Houseplants That Are Safe For Pets
It’s nice to have a place where humans, animals, and plants live together — keeping in touch with nature even while residing in an urban area. Both plants and animals deserve a great environment to grow and be nurtured. However, not all plants are suitable indoors when you have a pet, and several houseplants can be toxic to your fur babies.
Dogs and cats tend to be curious about everything they see — especially what’s within their reach. According to an article from Actions 4 Dogs, curiosity indicates that a dog is socially healthy. It means that your dog is confident enough to explore, as they are naturally born social and curious beings.
On the other hand, cats act upon their curiosity to ensure safety and survival in the environment they live in. An article from Pawstracks indicates that survival instincts are natural for wildcats, but, for domesticated cats, their curiosity is altered according to the changes in the environment. They don’t have to watch out for predators — domesticated cats look out for danger in what they see at home, like groceries, parcels, or guests.
Your pets might bite into houseplants out of curiosity. A bite from toxic plants requires an immediate visit to the vet. To be safer and avoid the vet visit, keep in mind what plants are toxic for your pets. When you are not at home or when your pet is out of sight, you need to take precautionary measures to know that the animal is safe.
Although you can use home remedies for dogs and cats sometimes, Steve M. Ensley BS, DVM, MS, PhD states that “Supportive treatment is often necessary until the poison can be metabolized and eliminated. The type of support required depends on the animal’s condition and may include controlling seizures, maintaining breathing, treating shock, controlling heart problems (for example, irregular heart beats), and treating pain.”
Symptoms depend on how much poison your pet has ingested in their body. It could take three to four days before your pet shows symptoms of poisoning. We don’t want to put our pets in severe danger — consider your pets before bringing greenery into your home.
Safe Houseplants for a More Pet-Friendly Home
Various non-toxic houseplants are safe for pets and pet parents. You don’t have to worry about the plants listed below — except for broken pots or leaves when cats and dogs play a lot at home.
The Calathea rattlesnake plant is a perfect addition to your indoor garden. With the plant’s beautifully detailed leaves with a touch of purple on the undersides, it will surely complement and balance your interior color scheme.
The best spot for a rattlesnake plant is somewhere with less exposure to sunlight. Rattlesnake plants require heat and humidity, making it tricky to find the right room temperature. The suggested temperature is between 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Rattlesnake plants require frequent watering, especially during the summer season. When watering a rattlesnake plant, you have to be extra cautious; overwatering can change the leaf color to yellow.
Areca Palm Tree
One fine addition to your greenery collection is the areca palm tree. You can grow an areca palm tree indoors or outdoors if the climate is right. The fronds are quite similar to bamboo leaves, and most areca palm trees have golden trunks. Your dogs and cats can try to reach and bite for the leaves, but nothing bad will happen.
Watering is required when the soil is thoroughly dried out, especially during hot weather. You also have to invest in pots with excellent drainage — roots may rot when the ground becomes soggy due to excess water. Humidity and proper lighting are essential to the plant’s growth. When the palm tree is grown indoors, it’s best to place the plant near your windows.
Aside from its scientific name Soleirolia soleirolii, a paddy’s wig is also famously known as baby’s tears. You can definitely tell that the name originated by how its leaves look — a clump of tiny rounded bean-shaped leaves. A paddy’s wig blooms from late spring to early summer.
A baby’s tears can grow both outdoors and indoors. Direct sunlight is not advisable — it’s best to place a paddy’s wig in the shade with less light exposure. The plant grows well and sends out runners when planted in abundant moist soil. Also, you have to ensure that the plant is well-drained for better growth results.
The Calathea Orbifolia is one of those gorgeous plants you’d love to keep as home décor. Large leaves highlighted with silvery bands can make a room more stunning — making it easy to change the atmosphere at home. It’s a gorgeous accent piece and a good conversation starter.
Calathea Orbifolia doesn’t grow well under the sun — choose an area with little to no sunlight. The room temperature must be between 60 to 80 degrees. Consistent exposure to high humidity keeps the plant’s foliage lustrous. Due to the required humidity level, you need to water the plant regularly. Keep the soil moist and use pots with excellent drainage.
Green Ripple Peperomia
With its heart-shaped leaves and rich green color, you’ll definitely enjoy having this in your home garden. Green ripple peperomia is a compact plant, making it an ideal indoor plant for small-spaced apartments. Green ripple peperomia are space-savers, as they can be planted on hanging pots. It’s easier for pet parents to have hanging pots to avoid breakage from playful pets inside the house.
The green ripple peperomia is recommended for beginners since it is a low-maintenance plant. Sunlight exposure is also not advisable — natural light can burn its leaves. Moderate watering is sufficient to achieve incredible growth, especially during spring. Wait for the soil to completely dry out before watering it again.
For a touch of class and elegance at home, an orchid is one of the best choices for your indoor garden. Orchids in full bloom can definitely light up your place and make a room look livelier. This is an indoor plant suitable for classic and sophisticated interior design styles.
Orchids bloom once a year and last up to three months. To keep orchids in full bloom, you must place them under partial light and ensure a warm, humid room temperature. Also, its roots require sufficient airflow. You can water orchids once a week during the cold season, whereas on warmer days, orchids should be watered once or twice a week.
The mosaic plant, also known as a jewel plant, has lovely rich green leaves with well-defined veins. This type of plant is quite challenging to take care of, making it more suitable for naturally gifted green thumbs. The jewel plant is great for terrariums because of its short stature.
A mosaic plant healthily develops in surroundings with a temperature over 70 degrees. Regular misting is a must to maintain moisture — if not constantly watered, the leaves will wither and turn yellow. It is not fond of direct sunlight as an indoor plant — it can flourish under fluorescent lights or indirect sun exposure. Lastly, the soil of its choice is peat moss, which helps absorb ample moisture.
Cast Iron Plant
If you’re a career person and don’t spend too much time at home (or if you like to spend all your extra time with your pet, not your plants), a cast iron plant is your perfect match. A cast iron plant is undoubtedly beautiful with wide evergreen leaves, but what makes it more purchase-worthy is its ability to grow with just minimal care. The plant can grow in both outdoor and indoor settings — the only difference is that when grown outside, flowers in cream and purple bloom around the foot of the plant.
Since it is a low-maintenance plant, there are only two things you need to avoid. One is overwatering, and the second one is placing it under direct sunlight. A pot with good drainage is essential to avoid damaging the roots. To determine if it needs to be watered, you can poke a finger in the soil and check if it’s still damp.
Bird’s Nest Fern
The living room is not the only space at home where you can display your plants — bathrooms are excellent habitats for a bird’s nest fern. It can create a more relaxing ambiance in your bathroom — put it beside your bathtub to refresh your surroundings. The bird’s nest fern has vivid green, spoon-shaped fronds that sprout about two feet long.
Again, be mindful of the room temperature where you keep your plants. Bird’s nest fern survives in rooms with a temperature of 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and the space must be humid and provide partial light. Ensure that you water the plant as soon as the topsoil is dry. Do not water from the center, as it will support mold growth — pour water directly on the soil.
A friendship plant has bright green delicate leaves with thoroughly detailed patterns. The average height of friendship plants is between 6 to 12 inches — making it appropriate for terrariums. Every once in a while, pale pink buds bloom from friendship plants and provide a soft color to your space.
Water a friendship plant when the soil slightly starts to dry. However, it’s best to keep the plant dry in colder months. Indirect light is essential — preferably moderate to bright exposure. Friendship plants develop well in an environment with a temperature of 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Like any other houseplants, friendship plants are fond of humidity and require constant moisture in the soil.
Turning Your Home into a Sanctuary for All
Always be responsible when taking care of both plants and animals at home. It doesn’t just stop with providing them with a place to stay and a supply of basic necessities; be mindful of the factors that can harm your pet’s health during their stay in your home. Even the most minor details can make or break the harmonious surroundings at home.
If you are a new pet parent, please research the dos and don’ts for your type of pet. Let’s give them the best place to grow and help them adjust to a home that was built for humans by changing a few things to make the space more pet-friendly. Pets are the most adorable housemates anyone can ever have — let your house be their sanctuary.
Written by Ergil Ermeno