5 Pet-Friendly Indoor Plants
Pet-safe house plants provide peace of mind when four-legged family members decide to make a salad out of your decorative botanicals. We at Pottery Barn have you covered with our recommendations for pet-friendly indoor plants that have non-toxic leaves and flowers, making them the perfect choice to decorate your home.
With their beautiful flower spikes and elegantly symmetrical leaves, orchids are a wonderful indoor plant choice that goes with any decor style. Although these plants have a reputation for being challenging to keep alive, most common orchids, like those found at the grocery store, are among the most forgiving. They flower easily and bounce back from ups and downs fairly successfully. Just give your orchids plenty of light and allow their bark or moss to dry out between watering.
The bromeliad plant family is a huge group of tropical plants that range from tiny air plants to giant rooted varieties with dramatic neon flowers. Air plants are a great choice for households with pets because they’re easy to mount on the wall like art or hang from the ceiling in a place that even the most acrobatic cats can’t reach. If you want some plants on the floor level, there are some slightly spiky bromeliads that’ll do the trick. Although they have small spines on their leaves, they aren’t large enough to cause serious injury to animals. Instead, they will act as a deterrent to all but the most determined chewers.
From the large, rosette-shaped Boston fern to the delicate tendrils of the maidenhair, ferns are among the most decorative non-flowering, pet-friendly plants to use in your home. A fern can look just as elegant in a bathroom as in a living room, and some ferns don’t even require very much sun. This provides an ideal balance of features for low-light rooms. Thanks to their gorgeous drooping leaves, most ferns do well in hanging baskets, too. If your dog or cat isn’t likely to play nice with your new greenery, you can find an out-of-the-way place for hanging. Staghorn ferns, which can be mounted on a wooden plaque and hang on your walls, are also a great option when you have kitties who like to jump.
Miniature members of the palm family are charming additions to any home decor setup. From the thick-trunked ponytail palm to the classic parlor palm, these plants have beautiful, non-toxic leaves. This makes them a great choice for households where pets mostly leave the plants alone, but may get too curious on rare occasions. Though they typically don’t get as large as they are tall, these little palms can grow to several feet in height. Putting them up on a high shelf isn’t a practical long-term solution for keeping pets away.
If orchids seem too high maintenance but you want a flowering, pet-friendly plant to bring color and cheer into your home, African violets are a great choice. These flowers like bright, indirect light, meaning you can keep them a few feet away from a window that gets direct sun. They also like their roots kept wet in slightly moist soil. In addition to being easy to care for, these little beauties come in an array of shapes, sizes and colors. Hobbyist African violet collectors regularly meet to sell rare cultivars. If you fall in love with your first violet, you can easily build up a unique collection that’s small enough to keep up high on a console table or bookcase.
A Final Note on Safe Plants for Cats and Dogs
While the plants above aren’t actively toxic for your furry family members, they aren’t exactly gentle either. Any non-food items your cats and dogs ingest can cause stomach upset and vomiting. That’s not necessarily life-threatening, but if your pets just can’t resist snacking on leaves or flowers, you may want to replace your living botanicals with realistic faux substitutes. They’ll always look great without posing any troubles for your furry friends.