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No matter how out-of-reach you keep your plants, or how well-trained your pets are, inevitably, your four-legged friends may get curious and take a bite. While most plants that are considered unsafe for pets will at most cause some temporary discomfort like vomiting, some can cause serious damage, such as organ failure, seizures, or even worse. So it’s absolutely best to err on the side of caution and only keep the best pet-friendly plants around that won’t cause harm if ingested.
Fortunately, there are plenty of pet-safe houseplants that will keep your space looking fresh and vibrant—without posing a threat to your furry family members. We’ve done the research for you and found ten options that will give you total peace of mind bringing home. And even if you don’t exactly consider yourself to be much of a green thumb, not to worry—most of these are easy indoor plants to maintain, too. Though if you’re looking to up your game, you can also snag some gardening tips from Drew.
(Some common houseplants, such as pothos, jade, fiddle leaf figs, and dieffenbachia, are unfortunately toxic to dogs and cats. If you’re unsure if any plants you currently own or would like to purchase are dangerous for your pets, the ASPCA has an extensive list of plants that you can check.)
Calathea Concinna “Freddy”
The striped wavy leaves of the Calathea “Freddy” (sometimes called a zebra plant because of its stripes) add a lively accent to any room. In fact, these do well in low light and thrive in humidity, so they’re great for adding some greenery to a bathroom where it will enjoy the steam from the shower.
Watermelon Peperomia Plant
The Peperomia family includes over 1,000 known species of plants with a wide array of textures, shapes, and colors that are all considered safe for pets. We’re partial to the argyreia variety, whose hardy leaves look just like the outside of a watermelon. They adapt well as houseplants, and just need regular watering to be happy.
Chinese Money Plant
The Chinese Money Plant’s distinctive disc-shaped leaves make it a very photogenic addition to a mantel, windowsill, or bookshelf (they’re a favorite among modern design enthusiasts). Sometimes called friendship plants, they grow offshoots that you can easily propagate and gift to other pet-parent friends.
Spider plants are one of the most popular houseplants because of their adaptability. They’re a particular favorite for beginners, as they require little maintenance. This non-toxic plant will look great in a hanging planter, which can help keep its wispy foliage out of reach for overly curious pets. They’ll also eventually sprout little spider plant babies that can be propagated into new plants.
Dwarf Banana Tree
If you’re a fan of succulents, you’re in luck. A lot of succulents are unfortunately not safe for pets, but the Donkey’s Tail, with its chubby, nubby stalks, is nontoxic for both pets and humans. The trailing stems can grow to be more than two feet long, so this is another plant that works great in a hanging planter or on a mantel where the stems can drape.
Bromeliads are super easy to care for and are all non-toxic to dogs, cats, and other common pets. Plus, they can be grown using soil-free methods (attached to rocks or in the air). So if you have pets that like to play in dirt, these are a great option for bringing bright, long-lasting flowers (they can last for up to six months!) in your home without the need for potting in soil.
Red Prayer Plant
Another flowering plant, the African Violet is perfect for adding a touch of warmth and color to a kitchen windowsill, shelf, or other small area, as they only grow to be about six inches tall. The fuzzy, green-leafed plant blooms several times a year, and with proper care you can even enjoy the pretty blossoms year-round.
Bring the tropics home with a leafy, low-maintenance parlor palm. Its feathery fronds can grow up to 4-feet tall, making it an excellent accent for an interior corner of a living room or hallway, especially as it can tolerate low light. The parlor palm also has the added benefit of being an air-purifying plant that cleans the surrounding air of toxins.