We often praise house plants for their benefits: they’re beautiful, they brighten up even the most dreary of spaces, and they’re great air purifiers. Unfortunately, not all house plants are pet-friendly, which means that if you’re in the market for a new house plant, it’s crucial to make sure you’re buying a non-toxic variety that won’t harm your furry friend.
Non-Toxic, Pet-Friendly House Plants
Whether you pride yourself on your green thumb or have never cared for a plant in your life, there are plenty of gorgeous options to choose from. Here are six of my favorite house plants that are non-toxic to your pets.
If you’re in the market for a succulent that resembles aloe—which is toxic both to pets and to children, unfortunately—consider buying a Haworthia plant, also known as the zebra plant. Small and low growing, the succulents do best under bright light, and you should avoid over-watering them by letting them dry almost completely out between waterings for best results.
2. Areca Palm
You’ve probably seen an areca palm—also known as the yellow palm, the golden cane palm, and the butterfly palm—while browsing lush and bright living room interiors on Pinterest; the feathery plants with arching fronds are bold, bright, and make a statement. You’ll want to choose a relatively large container for them in which to grow, and make sure it gets filtered light.
3. Spider Plants
If you’re new to being a plant parent, consider the spider plant. Durable and adaptable, spider plants—which are also known as airplane plants, spider ivy, ribbon plants, and St. Bernard’s lily—need to be watered only once every 10 to 14 days, and while they prefer to bath in bright sunlight, they’ll still be fine in lower light conditions.
4. Purple Waffle (Red Ivy)
Colorful and low growing, purple waffle plants—also known as red ivy—can grow under both medium and bright lights, although they may lose some of their vibrancy in lower-light settings. As long as you keep its soil constantly moist, it should do just fine, and its variegated coloring and pretty purple hue make for attractive, purifying additions to any home.
5. Baby’s Tears
What’s in a name? That which we call Baby’s Tears—or “mind-you-own-business”, one of its other monikers. No matter what you call it, this plant has tiny, oval leaves that cascade down its stems like miniature green waterfalls, and even better—they won’t harm your pets. Baby’s tears require a high level of humidity, so they do best when kept in a terrarium.
6. Boston Fern
While many ferns are actually highly toxic to pets, the Boston fern—also known as the sword fern—is one of the few species that won’t harm your animal friends. Boston ferns do best in cool settings with high humidity and indirect light, so it’s a good idea to mist your fern once or twice a week to ensure it’s getting enough moisture during dry months. Additionally, be sure to always keep its soil damp—dry soil will kill your fern.
To get a full list of toxic and non-toxic house plants, visit the Animal Poison Control Center’s plant database.