Pet Safe Houseplants | #HouseplantWeekUK
We absolutely love brightening up our homes with beautiful houseplants, especially during #HouseplantWeekUK! But did you know that many of your favourite plants can be harmful and even toxic to cats and dogs? Many of our pets are naturally curious, and they may decide to nibble our indoor plants so it is important to make sure that any plants you have decorating your home are safe for curious cats and dogs! It is important to note that many plants go by multiple names, so be sure to thoroughly research what plants you already have or are intending to buy to make sure they are safe for your four-legged best friend. Before we take you through our favourite pet-safe plants we wanted to share a few popular plants that are definite no-no's for both cats and dogs.
Houseplants that are toxic cats and dogs;
- Lilies: Many different species of lily are toxic to dogs and cats. The Mauna Loa, also known as the Peace Lily, is toxic to dogs and cats while the Stargazer and Easter Lilies are toxic for cats only. In fact, the Stargazer and Easter Lily could be fatal to cats as they can suppress your cat's appetite and cause issues with their kidneys. As for the Peace Lily, your dog or cat could start vomiting and have a problem swallowing due to irritated lips and tongue if the plant is ingested.
- Asparagus Fern: Though most species of fern are safe for pets, the asparagus fern is harmful to both cats and dogs. Also known as Emerald Fern, Emerald Feather, Sprengeri Fern, Lace Fern and Plumosa Fern, the plant contains a toxin called Sapogenin and if the berries are ingested it can lead to diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and inflammation of the skin for your cat or dog.
- Pothos / Devil's Ivy: This popular house plant can be identified by its variegated leaves that are often heart-shaped in appearance. It is also known as Satin or Silk Pothos. This plant is toxic to both dogs and cats as it can irritate the mouth and tongue. In addition, your pet may also suffer from vomiting, increased salivation and swallowing difficulties. The plant is related to Philodendron which can cause similar symptoms for your pets.
Now that we know which plants are best avoided, here are some of our favourite pet-safe houseplants;
- Venus Fly Trap: Not only is this plant pet-friendly, it’s also super low-maintenance. Keep your Venus flytrap happy by placing it somewhere that gets a lot of direct sunlight and watering it regularly with distilled water so that it is kept damp. These fascinating plants are carnivorous, meaning they will 'eat' flies and other insects! But don't worry, it's totally safe for cats and dogs.
- Maidenhair Fern: Maidenhair Ferns are soft ferns with fan shaped, feather-like leaves. These plants love water so much that you practically cannot over-water them – add in a bit of bright light and you are set. They tend to do particularly well in well-lit bathrooms. These plants flourish in the right conditions and would make a wonderful addition to any pet loving home as Maidenhair Ferns, like many other ferns, are non-toxic to dogs and cats.
- Cat Grass: Wheat Grass, also known as pet grass or cat grass is an easy to care for house plant that is actually good for your pets! This dog and cat friendly non-toxic plant is quite nutrient dense - containing chlorophyll, fiber, Vitamin E, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and potassium plus some protein and carotenoids. Wheat grass can also help soothe pets with upset stomachs. It’s easy to grow and care for but does require some clipping, similar to a garden lawn.
- Prayer Plant: The Maranta Plant, also known as the Prayer Plant, is non-toxic to both dogs and cats. This incredible plant has a unique ability - its oval-shaped leaves raise to an upright position during the night and the leaves fold together as if in prayer, hence the name. Their velvety green leaves often have reddish or pinkish veins running through them too. These plants are easy to care for, do well in hanging baskets and make for a wonderful pet safe house plant.
- Tillandsia: More commonly known as air plants, they are the perfect plant for a home with pets. Air plants are non-toxic to pets, low maintenance, very decorative and small. Many varieties even flower! Since they do not require soil to grow, they can fit just about anywhere! Tillandsia are often displayed on shelfs, placed on top of driftwood, inside small urns, or in hanging glass bulbs – anywhere wandering paws cannot get to them!
We hope you've been inspired to liven up your home with some greenery! There are plenty of beautiful, pet-friendly plants out there, so you don't have to miss out on the houseplant trend to keep your pets safe. Just remember to always do your research and if in doubt speak with your vet. What is your favourite pet-safe houseplant? Let us know!
Images by @panamapaws