We get a lot of questions about which plants are safe to grow around your pets. Finally you can bring some green into your home without the worry!
We do want to preface this list by saying that any plant ingested in large quantities can cause severe problems. If you believe that your animal is ill or may have ingested a poisonous substance, contact either your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number: (888) 426-4435.
SPIDER PLANTScientific Name: Chlorophytum comosum
Available in green or variegated with green and white leaves. Develops small jasmine white flowers. It is easy to grow and propagate. Keep it in bright indirect light and avoid completely drying out. This plant is a natural air-cleaner, removing formaldehyde from the air in your home.
PARLOR PALMScientific Name: Chamaedorea elegans
Some common names are: Fish Tail Dwarf Palm, Good Luck Palm, and Bamboo Palm. Flourishes in low light and cramped growing spaces. Allow the soil to dry out a bit between waterings. This is another air-purifying plant.
GOLDFISH PLANTScientific Name: Hypocyrta nummularia
This plant does well in a hanging basket, needing 13 hours of bright indirect light (set back in a south window). It wants well-drained soil and likes to stay in its pot for as long as possible. Beautiful blooms of reds, oranges and yellows. This plant is not for the beginner.
SWEDISH IVYScientific Name: Plectranthus australis
This is a fast growing, well-known houseplant. Keep it trimmed for a rounded compact shape. The blooms are tiny clusters of white flowers. Healthiest in light shade or dappled light. It wants regular and even moisture.
AFRICAN VIOLETScientific Name: Saintpaulia spp.
Family: Gesneriaceae (Cape Marigold)
This plant blooms in many different colors and has some interesting leaf shapes and variegation. These plants like to stay warm but in a lower-light north by northeast location. Setting it well back from a south window is another possibility. African violets prefer room temperature water, kept off the leaves as it will cause spotting. If you can provide a humidity tray, your plant will love that. Arrange in small groupings for a showy display.
CALATHEAScientific Name: Calathea spp.
These are popular houseplants due to their decorative leaves, a fun tropical theme for your home. In some equatorial countries, the large and tough leaves are popular for holding small items. Sometimes they are used to wrap fish for transport, and most famous, are the decorative Calathea leaf rice containers produced in some villages of Thailand. This plant likes to be moist, warm, and have indirect sun.
LIPSTICK PLANTScientific Name: Aeschynanthus humilis
This is not a difficult plant to grow and with proper care you can be rewarded with continuous flowers. Water moderately and keep in bright light, not direct sun. Likes a warm location and does well in a hanging basket.
BOSTON FERNScientific Name: Nephrolepis exalta bostoniensis
Another easy plant to grow. Keep this one in a cool location with high humidity and indirect light. Keep the soil damp, if it dries out, soak the pot in a tub and let drain thoroughly.
FUN KID & FAIRY PLANT IDEAS
VENUS FLY TRAPScientific Name: Dionaea muscipula
A great terrarium plant, make sure it has good drainage. A layer of gravel in the bottom of the pot or planter will help with this. Needs high humidity and good air circulation. Medium light and distilled water or rain water, is preferable. Our tap water is too alkaline, this plant is quite susceptible to minerals in our water. You might try letting tap water stand overnight in your watering can. You can feed this plant flies as well as ants.
POLKA DOT PLANTScientific Names: Hypoestes Phyllostachya
Needs lots of bright light and moderate water. Comes with many different and vivid leaf colors. The white leaves can handle some shade. This is another plant with higher sun and water needs.
IDEAS FOR SUCCULENT LOVERS
CHRISTMAS CACTUSScientific Name: Schlumbergera bridgesii
Loves a south window and likes to be somewhat root bound, with minimal watering. Beautifully varied bloom colors in late fall and early spring.
BLUE ECHEVERIAScientific Name: Echeveria glauca
“Stone Crop” or “Blue Rose.” Bright indirect light, and only water when dry (keeping the water out of the center of the plant.) Large blue rosettes, with large sprays of orange – pink lantern like flowers.
BURRO’S TAILScientific Name: Sedum morganianum Family: Crassulaceae
Bright southern light or south-east light. They store plenty of water in their leaves so let the plant dry out completely in winter. Tails can be a wonderful two-feet long, so a ledge or a shelf position works well.
The ASPCA has a complete and comprehensive list of toxic and non-toxic houseplants, veggies, annuals, herbs and perennials. Click on this link to view the website.