A house plant-filled apartment is a beautiful thing. But if you’re a cat or dog parent, you need to know what kind of plant you’re buying before you bring it home. Many common house plants are toxic to pets and can cause issues like vomiting, diarrhea or worse if ingested. Don’t panic, though — our updated list of pet-friendly house plants is here to help. Let this be your plant shopping-guide the next time you’re in the market for a new house plant.
While some ferns can be dangerous to animals, the Boston fern is a safe choice for fur-parents. Boston ferns thrive in humid environments, and they prefer indirect light. To ensure that your space is humid enough for your fern to thrive, you can purchase a small humidifier. We also recommend spraying your fern with water about twice a week.
The African violet is an ideal choice if your heart’s set on a houseplant that blooms. The gorgeous plant comes in a variety of bold, purple hues. It’s a low-maintenance pick that doesn’t require much light to grow and thrive, so it tends to do well in tiny apartments.
Christmas cacti are technically succulents. They require a bit more care than some other house plants, but the blooms are well worth the extra effort. If you want your Christmas cactus to bloom in December, you’ll have to keep it in the dark for at least a few weeks beforehand.
Spider plants are a popular choice for beginner indoor gardeners not only because they’re safe for cats and dogs, but also because of their intriguing “spidery” appearance. They are also one of the easiest plants to care for. Spider plants do well indoors and can withstand most conditions, though they will thrive in bright light. Another bonus: They aren’t prone to any serious issues other than brown tips.
If you have a roomier apartment, consider an areca palm. These plants are more small trees and can grow up to seven feet in height, so you’ll need to have high ceilings in your space to make it work. They are relatively low-maintenance and prefer dry soil, so you’ll only need to water them about once a week.
Venus flytraps aren’t pest-friendly, but they are pet-friendly house plants. These little carnivorous plants do need to eat live bugs to stay healthy, but they can go a few months without bug food, so you’ll only need to do it once in a while. They’ll thrive under direct light but can do all right in the shade. Just be careful not to set them in front of a window during the summertime, as too much direct sunlight will dry them out.
Polka Dot Plant
The polka dot plant is almost as cute as its name. Famous for its vibrant pink or red colors (though it comes in white, too), it stands out when paired with duller house plant varieties. Polka dot plants need bright light and prefer to be planted in fast-draining potting soil. One downside to these plants is that they have a relatively short lifespan and often die after flowering. We think it’s worth it to enjoy their short-lived glory, though. This guide from Parade will come in handy if you’re considering a polka dot plant.
Last on our list of pet-friendly house plants is the orchid. These gorgeous blooms aren’t the easiest to care for, but their striking appearance makes is worth the effort. Be careful not to overwater your orchid, and pay attention to its daily needs to determine how much water to give it. Check out this Better Homes & Gardens article for more orchid advice.