Pet Safe Plants (part 1)

Almost every day, someone will walk into the store and want to buy a plant but is concerned about the toxicity of the plant to their little furry friends. While it would seem that the majority of indoor plants are poisonous, there are some that are perfectly safe for both cats and dogs. Here is a partial list, because, everyone should have plants, right??

Schlumbergera or Christmas Cactus. Commonly found around Christmas, this native to Brazil grows atop other trees and cracks in sidewalks and can live from 15 to 20 years old. This plant will not harm your pets if they chew on it. And, although I looked, I couldn’t find any information as to whether there was any benefit to eating it. Apparently not. Its all looks, no substance!

Pilea including Chinese money plant, aluminum plant, watermelon pilea, Good News! This is a very big family of over 600 species native around the world. Pilea, belonging to the nettle family, (Urticaceae), are safe for kids and animals. In fact, some species of these plants are herbally good for you, but do more checking before you begin ingesting them! This showy plant is easy to grow especially in areas of the house that don’t receive full sun.

Boston Ferns and sword ferns are both beautiful and safe! They can be as small as 6” or as tall as 7 feet! Keeping them moist at all times ensures a beautiful plant that will grow well in the shadier spots of the home. After all, they come from the swampier areas of South America, Mexico, Central America, Florida, West Indies, Polynesia and Africa, so mist them!

Swedish Ivy from South Africa smells like roses when ever the stems are broken or chewed on. Your pets may be helping to keep your home smelling wonderful by taking a nip or two of this beautiful hanging plant.

Hoya sp. are all cat and dog friendly, and while I looked, I couldn’t find any recipes that called for Hoya Carnosa in it. I’m guessing that although its not toxic, it probably doesn’t taste all that great unless you are a mealy bug!

Maranta or Prayer Plants from Brazil are also non toxic and are famous for folding their colourful leaves up at night as if in prayer, then opening them again in morning. Certain species of this plant are actually used to treat diarrhoea. Hmmm, enough said on that topic.

African Violets are native to, guess where? Africa! They have no value food wise, but at least are non toxic to your pets and kids. Furry leaves mean never water the leaves. Water this plant from the bottom up.

Spider Plants or Chlorophytum are probably the most well known house plant there is. Did you know that it is a common vegetable in Africa? Another interesting fact you may not have known is that the white striping that runs through the leaf is actually caused by a virus and was so appealing that it gained popularity and its almost rare to find just a plain green spider plant anymore.

Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea), native to Mexico, isn’t really a palm tree at all but is actually a succulent. Animals seem to love gnawing on the long sharp leaves of this gorgeous plant. Truth be said, the pets cause far more harm to the plant than the plant to the pet.

Haworthia is from Africa and is used in traditional spiritual healing medicines to protect you from evil intentions of others believed to be witch craft attacks. Non toxic, and great for protecting your pets from evil spirit dogs.