Choose these pretty plants to keep your furry friends safe.
Convincing your pets and your houseplants to live together in harmony can be a challenge. And as well-behaved as Fluffy may be, there are those times when you turn your head to find she has taken a bite out of your begonia. To keep your pets safe in a plant-filled home, we consulted the ASPCA's index of pet-safe plants that are non-toxic to both dogs and cats. While it's still not recommended that Fido make a meal out of any of these varieties, choosing pet-safe plants is a smart precaution to take.
A part of the succulent family, Haworthia is a small, low-growing plant that has distinctive studded white bands on its leaves. These plants do well in bright light and in moist conditions with plenty of soil drainage. Its shape and size resembles aloe, but unlike aloe, Haworthias are safe for cats and dogs.
African Violet (Saintpaulia)
With their fuzzy green leaves and stunning year-round flowers, African violets bloom in a range of lavenders, blues, pinks, reds, and white—depending on the variety. Both the plant and flowers are non-toxic to cats and dogs, making them perfect for those looking for a low-maintenance, blooming plant.
Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
Popular for their frilly green leaves, Boston ferns are a classic beauty that add charm to any room. These plants do best in a cool place with high humidity and indirect light. Not only are they one of the easiest types of ferns to care for, but they’re also safe for pets.
Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii)
With fiery blooms in the dead of winter, Christmas cacti are a lovely addition to any home. These plants require little care, readily adapting to low-light conditions. This easily propagated plant is non-toxic to animals, so cut and replant until there’s one in every room.
Staghorn Fern (Platycerium)
A type of air plant, staghorn ferns grow best when mounted on a board and hung on a wall to allow for an exchange of air and moisture. Resembling the antlers of a staghorn deer, these pet-safe plants have gained popularity as living works of art.
Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)
As its name implies, the parlor palm is the quintessential houseplant. Able to handle low light and lower temperatures, this plant grows in clusters with its elegantly arching, green leaflets forming a feathery canopy. This attractive plant is not only non-toxic but also an excellent air purifier.
Hibiscus (Hibiscus syriacus)
Adding tropical flair to your home is a breeze with the simple addition of a hibiscus plant. These plants thrive in direct light and temperatures between 55 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Though tricky to care for when grown outside temperate climates, once you get the hang of it, you’ll be rewarded with spectacularly brilliant, pet-friendly blooms.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
With gracefully trailing grass-like leaves, spider plants are markedly hardy plants that are able to grow in a wide range of conditions. This plant is perfect for hanging, as it sprouts smaller spiderettes that drape down from the mother plant as if on a web—safe for any curious cat or dog.
Venus Fly Trap (Dionaea muscipula)
Well-known for its carnivorous nature, the Venus fly trap is a strangely beautiful plant lined with eyelash-like teeth that lace together when triggered by prey. Native to the swamplands of the Carolinas, the Venus fly trap does well in bright light and humid conditions. Lethal to gnats and small insects, this captivating plant is completely safe for pets.
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Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa)
Grown for their distinctive glossy green leaves and wonderfully fragrant flowers, wax plants are able to tolerate very dry conditions, making them perfect for growing indoors. Their star-shaped flowers grow in waxy looking clusters that range from pink to white in color. With blooms that produce sweet smelling nectar, it’s a good thing these plants are non-toxic.