6 Pet-Safe Houseplants for Your Home

By: Allanah Dykes

If you’re a pet owner, you should take care when choosing plants for your home. Both cats and dogs often chew on leafy green vegetation to satisfy nutritional needs or aid in digestion, so it’s important to know that some are potentially toxic to your pets.

Although many plants can be dangerous, there are many pet-friendly, non-toxic options. Keep in mind that individual pets can have different allergic reactions, even if the plants themselves are non-toxic.

According to staff veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Maniet of Petplan, if you do have already existing plants in your house or garden, then make sure to talk with your veterinarian regarding the potential toxicity of the plants.

Here are six pet-safe houseplants you can feel good about choosing.

Spider Plant Chlorophytum comosum

1. Spider plant

The spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) is one of the easiest houseplants to grow. This plant is named for its spider-like offshoots, called spiderettes, that hang from the mother plant. These spiderettes start out as small flowers and eventually grow just like spindly green spider legs.

Spider plants are one of the most adaptable house plants, needing bright to moderate indirect sunlight, well-draining soil, and occasional watering. These plants are a welcome addition to any home, as they can even improve your indoor air quality.

Bamboo Bambusoideae

2. Bamboo

Bamboo (Bambusoideae) is native to tropical and subtropical regions in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Bamboo can be split into two main categories: running and clumping. Running bamboo spreads quickly, while clumping bamboo expands slowly.

It’s possible to grow these two varieties indoors if you keep them in pots. Just know that because of how quickly it grows, bamboo needs to be repotted or it will become root bound and weak. But ultimately, it’s very easy to care for bamboo. This woody plant needs plenty of water, a good drainage system, and plenty of light.

3. African violet

The African violet (Saintpaulia) is a tropical plant whose flowers are deep violet but can vary among purples, blues, pinks, reds, and whites. Its leaves can be either smooth or wavy and the blooms can bloom in singles or doubles.

Although these violets can be fussy, with proper care they will flourish indoors. African violets need 10–14 hours of bright but indirect sunlight each day with an eight-hour rest period of complete darkness.

Use room-temperature water—cold water can damage the root system—and avoid overwatering this temperamental plant. Also take care to water the soil, not the petals or leaves, which can damage their brilliant color.

Aluminum Plant Pilea cadierei

4. Aluminum plant

The aluminum, or watermelon, plant (Pilea cadierei), is a pet-safe evergreen that produces small, delicate flowers that accent shiny, deep green leaves with splashes of metallic silver.

Aluminum plants are ideal for indoor growth, thriving at temperatures around 70°F–75°F. During the summer months, these houseplants should be kept in partial shade, and during the winter, placed in well-lit areas.

Most importantly, these plants require well-draining soil, but check them daily to ensure the soil has not dried out. Fertilize every six weeks.

Polka Dot Plant Hypoestes phyllostachya

5. Polka dot plant

Polka dot, or freckle-face plants, (Hypoestes phyllostachya) are small, brightly colored annuals with cheerful pink leaves. Growers have introduced new colors, such as white and red, and varieties with deeper colors and brighter contrast. Propagate a new polka dot plant from seeds or cuttings.

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. Keep the soil moist in the summer and reduce the water in the winter. Make sure the soil is well draining so the plant is not oversaturated.

6. Prayer plant

Prayer plants (Maranta leuconeura) sport wild, insect-like leaves that are dark green at the base and have pale green spines with pink, branching veins. This plant gets its name from the leaves that fold together at night, resembling hands in prayer.

These plants do best in bright but indirect sunlight. Keep the soil moist, but not particularly saturated, so water your prayer plant with warm water just before the soil surface dries.

Prayer plants enjoy humid climates, so if you experience especially dry conditions, a humidifier in the room will do this plant well. Like spider plants, this pet-safe option also has air-purifying qualities.

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