Springtime is here! You may be thinking about greening up your home with some new plants. If you have pets, you need to know which plants are pet-safe for your home.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has a database of toxic and non-toxic plants for pets. Here’s a list to get you started.
You can grow your own herbs indoors. They are small, compact, and easy to grow on a windowsill, balcony or sunny window around the house.
While many herbs are wonderful to look at, others have medicinal uses. Your pet-friendly herbs:
Note: Oregano is safe for dogs but not for cats. Chamomile is TOXIC to both cats and dogs.
Ferns grow best in hanging pots out of reach from a curious dog or cat. Pet-friendly ferns include:
- Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
- Staghorn fern (Platycerium)
- Button fern (Pellaea rotundifolia)
Note: Ferns to AVOID are Asparagus fern (Asparagus densiflorus) and Lace fern (Asparagus densiflorus cv sprengeri), a TOXIC plant from the family, Liliaceae. Also, Maidenhair (Adiantum) is safe for dogs), but TOXIC to cats.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)
The spider plant is also called the airplane plant, ribbon plant, and St. Bernard’s lily.
Two good things about the spider plant: 1) it’s very easy to grow indoors and 2) NASA recognized it as an air-purifying plant effective against formaldehyde and xylene in the air.
These indoor flowering plants are always a favorite and are non-toxic to cats and dogs.
African Violets bloom in a variety of colors from lavenders, blues, pinks, reds, and white, and some with a combination of colors.
According to the ASPCA, Phalaenopsis orchids or moth orchids, are non-toxic for dogs, cats, and even horses.
Note: Orchids to AVOID are the Lady Slipper orchid (Cypripedium spp.), mildly TOXIC to dogs and can cause an allergic reaction in some people.
Air Plant (Tillandsia spp.)
Tillandsia is also called air plants. It’s another easy-to-grow plant, is resilient if you don’t have a green thumb, and can last for many years with minimal care.
Air plants grow best in hanging containers or high surfaces.
Potted Palm trees add a tropical feel to any home and they are also natural air purifiers. Pet-safe indoor Palm plants are:
- Pony Tail Palm
- Parlor’s Palm
- Chinese Fan Palm
Cast Iron Plant
Cast iron plants are hardy, tough and resilient to withstand humidity and indoor temperatures. If your furry friends chew on the non-toxic lush leaves, no need for a vet visit.
Money Tree (Pachira aquatic)
The Money Tree is another easy-to-grow plant for your home. It’s said to bring good luck. But for sure, it’s a pet-friendly plant your cat and dog will enjoy.
Note: The ASPCA does not list the Money Tree as toxic, but still warns against your pets chewing the leaves.
Succulents are beautiful plants that will green up any space, home or office. They don’t need daily watering and the variety of succulents is exceptional. The pet-safe succulents include:
- Hens and chicks
- Blue Echeveria
- Burro’s Tail
You can grow succulents in a jar, bowl or terrarium to keep them away from your pets. Or place them in hanging pots.
Note: AVOID the jade plant, which is TOXIC for all pets.
The Jewel orchid is an alternative to the American Rubber plant, unsafe for all pets.
But the Ludisia ,or Jewel orchids displays deep burgundy leaves, with pink stems that grow small white flowers.
Hibiscus or Rose of China, is a beautiful flowering plant that is pet-safe for cats, dogs, and horses. Their trumpet-shaped flowers come in pink, red, orange, peach, yellow, or purple and reach up to eight inches in diameter.
And hibiscus can be shaped to grow into a graceful indoor tree.
A Final Note
While the plants listed above are pet-friendly, your cat or dog may still vomit after chewing on the leaves of these plants.
Remember your due diligence! Research any plant or flower you bring into your home.
Visit the ASPCA database of toxic and non-toxic plants for pets.
Add colorful and large pebbles or stones to your indoor plants to discourage digging in the dirt, and to prevent your cat from using it as a litter box. Make sure the pebbles are too large to swallow.
Hang your plants high overhead to avoid pets jumping or reaching the plants. If your pets get too curious about your plants, train them that plants are a NO zone.
Thanks for keeping your pets safe!
Dr. Pet Mom
“Animals don’t hate, and we’re supposed to be better than them.”