5 Houseplants We Love That Are Beautiful AND Safe For Dogs and Cats
"Why do I eat your plants? Because I can!" said every cat that ever lived. And your new puppy is going to experiment with "things that must be chewed on", including green leafy things. Keep in mind that if your fur baby eats enough of anything, she is probably going to have a tummy ache that could lead to, well you know, things will get messy. Remember that food you loved so much as a child that you ate until you were sick, and haven't touched since? But eating too much of something safe is completely different from eating something toxic.
Below is a list of some of our completely safe house plants that will give you peace of mind when purchasing. (see links at end of article for comprehensive lists of safe vs toxic plants)
1. Spider Plant
This retro plant is still as cool today as it was when your grandma had it hanging in her kitchen and she probably gave a lot of the baby "spider" offshoots to her friends. Once they form, the little offshoots are plants in miniature with small roots. You can leave them on for a full plant, or remove some and pot to make new plants. If plants get quite potbound, you can divide them too. Use a potting soil formulated specially for houseplants, not garden soil.
Plants grow best in indirect light, like that of an east facing window or a south or west one that gets some shade during hot summer days. Non-toxic to cats and dogs, and will tolerate a wide range of light, moisture, and soil conditions. And the bonus? "A NASA study in the 1980’s found that spider plants were one of the top indoor plants for removing formaldehyde and other toxins such as carbon monoxide, now in homes and public spaces from the off-gassing of synthetic materials" says Dr. Leonard Perry, Horticulture Professor Emeritus University of Vermont.
2. Air Plants
Not only are Air Plants (members of the Bromeliad family) non-toxic to cats and dogs, they look great in just about any container you put them in or on and don't even require any soil. What they do require though is humidity and a weekly bath to soak in. See more about their care in our air plant section.
Fittonia is a rainforest native with colorful veining on its leaves. Non-toxic to cats and dogs, this houseplant likes humidity and is perfect for terrariums or the bathroom vanity, thriving in low light with moderate watering. The common name 'nerve plant' has the ominous sound of something that affects the nervous system but the nickname just refers to the leaf veins of this harmless house plant.
No need to fill your home with faux succulents from the hobby store; Haworthia is one of the easiest plants you will ever own. Place your Haworthia in bright light, and water weekly during the growing season. Unlike the similar-looking aloe plant, all plants in the Haworthia genus are safe for cats and dogs. Some varieties are speckled and mottled, while others have stripes. The perfect plant for a clay pot on the window sill or mixed with other succulents that don't grow too big.
5. Parlor Palm
The parlor palm has been prized since the Victorian era for its resilience to indoor life. It is a slow grower but will get quite large with the right care. Did you know that the fronds are popular in flower arrangements, Palm Sunday decorations, and wreaths, since they can survive for up to 30 days after being cut from the plant? Safe and non-toxic for animals and humans, this is one palm that won't mind living indoors with you. Just mist it daily in between waterings to keep those leaf edges from getting crispy. If you have a semi-shady patio to move it to in the summer months, it will love you even more.
What is your favorite plant that is safe for fur babies? We'd love to know!
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