Pet Friendly Plants for Cats & Dogs Green(ish) Varieties Edition

Pet Friendly Plants

There are many lists on the internet claiming that certain plants are safe for cats and dogs that are simply incorrect. A quick search on the ASPCA website reveals this unfortunate trend in seconds and can also be useful if you’re questioning a potential selection of your own. If on the other hand you’ve got nothing in mind, but are interested in acquiring some new greenery, this list of lovely foliage may help you to find the perfect pet-friendly plant for your home.

Keep in Mind: While the plants listed here should be safer for your dog or cat to be around, it’s still not advisable to allow your pets to munch on any of them as it could lead to trouble (upset stomach, vomiting, etc). It’s always a good idea to monitor how your pets interact with any plant and if you notice any bothersome tendencies to perhaps rethink your plant-placement. Small cages, like those for birds, (which can also be highly decorative!) are one attractive way to prevent pets from unwanted munching. Another option might be to choose a location which will be difficult or impossible for your pets to access. Considering alternatives like these can help if your four-legged housemate gets a little too curious about your greenery and may prevent the upset tummies that tend to follow the gobbling of unauthorized flora.

The following species are deemed safer for cats and dogs according to numerous sources including the ASPCA. This simply means that the plants are listed as non-toxic to cats and dogs but this does not guarantee that your pet will not have a negative reaction to the plant, especially if accidentally ingested. If you suspect that your pet has consumed anything potentially harmful please immediately contact your veterinarian, or emergency services, for assistance.

Areca Palm  (Dypsis lutescens)

Areca Palm
(Dypsis lutescens)

While these plants do well in average temps they do want a lot of light, high humidity, and have problems with mineral deficiencies, all of which can make placement and care a difficult problem. If your home or garden meets these needs and you’re up to some careful plant tending you may enjoy the large growth potential and top air purification properties that this plant has to offer, not to mention the fact that a healthy palm is really quite stunning.

Blue Echeveria  (Echeveria glauca)

Blue Echeveria
(Echeveria glauca)

Alright so the name gives away that it’s more of a blue-green succulent than a true green plant, but the muted coloring isn’t as bright as the typical florals which can be a nice alternative and they’re pretty easy to care for. Blue Echeveria like lots of light and mid-range watering which, like many plants, should be kept to the soil and not directly on the plant.

Boston Fern  (Nephrolepis exalta bostoniensis)

Boston Fern
(Nephrolepis exalta bostoniensis)

A beautiful classic, these ferns look fantastic on display and require little care in the right setting. As you might’ve guessed they want indirect light and enjoy humid temperatures, which can be helped in non-humid zones with a simple pebble water tray.

California Pitcher (Cobra) Plant  (Darlingtonia californica)

California Pitcher (Cobra) Plant
(Darlingtonia californica)
Did you ever want to have a snake but were too scared of being bitten? Well you might want to try out this Cobra Plant instead! They love humidity, are fairly tolerant of warm or cold climates (though they prefer the hot day/cold night for ideal settings), and will lend a hand in devouring some of those pesky bugs as much like their namesakes, they’re carnivorous!  You may want to keep in mind that the nectar produced by these plants is used to lure insects and it can be pretty effective! Consider placement carefully to avoid being too close to what may turn out to be a highly populated bug zone.

Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)

Cast Iron Plant
(Aspidistra elatior)

These hardy additions are true to their name. Apart from a dislike of overwatering they’re not too demanding and can tolerate most conditions though they don’t care for full sun. The Cast Iron flourishes beautifully inside as well as outdoors and makes for an easy, pet friendly addition to any home.

Parlor Palm  (Chamaedorea elegans)

Parlor Palm
(Chamaedorea elegans)

For those looking for an easy-going nice bit of household greenery – look no further! These lovely plants enjoy moderate humidity, filtered sunlight, and medium soil conditions (as usual, don’t overwater). They aren’t particularly finicky as long as they’re kept away from drafts and can reward you with an impressive 91-121cm (3-4 foot) height upon reaching their maturity.

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Prayer Plant
(Calathea insignis)

Best maintained in more humid conditions, this attractive species enjoys moderate temperatures and lots of bright, indirect sunlight. Warm water mists are recommended in cooler months to keep the humidity level just right. A healthy plant will flower periodically though the unique, intricate patterns on the leaves which are highly decorative all on their own.

Swedish Ivy  (Plectranthus australis)

Swedish Ivy
(Plectranthus australis)

Otherwise known as Creeping Charlie, these crawlers are great plants either inside or outdoors (only in warmer zones). They’re easy to care for requiring bright, indirect light and low-medium hydration. For indoors a hanging basket is probably preferable and you’ll find that the average human preferred temperatures suit the species just fine. On a side note- the plant isn’t Swedish, nor is it actually ivy, but you’ll probably find it listed that way quite often when searching.

Wax Plant  (Hoya carnosa 'krinkle kurl')

Wax Plant
(Hoya carnosa ‘krinkle kurl’)

Despite the fact that these plants can produce beautiful, colorful blooms, we’re listing it here as a green because getting them to bloom is commonly thought of as somewhat difficult. On the other hand, maintaining a healthy Wax Plant (without the blooms) is considered by many to be very effortless. Moderate temperatures are preferable for the Hoya and it can tolerate a fair amount of heat, but not cold. Watering conditions are moderate and you should be careful not flood the plant – just like pretty much any other type of flora. Ideally the trailing stems can be trained up trellises or allowed to dangle from a hanging planter.

Zebra Haworthia  (Haworthia fasciata)

Zebra Haworthia
(Haworthia fasciata)

Another adorable plant that appreciates bright, but indirect sunlight, this striped succulent is fairly easy to care for with one of the only real dangers being overwatering. They tend to stay relatively small and appreciate low humidity and fairly midrange temperatures. Damage can occur if the temperature gets too cold making this interesting little plant better suited to warmer climates if planted outside.

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Spider Plant
(Chlorophytum comosum)

The best word for this species is durable because they’re anything but fussy. Indirect, bright light makes them easy to place inside and apart from overwatering they’re not too picky about hydration either. In addition to being relatively hassle free they are also excellent air purifiers and add a pleasing aesthetic to just about any environment.

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