Deciding to purchase a new houseplant can bring up many questions.
“Do I have enough light in my home for this plant?”
“Will I have enough time in my busy schedule to water this plant?”
And, for some plant owners:
“Is this plant toxic to my beloved pets?”
There are certain species of plants that, if ingested, can cause adverse reactions and possibly death to humans and pets. While we humans will understand that we probably shouldn’t nibble on our Aglaonemas for a light snack, our little furry family members might not grasp that concept. It’s important to check if a plant is toxic before purchasing if you have pets at home.
While we would love to be able to be with our pets all day, this is usually not possible. So bringing home a plant that you would have to monitor your pet around 24/7 because it’s toxic to them is a little too stressful/impractical to attempt.
This list of nontoxic plants is for those looking to purchase a plant that won’t stress them out if they find their cat, dog, bunny, or mini-horse taking a little bite.
First up on our list is the entire genus of Calatheas - pet-friendly prayer plants! Calatheas are pet-safe plants and are an excellent choice for anyone looking to add beauty to their home and keep their furry friends safe.
Calatheas are not only visually stunning plants- but they also will put on a show for you each day! They’re called prayer plants due to their leaves folding up in the night when the sun disappears, and unfurling again in the morning when it rises.
These fast-growing plants are also relatively easy to care for. They dislike direct sunlight, so put them in a spot with filtered sunlight or hang up some curtains to protect their gorgeous foliage.
Calathea’s like their soil to stay moist, but can’t stand their roots being soggy and waterlogged. To achieve this balance, give them a little water regularly when you feel the first few inches of soil become dry. This way you can keep them hydrated without being too bogged down deeper in their pots.
Not only do hoyas come in a stunning variety of species, but they are also completely safe for your pets to be around! From Hoya Australis to Hoya Wayetti Variegata, if you bring home a Hoya you can be sure that your little furry friends are safe in its company.
Hoyas are also remarkably easy to care for. Being semi-succulents, Hoyas don’t mind if you are late to a watering date. They store their hydration in their evergreen foliage, which can also help you figure out when it's time to water if you’re unsure. If you can fold the plump leaves of a Hoya together- essentially creating a taco shape- then their hydration levels are low and they need watering.
Hoyas aren’t too picky about light, either. They prefer bright, indirect sunlight so place them within a few feet of an east or south-facing window to help them thrive. They won’t mind lower light levels, but they definitely won’t grow as fast in shadier conditions.
Hoyas are also very low feeders- only needing to be fed once every few months in the spring or summer. Low maintenance, beautiful, and safe for pets- Hoya’s are the total package!
Pachira aquatica also called a Money Tree, is another wonderfully popular option when it comes to pet-friendly plant options. Their unique braided trunks and five-leafed stems are a wonderful addition to any room. Not to mention that they are an excellent long-term design choice, as an indoor Money Tree can grow up to eight feet tall over its life.
Pachira aquatica is a tropical wetland tree from South and Central America. It likes to be well watered and then allowed to thoroughly dry out. Give it a good dose of water every week in the spring and summer, and every other week in the fall and winter.
As far as light goes, these stunning trees like to be in bright, indirect light. I keep mine about five feet away from a south-facing window and directly next to a west-facing window and it is very happy with this arrangement. You can also filter your light with curtains or place your Pachira next to a window with a large, shady tree outside.
If you love the unique textures and hues of the Peperomia genus and are looking for a pet-friendly plant- good news! The entire Peperomia genus is completely safe for pets. No need to worry if find Spot nibbling on your Peperomia Quito- well, maybe you should worry for the plant!
There are over 1,000 species of Peperomia- so don’t worry about not being able to find one that you like. With so many choices available, it’s almost impossible not to find the Peperomia for you.
Peperomias are relatively easy to care for and are communicative when it comes to knowing when it’s time to water. If you notice that your Peperomia’s leaves are drooping or curling, then it’s time to give your plant a drink. Water your Peperomia once a week, but hold off if the surface of your soil is still wet.
Peperomias like to be put in bright, indirect sunlight or medium light. Anything lower than this and their gorgeous foliage begins to fade. A tragedy, indeed! Because of their delicate leaves, keep them out of direct sunlight.
Looking for a truly one-of-a-kind pet-friendly plant for your one-of-a-kind pet? Allow me to tell you about the incredible Phlebosia Nicholas Diamond fern! This herbaceous hybrid is a cross between a Pyrrosia lingua ‘Cristata’ and a Phlebodium aureum ‘Mandaianum’ and is the only species of its genus thus far.
Phlebosia Nicholas Diamond is a footed fern with adorable, fuzzy rhizomes that peek out the top of its soil. Its fronds are verdant and wavy and grow from long, thin stems out of its little, fuzzy feet.
Along with being adorable, Phlebosia Nicholas Diamond is fast-growing and cold and drought tolerant. No one could ever accuse this unique fern of being all style and no substance!
Most ferns are not very drought tolerant, which is just one lovely jewel in this fern's crown. Water your Nicholas Diamond when the first few inches of soil become dry. To help with moisture retention, make sure that you are placing this fern in the right light it needs.
Phlebosia Nicholas Diamon likes bright, filtered sunlight. Place it next to a window with curtains or a tree outside, or a few feet away from a window where some of the sunlight can diffuse before hitting this exceptional fern.
Need a pop of color in your home? Bright colors in the natural environment usually signal toxicity or danger- but not in the case of the Polka Dot plant! Native to Madagascar, these flowering plants are completely non-toxic to people and pets!
Polka Dot plants can grow tall and leggy, so it’s recommended to pinch them back as you would with basil to encourage bushier growth. If you like plant projects (who doesn’t?!) then you can use those clippings to propagate even more pet-friendly Hypoestes.
Their red, pink, or white spattered leaves will dramatically droop when the plant needs water- making it a usefully communicative plant for owners. Give them medium to bright, indirect light to keep them happy and thriving.
If you place your Polka Dot plant in lower light conditions, your plant will still be able to grow. You might begin to notice, though, that its gorgeous variegated leaves are fading. Keep your Hypoestes phyllostachya happy and vibrant by keeping it in the right light conditions and watering when it tells you it’s time to.
The gorgeous Spider plant and Curly Spider plant variety are non-toxic to people and their animals, making them a wonderful choice for pet owners. If you’re a cat owner, a word of caution: apparently spider plants can have the same effect on cats as catnip. If you want to keep your cat from zoomy-zooming 24/7, then maybe keep your spider plant out of reach of your feline friend.
Spider plants are native to tropical regions of Africa, and so they like their soil to be consistently moist. They are pretty flexible, however, and won’t mind being left to dry out completely between waterings.
Spider plants are fans of moderate light, so they are ideal for north-facing windows. Since bright light will burn their beautiful green and white leaves make sure to place them a few feet away from any window with bright, direct sunlight.
One of the coolest things about Spider plants is just how generous they are with their pups. Spider pups are tiny little Spider plants that your plant will begin producing off of a long stem called a runner.
Once these pups grow long enough nodes, you can cut them from the runners and plant them. Free Spider plants forever! Give them away to your friends and family with pets or start a collection of your own.
Does your pet dramatically beg to be fed? Cry and whine when it doesn’t get its way? Get an equally dramatic plant to keep them company!
The Stromanthe Triostar is a gorgeous and vibrant plant that turns heads and won’t turn your pet's stomach if ingested. These tricolored beauties are non-toxic to people and pets, making them perfect for pet owners looking for a plant statement piece.
Stromanthe Triostar loves moisture, so make sure to water it often. To keep it from becoming waterlogged, water only a bit at a time. This will allow your plant's roots to have plenty of oxygen and safeguard your plant from root rot.
Keep your Stromanthe Triostar out of bright, direct sunlight as it will burn its vivid foliage. These lovely plants prefer medium to bright, indirect sunlight so place them a few feet back from a sunny window or hang up some curtains.
As you can see, there are numerous amazing species to choose from when looking for pet-friendly plants. This has just been a profile of the eight that I wanted to nerd out about the most, but there are even more available on our website! Make sure and click the “Pet Friendly” filter on our search page to see them all!