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Safe Plants for Pets

January 11, 2022


can Thrive in Harmony

As pet owners, we know all too well that this struggle is real when it comes to plants. So many are poisonous to cats and dogs, and sometimes finding a pet-safe plant can feel as painstaking as getting an anxious pet in the car. 

Although it is helpful to know which houseplants are safe for cats and dogs, it is very important to be aware of the houseplants that are harmful to them.

Toxic Plants

Common houseplants like the Bird of Paradise, Sansevieria, and trailing Pothos plants can pose safety risks for pets. Toxic plants can cause digestive issues such as mouth irritation, vomiting, and even kidney or liver failure if consumed. Even common decorative botanicals like eucalyptus and lilies can threaten the livelihood of your new pet. 

For a complete list of toxic plants, visit the ASPCA for their comprehensive list of non-pet-friendly plants.

Snake Plant
Pet Safe Plants

Non Toxic Plants

Add some pet-friendly succulents, like Haworthia, Echeveria, or a group of air plants, to your countertop and you’re golden.

Make sure they get plenty of direct sunlight and light watering every two or so weeks. Make sure the soil is dry before you whip out the watering can.

Baby Tears (Soleirolia soleirolii) can be used as ground cover outdoors but also make for a fun and easy-to-care-for houseplant. Pot it, water when it wilts, and watch the little leaves drip out of the pot.

A Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus) is quirky indeed, with its leaves having zigzagged edges. Fun design and fine for Fido? This pet-safe houseplant has our approval. 

The Peperomia family includes lots of varieties, but we’re partial to the Watermelon Peperomia. They prefer to be kept out of direct sunlight and don’t need a ton of water to stay happy.

Though it won’t need too much hydration, you’ll want to water your peperomia when the top inch or two of the soil is dry to the touch. Keep it in temperatures of 65–80 degrees F.

The exciting foliage of the Calathea Lancifolia Rattlesnake Plant with its green, long wavy leaf blade with an alternating small and large dark green ellipsis or oval shape pattern and the purple underside makes the rattlesnake plant one of the most sought-after houseplant. 

The Right Light

Providing the right light conditions for your houseplant can be a touchy situation. Too much direct sunlight can cause foliage to burn; too little light can cause a plant to stretch, appear “leggy” or not produce blooms. Animals can develop slight irritations up to lethal reactions to ingesting houseplants. The following chart can help.

Low Light – enough light in a room to read comfortably, but has little or no direct sunlight. This is normally the interior of a room away from windows.

Medium Light – indirect light all day with maybe a couple hours of direct light in early morning or late afternoon. This light intensity is appreciated by most houseplants.

Bright Light – several hours of direct morning or later afternoon sunlight, but not direct mid-day sun. Flowering plants, herbs, succulents, and cacti like this type of light. It can be too much for some foliage plants.

Intense Light – four or more hours of direct sunlight, preferably mid-day.

MVG Houseplants & Pets Toxic Chart