There are signs you can look out for to know if your plant is dormant. You should see little to no new growth, any flowers will have dropped, and some leaves will die. Don’t worry about leaves falling; your plant is conserving energy and letting unhealthy foliage go. The most important rules to follow with a dormant plant are not to fertilize them and to water less. Here’s how to keep them hydrated without overdoing it.Natalie Francisco
Did You Know? Pet Harmful Plants
Fight Mosquitos With These Plants In Your Garden
Planting certain types of pest-controlling herbs and flowers is a tried and true solution for the eternal question of how to keep mosquitoes away. As a bonus, plants that smell terrible to mosquitoes smell great to humans, so your patio will be enhanced by both a lack of mosquitoes and the sweet scent of flowers. These are the best mosquito-repelling plants for a swat-free summer (and spring and fall too).https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/shopping/10-mosquito-repelling-plants-you-need-in-your-backyard-asap/ss-AALhV6D?ocid=msnews#:~:text=Amy%20Boyington%2C%20Chlo%C3%AB%20Nannestad
Did You Know?
Warm Weather Plants
Want houseplants that are pet-friendly that also produce gorgeous blooms? Look no further than African violet. It comes in a range of purple and pink hues, is low maintenance, and thrives without bright light. Keep the soil moderately moist, and water African violets by letting them soak up water through the pot’s drainage hole to avoid damaging the leaves and petals. This flowering houseplant can brighten up even the smallest spaces because it stays less than 12 inches tall.
Buy It: ‘Paris’ African Violet, $12.00, Selective Gardener
Tillandsia varieties make excellent pet-friendly, low-maintenance houseplants because they don’t need any soil to grow. Most air plants will stay smaller than 12 inches, and they thrive in bright, indirect light with a quick soak in water about once a week. However, cats and dogs alike will find their spindly, grass-like leaves tempting to chew on so make sure you keep them out of reach.
Buy It: Air Plant in Rex Planter, $55.00, Urbanstems
3Aluminum Plant or Watermelon Plant
The variegated gray-and-green leaves of aluminum plant (part of the genus Pilea) make it an attractive, pet-safe houseplant. It stays shorter than 12 inches, grows well in medium to low light, and only needs water when the top inch of soil is dry. Since it tolerates low light, you can grow it almost anywhere that’s out of reach of your furry friends.
Buy It: Aluminum Plant, $4.99, Josh’s Frogs
Unlike its dangerous holiday counterpart amaryllis, Christmas cacti are non-toxic plants to have around curious cats and dogs. You still shouldn’t let your pets chew on it (Christmas cacti can cause intestinal discomfort if eaten) but overall it’s a safer choice than many other festive plants. Christmas cacti can easily be confused with Thanksgiving cacti, but both are safe for pets and have similar care requirements. Both cacti stay relatively short (under 12 inches), but can spread up to two feet, and grow best with regular waterings and bright, indirect light.
Buy It: Christmas Cactus, $58.00, The Sill
5Some Varieties of Ferns
Identifying ferns can be a bit tricky, as there are several plants with the word “fern” in their name that are not actually part of the fern family. True ferns such as Boston and maidenhair are fair game as indoor plants safe for pets. Just beware of toxic misnomers like asparagus fern, which is actually part of the lily family. Though their size can vary, most ferns have similar needs: They like indirect light, evenly moist soil, and high humidity.
Buy It: Bird’s Nest Fern, $35.00, Bloomscape
The friendship plant (which is closely related to aluminum plant) is named for the ease with which it can be divided and shared. If you get one as a gift, rest assured it’s safe for your cats and dogs, even if they take a bite out of this plant’s fuzzy, crinkly leaves. Friendship plant tolerates medium and low light, loves humidity (it grows well in terrariums), and usually doesn’t grow taller than 12 inches.
Buy It: Friendship Plant ‘Moon Valley,’ $4.99, Hirt’s Gardens
Indoor herb gardens are an easy way to add fresh flavor to your home cooked meals. But not all herbs are created equal when it comes to pet safety. Standards like lavender and oregano are off-limits, but basil, sage, and thyme are all houseplants that are pet-friendly. Place herbs in a sunny window that gets at least four or five hours of direct sunlight every day, and water when the top inch of soil is dry.
Buy It: Aromatic Herbs Collection, $65.00, Bloomscape
8Lace Flower Vine or Chocolate Soldier
Pretty lace flower vine is an easy, pet-friendly houseplant that grows best in hanging baskets, well out of reach of your cat or dog. But should an extra-persistent pet make their way into the pot, no harm will be done. Hang this pretty plant in a spot with bright, indirect light, and water whenever the soil starts to feel dry, and its trailing stems will grow to about three feet long.
Buy It: Lace Flower, $8.00, Etsy
This quirky plant has blooms that look like tubes of lipstick, and is safe for cats and dogs alike (other members of the Peperomia family are, too). A native of the tropics, lipstick plant thrives in bright light and loves being outside in the warmer months. It can grow up to 20 inches tall and likes to have consistently moist soil, so don’t forget to water!
Buy It: Lipstick Plant, $4.99, Josh’s Frogs
Pet owners looking to add a small tree indoors may want to pick up a parlor palm. This pet-friendly, low-maintenance houseplant is also a good starting point for beginners. It grows best in bright, indirect light, but also tolerates low light. Water when the top inch of soil is dry, and your parlor palm could reach up to eight feet (though four feet is more common).
Buy It: Parlor Palm, $65.00, Bloomscape
The common moth orchid (the one you’re most likely to see in the floral shop) isn’t harmful to pets. But one thing to watch for: Dogs and cats who love to chew may get into trouble in the potting mix, which often is made up of bark chips. The chips aren’t toxic but may cause tummy troubles if swallowed. Usually between one and three feet tall, this pet-friendly houseplant can tolerate low, medium, or bright light, and generally needs water once a week, or every other week.
Buy It: Petite Purple Moth Orchid, $75.00, The Sill
12Polka Dot Plant
Use polka dot plant to add a splash of pattern and color to miniature gardens, terrariums, mixed containers, and more. You can find this pet-friendly plant in colors like pink or white, and though it can grow up to three feet tall, it usually stays on the small side (under 12 inches) in containers. Place it in a spot that gets bright, indirect light and keep the soil consistently moist.
Buy It: Four Polka Dot Plants, $29.74, The Home Depot
13Prayer Plant or Calathea
Topping out at six to eight inches, prayer plant is ideal for small spaces like bookshelves and end tables. Its red, cream, and green leaves curl up at night, giving it its name. What’s more, it’s one of the easiest houseplants you can grow that’s also safe for pets. It grows best in medium or low light, and you can let soil dry out a bit between waterings.
Buy It: Calathea Medallion, $65.00, Bloomscape
This pet-friendly houseplant is one of the easiest you can grow. It’s also super simple to grow more spider plants from the babies that the mother plant produces. Spider plant grows best in bright, indirect light, but it can tolerate low light, too. Let the soil dry between waterings, and your plant can grow up to 12 inches tall and 24 inches wide, and produce multiple baby plants.
Buy It: Spider Plant, $35.00, Bloomscape
Many of the most popular succulents, including hens and chicks and echeverias, aren’t problematic, but with so many varieties on the market, it’s best to research each individual plant. Jade, for example, while similar to other succulents, is actually dangerous to pets. Most succulents stay just a few inches tall when grown indoors. They will do best in bright light, and only need watering every couple of weeks.
Easy To Take Care Of Plants For Your Home
Breathe Easier With These Plants
Luckily, the path to cleaner indoor air is easier than you might think. Here are six indoor plants that will cure your asthma, bronchitis and more… simply by cleaning your air.
1. Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
In addition to providing a sensuous, sculptural flair to any living area of bedroom, snake plants are one of the most powerful ways to remove airborne pollutants from your home. In a 2014 study that compared the air-purifying abilities of 12 different indoor plants, snake plants turned out to be the most effective for removing the volatile organic compound (VOC) toulene.
And because toulene is a leading cause of asthma, a little less toulene in your air, thanks to snake plant, is definitely a good thing.
2. Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
And while we’re on the topic of animal-themed plants, that same 2014 study showed that spider plant, another easy-to-grow indoor shrub, was the most efficient out of the 12 for ethylbenzene removal. Ethylbenzene is another toxic VOC which has been strongly linked to various forms of cancer, so there’s really no question as to whether you should invest a few dollars in a spider plant or two.
3. Spade-leaf philodendron (Philodendron domesticum)
Spade-leaf philodendron was arguably one of the first indoor plants to be studied for its role in combating air pollution. In a series of studies conducted by NASA, spade-leaf philodendron was shown to efficiently remove large airborne concentrations of formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide from indoor air… all of which can cause anything from cell mutations to sudden death.
Incidentally, philodendron is one of the easiest plants to grow. I have it growing all over my house, and it’s less about keeping it alive than from taking over the entire living room!
4. Aloe vera
Another common household plant that’s dynamite in ridding your home of toxic airborne pollutants is aloe vera. In addition to it’s wonderful uses as a home remedy, aloe vera has also been shown to filter pollutants like formaldehyde and benzene from indoor air.
5. Peace lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii)
Few would disagree that peace lily is one of the most calming, pleasant indoor plants to have around the house. But in addition to it’s a soothing aura and pleasant aesthetic, peace lily (a genus that includes around 40 different species) has also been scientifically proven to remove benzene, toleune, and n-hexane from indoor air. N-hexane is often found in lacquers and wood finishes and has been linked to sensory loss and general health issues.
6. English ivy
In a 2011 study that compared the formaldehyde-purifying capacity of four common indoor plants, English ivy emerged as the clear winner. As a well-known carcinogen and cause of conditions like chronic bronchitis, it’s surprising just how prevalent formaldehyde is in the average home — it can be found in household cleaners, particle board, furniture polish, glues, certain fabrics, plywood and more. So, setting up a few pots with English ivy around the home to combat this health hazard is definitely a good idea!
— Liivi Hess