I am not a lover of animals and pets. So never gave too much thought about their well being, care and upbringing. But my friends have pets and they love them like their children. I see them to be very particular about their food, hygiene, vaccinations and allergies. As pet owners they take great care in making sure their pets are healthy and safe, but sometimes danger can come from unexpected places. So having a talk and discussion with some of them, I got to know that few of them are also very particular about the plants as well, that they have indoors because there are several plants which are not suitable or good for the pets. Some pets do have a specific allergy or allergies, but in general also they are very careful in selection of things they take or buy, just for their beloved pets. So with this discussion, a thought of writing or giving a list of plants that are not suitable for pets, struck me and thus, here I am, writing about the same.
The idea behind writing this post is very specific and information based. I am not very well aware and versed with the dos and don’ts of having and caring for pets. But I do know through several sources that pets do eat and scratch leaves and plants. And as some of the plants can be toxic and poisonous to eat, they in turn can be harmful for the pets. Thus, my information here is 90% through internet and social media. So it may vary as per individual basis, but they can be very generic in this regards also. Thus, moving ahead, I will hereby stating 9 plants that are suitable to have for all the proud pet owners. When I first started doing research on this topic, I was happy to discover that there are hundreds of plants that are non-toxic. But, in addition to making a list of pet friendly house plants, I also wanted to create a list of plants that are common and would be easy for you to find at your local nursery or big box store or shops.
- Spider plant – When it comes to growing plants indoors, it doesn’t get much easier than spider plants. Not only are they easy to care for, but they also grow well in low-light conditions and can help to clean the air in our homes. Plus they’re really pretty and even come in a few different varieties. The good thing is that they’re non-toxic plants, which makes them an ideal choice for homes with pets.
- Bamboo Palm – There are tons of different types of palms, and they make excellent indoor plants that are safe for cats and dogs. Areca, bamboo palm, parlor and ponytail are some of the most common indoor palm plants, and they are all pretty easy to grow too. Plus palm plants don’t need a lot of light, which makes them great for growing in just about any room of the house. Bamboo palm plants are not only one of the best pet friendly house plants, but they are easy to grow and fun to collect too. It’s also considered to be a relatively easy plant to grow indoors, which makes it a popular houseplant. Bamboo palm plants do not take a great deal of time or energy to care for. They can be kept in bright or indirect sunlight. Water the palm, using room temperature filtered water, when the soil surface feels dry. Water the plant until the soil is evenly moist. Do not overwater the palm plant or leave it sitting in water. Check often to be sure that the plant is draining properly.
- Ponytail Palms – The Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea Recurvata) is another interesting option for home decor. It’s actually a succulent that happens to look like a palm, with a thick trunk and long, thin leaves. The trunk actually stores water, so it can go for quite a long time without a proper watering, and according to an online study, in winter it requires water occasionally. It does best in bright light, but it can do well in pretty much any lighting conditions. Technically, a ponytail palm tree needs bright light, but because it is such a forgiving plant, it will be okay if you give it bright light about half the time. In fact, if you keep it in low light conditions half the year and provide bright light conditions the other half the year, it will be perfectly happy. This means that as long as you place it outdoors in the summer, it will tolerate any indoor light conditions you keep it in during the winter. It’s an ideal option if you’re looking for a small indoor tree, as it grows up to three feet tall. They also work well as accent plants, though. If you’re a pet owner and you’re looking for low-maintenance plants that won’t poison your pets, these should offer some versatile options. They’re also fairly common, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding them.
- Boston Fern- I guess if we learned anything from Garfield the cat, it’s that fern plants are non-toxic. It helps to remove formaldehyde from the air and is said to act as a natural type of air humidifier. This plant can also remove xylene and toluene. It is said to be one of the best houseplants for air purification. It is great for those living or working in areas where exposure to gasoline exists. They’re ideal for homes exposed to city smog, and are suitable for those who may have asthma or breathing conditions. Boston ferns do well in high humidity with indirect light. They thrive best in bathrooms as the atmosphere there ensures that they get the humidity they need, and most bathrooms aren’t too bright. Well, I’m not sure which type of fern plant was featured in the popular cartoon, but you can be sure that the Boston fern is safe for both cats and dogs.
- Echeveria - If you’re a fan of succulents (or plants that don’t need much water in general,) the Echeveria is a perfect, pet-friendly option. They’re drought-tolerant, meaning that they never really need to be watered, and they also tolerate other extreme temperatures, including frost. For proper care, however, make sure they have plenty of light and keep their soil moist. It’s a versatile plant for decorating, too, because it comes in a variety of sizes and colors. Plus, it just looks pretty. Like a lot of succulents, you can also cut their offshoots and grow new plants from the clippings.
- Burros tail succulent (Sedum morganianum) – This sedum is a most handsome succulent. Sedum morganianum likes bright shade or partial sun. It will burn in strong, hot sun. All those leaves store water so be sure not to overwater it. It will rot out if you do. The rainwater it gets in the season is also of some help. In other words, don’t splash and go every other day. In the growing season, when the days are warmer and longer, water it more often every 9-11 days. As a rule, plants in clay pots will dry out faster as will larger plants in smaller pots. So adjust accordingly as well as to the weather conditions. Like any other succulent, this one needs good drainage. The water needs to drain out of it fast so it’s best to use a mix especially formulated for cactus and succulents. Burros tail succulents are safe, but when it comes to ensuring that other succulents are pet friendly house plants, it can be hit or miss. So make sure to search for each specific variety of succulent plant you grow.
- Cast-Iron Plant- The cast-iron plant is great for those, who have black thumbs(a term used for those who are not good with gardening). It’s a hearty plant that can withstand irregular watering, low humidity, temperature changes, and low-light. This doesn’t mean you can totally forget about this plant but it is a good option for those who lack talent in gardening area but are awesome pet owners.
- Catnip- Catnip is a fly and mosquito repellant and can be used as an herbal ailment. Most commonly it is given to cats. This reminds me that, a pet cat might chew on this one, so you may want to keep it somewhere where the cat can’t freely chew. You can cut a few leaves off and let your cat roll around and chew on them, as too much might bring out an aggressive response.
- Money Tree: Helps to reduce the toxins benzene, formaldehyde, toluene and xylene from the air. It can also help to increase overall air quality and purification. Great for asthmatics, those with lung conditions, and people who are exposed to high city smog living conditions.
Plants and pets don’t always get along, but some plants can be downright dangerous for your pets. So if you’re looking to add some green into your home and avoiding poisonous house plants, add these pet safe indoor plants to your collection!