Pet-Friendly Plants

african violet and moss in planter birds-eye view

Kritsada Panichgul

1African Violet

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

hanging air plants in front of window

Peter Krumhardt

2Air Plant

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

pilea cadierei aluminum plant

Denny Schrock

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

detail of pink christmas cactus bloom

Kritsada Panichgul

4Christmas Cactus

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

adiantum raddianum maidenhair fern in terrarium

Jay Wilde

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

moon valley friendship plant in pot

Michael Partenio

6Friendship Plant

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

Herbs in terra cotta pots with signs

Adam Albright

7Some Herbs

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

hanging lace flower episcia dianthiflora

Marty Baldwin

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

lipstick plant

Dean Schoeppner

9Lipstick Plant

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

Victorian Parlor Palm

Jason Donnelly

10Parlor Palm

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

Moth Orchid

Peter Krumhardt

11Moth Orchid

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

hypoestes phyllostachya polka dot plant in planter

Jason Donnelly

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

concinna prayer plant

Denny Schrock

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

spider plant on table

Robert Cardillo

14Spider Plant

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

succulents on table

Kritsada Panichgul

15Some Succulents

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.

Buy It: Echeveria Agavoides, $26.00, The Sill

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Easy To Take Care Of Plants For Your Home

Chinese Evergreen

“Buy something that likes to live the way you do,” advises Gwenn Fried, manager of the Horticulture Therapy program at NYU Langone. “If you’re more of a waterer, an excellent plant is a Chinese evergreen.” It’s super forgiving if you overdo it on H2O, and it comes in tons of different varieties. 
Asparagus Fern
This fluffy plant tolerates a lot more abuse than other ferns — thanks to the fact that it’s technically not a fern. Asparagus setaceus adapts to both bright spots and darker corners. Keep the soil moist and it’ll thrive.
Fiddle Leaf Fig
These trendy trees have more than just lush foliage going for them. Their hardy disposition can adapt to most bright locations (minus direct sunlight). Water generously in the summer and slow it down when winter comes.  
Guiana Chestnut
More commonly known as a money tree, Pachira Aquatica frequently features a braided trunk. You’ll want to stick it in a spot with bright, indirect light and water frequently — its native habitat is a swamp.
Chinese Money Plant
Here’s another plant with fortuitous associations, although it also goes by the adorable nickname “Pancake Plant.” Pilea peperomioides prefers a shady spot (or winter windowsill) and weekly watering, according to The Little Book of House Plants and Other Greenery. Bonus: You can replant the offshoots that sprout from the base of the stem and keep money plants all over your house. 
Yucca
The recipe for a happy yucca is easy: sun, sun, and more sun. Water sparingly and plant in a deep container to prevent the top-heavy woody stems from toppling over.
African Violets
-good housekeeping of the most popular houseplants in the world, this flowering favorite blooms several times per year. Keep it thriving in bright but indirect light with moist soil. Good drainage and an African violet fertilizer administered every other week can help too.
Peperomia
These waxy plants do best in more humid conditions than trendy succulents. Bring ’em work too — the species even flourishes under fluorescent lights.

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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

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Air Cleaning Plants

11 Air-Cleaning Plants:Areca Palm

This plant is very useful in the air purification process. Areca palm helps to remove toluene and xylene from the air inside and it can also help to increase the overall air purification. It’s very useful and beneficial for people who have asthma and need effective air purification.

Money Plant

This plant is also very useful in increasing the overall air quality and the air purification process. The money plant helps to reduce the toxins: benzene, formaldehyde, toluene and xylene from the air. This amazing air-purifying plant is great for people who have asthma, for people who have other lung problems and for people who are exposed to high city smog living conditions.

Spider Plant

This remarkable plant promotes high air purification. Spider plant is suitable for decreasing the levels of formaldehyde, toluene, and xylene in the air. This plant is also very useful and great for placing in homes that have been painted recently. We can also mention that this plant is suitable for apartments or homes, which are exposed to city chemical air pollutants

Purple Waffle Plant

Do you have this plant in your home? Well, if your answer is no, then you definitely should. This remarkable plant will help you to eliminate the toxic compound – formaldehyde from the air. We can also mention that this plant will help you to increase overall air purification and it’s very useful and effective for increasing the quality of the air within any house or apartment. This plant is very good for people who live in the city, and they are exposed to high amounts of toxic smog and car fumes. People who live near the industrial factories should definitely get one of these.

Bamboo Palm

This plant is very effective in removing the formaldehyde toxic compound from the air indoors and it’s also very useful for acting as a natural humidifier – for most areas inside the house. This amazing plant can help you remove xylene and toluene – two toxic compounds from the air inside. It’s also great for people who live in high polluted areas and where car fume exposure is at high levels. Bamboo palm is suitable for homes and shops, which may be exposed to gasoline

Variegated Wax Plant

Variegated wax plant will help you to improve the overall air quality in your home, by removing and eliminating benzene and formaldehyde from the air inside. You should also know that this plant will increase the overall air purification levels. The variegated wax plant can help people who suffer from lung diseases, such as: emphysema or asthma. This amazing plant is also very useful and beneficial for people who are exposed to car fumes, petrol, paint fumes, industrial or city smog, or heavy cleaning products.

Lilyturf

Have you ever heard of lilyturf? Well, if you haven’t, then you should definitely read this – this amazing plant will help you to remove ammonia, toluene, xylene and formaldehyde from the air inside your house or apartment. This remarkable plant is capable of increasing the oxygen levels and it can help to improve the air quality. We can also mention that the lilyturf plant is also great for people who are exposed to cleaning products, paint fumes, city or industrial smog, or vehicle fumes. The lilyturf plant can help you clean the air for people who suffer from lung diseases, including asthma and emphysema.

Boston Fern

You should definitely get one of this plants in your home, because it will help you remove the formaldehyde from the air. You should also know that this plant also works well as a natural type of air humidifier. This plant is very good in removing xylene and toluene from the air as well. Some people say that this plant is one of the best air-purifiers in the world. This remarkable plant is perfect for people who live in areas where exposure to gasoline exists. Boston fern is the best plant for homes that are exposed to city smog. And we can also mention that this plant is very useful for purifying the air for people who have asthma or other breathing problems.

Dwarf Date Palm

This plant is absolutely amazing. It will help you reduce the toxins: xylene, toluene and formaldehyde from the air inside your house or apartment. You should also know that this plant will increase the oxygen levels in your home and it’s very useful in improving the air quality in highly exposed areas. The dwarf date palm is great for placing in homes that may be exposed to paint fumes, factory smog, car fumes, or heavy cleaning solvents. This amazing air-purifying plant is very useful for improving the air quality for asthmatics and people who have other lung problems.

Moth Orchids

This plant is your best choice if you want to purify the air inside your house. We can also say that this plant is also very effective in removing xylene and toluene. The moth orchids plant can increase the air quality in your home significantly. It’s suitable for homes and apartments that are exposed to factory or city smoke, smoke or fumes. You should also know that this plant is very useful and beneficial for purifying the air in homes, which are freshly painted or where paint fumes exist.

Barberton Daisy

Barberton daisy – it works great in removing benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from your home. This amazing plant is the best plant if you want to increase the oxygen levels in your house or your apartment. It will help you purify the air as well. This remarkable plans it very useful and beneficial for homes that are exposed to fuel fumes, car fumes, factory or city smog, smoke, etc. This plant is also very useful for people who are exposed to heavy cleaning solvents.

As you can see, these amazing plants will purify the air in your home, increase oxygen levels and remove all the toxic compounds from the air inside your house or apartment. And they are completely safe for you, your family and your pert. So, you should definitely get one of these plants. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to share with your friends and family.

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DYK~ Plants That Keep Bugs Away


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Plants~Don’t Plant In Garden

It may seem strange to cultivate a list of flowers you should avoid planting in your garden, however it is vital to be aware of some eye-catching beauties that are more trouble than they’re worth. These plants are either toxic, invasive or could potentially cause damage to your other healthy flowers. It is best to avoid growing these 9 plants in your garden, no matter how enticing they may be.

Bamboo

Though the thought of a living privacy fence between you and your neighbor and the feel of a tropical paradise in your backyard may be appealing, bamboo can often become an unexpected source of frustration when it begins to take over. Once established, this plant roots very deeply and grows incredibly quickly, meaning that when you’ve committed to bamboo, there’s no escaping it.

If you still want to enjoy this hardy (and lovely) plant, it is a good idea to grow it in large raised planters that can prevent spread.

Tansy

Another invasive species that quickly becomes the only plant in your garden by overtaking the rest of your flowers, tansy is also toxic when ingested. Avoid this plant if you have pets or small children that could find their way into the garden.

Mimosa tree

Though these trees add an exciting exotic flair to your garden, with their delicate leaves and captivating blooms, mimosas won’t exactly win you any favor in the neighborhood popularity contest. When the wind picks up, this tree spreads seedlings wide and far, where they take root in the most inconvenient locations and are almost impossible to eradicate completely.

Mint

Okay, so saying that you should NEVER plant mint in your garden may be a little extreme. When contained properly, mint is an amazing herb with hundreds of uses. However, it is one of the most invasive herb plants and can quickly become nothing more than a fragrant weed that you have to cut back or pull out each year. If you still want to grow mint, dedicate an entire garden area to various varieties or grow it in a container. You could even dig a hole in the ground large enough for the entire pot of mint and contain the roots that way.

English Ivy

Though you may be dreaming of an idyllic ivy-covered wall, this plant is far more trouble than it’s worth. It tends to work its way into any crack available, forcing apart fences, bricks, and even the foundation of your home. There’s a reason that you see many dilapidated houses with a thick layer of ivy; it needs little care and it incredibly difficult to keep under control.

Wisteria

Unless you plan to dedicate hours to pruning your wisteria every couple of months, it is best to avoid this fairy-like purple plant. The roots spread throughout your entire garden, causing shoots to pop up and destroy your other plants. Even if you are an expert pruner and keep your wisteria on a tight leash, you are still likely to miss a runner and will quickly begin to regret the day you planted this invasive species.

Deadly nightshade

Deadly nightshade (or belladonna) carries that name for a reason. Every single part of this plant is incredibly poisonous. In fact, just two berries could kill a small child. Belladonna should have no place in your garden due to its extreme toxicity. Place this plant on the “no exceptions” list.

Female Ginko Bilboa trees

Unlike the male version of these trees, the female ginko produces nasty, unuseable fruit that leaves a mess on the ground and has been noted to smell like vomit. Doesn’t exactly sound like something you want near your front door, does it?

The male plant can make a wonderful addition to your yard, but it is is a good idea to avoid the female, unless of course, you want to deter unsolicited visitors with its toxic fruit.

Water hyacinth

Often a popular choice for backyard ponds or other water features due to its water purification abilities, the water hyacinth may seem sweet at first but will quickly take over any other water plants. Instead of a pond or pretty fountain, you may simply have a bed of purple flowers that can often be a hassle to get rid of. Opt for less invasive water plants such as waterlilies.


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