Pet-friendly plants

Mar 10, 2023 ByClaire Miles

If you are a pet owner, keeping your furry friends healthy and safe is likely at the top of your list. But when it comes to plants in the home or garden, that may seem difficult; after all, many common houseplants are toxic to animals if ingested. Fortunately, plenty of pet-friendly options are available for everyone looking for a way to enjoy their greenery without sacrificing their beloved animal companions’ health. Here are a few pet-friendly plants you can have. African Violet (Saintpaulia`) is one of the most popular flowering safe houseplants for pets. They are also in high demand because they bloom in low light and thrive in the environmental conditions people love: moderate temperature and moderate humidity. Choose a soil-free potting mix and use a well-balanced fertilizer for the best health of your African violets. When young, these flowers thrive at 73-77 degrees Fahrenheit, but temperatures can be as low as 68 degrees for mature plants.

Fishbone cactus plants are true jewels in a pet-friendly home. Native to the rainforests of Mexico, it grows on tall trees with characteristic flat, pointed-edged leaves that begin to grow vertically and eventually droop down. It is also very easy to care for due to its laid-back attitude towards watering. The shade-loving fishbone cactus prefers only a few hours of indirect sunlight daily. Place it on a hanging planter or natural hanging shelf 50 cm to 1 m from a window. To prevent root rot, plant in pots in well-drained soil and water after the compost is completely dry.

Woman sitting on the armchair holding cute ginger cat, Female hugging her cute long hair kitty, Playing with cat at green home, Concept of home garden, Biophilia design.

Getty Images/Moment/Kseniya Ovchinnikova

Another succulent plant that is pet-friendly and pleasing to the eye, although you may not immediately recognize it, is the ponytail palm. This sculptural beauty stores water in its bulbous stems, making it ideal for those who are less organized or away from home. Thin, hair-like green leaves sprout from the top of the stem like a fountain and add movement and softness to the sculptural silhouette. Luckily, these low-maintenance, virtually indestructible houseplants are back in vogue. Native to Mexico need a bright, dry location away from direct sunlight and well-draining compost. Never leave them in water as they will rot quickly; instead, water them every three to four weeks when the top layer of compost dries out a few centimeters.