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20 Pet Friendly Plants

20 Pet Friendly Plants

An unexpected consequence of plants can be that some of them are toxic to humans and animals. Of course this is natural, as plants in the wild have evolved certain defense mechanisms over thousands of years. Being stuck in the ground, plants aren’t able to run or hide from predators, leaving them susceptible to whatever wants to eat it. Developing toxins is a great deterrent to herbivores, however it does raise a concern to all pet parents.

Plants are the 8th most reported pet toxin with over 200,000 potential animal poisoning cases reported per year. The worst part is that 9 out of 10 poisonings happen while the pet is at home. Here is some information on plant toxicity and 20 plants that are non-toxic and safe for pets to be around.

Why Are Some Plants Toxic To Animals?

Plants live a pretty interesting life. From the first time they break the soil to the day they decompose, they are stuck in the same spot. Completely immobile, plants are vulnerable to any herbivore that comes across them in the wild. Due to this, in order to survive, plants evolved certain defenses. Some plants like rhubarb have oxalic acid in their leaves that make it very toxic. This causes any herbivores, such as deer, to be wary of eating rhubarb. These toxins do a very good job at warding off predators in the wild, but you don’t want that in your own home. Be careful to do your research to find out if a plant you have is considered “pet friendly”.

Major toxicity plants can cause severe illness or death, while minor toxicity plants can cause minor illness such as vomiting. Check out this list from Texas A&M to learn about what plants are toxic. If you want to learn about 20 plants that are completely pet-friendly, continue reading below.

20 Non-Toxic, Pet-Friendly Plants:

1. African Violet

African violets are easy to care for and a great addition to any indoor garden.

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The African Violet originates from East African tropical rainforests. These do best in bright, indirect light but are also capable of surviving in low light. Being relatively easy to care for and pet friendly, the African violet is a great addition to your indoor plant garden.

2. Spider Plant

Spider plants are one of the most popular houseplants around.

Sourced via Wikimedia Commons.

The Spider Plant is a very popular houseplant mainly due to the fact that it is a very low maintenance plant. A versatile plant, you can enjoy this plant either in a pot or hung from the ceiling. Enjoying indirect sunlight and occasional waterings, the spider plant should be near the top of any list when it comes to pet safe plants. Check out this blog from Soltech on how to care for a spider plant.

3. Orchid

Orchids come in a variety of colors making it easy to find one that suits your home.

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Orchids are a a very popular houseplant and you’ll be glad to find out that they are also pet friendly. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals specifically lists Phalaenopsis orchids or moth orchids as non-toxic, although all orchid species are considered safe. Check out this blog from Soltech Solutions: 7 unique types of Orchids to grow indoors.

4. Peperomia

Peperomia plants are non-toxic and provide wonderful greenery to a home.

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Peperomia plants are another tropical plant that are pet safe. Coming from Central America and the Caribbean, they are forgiving and easy to care for. Perfect for beginner plant parents to start an indoor garden.

5. Gloxinia

Gloxinia plants are a flowering plant from South America.

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Gloxinia plants are primarily found in the Andes mountains of South America. Growing these as houseplants however will provide a different climate for sure, however, they thrive in average room temperatures of 60-75 degrees F. Because they’re non-toxic so perfect for houses with pets and children.

6. Lipstick Plant

Lipstick Plants are a tropical plant with brightly colored flowers that resemble lipstick.

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The Lipstick plant is another appropriately named plant, given its flowers look like lipstick you’d find at your local pharmacy. In addition to being uniquely shaped, they thrive in medium to bright light. Thankfully, if your pet eats this plant it will be unharmed unlike if it were to eat an actual lipstick.

7. Goldfish Plant

The Goldfish plant has flowers that some consider to look like a goldfish.

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Another aptly named plant, the Goldfish plant comes from Central and South American tropics. This plant can be quite fussy; they are epiphytes so they need to grow on another plant. On top of this, they need about 13 hours of bright light per day. Perfect if you already have your indoor LED grow light on a timer! If you have the time and patience to give the amount of care the Goldfish plant needs, it’s well worth it. It is a great pet friendly plant that can be a beautiful accessory to any plant or tree you have in your garden already.

8. Staghorn Fern

The list of plants accurately named for their looks continues with the staghorn fern.

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Staghorn ferns have 17 different species, but they all share foliage that looks antler-like. They are easy to grow as they are a low-light plant. Usually mounted on something such as a piece of wood or basket, they need a mound of peat or compost to thrive.

9. Bamboo Palm

Bamboo palms are a nice large addition to any home.

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Bamboo palms are some of the most commonly grown indoor plants. This is due to their relative level of ease to care for. They can thrive in any light, from full shade to partial direct sunlight. With well-drained soil and 1-3 waterings a week, you’re looking at a healthy bamboo palm. On top of being non-toxic, this just looks like a great overall package to add to your indoor garden.

10. Prayer Plant

Prayer plants are native to the Brazilian tropical forests.

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Prayer plants have beautiful tricolor leaves that add a good contrast to an indoor jungle. They thrive best in greenhouse conditions, more specifically: moist, warm temperatures and plenty of fertilizer.

11. Pilea

Pilea Plants are otherwise known as Chinese money plants.

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The Pilea plant is very easy to care for on top of being easy on the eye. It is an interesting type of plant as the circular leaves you see is actually how the plant spreads. You can trim them and repot them to propagate a new Pilea plant. You can share this plant with friends this way as well, making it easy to obtain and share.

12. Boston Fern

Boston ferns are considered a classic North American houseplant.

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Boston ferns are a type of plant that enjoys warm and humid conditions. Make sure to keep this plant away from window drafts as it is very sensitive to those conditions. Watering your fern frequently is a must and misting it will help raise the humidity to a suitable letter.

13. Money Tree

Money trees are popular due to their symbolism.

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Money trees, otherwise known as Pachira aquatica, are a tropical wetland tree native to Central and South America. Famous for its braided trunks, money trees are a unique plant to add to your indoor garden. They can be a bit finicky to take care of as they need frequent watering and bright, indirect light. Check out the Money Tree Care guide from Soltech Solutions to learn more. Despite these maintenance requirements, money trees are a beautiful non-toxic plant that will add character and good luck (depending on who you ask!) to your home.

14. Ponytail Palm

The ponytail palm hails from the East of Mexico, primarily the state of Veracruz.

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Ponytail palms are another great way to add some pet-friendly tropical plants to your home. It is a very appealing plant to look at with its wispy, hair-like leaves and sturdy looking stem. Despite its name and the fact it looks like a tree, the ponytail palm is a succulent. Your ears may perk up at that name as succulents are notoriously easy to care for due to their resilience. The ponytail palm is no different. Its bulbous trunk allows for the retention of water, so you can infrequently water this plant and it will be fine. It only requires bright light about half of the year to thrive, you can be forgetful to move it or turn on its grow light. But you don’t want to be a mediocre plant parent, you want to be the best pet parent! Investing in a high quality digital plant timer will help you keep a strict schedule so you never have to remember again!

15. Bird’s Nest Fern

Bird’s nest ferns are native to Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands.

Sourced via pxhere

The Bird’s Nest Fern is yet another pet-friendly plant that will give a beautiful injection of life to your indoor garden. Another tropical plant, it enjoys medium to bright light, while only needed to be watered once every 1-2 weeks. Coming from the Southeast Asian tropic, it prefers higher humidity and temperature.

16. Hoya Heart Plant

Hoya kerrii, or Hoya Heart, are thick-leaved plants that are often linked to good luck.

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The Hoya Heart Plant is another installment on the list of appropriately named plants. Popular in February as a Valentine's Day gift for plant lovers, it is a great plant to add to any indoor garden as it is stunning and low maintenance. They are tolerant of low light but are more likely to fully bloom in bright indirect sunlight. Its waxy leaves allow for it to retain water, so it only needs one to two waterings a month to thrive.

17. Rattlesnake Plant

The Rattlesnake palm is safe to have around pets and children, unlike its namesake the rattlesnake.

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The Rattlesnake palm is native to Brazil and can be on the tricker side of plant care. It has beautifully colored leaves that will liven up any room it is placed in. If you are a beginner plant parent, it is suggested you wait to add a Rattlesnake palm to your indoor garden until you have some more experience. They require very specific temperatures, humidity and lighting. However, if you can handle these requirements, it is a lovely plant to have that is completely harmless. (Just make sure you don’t go and buy a rattlesnake by accident, those are definitely NOT pet friendly!)

18. Parlor Palm

Parlor Palms are another tropical plant that is safe to be around your pets.

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The Parlor palm is an elegant plant with rich green foliage. It is one of the most popular big leaf indoor plants grown in America and is relatively resilient. It is able to withstand a wide range of lighting and temperatures. They can be a little oversensitive to watering however, so it is important to be mindful of how much you are giving it. Be sure to give this palm good consideration when choosing your plants for your indoor garden.

19. Calathea Orbifolia

Calathea Orbifolia is a plant native to Bolivia and is a great ornamental piece to add to your home.

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With its massive striated leaves, the Calathea Orbifolia is a plant that can provide your indoor garden with some beautiful foliage. The beauty comes at a price though, with it being one of the more fussy plants on this list. It requires high humidity and constantly moist soil. If you can master this plant’s needs, it will be a quality addition to your home.

20. Venus Flytrap

The Venus fly trap is probably one of the most interesting plants in the world as it is a carnivore.

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The Venus fly trap being on this list might shock you. How can it be that one of the only carnivorous plants on the planet is safe for pets? Doesn’t carnivorous mean it eats other animals? While the venus fly trap is a carnivore, it is only capable of capturing smaller insects such as flys (thus the name). All joking aside, the venus fly trap is a great plant to have in your home as it is so unique. It can be a little tricky to care for as it doesn’t have the same needs as most other plants. They do best in indirect light, but they do not need fetilzer at all. This is because they get their nutrients from the flies and insects they catch. So if you have one in your home, besure to add its feeding time to your schedule to keep it nice and healthy.