Plants and Pets: Our 10 Favorite Pet-Safe Indoor Plants and 7 to Avoid
All too often in our nursery, people fall in love with a plant, only to remember, to their dismay, that not all houseplants are pet-safe. “Is this plant safe for dogs? Cats?” they ask.
The answer, as it turns out, is a bit complicated. Many of the most common varieties are not pet-safe indoor plants. That said, the majority of plants that are “poisonous” to your pet will actually only cause them some temporary discomfort, such as indigestion, of course depending on the size of your pet and how much of the plat he or she makes as a snack.
While pets munching on plants isn’t a problem we’ve personally experienced in our homes, it’s always a good idea to play it safe. That’s why we’ve assembled this list of our favorite pet-safe indoor plants that we commonly carry in the nursery and ship from our web shop. Plus, we’ve listed a few that you should avoid (or isolate from pet areas), just to be sure.
Our 10 Favorite Pet-Safe Indoor plants:
Rhipsalis – Mistletoe Cactus
Easy to care for jungle cactus that works wonders as a hanging plant, mounted to a plaque, or in a kokedama.
Asplenium nidus – Bird’s Nest Fern
Beautiful, rosette-like fern that is happy in medium light and looks beautiful as a kokedama.
Giant Tropical Bromeliads
Low light tolerant, easy to care for, and shooting out enormous, long-lasting flower spikes
Hoya – Wax Plant
A classic houseplant that lives for years and likely crept around your grandmother’s kitchen. Works well in a kokedama. Loads of Hoya species are available, and we love them all! A few favorites are Hoya carnosa compacta, Hoya kerrii and Hoya pubicalyx
Tradescantia – Wandering Jew
Beautifully variegated and lustrous leaves, prolific grower and easy as pie to propagate. [note: safe for cats only – there is mixed information about whether this plant is safe for dogs]
Long, leaves, often variegated and curly, and produces lots of baby plantlets to share with your friends! Plus, it’s said to be a great air purifier
Echeveria – Hens and Chicks
Beautiful rosettes that spread easily with little root space and love a sunny window.
Antler-like fronds shoot out of these epiphytic ferns, making them beautiful wall mounted plaques.
Tillandsia – Air Plants
A favorite in aeriums and as standalone stunners, tillandsia are fascinating and easy to care for.
Fittonia – Nerve Plant
Pink and white leaves look almost embossed with nerve-like lines. Loves to stay wet – great for the over-waterer.
Bonus: Pilea and Peperomia species
Since we wrote this blog post, we’ve discovered loads more pet safe plants to love. Two genera worth mentioning are Pilea and Peperomia. All species within these genera are considered safe to cats and dogs, and there are so many great ones to choose from, like the instagram-famous Pilea peperomioides and Watermelon Peperomia.
Plants to Avoid or Keep Away from your Pets
Unfortunately, many of our favorites fall onto this list of unsafe plants for pets. Here’s a few to keep away from your dog or cat.
- Pothos species
- Philodendron species
- Monstera deliciosa
- Euphorbia species
- Schefflera species
- Jade plant
We hope this list of pet-safe indoor plants helps you liven up your home with confidence that everyone in your household will benefit from the greenery!