15 Non-Toxic Plants for Dogs and Cats for Greenery Without Worry

Keep your furry friends safe by choosing one of these non-toxic houseplants to add color and texture to your decor.

While houseplants can add lushness and color to a room, many species can be toxic to pets that may decide to munch on a leaf or two. Luckily, several non-toxic plants for dogs and cats can add beauty to your home without posing a threat to Fido. These 15 species are technically safe for cats and dogs, but it's still best to eliminate temptation and place all houseplants out of reach.

If your pet ever does nibble on a plant, even one unlikely to cause health issues, watch closely for any signs of an adverse reaction. Just because a plant isn't toxic doesn't mean it won't cause a tummy ache if your pet decides to snack on it.

If you have concerns about your pet, contact the ASPCA Pet Poison Control Hotline.

01 of 15

African Violet

african violet and moss in planter birds-eye view
purple african violet saintpaulia ionantha. Kritsada Panichgul

Want greenery that offers non-toxic plants for dogs and cats and produces gorgeous blooms? Look for African violets. They come in a range of purple and pink hues, are low-maintenance, and thrive without bright light. Keep the soil moderately moist, and water African violets by letting them soak up moisture through the pot's drainage hole to avoid damaging the leaves and petals. This flowering houseplant can brighten up even the smallest spaces because it stays less than 12 inches tall.

02 of 15

Air Plant

hanging air plants in front of window
Peter Krumhardt

Tillandsia varieties make excellent pet-friendly, low-maintenance houseplants because they don't need soil to grow. Most air plants will stay smaller than 12 inches and thrive in bright, indirect light with a quick soak in water about once a week. However, cats and dogs alike will find their spindly, grass-like leaves tempting to chew on, so keep them out of reach.

03 of 15

Aluminum Plant or Watermelon Plant

pilea cadierei aluminum plant
aluminum plant pilea cadierei. Denny Schrock

The variegated gray-and-green leaves of aluminum plant (part of the genus Pilea) make it an attractive, non-toxic plant for dogs and cats. It stays shorter than 12 inches, grows well in medium to low light, and only needs water when the top inch of soil is dry. Since it tolerates low light, you can grow it almost anywhere that's out of reach of your furry friends.

04 of 15

Christmas Cactus

detail of pink christmas cactus bloom
lavender christmas cactus plant detail. Kritsada Panichgul

Unlike its dangerous holiday counterpart, amaryllis, Christmas cacti are non-toxic plants to have around curious cats and dogs. Of course, you still shouldn't let your pets chew on it (Christmas cacti can cause intestinal discomfort if eaten), but overall it's a safer choice than many other festive plants. Christmas cacti can easily be confused with Thanksgiving cacti, but both are safe for pets and have similar care requirements. Both cacti stay relatively short (under 12 inches) but can spread up to 2 feet and grow best with regular waterings and bright, indirect light.

05 of 15

Some Varieties of Ferns

adiantum raddianum maidenhair fern in terrarium
maiden hair fern fritz luth detail. Jay Wilde

Identifying ferns can be tricky, as several plants with the word "fern" in their name aren't actually part of the fern family. True ferns such as Boston and maidenhair are fair game as indoor plants that are safe for pets. Just beware of toxic misnomers like asparagus fern, which is actually part of the lily family. Though their size can vary, most ferns have similar needs: They like indirect light, evenly moist soil, and high humidity.

06 of 15

Friendship Plant

moon valley friendship plant in pot
friendship plant moon valley cats tongue. Michael Partenio

The friendship plant (closely related to aluminum plant) is named for the ease with which it can be divided and shared. If you get one as a gift, rest assured it's a non-toxic plant for dogs and cats, even if they take a bite of this plant's fuzzy, crinkly leaves. Friendship plants tolerate medium and low light, love humidity (it grows well in terrariums), and usually don't grow taller than 12 inches.

07 of 15

Some Herbs

Herbs in terra cotta pots with signs
Adam Albright

Indoor herb gardens are an easy way to add fresh flavor to home-cooked meals. But not all herbs are created equal when it comes to pet safety. Standards like lavender and oregano are off-limits, but basil, sage, and thyme are all pet-friendly houseplants. Place herbs in a sunny window that gets at least four or five hours of direct sunlight daily and water when the top inch of soil is dry.

08 of 15

Lace Flower Vine or Chocolate Soldier

hanging lace flower episcia dianthiflora
episcia dianthiflora lace flower hanging basket. Marty Baldwin

Pretty lace flower vine is an easy, pet-friendly houseplant that grows best in hanging baskets, well out of reach of your cat or dog. But no harm will be done if an extra-persistent pet makes its way into the pot. Hang this pretty plant in a spot with bright, indirect light and water whenever the soil starts to feel dry, and its trailing stems will grow to about three feet long.

09 of 15

Lipstick Plant

lipstick plant
Lipstick plant. Dean Schoeppner

This quirky plant has blooms that look like lipstick tubes and is safe for cats and dogs alike (other members of the Peperomia family are, too). A native of the tropics, lipstick plant thrives in bright light and loves being outside in the warmer months. It can grow up to 20 inches tall and likes to have consistently moist soil, so don't forget to water!

10 of 15

Parlor Palm

Victorian Parlor Palm
Jason Donnelly

Pet owners looking to add a small tree indoors may want to pick up a parlor palm. This non-toxic plant for dogs and cats is low-maintenance and a good starting point for beginners. It grows best in bright, indirect light but also tolerates low light. Water when the top inch of soil is dry, and your parlor palm could reach up to eight feet (though four feet is more common).

11 of 15

Moth Orchid

Moth Orchid
Peter Krumhardt

The common moth orchid (the one you're most likely to see in the floral shop) isn't harmful to pets. But one thing to watch for: Dogs and cats who love to chew may get into trouble in the potting mix, which is often made of bark chips. The chips aren't toxic but may cause tummy troubles if swallowed. Usually between 1 and 3 feet tall, this pet-friendly houseplant can tolerate low, medium, or bright light and generally needs water once a week or every other week.

12 of 15

Polka Dot Plant

hypoestes phyllostachya polka dot plant in planter
polka dot plant hypoestes phyllostachya pink. Jason Donnelly

Use polka dot plant to add a splash of pattern and color to miniature gardens, terrariums, mixed containers, and more. You can find this pet-friendly plant in colors like pink or white, and though it can grow up to 3 feet tall, it usually stays on the small side (under 12 inches) in containers. Place it in a spot that gets bright, indirect light, and keep the soil consistently moist.

13 of 15

Prayer Plant or Calathea

concinna prayer plant
Denny Schrock

Topping out at 6 to 8 inches, the prayer plant is ideal for small spaces like bookshelves and end tables. Its red, cream, and green leaves curl up at night, giving it its name. Moreover, it's one of the easiest houseplants you can grow that's also safe for pets. It grows best in medium or low light; you can let its soil dry out a bit between waterings.

14 of 15

Spider Plant

spider plant on table
Robert Cardillo

This non-toxic plant for dogs and cats is one of the easiest you can grow. Growing more spider plants from the babies the mother plant produces is also simple. Spider plant grows best in bright, indirect light, but it can tolerate low light, too. Let the soil dry between waterings, and your plant can grow up to 12 inches tall and 24 inches wide and produce multiple baby plants.

15 of 15

Some Succulents

succulents on table
Kritsada Panichgul

Many of the most popular succulents, including hens and chicks and echeverias, aren't problematic, but with so many varieties on the market, it's best to research each plant. Jade, for example, while similar to other succulents, is dangerous to pets. Most succulents stay just a few inches tall when grown indoors. They'll do their best in bright light and only need watering every few weeks.

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