We love our pets! Every family has their own unique relationship with their furry friends that share custody of our home. There are many things to take into consideration when raising a pet besides the obvious pet nutrition, grooming needs and vet visits. One major concern that owners often overlook is the dangers that some house plants and flowers may cause their furry friends.
Replacing toxic plants and flowers with plants that are safe for pets before brining your fur baby into the home is essential for your pet’s health and safety. Plants labeled as “non–toxic” are not necessarily “pet safe” and can cause intestinal upset if they ingest enough. Here are 8 plants that are safe for pets and our favorite places to buy them.
1. Spider Plants (Chlorophytum comosum)
This popular pet-friendly plant provides little bit of mystery and suspense for those who like to add a bit of fantasy to their home. Spider plants are easy to care for plants that come in solid green or variegated varieties, preferring bright light. They can tolerate moderate watering when grown outdoors as well! One way that this popular plant becomes even more interesting is through its ability produce "pups" (or baby spiders) which you may pot up into containers to share with your friends. Spider plants are available at California Tropicals, ebay, Terra, Lowes, and Amazon.
2. Prayer Plants (Maranta leuconeura)
The Prayer plant is another beautiful plant with simple needs. It has beautiful large leaves that are uniquely patterned and brightly colored, red, and green. The Prayer plant got its name because of the unique way the leaves move toward the light and reach upwards at night appearing to be in prayer. They will provide you with delicate lavender blooms when they are happy! Get your Prayer plant at UrbanStems, Bloomscapes, The Sill, and of course Home Depot.
3. African Violets (Saintpaulias pp.)
If you are looking for a delightful long-lasting plant that needs little care, African Violets are the ones for you. These succulents like sunlight, are pet friendly, and come in many assorted colors. Watering is only needed when soil becomes dry, and they will reward you with beautiful lasting blooms. African Violets are available at specialty stores like The Violet Barn, Buy African Violets, Calloway’s Nursery, and Lowes.
4. Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii)
Christmas Cactus are not really a cactus at all! They are succulents and grow in fleshy green segments blooming around Christmas time. They can bloom pink tropical like flowers but can be found in white or yellow blooms as well. Minimal watering, usually only every 3–4 weeks when soil becomes dry. These succulents are pet friendly, however, you will not be happy if your kitty or pup decides to have a taste, so it is best to keep out of their reach. Can be found at Woodies Garden Goods, Planet Desert, Whitton Greenhouse, and Amazon.
5. Velvet Plant (Gynura aurantiaca)
Velvet plants are unique little velvet plants often referred to as the purple passion plant. Fast growing, with fuzzy dark purple leaves, which make an interesting addition to your pet friendly home. However, they are picky about their sunlight requirements. Not too much and not too little, indirect sunlight suits this velvety beauty well. Velvet plants are available at Trees.com, GrowJoy.com, Steves Leaves, and My Home Nature.
6. Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis spp.)
These elegant beauties are often mistaken as a high maintenance plant, when in fact the Moth Orchids are actually one of the easiest plants to care for. They thrive in a bark-based, well drained pot with indirect sunlight. This is a beautiful addition to your pet friendly environment and the blossoms last an exceptionally long time. You can find Moth Orchids at most grocery stores and your local nurseries will surely carry these beauties. Other options include Orchid Web, Orchids.com, Seattle Orchid, and Candide.
7. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exalta bostoniensis)
Ferns are often overlooked as a plant for home decor, but the Boston Fern is an excellent traditional choice that will suit your pet friendly home. This plant has beautiful bright green leaves and thrives in bright, indirect light and helps remove toxins from the home. Boston ferns do well with high humidity levels and require little other care. Perfect in a bathroom or kitchen where they get moisture from steam or in an area that they can be misted often. Boston Ferns can be purchased at heyrooted.com, Talbott Nursery and Poultry, Talbott Nursery and Poultry, Garden Center, and most Garden centers like Home Depot and Lowes.
8. Sweetheart Hoya (Hoya kerrii)
Hoya sweethearts have romantic heart-shaped leaves and are a unique addition to your houseplant collection. They are slow growing and can reach up to 13' tall with the proper care! When grown under the right conditions this lily will bloom large white fragrant blooms that will make any room smell wonderful-- perfect if you are looking for something special for home and safe for your pets. These plants are a pretty rare find but if you watch these sites, you can find them. Woodies Garden Goods, Pistils Nursery, Tropics at Home, and Mari’s Urban Garden.
Houseplant enthusiast and pets can live in harmony with a bit of planning. With these 8 plants that are safe for pets and our favorite places to buy them, it is easy to make your home a safe and healthy environment for you and your pet. We hope this list gave you some promising ideas to start with. Always check with your local nursery to support the independent stores.
Make sure you are providing you four legged loved one with a healthy diet from Holistic Health Extension® pet food. It’s also a good idea to keep some healthy treats and chews around to give your pet something to munch on instead of your plants! Health Extension® provides a product called Pet Deterrent that when sprayed at the base of your potted plants, will keep your curious pup away. Another good idea would be Snugarooz interactive fun toys, after all, if your pets are busy playing with fun toys, they will be less likely to go after your house plants!
To learn more about which plants and flowers are toxic and what to do in the event of a poisoning, please visit following resources.
- ASPCA: Animal Poison Control Center
Hotline: 888-426-4435 (888-4ANI-HELP)
- The Pet Poison Helpline
- National Pesticide Information Center