Pet safe houseplants for your cats and dogs. If you have pets, this is an important point to consider before bringing home a new plant pet. Why?
Recently, my brother saw a story on his local news and called me. It was about a pet that had passed away from eating parts of a sago palm (Cycas revoluta).
The dog in the story ate the leaves and roots of the plant which was outside on the patio and passed away. Sago palms (Cycas revoluta) contain a toxin called cycasin that is deadly to pets.
These plants are often sold as bonsai and have become very popular in the last few years. They’re relatively easy to grow and the foliage is very architectural, but not a plant to have near pets.
Knowledge is key to pet friendly houseplants
I hope incidents such as this do not prevent pet owners from growing plants in their homes. Plants are good for your health and happiness. Pets are an important part of our lives and plants can live side by side with them. Knowledge about pet friendly houseplants will prevent tragedies.
Research the plant
If you find a plant you want, research it to make sure it is a pet safe houseplant. There are many plants that aren’t poisonous and can safely coexist with your pets. If you’re unsure about plants I haven’t mentioned here, check out the ASPCA site. They have lists of toxic and non-toxic plants.
Pet Safe HousePlants
A few popular, easily obtained pet safe houseplants include calathea,
African violet (Saintpaulia)
Boston fern (Nephrolepsis exaltata ‘Tiger’)
Ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)
Grape ivy (Cissus rhombifolia ‘Ellen Danica’)
Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Prayer plant (Maranta leuconeura ‘Lemon Lime’)
and rabbit’s foot fern (Davallia).
My experience with pet safe houseplants
I have all these plants in my home and I also have in the past had 3 cats at one time. Now I have mischievous Henry the kitty.
Cats love strappy, grass-like plants such as the ponytail palm and spider plants. They nibble on them and then proceed to throw up.
They have never had any adverse effects from nibbling them. I do try to keep them away from the plants, but in my house, there are plants everywhere.
I think they don’t pay attention to them because there are so many. I’ve heard that puppies are more rambunctious and eat everything and I can believe that after my daughter got her puppy, Frida.
Other safe plants include Echeveria,
areca palm, holiday cacti (Schlumbergera)
yucca, Swedish ivy (Plectranthus australis), and peperomia.
My kitty finds my air plants and bats them around like mice. Though they aren’t poisonous to him, they usually don’t survive his playfulness…..
As you can see there are pet safe houseplants to choose from that are safe for your cats and dogs. The key is to know the plant you are bringing into your home and research it to make sure it is safe.
If you aren’t sure what plant you have, ask someone at your local garden center or you will find my books helpful.
Have a great week, plant friends!
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