own home or as a present for a friend who owns a pet, specify these pet-safe succulent varieties:
- Hens and chicks
- Blue Echeveria
- Burro’s Tail
Succulent arrangements that are contained inside a terrarium, jar, or bowls are extra-safe when you have pets around because they are a bit enclosed. You can also put them somewhere high enough where your dog or cat cannot reach and stick their naughty paws in them.
Beware of the jade plant; it is dangerous for all pets.
Pet-Friendly Tips If You Want Indoor Plants at Home
Although the indoor plants listed above are guaranteed non-toxic, it doesn’t mean you should slack off on your pet parenting and pet-proofing moves. Remember, while they may not die, your dog or cat may still suffer upset stomach or vomiting when they unwittingly snack on your indoor plants.
A few pointers to keep in mind:
- Do your research first before buying any plant or flower for your home.
The ASPCA has a whole database of toxic and non-toxic plants for pets. Bookmark it and consult when in doubt.
- Layer the topsoil of your indoor plants with large stones or pebbles. Aside from being extra decorative, this prevents your dog from digging up the dirt and your cat from doing his “business” there, thinking it’s a litter box. Make sure you use big stones or pebbles, not the small ones, which they might swallow.
- It’s best to hang your plants in baskets or put them above tables and cabinets. This will absolutely deter your dogs and your cats, too, if it’s a lazy jumper.
- Train your fur baby about NO zones. If you see your dog or cat attacking your houseplant, talk to him/her as if talking to a child in a stern voice. Do not hit or spank your pet. Reinforce good behavior with treats. Whether this tip will work or not depends on your relationship with your pet and its training. It may take time but it’s definitely worth a try.
Also read: How to Water Your Houseplants Properly