Pet Friendly Houseplants


Pet Friendly Houseplants
By Rob Sproule

African Violet
Spider Plant
Ferns
Phalaenopsis Orchid
Succulents (Usually)
Palms
Bromeliads
Lipstick Plant
Prayer Plant
Peperomia
A Caveat to All This

A lot of people want more houseplants. They clean the air, make you happy, look good in the home, and all that good stuff. But… you’ve got cats and/or dogs that eat everything and you don’t know what is and isn’t safe. I hear it everyday, so here’s the list of plants that are both dog- and cat-friendly:


African Violet:

Here’s a pet-friendly plant that blooms off and on all year. Keep it moist, give average light and try to water under the fuzzy leaves. It’s a no-fuss winner.


Spider Plant:

It’s all-around safe, and cleans the air like crazy. Also pretty much impossible to kill, and if you have little ones around they’ll love to float the runners in water and watch the roots grow.


Ferns:

True ferns like Bostons and Maidenhairs are good to go. Keep them moist and mist them if you can and they’ll pull copious amounts of toxins out of the air. Beware of non-ferns that are labelled as such, like the toxic Asparagus fern, which isn’t a fern at all.


Phalaenopsis Orchid:

This is the common “Moth” orchid, with the broad round petals and very, very long blooming times (usually months). They’re ubiquitous and have become very affordable. While they aren’t toxic, they can be messy if your furbaby gets into the bark media and starts spreading it around.

Learn more about keeping pets and plants safe, with Alberta’s Best Gardening Blog


Succulents (Usually):

This is the houseplant on everyone’s mind lately. Most of the popular varieties are non-toxic, including Echeveria (the rosette type), hen and chicks, Burro’s Tail, and Haworthia (the little tiger-jaws). It’s worth a Google-search if you’re not sure though, since some types–like Jade plants–are actually toxic.


Palms:

Nothing says stately like a healthy, rich green palm in a room. They clean the air, add ambience, and they’re all safe for the furry critters. That being said, your cat will probably still nibble on the low-hanging fronds.


Bromeliads:

You’ve seen them around, even if you don’t recognize the name. They’re vibrant with glossy leaves and a tall, vibrant flower spike up from the centre. Pets might nibble, but the the plant is safe (and easy to care for).


Lipstick Plant:

This is a quirky little vine with red, tubular flowers that look like bright red lipstick. They like bright light, and people who see them love them! Safe for all.


Prayer Plant:

Also called Calathea, it’s an old fashioned plant that’s roaring back into trend. It boasts richly-coloured leaves and is one of the easiest houseplants to grow on a shelf or desk.


Peperomia:

This an adorable little plant that comes in a variety of colours and textures. Going by names like Aluminum plant, Friendship plant, and Waffle plant, they’re all small, perfect for terrariums, and safe for all.


A Caveat to All This:

Just because it’s not toxic, doesn’t mean your pet (usually cat) won’t eat it and throw up. Especially with plants like Spider Plants and Ferns, kitties love to nibble–just like grass–and make a mess on your rug. That doesn’t mean the plant is toxic; it’s just a weird digestive thing they do.

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