As our lives become more urban, tech-based, and harried, we have come to embrace plants and nature as selfless companions to help us relax and beautify our surroundings. However, some popular houseplants may be toxic to your precious pets. Here are some common indoor plants that are safe for your furry friends:
Pet-Safe Plants for Bright Light
- Bromeliad (Bromeliaceae)
- Calathea: features bold stripes, patterns, and colors (plants with more vibrant foliage require brighter light); can be sensitive to chemicals in tap water; prefers high humidity and moist, but never soggy soil; best grown in peaty potting soil
- Echeveria: classic indoor succulent with pudgy leaves growing in a rosette form; foliage colors ranging from deep greens and teals to burgundy or silver; best foliage colors occur in bright light, but green varieties also grow well in medium light
- Ferns (e.g. Boston, Maidenhair, Staghorn, Rabbit’s Foot, Kangaroo Paw): large variety of species; plant in rich, well-draining potting soil; allow to mostly dry out between waterings; thrives in moderate temperatures and high humidity; keep away from drafts and dry air
- Hoya: tropical succulent with vining habit and star-like, clustered flowers; thrives in medium to high humidity and well-draining, airy soil; allow soil to dry fully between waterings but provide additional water when in bloom; can be senstive to chemicals in tap water
- Lipstick Plant (Aeschynanth)
- Money Tree (Pachira)
- Nerve Plant (Fittonia vershaffetii): small, compact plant with distinctly colorful veining on leaves in silver, white, or pink; prefers evenly moist, but never soggy soil; thrives in high humidity
- Palms (e.g. Areca, Ponytail)
- Pilea (e.g. Pilea cadierei, Pilea peperomioides, Pilea involucrata): prefers high humidity and slightly moist soil, but never soggy
- Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes)
- Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura): named for its odd tendency to fold up its foliage at night and open again in the morning; large, paddle-shaped leaves have beautiful dark green or red stripes with various patterns; prefers high humidity and moist, never soggy soil; keep in shallow container to prevent potential root rot
- Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum): graceful, hanging habit; likes high humidity, but allow top half of soil to dry out before watering; avoid water softeners or water high in salts and chemicals (causes brown tips on leaves); prefers to be slightly root-bound to stimulate production of “babies”
- Zebra Plant (Aphelandra)
Pet-Safe Plants for Medium Light
- Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus)
- Grape Ivy (Cissus)
- Kentia Palm
Pet-Safe Plants for Low Light
- Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)
Highly Toxic Indoor Plants
The houseplants listed below are very poisonous. When eaten, especially in large quantities, they can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pains, skin irritations, and breathing difficulties. Ingesting parts of some of these plants can even be life threatening.
- Dumb Cane Plant (Dieffenbachia)
- Elephant Ear Plant (Alocasia)
- Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)
- ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
But Toxic Plants Are Beautiful
If you love the aesthetic of plants that are toxic, consider alternative ways to display them in your home. It can be as easy as propping them up with a trendy plant stand, hanging them from the ceiling, or placing them high on a shelf or bookcase out of reach from a curious child or pet.
Take time to evaluate the plants you already have and be mindful when selecting new plants. If you need help identifying your plants, bring in a picture for one of our experts to take look at. Each of our garden centers and plant shops is well-stocked so you can create your very own indoor jungle. We are always happy to help you find the right plant to keep you and your family growing!
*For a comprehensive list of toxic and non-toxic plants for pets click here.