As a dog friendly café and shop we know the importance of keeping our furry friends happy and healthy, which is why we wanted to share our top ‘pet friendly’ plants.
Plants can either be classified as ‘toxic’ or ‘non-toxic’.
Toxic plants are those which have developed natural defences to help protect them from herbivores in their natural habitat.
As plants are unable to move or run away from predators, some use visible defences such as spikes, prickles or thorns, and others use chemicals.
Although very helpful in the wild, these defences can be harmful to our furry friends. Some plants have juice, thorns or sap that cause irritation or a rash on the skin. Meanwhile, ingestion of others can cause stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhoea or breathing difficulties.
But it’s not all gloom and doom! There are many house plants that are classified as ‘non-toxic’ and therefore pet friendly. Below we have listed our top 10 pet friendly plants.
As a general rule, the genus of plant that we have recommended one variety of, other varieties are generally all non-toxic.
Maranta leuconeura 'Fascinator' – ‘Maranta’ the first part of the Latin plant name, is the genus, meaning that also
- Maranta ‘Fascinator’ [Prayer Plant]
Native to the American tropics, this beautiful plant is known for its moving leaves which lay flat during the day and fold up at night like praying hands. They love bright-indirect light and frequent misting. Water when the top inch of soil has dried out.
Other plants in the Marantacae family include Calatheas and Stromanthe, which are also excellent pet friendly options to decorate your home!
- Aspidistra [Cast Iron Plant]
Pet friendly and super easy to care for!
The Aspidistra Elatior, known commonly as ‘The Cast Iron Plant’, is one of our most indestructible houseplants!
It was favoured highly in Victorian times and has been known to live to old age if cared for well. It can tolerate most light levels including shadier spots and requires watering when the top inch of soil dries out.
- Nepenthes [Pitcher Plant]
These carnivorous plants, along with the Venus Fly trap, are excellent non-toxic options.
Hailing from the rainforests of Borneo, these magnificent plants boast bulbous pitchers in distinct fleshy tones. Don’t panic. Although they’re carnivorous, they aren’t interested in your pets; insects are their chosen food source.
They also make for an excellent talking point in your home!
- Chlorophytum [Spider plant]
Native to tropical South Africa, Spider plants are known for their air purifying qualities and distinctive striped leaves. The ‘Bonnie’ is a particular favourite of ours due to its more compact size and interesting sculptural twist.
- Asplenium [Birds Nest Fern]
This is a stunning house plant with vibrant green waved leaves. It’s close relatives, the Asplenium antiquum ‘Osaka’ and Asplenium ‘Hurricane’, also boast beautifully textured leaves.
Asplenium are fabulous air purifiers and easy to care for. If you’re looking for additional lush fern foliage, you could consider the Platycerium Bifurcatum ‘Staghorn Fern’ or the Nephrolepis ‘Boston Fern’.
- Fittonia [Nerve Plant]
Fittonia are referred to as ‘nerve plants’ due to their delicately veined leaves. They are native to South America and will thrive in a humid space (think brightly lit kitchen or bathroom).
The compost should never be allowed to completely dry out. They are also a fabulous edition to a terrarium, so if you’re feeling crafty, make sure to include one of these in your selection.
We often stock this glorious plant in a variety of colours, so be sure to search our website for all the options.
- Hoya ‘Linearis’ [Porcelain Flower]
This gorgeous hanging plant has long slender foliage that creates a wonderful cascading effect. In the ideal conditions it produces sweetly scented white flowers. Its subtle sage green colouring makes it a highly versatile plant for styling.
The Hoya genus of plants vary dramatically in shape, size, colour and texture, so if you don’t fancy the ‘linearis’ there are still many options.
- Chamaedorea elegans [Parlour Palm]
If you’re looking for a lush addition to your living or bedroom, that is also pet friendly, then a palm could be for you. Palms provide a relaxing and warm vibe to any room.
Parlour palms became popular during Victorian times and are named after where they were displayed in the house, the parlour room.
If a parlour palm isn’t for you, you could also consider an Areca (Dypsis lustecens), Kentia (Howea forestania) or Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata) for your pet friendly plant collection.
- Peperomia ‘Rosso’ [Radiator Plant]
A cute and compact plant, the peperomia is a non-toxic option for your four-legged friends!
Peperomia 'Rosso' have origins in the Amazon region of South America, are easy to care for, and require less watering than some of the foliage plants mentioned here. So, if you’re looking for ‘lower maintenance’ this could be your option.
- Rhipsalis ramulosa ‘Red Coral’
A fun jungle cactus that is native to Central America. The ‘Red Coral’ Rhipsalis is an epiphyte which means that it grows on other plants. If you’re looking for something to hang in your home that adds colour and texture, and is relatively easy to care for, then this is your plant!
All Rhipsalis varieties are safe and non-toxic for your pets, so feel free to peruse our online store for further options.
But it doesn’t end here! We have listed some additional ‘honourable mentions’ which are just as pet friendly as the ones described in this post!
If you haven’t seen the plant you were hoping to in the ‘pet friendly’ section, then perhaps you better check for it on the ‘toxic’ plant list:
If you’re feeling disheartened after reading this because the plant you’re interested in is not listed as pet friendly, don’t despair.
Try asking yourself the following questions:
- Is my pet curious and prone to chewing?
- Does my pet have access to the room where I want to put the plant?
- Can my pet reach the place I want to place the plant?
If you answered yes to any of the above, a pet friendly plant sounds like the safest options. However, if you answered no, perhaps you can trial your desired plant after all?
Although you may not be able to have EVERY PLANT and a pet, we hope that you’ve realised you can definitely have MANY plants and a pet.
If you have any questions then get in touch with us, we’d love to hear from you. Happy pet friendly plant shopping!