Ah, the great outdoors – inside. Indoor plants have a way of enhancing a space in seconds. But when pets are part of the household, those plants cannot be toxic to our fur babies.
Luckily, there are plenty of house plants that can safely be used around cats and dogs. These plants can brighten our living spaces, provide quality oxygen to the home environment, and even boost our mood.
1. The Red Vein Prayer Plant
This pretty little tropical plant comes from Brazil. During the day, its red-veined, herringbone-style leaves are flat, but at night, they move upward as if praying to the heavens, which explains its unusual name.
Since it’s a tropical species, it demands lots of warmth (indirect light is best at indoor temperatures between 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit) and just enough moisture so that the soil doesn’t become too soggy.
Using a moisture meter is a good idea when caring for this plant. When spring arrives, fertilize it with a diluted houseplant food.
2. The Rattlesnake Plant
This indoor plant sounds dangerous, but it’s not poisonous for cats and dogs. Bonus: it’s beautiful too, with spotted leaves that have deep purple undersides.
Native to the Brazilian rainforest, it thrives in moist, warm, and semi-shady climates and can be a real showstopper, growing as high as 30 inches.
Like the Red Vein Prayer Plant, it’s best to place the Rattlesnake Plant in indirect sunlight and water lightly, enough to keep the soil moist but not too soggy.
Adding a diluted fertilizer to the mix during the spring and summer months will keep it looking healthy.
3. The Boston Fern
The Boston Fern, with its lush, fishbone-like leaves, can be used as a hanging basket plant in humid environments like bathrooms or anywhere in the home where it is warm and gets indirect light.
For added humidity, add a tray of pebbles filled with water underneath the pot, and mist its leaves twice a week with a spray bottle.
Other areas of the home that are ideal for the Boston Fern include porches that receive filtered sunlight in the morning and afternoon shade.
In general, this indoor plant requires little maintenance, except to give it extra feeding with fertilizer every two months.
4. The Ponytail Palm
This quirky looking house plant produces a “ponytail” effect that causes the plant’s grassy green foliage to twist and curl as it grows, resembling human hair, an added attraction no doubt for cats and dogs.
It’s an easy one to care for, and that’s good news for those starting their indoor plant-growing journey.
When caring for the Ponytail Palm, it is best to keep it dry, only watering it on occasion (once every two weeks at most).
This house plant prefers bright, indirect sunlight and thrives best in a small pot that is no more than 2 inches wider than the base of the plant.
Keep it in the sunniest room of the house near a window but not directly in the sun.
5. The Chinese Money Plant
Often referred to as the “pancake plant,” the Chinese Money Plant is also easy to care for. It belongs to the nettle family and is native to Southern China, growing naturally at the base of the Himalayan Mountains.
When outdoors, it can produce small white flowers. Indoors, they rarely emerge.
Putting this houseplant in medium to bright light and rotating it regularly will help it thrive. Avoiding harsh bright light is best as that may burn the plant’s delicate leaves.
Constantly watering the Chinese Money Plant isn’t necessary. Some people suggest drying it out completely, then giving it a good watering.
We love the idea of cutting the plant’s offshoots and sharing them with friends who are interested in growing their own Chinese Money Plant or replanting it in other areas of the home.
6. The Spider Plant
The Spider Plant is so easy to care for, it’s known as “unkillable.” And it’s pet safe, too!
This houseplant, which can grow up to 15 inches in length, is native to coastal areas of South Africa and gets its name from the small plantlets that are produced on long trailing stems, resembling spiders.
Its leaves can be solid green or a combination of green with white or yellow stripes down the middle.
The Spider Plant is drought-resistant and needs to be grown in well-draining soil.
Place this houseplant in bright, indirect sunlight (they thrive in temperatures 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit), either in a hanging basket, on the ground or on a shelf or side table.
7. Calathea Orbifolia
With the right humidity levels and consistent moisture, this plant will thrive. Living in a year-round warm, humid climate will be advantageous to its growth and make it easier to maintain. But it’s not necessary either.
Simply keeping it near a humidifier or misting it regularly should do the trick.
The leaf patterns on this houseplant are exquisite, which is why so many people are attracted to them. It will surely make a statement on a plant stand or on a shelf where there isn’t too much natural light.
Putting the plant in direct sunlight will only burn its leaves, which is why keeping it in a room that is between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit will help it be its glorious self.
Another houseplant that is native to Brazil, introducing the Gloxinia. It blossoms into beautiful shades of purple, pink, red or blue leaves. This outstanding display only lasts for about two months and once the flowers fade, the plant must be discarded.
The Gloxinia is worth purchasing for its added splash of color to the home, even if it’s only for a short period.
While in bloom, it does best in bright, indirect sunlight (the temperature should be 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit). The plant should also be watered on a regular basis because when it gets too dry, it will become dormant.
Every two weeks, we suggest using a high-phosphorus liquid plant food to keep it healthy and vibrant.
9. The Polka Dot Plant
The eye-catching Polka Dot Plant is also a great non-toxic choice. This herbaceous perennial, which is native to Madagascar, is known for its oval-shaped green leaves that are spotted with rose, pink or lavender.
It can grow up to three feet tall in Madagascar, but when planted in a pot at home, it will grow up to 10 inches in height.
Warm temperatures (70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit) and bright, indirect light is ideal for this pretty plant. Position it in an east- or south-facing window to give it a chance to thrive.
Watering this exotic plant regularly and feeding it with an all-purpose organic potting mix once a month is ideal for its growth.
10. Moth Orchids
While most orchid species are safe for pets, the ASPCA recommends the moth orchid as the most pet-friendly of the orchid family.
These elegant plants with their pretty flowers can brighten any home — and they need very TLC to thrive inside. While the moth orchid loves plenty of humidity, they cannot tolerate a lot of water. Waiting until the plant is dry to the touch and then watering it thoroughly until the water comes out through the pot’s drainage hole is the best way to keep it healthy.
Orchids don’t like having wet feet; never leave its roots in standing water.
Moth orchids thrive best in bright, indirect light, such as in an east-facing window or in southern light. The ideal temperature of your home should be 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and just above 60 degrees at night. Anything above 95 and below 55 degrees will damage the orchid.
Fertilizer should be applied twice a month to keep the Moth Orchid healthy.
Go ahead and enjoy greenery within your home! And relax knowing that there are plenty of pet-safe plants to celebrate with.