3 Proven Pet Friendly Plants
Ensuring that your home is a safe environment for your pet is a top priority. This can make it tough for those of us who are plant lovers, as many popular houseplants are considered to be toxic to pets. But that doesn’t mean that you have to give up on your indoor jungle dreams! There ARE plenty of plants that are non-toxic and safe to keep around even the most curious of pets.
While many plants only have mild toxicity and can be enjoyed in a household with pets using caution, three common houseplants that pet owners should avoid are:
- Aloe: Great for medicinal use on humans but can be toxic when eaten by pets.
- Ivy: English Ivy is especially toxic to pets, and can cause severe irritation if ingested. Many other types of Ivy are also considered mildly toxic.
- Ficus: All varieties of ficus contain a milky sap which can cause skin irritation and gastrointestinal upset.
Here are three kinds of plants we love that are PROVEN to be non-toxic and pet safe:
Palms come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, AND, most importantly, are completely non-toxic to pets! Palms thrive in full sun or bright, non-direct light and love humidity and moderate watering – most palms will want to be watered about once a week. While they are safe for your pets, you’ll want to keep an eye on cats around your palms, and keep your plants out of reach of any particularly curious pets. Because of the long stringy shape of their leaves, cats often LOVE to chew on palm leaves. This can do damage to the plant, although the plant won’t do any damage to your cat. Some of our favourite pet-safe palm varieties are the Cat Palm, Roebelenii Palm, and Rhapis palm. When out palm shopping, make sure that the plant you are choosing is a true palm – toxic plants like Dracaenas are sometimes misidentified as palms. Watch out especially for Sago Palms, which are actually a type of Cycad that are extremely toxic when ingested and should be avoided by pet owners.
Another non-toxic family of plants are the Bromeliads! These unique plants are a great way to add a pop of colour and tropical flair without putting any pets at risk. In their natural environment, most Bromeliads grow as epiphytes - growing on the bark of trees or on other plants or rocks. In nature, they collect rain water in their central ‘vase'. The best way to water them is to keep this reservoir full of water, refilling with fresh water once a week, in addition to watering into the soil. Another non-toxic option for pet owners are Air plants, which are in the same family as Bromeliads, and can be a great option if you have a pet that likes to dig in soil and make a mess, as no soil is required! Like the palms, your pet won’t be harmed by chewing on a Bromeliad, but the plants might not be so happy. Our current favourite Bromeliads are the Rebecca and the Silver Vase.
These little guys are both trendy AND pet-friendly! The most popular Pilea is the Pilea peperomioides, which is sometimes known as the Pass-it-on plant because of how easy they are to propagate. They will produce many little offshoots from the main plant, little baby Pileas you can cut off and root in water or in soil. And because they are non-toxic, you don’t have to worry about putting any pets at risk by sharing the little baby Pilea plants with your friends! There are many different Pilea varieties out there as well, including another Poppies favourite: the dainty, tiny-leaved Pilea Aquamarine. All of them are pet-safe and easy to care for! Most will do well in a bright non-direct light, love high humidity and prefer to be watered about once a week, when the soil is slightly dried out.