When your animals are your family, keeping them safe is our number one priority. Yet, plants, a common household decoration, are some of the most dangerous things to have in close quarters with a pet. Is it possible to have it both ways?
In a previous article, we highlighted plants that your pet should definitely not be anywhere near. We have noticed that most readers who love pets, tend to also love turning their house into a mini garden.
And House.mt has got you covered! Just because you have fluffy little ones doesn’t mean you can’t decorate your home in lush greenery.
We must warn you though: these plants aren’t ‘pet-proof‘ – your dog or cat may still go at them thinking they’re a new toy bought solely for their benefit and entertainment. Your pet will survive nibbling on these plants, but we cannot guarantee that your plant will necessarily survive your pet. The purpose of this article is helping you choose plants which, if they should be attacked by our rambunctious pets, will not harm them in any way (and will look absolutely stunning as well even if a little damaged!).
Before we get to the list, keep in mind:
While these houseplants are listed as safe for indoor cats and dogs by the SPCA, it’s best to keep them out of reach. (We”ll soon be publishing an article on different ways you can decorate plants with pets in mind, so keep your eye on our page!).
Not only will this save you from coming home and having to clean up a huge mess, but it will also prevent your furry ones from getting stomach-aches.
Be sure to watch out for signs of irritation or sickness if your pet does ingest one. Just because these plants are listed as pet-safe, doesn’t mean ingesting them will make them feel good. VCA Animal Hospital notes that even when ingesting non-toxic plants, sometimes pets can experience some mild illness as a result because they’re eating something unusual or may have ingested too much at once.
Even though we’ve listed them as non-toxic, the products used to maintain them may be toxic. So be aware of which pesticides you use, soil, fertilizers, etc. Besides, it’s always best to play it safe and call a vet if you notice your pet has chomped down on a house-plant.
So let’s quit dogging around! Here are 10 plants that add green without the worry, and they’re also super easy to find!
Our list of pet-friendly plants
Known also as Cape Marigold, the African Violet is a pet-safe plant which blooms beautifully! It comes in a range of gorgeous hues of purples and blues. Better yet, it’s also a low-maintenance plant that thrives without much bright light.
Note: Take care to water the soil, not the petals or leaves, as this can damage their brilliant color.
This plant also has another, unusual name: the Aluminium plant. The varied grey-and-green leaves make this a stellar plant to have around the house. These are perfect plants for Maltese homes because they thrive in tropical climates! They’ll look great in your home, but if you have a garden with a wall you wish to decorate, we suggest you go for this plant to do that with.
Christmas cacti bloom just in time for the holidays (hence their name), and they’re pretty stunning too. Unlike other desert-dwelling cactii, this plant favours humid conditions – just what our gem of an island offers best!
Unlike the Poinsettia, this plant is a great and beautiful non-toxic alternative for the festive season. It may cause intestinal discomfort when ingested, but overall it’s a safer choice than many other festive plants.
This plant has a whole list of different names: Miniature Fish Tail Dwarf Palm, Good Luck Palm, Bamboo Palm. If you’re a beginner plant enthusiast, the Palmer palm is the plant for you! Palms are really hardy plants if cared for well. Like the other entries on this list, the Palmer palm is a non-toxic plant and is the perfect solution for pet-owners who want to add a small tree indoors. Plus, they are one of the top air purifying plants for your home.
One gorgeous contender on this list is the Polka-dot plant (or, as it is known elsewhere, The Freckle Plant)! It will add that craved for pop of colour to any home. They are highly hybridized to produce a variety of colors and types of leaf spotting.
This pet-safe houseplant can grow in poor lighting conditions but will only produce green leaves. If you want to enjoy the whimsical pink foliage this plant is known for, then bright light is best.
Although this plant is listed as non-toxic by the SPCA, it may cause mild vomiting and diarrhea if a large quantity is ingested.
This plant has surely answered our prayers for a beautiful and suitable non-toxic, pet-friendly houseplant! The Prayer plant gets its name from the leaves that fold together at night, resembling hands in prayer. It grows to about 6-8 inches, ideal for small spaces such as bookshelves and end tables.
As if sent from the heavens, prayer plants enjoy humid climates like Malta’s, and has air-purifying qualities!
This popular indoor house-plant is a common fixture in hanging baskets. Because its long leaves make it suitable as a hanging plant, it can be very attractive to your cat, who might think of it as a new toy.
Or maybe your cat is drawn to Spider plants because they’re mildly hallucinogenic. That’s right! Spider plants are known to have a mild psychedelic, catnip-like effect to felines, though this is said to be harmless.
Bamboo comes in two main categories: Running and clumping. While running bamboo spreads quickly, clumping bamboo expands slowly.
Whatever the case, all types of bamboo is harmless for cats and dogs. In fact, bamboo’s foliage contains up to 22% protein, so it’s even good for them!
Note: Golden bamboo (one variety) is not considered toxic to humans or animals, but their shoot does contain traces of Cyanide – a toxic poison – and is not recommended for consumption according to the University of Connecticut’s College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources.
It’s unlikely that you’ll even consider to own Golden Bamboo since this is the tree variety – not house-plant material. However, we thought we’d include this extra note to keep you well-informed.
Also known as Aspidistra elatior, these indoor plants were extremely popular in the Victorian era.
Not only does this plant thrive in humid climates, but it’s ideal for those who don’t have a lot of time for plant-care (it isn’t finicky about getting water regularly). Although this plant is a member of the Lily family, the SPCA has listed it as non-toxic for cats, dogs, and horses.
An added tip: many gardening sites actually recommend keeping this plant in the bathroom for that extra boost of humidity.
Indoor herbs are a great way of adding fun and fresh flavour to your food, while being sustainable! But not all herbs are created equal for pet safety. Staples like Lavender and Oregano are off-limits (or store them out-of-reach), but pets are able to handle Thyme, Basil, and Sage.
We hope you enjoyed this article!
Don’t let the curious paws of your beloved pets or children stop you from turning your home into a green haven. Sometimes it can be difficult to look for plants which will brighten up your home and not be hazardous to your pets. The plants on this list offer you have the best of both worlds!
Which plant listed above is your favourite, and do you have any other plant that works well with your pet?
Send us a picture! You can leave a comment below, or send us a private message via our Facebook page.
Disclaimer: The content of this page is not veterinary advice. A number of factors (amount of substance ingested, size of the animal, allergies, etc.) determine what is toxic to a particular pet. If you think your pet has eaten something potentially toxic, call a licensed veterinarian.