15 Pet-Friendly Houseplants That Add Green Without the Worry

When your animals are your family, keeping them safe is a top priority. One way to watch over them is to choose pet-friendly houseplants for your home. Nontoxic plants are a great way to add color and texture to your decor while keeping your furry friends safe. We've rounded up a list of indoor plants safe for cats and dogs.

Pet-Friendly Plants: A Word of Caution

While there are a number of plants that are technically safe for cats and dogs, it's best to eliminate temptation and place all houseplants out of reach. It will save you from cleaning up a mess, plus prevent possible tummy aches and digestive problems in your pets. If your pet ever does ingest a plant, make sure to watch it closely for any signs of a negative reaction. Just because a plant is nontoxic for cats and dogs doesn't mean ingesting it will make them feel good!

Learn 22 ways to create a pet-friendly home.

Want to know which plants are a no-go for Fido? See our list of plants that are toxic to cats and dogs.

1. African Violet

Want a pet-friendly houseplant with blooms? Look no further than African Violet. This versatile, hardworking houseplant is right at home with your pets. It comes in a range of purple hues, and it's low maintenance and thrives without bright light.

Learn more about growing African Violet in our Plant Encyclopedia.

2. Air Plant

Tillandsia varieties are modern, cool, and best of all, safe for pets. But beware: Cats and dogs alike will love chewing on their spindly leaves—make sure you keep them out of reach.

See gorgeous ways to style your air plants.

3. Aluminum Plant or Watermelon Plant

The variegated gray-and-green leaves of Aluminum Plant make it an attractive option for the home, as well as a great nontoxic plant for cats and dogs alike.

Learn more about this family of plants in our Plant Encyclopedia.

4. Christmas Cactus

Unlike its dangerous holiday counterpart amaryllis, Christmas cactus is thankfully nontoxic to cats and dogs. It may cause intestinal discomfort if ingested, but overall it's a safer choice than many other festive plants.

Learn how to grow Christmas cactus with our Plant Encyclopedia.

5. Some Varieties of Ferns

Identifying ferns can be a bit tricky, as there are several plants with the word "fern" in their name that are not actually part of the Pteridophyta family. True ferns such as Boston and maidenhair (pictured) are fair game for pet-friendly households; beware of toxic misnomers such as asparagus fern, which is actually part of the lily family.

6. Friendship Plant

The friendship plant is named for the ease with which it can be divided and shared—so if you happen to receive such a gift, rest assured it's safe for your cats and dogs. But beware, pets may be especially drawn to the fuzzy, crinkly leaves.

7. Some Herbs

Indoor herb gardens are an easy, fun way to add fresh flavor to your cooking. But not all herbs are created equal when it comes to pet safety. Standards like lavender and oregano are off-limits, but pets can handle basil (pictured), sage, and thyme.

Get inspired by our indoor herb garden ideas.

Find the perfect herbs in our Plant Encyclopedia.

8. Lace Flower Vine or Chocolate Soldier

Pretty lace flower vine grows best in hanging baskets, out of reach of curious cats and dogs. But should an extra-persistent pet make their way into the pot, they'll be safe.

9. Lipstick Plant

This quirky plant with blooms that resemble tubes of lipstick is happily safe for cats and dogs alike. A native of the tropics, it thrives in bright light and loves being outside in the warmer months.

Other members of the Peperomia family are also pet-friendly (but not as fun). Explore more varieties in our Plant Encyclopedia.

10. Parlor Palm

Parlor palm is the perfect solution for pet owners looking to add a small tree. Safe for cats and dogs, it's also great for beginners.

Learn how to grow and care for parlor palm in our Plant Encyclopedia.

11. Phalaenopsis Orchid

The ever-common phalaenopsis 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 contains a large amount of bark.

Get tips and tricks for growing beautiful orchids indoors.

12. Polka Dot Plant

Polka dot plant is perfect for adding a fun splash of pattern to miniature gardens, terrariums, mixed containers, and more. Available in an array of colors such as white and pink, it's as versatile as it is whimsical.

Browse miniature garden ideas.

13. Prayer Plant or Calathea

Prayer plant, topping out at 6-8 inches, is ideal for small spaces such as bookshelves and end tables. Its red, cream, and green leaves curl up at night, giving it its name. What's more, it's one of the easiest houseplants you can grow.

Explore 23 no-fail houseplants.

14. Spider Plant

This indoor gardening classic is a staple for many reasons, not to mention it's a cat- and dog-friendly plant. A fan of both pots and hanging baskets, this happy-go-lucky plant will thrive anywhere indoors.

Learn how to create new spider plants from plantlets.

15. Some Succulents

Many of the most popular succulents—including hens and chicks, echeveria, and rosettes—aren't problematic, but with so many varieties on the market, it's best to research each individual plant. Jade, for example, while similar to other succulents, is actually dangerous.

See 10 fresh ways to add succulents to your home.


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