Indoor plants can breathe life into a room, add a pop of color, and even help purify the air.1 But pet owners beware – some of the most popular houseplants are actually toxic to dogs and cats. So if you want to jazz up your home with some greenery, it’s important to consult a list of pet safe houseplants first.
The good news is, with a little bit of research, you can get in on the indoor plant trend and be sure that you aren’t putting your beloved pet at risk. Choosing pet safe houseplants can keep the members of your family safe – even if some of them like to nibble on the decor every once in a while.
Pet Safe Houseplants: Try These Varieties Of Non-Toxic Houseplants
Christmas Cactus Schlumbergera
This non-toxic Brazilian plant blooms for several weeks in the winter, just in time for the holidays. Its hanging branches are made of glossy green leaves that end in bright, colorful petals. You can admire this plant with no worries – it’s safe for pets.
To care for your Christmas cactus, use quality soil and keep the soil evenly moist while the plant is blooming. These plants prefer humid climates, so misting the leaves can help keep it happy. Place the cactus in an east-facing window for moderate light and some direct light.2,3
The Pilea peperomioides, also known as the Chinese money plant, pancake plant, or UFO plant, is trendy, easy to grow, and non-toxic to cats and dogs. In the past, these plants were hard to find outside of Scandinavia. Thanks to their growing popularity, they are becoming more readily available.
To care for your Pilea use sandy, well-draining soil. Let the soil dry out between watering sessions. These indoor plants like a lot of indirect light, but no direct sunlight.4
The Pilea involucrata, also called the Moon Valley plant or the friendship plant, is another popular indoor plant that is safe for pets. It is a bushy, fast-growing plant with bright green leaves and bronze veins.
To care for your friendship plant, place your plant in a well-draining pot near a window, but away from direct sunlight. Water the plant thoroughly and allow it to dry out between watering sessions.5
Is your house low on light, but you still dream of lush plant life? The spider plant may be your answer. These plants are incredibly adaptable and are also safe around pets.6
Spider plants can be grown as hanging or trailing plants, in baskets or in pots. They prefer bright, indirect sunlight but they can tolerate shade.7
Other Non-Toxic Houseplants For Pets
Here are some other ideas for fun, attractive houseplants that you can trust in the same house as your pets.
- African violet
- Air plants
- Aluminum plant
- Baby’s tears
- Bamboo palm
- Boston fern (and other varieties of ferns)
- Cast iron plant
- Lace flower vine
- Lipstick plant
- Money tree
- Parlor palm
- Peperomia green
- Phalaenopsis orchid
- Polka dot plant
- Ponytail palm
- Prayer plant
- Rattlesnake Calathea
- Staghorn fern
- Swedish ivy
- Certain succulents, such as burro’s tail, Haworthia, hens and chicks, and Echeveria.8,9,10
For a complete list of toxic and non-toxic plants, feel free to consult the ASPCA website.11
Toxic Indoor Plants You Should Never Have Around Your Pets
If you have your heart set on a particular type of indoor plant, it’s always helpful to do a quick Google search before you bring it home. Do your own research, or call your vet to make sure it’s safe for your pets.
The ASPCA recognizes more than 500 plants as toxic to animals. Some of the most popular plants you may see on blogs, Instagram, and in your friend’s homes may actually be toxic to your dog or cat.12 So it never hurts to check before bringing a plant home.
Here’s a list of some of the most popular indoor plants that are actually poisonous to animals.
- Alocasia (elephant’s ear)
- Aloe vera
- Arrowhead vine
- Asparagus fern
- English ivy
- Jade plant
- Pencil cactus
- Sago palm
- Snake plant
All these plants are known to be toxic to animals. If ingested, they can cause a variety of symptoms including nausea, digestive discomfort, vomiting, diarrhea, skin irritation, oral irritation, and more.13,14
So if you have a dog or cat, don’t purchase these plants for your home or yard. If you’re not sure about whether or not a plant is safe for your pet, you can always ask your vet or check out the ASPCA website.
What To Do If Your Pet Eats Toxic Plants
If your pet is showing symptoms of poisoning from a toxic plant, like vomiting, difficulty breathing, or tremors, take action right away. Your pet’s health depends on it. Either call your veterinarian or the 24-hour emergency ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: (888) 426-4435.
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