Houseplants have a way of making a house a home. Our pets do the same, adding personality, laughter, and love to our lives. Unfortunately, sometimes the two are not particularly compatible! There are some houseplants that can make pets very sick if curiosity gets the best of them. Luckily for us pet lovers, there are plenty of houseplants that are totally safe for pets—though whether your plants are safe from your pets is another story!
1. Phalaenopsis, or moth orchid, is a safe bet for pets. Their leaves and flowers are completely non-toxic. Moth Orchids are beautiful flowers, and with a little care, they’ll bloom for you again and again. Most orchids are usually potted in sphagnum moss. While your orchid will probably survive in the moss for quite a while, it's really not the best medium for the long-term. Your orchid will last much longer if you repot it into an orchid-specific potting medium. Orchids need excellent drainage, and the roots are prone to rotting if overwatered.
2. Prayer plant is a pet-safe houseplant that also does well in lower light conditions. Prayer plant has beautiful variegated leaves, with dark and light green flesh and red veining. Prayer plants also require excellent soil drainage and have fairly low watering requirements. Check the soil once a week, but only water your prayer plant once the soil is dry to a depth of 2 inches.
3. Spider plant is possibly one of the most popular pet safe houseplants. Spider plants are easy to grow and are pretty resilient. They’ll do well in bright light or lower light conditions. Spider plants are somewhat similar to catnip, so cats may be tempted to chew on their leaves. If your cats can’t leave your spider plant alone, consider putting it in a hanging basket and displaying it somewhere out of your cat's reach. It’s not bad for them to eat the leaves, but a tenacious kitty can badly damage your plant if they get the chance! Spider plants do prefer evenly moist soil, so check it once a week.
4. Cast-iron plants are very resilient and easy to grow. They are pet-safe and seem to thrive on a bit of neglect. They don’t like direct sun, however, so keep them away from south-facing windows. Similar to prayer plants, the soil should be allowed to dry out between watering.
5. Boston ferns are a dramatic large fern that makes a beautiful pet-safe houseplant. However, ferns, in general, can be a bit finicky. They prefer bright but indirect light and plenty of humidity. If you want to keep a Boston fern alive through the winter, you’ll need to keep a humidifier running near it to make sure it doesn’t dry out.
6. African violets are pet safe, and they bloom beautifully. African violets need specific potting soil and fertilizer. They need good drainage, so a terra cotta pot with a saucer is a good option for African Violets. They should be watered by filling their saucer once per week, with Violet fertilizer every other week. If there is water left in the saucer after an hour, make sure to empty it out.
7. Echeveria is a popular succulent that is also pet-safe. They come in so many varieties, colors, and variations available. They need plenty of bright light and prefer their soil to dry in between waterings. If you’re looking for a few more houseplants, but want to make sure they’re safe for your beloved pets, stop by our garden center. We’ve got plenty of beautiful and safe houseplants for Bettendorf pet lovers!