We all love the look houseplants provide in our home, but many species can be toxic to animals like cats and dogs, or as we like to call them, your “Furry Friends.” Pets are pretty much unpredictable, and you never know when they might get a sudden urge to munch on a leaf or two of your beloved houseplants. Luckily, there are plenty of houseplants that are completely safe and non-toxic to your pets. However, it is crucial to note that it is best to keep all houseplants out of reach as much as possible simply to ensure they stay healthy, happy, and undisturbed.
Our Top 10 Pet-Friendly Houseplants
1. Boston Fern
Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exalta bostoniensis) plants produce lush fronds that resemble fishbones that grow quickly with hardly any care. These plants prefer a slightly humid environment making them an excellent choice for bathrooms that receive some indirect sunlight. Boston Fern plants may look delicate, but they are quite resistant to many different variables. This pet-safe houseplant looks beautiful when used as a hanging basket plant or placed on a plant stand as a single specimen. They require moist, well-draining soil conditions and love to have their leaves misted daily.
2. Parlor Palm
Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans) plants can be a bit iffy with their ability to be pet-safe. However, they are non-toxic houseplants, according to the ASPCA. They are tall and elegant and thrive in indirect light- they can also handle some shade. With excellent care, this plant can grow upwards of eight feet tall! The reason why we say this plant is iffy on being pet-friendly is specifically because of cats. Your feline friends love to chew on this plant’s leaves, and even though it is completely non-toxic, if your cat eats too much green matter off your plant’s leaves, they can vomit. This is very similar to if your pet ate too much grass outside- they will probably vomit, but the grass itself is not toxic.
3. Calathea (Prayer) Plant
Prayer Plants (Calathea) are ideal for small spaces such as bookshelves and end tables only growing up to six to eight inches tall. Calathea plants come in many different varieties with beautifully patterned leaves that are sure to make a statement in your home. Something interesting about this pet-friendly houseplant is that its leaves curl up at night, which is why it was named the Prayer Plant. This plant grows in medium or low light and does not mind if its soil dries out between waterings.
4. Spider Plant
Spider Plants (Chlorophytum comosum) are known for being an “unkillable” houseplant because of how easy they are to take care of! This plant sprouts out spider-like foliage and can occasionally produce tiny white flowers. This pet-safe houseplant is drought-tolerant, prefers well-draining soil conditions, and thrives best in bright, indirect sunlight. Their soft green and white foliage blends in with any home decor. Some people love to pot their Spider plants in hanging baskets to watch their fronds spread outwards, but you are more than welcome to keep it potted and placed on any surface in your home.
5. Air Plants
Air Plants (Tillandsia) make for excellent pet-friendly, low-maintenance houseplants because they do not require soil to grow. Most air plants remain smaller than one foot and thrive in bright, indirect light with a quick soak of water about once a week. Air plants come in many different colors, shapes, sizes, and varieties making them fun to place in bundles or accent plants around your home. Try placing your Air Plants in glass Terrarium hanging planters for a modern houseplant display. Even though Air Plants are non-toxic to pets, they are small enough to be enticing to your furry friends. Because of this, we recommend you keep them out of reach of your pets.
6. Wandering Jew
Wandering Jew Plants (Tradescantia zebrina) have beautifully colored purple, dark green, and pink leaves that are uniquely shaped. Often grown in hanging pots, Wandering Jew plants will trail down as they grow and mature. This tropical plant is native to South and Central America and is non-toxic to your loving pets. Like many houseplants, this plant loves to be placed near bright, indirect light and watered moderately but not too much. Here at Patuxent Nursery, we offer purple Wandering Jew plants and Pink Wandering Jew plants as well.
Peperomia (Peperomia albovittata) plants come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, meaning you are bound to find the perfect option just for your home! You will quickly find this plant is one of the easiest houseplants to take care of because it does not mind low light environments, does not need too much water, and can be small enough to fit virtually anywhere. Their leaves can resemble the outside of a watermelon because they are striped with light and dark green. This pet-friendly plant also loves to be in humid environments! Do you have a bathroom that receives bright, indirect light? This plant would be the perfect option to place in your bathroom.
8. Ponytail Palm
Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata) plants look like they were plucked right out of a Dr. Seuss book. Their thick trunks produce a “ponytail” of grassy green foliage. Their leaves twist and curl as they cascade, resembling human hair. These pet-friendly houseplants are extremely easy to care for and grow with ease. Your Ponytail Palm loves to remain dry and will need water only on occasion. They prefer bright, indirect sunlight but can handle occasional bright, direct sunlight and well-draining soil conditions. When kept as houseplants, Ponytail Palms stay compact and make for a great accent or focal plant in any room of your home without any worry of harming your pets.
9. Chinese Money Plant
Chinese Money Plants (Pilea peperomioides) are known for their round pancake-shaped green leaves. They are extremely popular modern decor houseplants that have quickly become a staple for well-designed interiors-all the cool kids like Chinese Money Plants! This pet-safe houseplant prefers bright, indirect sunlight and potting soil that is a mix of well-balanced, organic soil and peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, etc. Chinese Money plants like to dry out between waterings making this plant very easy to care for. Not to mention, this houseplant is easy to propagate, meaning you can share cuttings of this plant with your loved ones for them all to enjoy without any worries.
10. String of Hearts
String of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii) is a creeping semi-succulent vining plant native to southwest Africa. As this plant grows, its stems trail on the ground, rooting where they touch and form dense mats and grows upwards of four feet long. The best place to let your String of Pearls shine is on a windowsill or a shelf so it can trail down in all its glory. This pet-friendly houseplant prefers indirect sunlight and does not like to be in direct sunlight, or else it can get damaged easily because its leaves are so delicate and small. A south or west-facing windowsill would be ideal for your Ceropegia woodii.
Come into Patuxent Nursery today to shop our huge selection of houseplants! Our plant experts will help you find the perfect houseplant that is safe for your pets and will fit perfectly in your home. Whether it’s a fern, a succulent, or vining hanging basket plant, we have plenty of options available.