13 Best Pet-Friendly Plants for Cats and Dogs

We all love an adorable pet that runs around the house to greet us. We treat them as family and so we protect them like our own. But as a home gardener or a plant enthusiast, we may find ourselves lingering over the options of which plant can bring us the comfort and the vibe we’re after when we grow them while they do not pose any harm to our pets.

So here in Plantly, we give you some of the best pet-friendly houseplants that you can bring home without the need to worry. Whew!

Top 13 Beautiful and Pet-friendly houseplants:

Bird’s Nest Fern

bird-s nest fern

Bird’s nest ferns (Asplenium nidus) are epiphytic and you would often see them growing on the surface of other plants or crooks of trees in their rainforest habitat.

Bird’s Nest Fern forms a series of erect, spoon-shaped bright green fronds rising from a central rosette. While the fronds can grow up to 5 ft long, most bird’s nest ferns grown at home setting reaches only about 2 ft long. Consistent warmth and humidity ensure optimum growth for this plant in an indoor set-up.

Bird’s nest fern is a popular houseplant due to its non-toxic attributes. A slow grower, the plant is best planted in spring. But you can always start growing them all year round.

Spider Plants

spider plant

The Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) is considered one of the most adaptable indoor plants and the easiest to grow. So if you want fast-growing decorative plants, spider plants are the real deal.

Place them in areas receiving the most sunlight and you’ll be supremely satisfied with how vigorous they can go. They can tolerate little to no amount of water, but tending to them often will give you abundant foliage capable of purifying the air you breathe. Plus, they’re completely safe for your furbabies. How cool is that?!

Pilea peperomioides

Pilea peperomioides

Pilea peperomioides is a flowering perennial from the nettle family (Urticaceae). Native to southern China and has been a staple houseplant for years. Members of the genus Pilea are not considered toxic to cats, dogs, and humans but they should still not be ingested.

This evergreen perennial, which is also sometimes called the Chinese money plant and coin plant, is mainly grown for its unique foliage. Pilea peperomioides will ultimately thrive as long as you provide them with adequate bright light, semi-regular watering, and some light feeding during the spring and summer months.

Polka dot plant

Hypoestes phyllostachya

The polka dot plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya) is a little plant that stuns with its brightly colored variegated leaves. Some of the head-turning varieties feature foliage with a pink base color and green spots.

Polka dot plant likes bright light or medium-lit spots, but can also tolerate low light conditions. They thrive in rich, well-draining soil, and need to be watered just enough to keep adequate soil moisture. This pretty plant requires you to maintain moist air and a temperature around 75 °F.

Polka dot plants are not poisonous, hence they’re among the list of pet-safe plants that can be grown as indoor plants. Plus they would look stunning on your window sill or kitchen countertop!

Prayer Plant

prayer plant

Prayer Plant comes from the family of arrowroots, Marantaceae. They are considered almost perfectly hardy indoor plants with their unique foliage and vibrant feather-like veins. Prayer plants got their name from the way the leaves fold or temporarily droop in the evening, leaving a form that resembles a hand-folded in prayer.

The prayer plant thrives in moderate indirect light or even in full shade. Similar to most indoor plants, prayer plant prefers moist and well-drained soil, plus high humidity levels of at least 55 – 60%. When watering, use warm water and feed the plant with an all-purpose fertilizer every two weeks, from spring through fall.

Burro’s Tail

Sedum morganianum

Another pet-friendly plant you may want to take a look at is the Burro’s tail cactus (Sedum morganianum). Note, however, that they are not technically a cactus but a succulent plant. While it is true that all cacti are succulents, not all succulents are considered cacti.

These incredible houseplants produce long, sweeping stems weighed down by thick fleshy green leaves. They adore gritty soil with good drainage under a partial sun or bright indirect light. During winter, they need to be protected from the extreme cold.

The succulent thrives very well indoors as long as they’re placed in a well-draining pot. You can grow them equally well in a mixed succulent container or as a hanging specimen. Either way, they’re a perfect accompaniment plant for that delicately fresh atmosphere.

Parlor Palm

parlor palm

Parlor Palms (Chamaedorea elegans) are certainly a must-have, for not only do they look adorable but they’re oh so easy to care for!

Parlor palm is of subtropical origin and has widely graced the rainforests of Mexico and Guatemala. Following the proper care and by providing the right growing conditions, they can reach over six feet tall. This is considered to be an indoor or outdoor plant, depending on your region.

The plant readily thrives in medium to bright indirect light but then can also tolerate low light conditions. In addition, an average home temperature of 65 °F-75 °F or warmer up to 85 ° works just fine for this true palm. It’s a bonus that they’re not toxic to cats and dogs too!

African Violets

African violets

African Violets (genus Saintpaulia) is a flowering plant that comes from the plant family Gesneriaceae. As the name suggests, they are native to tropical eastern Africa where they tend to grow on higher elevations. It’s another species that’ll go well with pets.

African violets grow up to only about 12 inches tall and produce clusters of white, bluish-purple flowers over their fuzzy leaves. If you’re already well familiar with growing houseplants, tending to African violets is rather easy.

Position the plant under bright but not direct sunlight. A moist and well-draining potting mix is the ideal medium. Feeding the plant every other week with an all-purpose fertilizer would also greatly benefit the plant. Given their tropical origin, African violets also love high humidity levels around them, so be sure to maintain at least 70 – 80%.

Peperomia

Peperomia argyreia

Peperomias (Peperomia pellucida) are perennial plants that are adored mainly due to their foliage with varying patterns. Their compatibility with an indoor setting makes them just the ideal houseplant you’ll want to get a hold of. Plus, they’re certainly non-toxic!

Their height rarely reaches more than 12 inches which are quite favorable if you wish to have them settled in small indoor spaces: office windowsill, kitchen countertop, or even in the bathroom. They’ll certainly bring in that nice tropical vibe with just a little maintenance. 

Peperomia plants should be placed in an area that receives bright, indirect sunlight. They require less amount of watering and are ideally potted with well-draining soils. Adding fertilizer once or twice a month will surely go a long way.

Airplants

Tillandsia

Air plants (Tillandsia) are epiphytic, meaning they grow on other plants. Having a rosette pattern and triangle-shaped leaves, their structure comes only secondary as to why they are often grown as decorative plants- they are not only low maintenance but don’t need the soil to be established. That’s right! The concept of growing them is almost out of this world.

But like most plants, they also need adequate sunlight and a little watering here and there. The only worry you may have is how to set them beautifully so they can show off their adorable foliage. Since they are often let to hang around, there’s no need to worry over your furry friends reaching them.

Orchids

orchid

What makes orchid plants a popular staple for home growers is perhaps attributed to their flowers with varying degrees of attractiveness. The orchid family, Orchidaceae has over 880 different genera and over 22,000 species. So it’s just really a matter of choosing which plant better suits your needs!

Add to that, they’re all regarded as one of the most harmless species when it comes to the issue of toxicity.

Generally, orchids are epiphytic perennials. They need plenty of light, at least 6 hours a day is recommended. Additionally, the best potting mix for orchids should contain other amendments that promote healthy drainage, good structure, and airflow.

Orchids are usually watered once every two weeks, but during summer, this may be adjusted. It’s also beneficial to maintain a good humidity level of 50% to 70%.

Lipstick plants

Aeschynanthus radicans

Lipstick plant (Aeschynanthus radicans) is a flowering indoor plant adored for its shiny, a bit pointy, waxy leaves and fascinating blooms from flower buds that peek out of dark-colored tubes, looking like a small tube of lipstick. Hence, the name.

One general rule of thumb for tending to a lipstick plant is that the more light it gets, the better it will bloom. So have them placed on a spot that receives medium to bright light. Be sure to water them enough to keep the soil moist, but not too wet that the soil becomes soggy as it will likely suffer from root rot.

The ideal temperatures for a healthy blooming lipstick plant range between 65 and 75 °F while the humidity must be 50% higher. You may also feed them from time to time, preferably with 3-2-1 NPK ratio liquid fertilizer. Also, adding some vitamins to the potting soil makes a huge difference

Calathea

calathea plants

Calathea is also a member of the prayer plant family, Marantaceae. They are classified as neotropical rhizomatous perennial species. Interestingly, the plant displays a unique and subtle leaf movementlooking as though they are waving and saying hello to you!

Their patterned foliages make them an ideal houseplant as they can add more color and liven up dull spaces. You may also find it a relief that they are considered pet friendly and wouldn’t cause any harm to your furry friends.

Their colorful leaf markings have made them in demand in the gardening world, and their popularity has been growing ever since. They thrive in medium to bright indirect light but they can also be low-light tolerant.

As you may have guessed, Calatheas favors higher humidity (around 70 %). You can easily maintain this for any houseplants by regularly misting the plant, or by using a humidifier. Watering cycles are done every two weeks or once the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to bear in mind that coexisting with nature requires a great amount of consideration and respect for life, whether they’re immobile like the plants or as actively loving as your cats and dogs.

While they’re still many non-toxic plants out there, the above guide from Plantly provides us with an overview of the best way we can enjoy growing and tending to our chosen houseplants while protecting the other elements at home.

After all, plants and animals are both capable of brightening up our day and igniting our passion for living while we simply care for and love them in return.

Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!

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