Plants and pets are two such things that we care for the most. We neither want our pets to get hurt, nor we want to abandon our plants. So, what can we do?
To get the best of both worlds, you need to pick such plants that are safe for your pets, including dogs and cats. But are indoor plants really harmful to pets? What happens if your pets ingest some?
Most indoor plants contain a harmful chemical called calcium oxalate. This chemical often leads to digestive problems, irritation, and other problems in our pets. Thus, we need to choose a plant that is free from this chemical.
So, without further delay, let’s have a look at 21 pet-safe indoor plants that can brighten up your space and are safe for your pets as well.
Please note: All the plants mentioned below are declared safe for pets by the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California. I have also cross-checked the information through a professional veterinarian.
Some links in the post are affiliate links and I get a commission from purchases made through links in the post.
The rattlesnake plant is a tropical houseplant giving your space a tropical vibe. However, they are a bit demanding and will need some extra care to support their growth.
The leaves are enormous with variegation and wavy patterns on them. The leaves are reddish and purple on the undersides giving an aesthetic look, and the plant doesn’t bloom indoors. However, they are non-toxic and completely safe for your pets.
Sunlight: Rattlesnake plant likes bright indirect light to thrive and will grow better in such lighting. You should avoid direct light, so the leaves don’t burn.
Watering: Rattlesnake plants want their soil to stay moist but don’t want them to drown in water. Avoid overwatering them and make sure the excess comes out. You can water them once a week in the summer and two weeks in the winter.
Fertilizer: Use a balanced houseplant diluted fertilizer once every month in the growing season. It will help in the development of healthy foliage. During winter, you can skip fertilizing them.
General Care: Maintain a humid environment around your rattlesnake plant. Keep them away from air conditioning, heating systems, and cold drafts. This can directly harm the leaf’s health.
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Spider Plant is one of the popular houseplants, hardy and low maintenance. These are variegated in green and white stripes.
They grow tiny white flowers when they mature. Spider plants are known to purify the air and are non-toxic for pets. In favorable conditions, they grow impressively.
Sunlight: Spider plants will grow leaves when given bright indirect light all day long. Some direct light they can tolerate, but too much direct sun can damage the leaves.
Watering: Water only when the soil is dry. You can check by digging a finger into the soil from the top to check the soil’s moistness.
Then, water thoroughly and let the excess water drain out. Cut back watering during winter, keep the soil on the drier side.
Fertilizer: Feed spider plants once a month with liquid houseplant food. Dilute the dosage to half the strength to avoid stressing the plant. Fertilize only during the growing season.
General Care: Keep them in high temperature and high humidity levels as they cannot tolerate the low temperature. During cold weather, provide them with a high-temperature level and protect them from cold drafts.
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Parlor Palm is a popular indoor plant known to be a bamboo plant due to its bamboo-like stems. They are resilient, adaptive, non-toxic, and easy to grow plants.
The leaves grow in beautiful clumps featuring every stem. If you want a forest-like look, you can add this plant to your space. However, they are slow-growing plants and will take years to grow 6 feet tall.
Sunlight: Give parlor palm bright filtered light all day long. Northern exposure is one of the best options to give enough bright light to them.
Watering: Parlor palms are sensitive to overwatering and die soon if over watered frequently. You need to water them only when the soil is dry and ensure the excess water is draining from the drainage holes.
Fertilizer: Parlor palms are light feeders and will grow at their speed. Do not hurry because overfeeding them might end up killing them. Instead, fertilize twice in the growing season with a balanced liquid fertilizer.
General Care: Use a nutrient-rich potting medium for a healthy growing parlor palm. Keep them in high humid conditions and high-temperature levels. Prune the damaged, wilted leaves and leave the stem as it is.
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Calathea Orbifolia is from the calathea family and sure to catch your attention with their broad green leaves with silver stripes spread out in all directions.
They are tropical beauty undoubtedly but need some effort to keep them radiant. However, if kept under favorable conditions, they will thrive in the growing season.
Sunlight: Keep calathea orbifolia in bright lightroom with no or very little direct light. You can also use sheer curtains for windows with direct light. North or east-facing windows are the best options for bright indirect light.
Watering: Water your calathea orbifolia once a week during the growing season. The soil should be kept moist but never soggy.
Overwatering should be avoided, and the water should not be too strong as it can permanently damage the leaves.
Fertilizer: Fertilize your calathea orbifolia when they are actively growing with a balanced liquid fertilizer. Dilute the fertilizer into half the strength recommended.
Flush the soil with water once every few months to get rid of extra fertilizer, causing salt build-up.
General Care: To help calathea orbifolia grow radiant leaves maintain high humidity around them. A temperature level between 65°F-85°F is ideal for these plants. Damp conditions can attract pests and provide proper air circulation around them.
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Gloxinia produces tubular-shaped flowers featuring velvety attractive leaves around them. The color of the flower ranges from shades of blue, purple, pink, and crimson through white.
The plant concentrates more on its flowers than the roots, so after blooming in the spring, they set back and rest or may die and never regrow again.
They can even be considered as annual plants, so concentrate on keeping them healthy when they bloom.
Sunlight: Keep your gloxinia near a sunny window but make sure the light is filtered and not direct. A north or east-facing window is an ideal option for keeping your gloxinia.
Watering: Water your gloxinia once a week during hot weather to keep the soil slightly moist. During winter, reduce watering and let the soil dry completely before watering them.
Fertilizer: Fertilize your gloxinia with liquid houseplant food once every month. Gloxinia needs food only during the active growing period.
General Care: Gloxinia-like average humidity around them, occasional misting will help them thrive. Keep the temperature level average around them but away from too cold an environment.
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Venus Flytrap is carnivorous that attracts insects with nectar and digests them after snapping in their trap. They look beautiful due to the combination of colors and look like aliens. This plant will surely catch your string.
Sunlight: Keep Venus flytrap in bright indirect light. You can keep them near the north or east-facing window for better light exposure. Avoid too much direct sun for them.
Watering: Venus Flytrap should be watered to keep the soil slightly moist all the time. Though the soil should not stand in water, and the excess water must drain out. Use chlorine-free water for better plant health.
Fertilizing: Fertilizing Venus Flytrap is not required as they feed themselves with insects, and you can also help them by feeding them with insects.
However, if you still wish to fertilize, feed with a light fertilizer directly to the traps.
General Care: Venus Flytrap thrives in average room temperature levels in cold weather, maintaining temperature levels above 50°F. Remove damages and old leaves as they turn black.
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Boston fern is a tropical houseplant, producing sworn-shaped green fronds with tiny leaflets. Boston fern, when planted in spring, grows better.
They are slow growers, and with some minimal care, they will be long fronds. They can quickly die if not taken care of properly. They are non-toxic to pets and humans.
Light: Boston fern will thrive in bright light and like when kept near a north-facing window. Low light conditions can make the fronds sparse, and too much light can damage them.
Watering: Boston fern likes their soil moist. The fronds fall off if the soil stays dry for too long. Water them and let the excess water drain out completely. Don’t let the soil stand in water.
Fertilizer: During the active growing season of Boston fern need to be fed with liquid houseplant food. In the dormant season, they need some rest, and you should stop feeding.
General Care: Boston fern should be kept in warm conditions but avoid cold drafts. Temperature fluctuations can stress the plant and lead to stunted growth.
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Ponytail Palm is a long-lived houseplant known for its carefree nature as it can survive easily in neglect. Therefore, they are perfect for forgetful planters, travelers, etc.
The leaves develop from the top of the stem and can grow up to 3 feet indoors. They are small, non-toxic, lightweight houseplants that you can show off by keeping them near a window, on a side table, etc.
Sunlight: Ponytail palm can thrive in all light conditions, whether it is low light, medium, or even the full direct sun. No matter the weather, they can tolerate all light conditions without complaining or damaging.
Watering: Ponytail palm is succulent, which means they are drought tolerant. Water them only when the soil is completely dry and waterless rather than overwatering them.
Fertilizer: Being light feeders, you should feed the ponytail palm only twice in the growing season. Feed once in the spring and once in the summer. Over-fertilizing can lead to brown leaves.
General Care: Keep them in a dry environment more than humid air. Dry air will keep them happier. Also, keep average room temperature around them and away from heating systems.
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African Violet is a small houseplant featuring elegant flowers purple, white, blue. They are low maintenance, compact and slow-growing plants that bloom several times a year. However, the leaves can grow huge with proper care.
African violet is not reported to cause harm or rashes to pets and can be kept safely anywhere indoors.
Sunlight: African violet will grow better when given bright indirect light all day long. The leaves might burn when kept in direct sun for long hours frequently.
Watering: Keep the soil mix relatively moist to keep your African violet happy and healthy. Use room temperature water to avoid shocking the plant. Watering once a week is preferred during summers.
Fertilizer: Fertilize your African violet plant with high phosphorous houseplant food once a month in the growing season. They can thrive under fertilizing, but over-fertilizing can kill them.
General Care: Keep them in warm conditions and high humidity. Dust off the leaves to allow better absorption of solar energy. They can tolerate cooler conditions, but cold drafts can harm the plant.
Buy African Violet: Buy a Healthy African Violet From Plants.com
Bird’s Nest Fern
Bird’s Nest Fern grows on the surface of other plants as they are epiphytic. Their fronds are spoon-shaped, crinkled, and rise from the center of the rosette.
The fronds can grow up to 2 feet long indoors. The good news is they are non-toxic and will not harm even if ingested. If you give them the right indoor conditions, they will make beautiful and elegant-looking plants.
Sunlight: To grow a healthy bird’s nest fern, you need to give them bright indirect light or at least medium lighting if your home lacks bright light. They will tolerate low light too, but in the long term, the growth may suffer.
Watering: Water your bird’s nest fern once in 1-2 weeks. The soil should be dry from within. Check the moistness of the soil by digging a finger in the soil up to a few inches. Do not overwater and water around the plant rather than in the center.
Fertilizer: Fertilize bird’s nest fern with balanced houseplant food once every month from spring through summer. Do not fertilize for the rest of the year as it can cause more damage than good.
General Care: High temperature and high humidity are what your bird’s nest fern thrives in. They cannot tolerate too cold weather. Save your plant from cold drafts, dry air from air conditioners.
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Polka Dot Plant
The Polka Dot plant is also known as a flamingo plant with green spots on pink colored leaves. The leaves are lovely and eye-catching, which will light up your space. These plants have a moderate growth rate and remain small even after maturing.
Light: Keep your Polka Dot plant away from direct light or too bright light as it can lessen the artistic value of the foliage. Please keep them in a spot where they can get enough bright indirect light.
Watering: Polka Dot plants should be watered when the soil is dry from the top but not within. Keep the soil moist and do not over-water them as the leaves might wilt. Also, slow down watering during cold weather.
Fertilizer: Feed the Polka Dot plant with organic houseplant food from spring through summer once every month. They are heavy feeders so take care that you feed them on time.
General Care: Polka Dot plant likes high-temperature levels and humidity above 50% all the time. Pinch the stems from the top so that the plant can grow bushier rather than leggy.
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Watermelon Peperomia is a small plant with a bushy rosette that grows quite large. The name is due to the leaves looking like watermelon skin.
They make a good plant for beginners as they are easy to grow and look attractive when grouped with other plants.
In addition, they are non-toxic and can be grown happily in any spot in your home.
Light: Watermelon Peperomia should be kept under the shade with some light to keep them healthy. All they need is some shade and some sun to thrive.
Watering: Watermelon Peperomia needs to be watered in the growing season once a week. The soil should be kept moist but do not over-water them.
Fertilizer: Fertilize your watermelon Peperomia in the growing period with houseplant food. Dilute the dosage to half the strength to avoid over-fertilizing.
General Care: Watermelon Peperomia likes a high humid environment. You can mist them regularly to raise the humidity around them.
You can group them with other plants that can raise the humidity. They like to be root bound, so repot them every three years.
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Orchids are beautiful plants with attractive blooms with crisp colors. The flowers can be white, purple, pink, magenta, and yellow. They bloom twice in the year and last for two months.
Orchids are epiphytes, so they grow on the bark of trees. Orchids are known to be problematic in terms of growth, but that’s not true.
The care is just different from other houseplants, but you have got it once you know the recipe to keep them healthy.
Sunlight: Orchids need a lot of light that is bright and indirect. Direct light can harm them, so if you put it near a direct light window, use a sheer curtain to reduce the intensity.
Watering: You should water orchids every few days. It also depends on the cultural conditions around them. To make sure you don’t over-water them, you should check the soil’s moistness before watering them.
Fertilizer: Fertilizing is essential to encourage and help orchids bloom after dormancy. Feed them with orchid food weekly or monthly, depending on which variety you have.
General Care: Prune the stem once the flowers have dried as they re-bloom on the same stem. Maintain humidity above 40% around them. If it goes below that, you can mist around them regularly to maintain the ideal humidity level.
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Staghorn Fern is picky, so many planters think twice about growing them. So instead, they are mounted on a board that you can hang on the wall that looks like a stunning art piece.
Their roots hold the fronds in place through which they take their nutrients. They are different from other ferns in terms of the caring regime. They are not poisonous and can be grown in hanging baskets too.
Sunlight: Staghorn fern likes bright diffused light to grow and should be kept away from direct light. Please keep them in a brightly lit room but away from any direct sun.
Watering: Staghorn Fern can be soaked in a sink for 10-20 minutes and then hung back to the wall. Please make sure the excess water has dripped completely before hanging them again. You can also use a spraying mister to water them directly when they are hung on the wall.
Fertilizer: Fertilize staghorn fern in the growing season as it will greatly encourage their growth. Use any balanced houseplant fertilizer once every month and skip feeding them in the dormant period.
General Care: When growing staghorn fern, makes sure the temperature level doesn’t go below 50°F-85°F. Please don’t keep them outdoors on chilly nights. Keep the humidity level high. You can mist around them.
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Bromeliad has attractive flowers and is tough plants with the least fuss. They can be either terrestrial or epiphytic in their true nature, but indoors they need to be a planter in an aerated potting medium.
They are more tolerant to different cultural conditions and fluctuation than any other epiphytic plant. However, they are slow-growing plants, so it may take from 1-3 years to bloom.
Sunlight: Bromeliad depending on the variety you have, can tolerate different types of light. For example, the variety with flexible, soft leaves likes lower light, while those with stiff foliage thrive in indirect bright light.
Watering: Water your bromeliad sparingly as they are drought tolerant. You can water them when the soil is trying, ideally once in 10 days.
Let the excess water drain out, so the soil doesn’t sit in water. Also, flush them with a strong stream of water once a month to get rid of salt build-ups.
Fertilizer: Bromeliad can be fed once a month in the growing season with balanced houseplant food. Dilute the strength to half the recommended dosage. They are light feeders, so avoid over-fertilizing them and skip feeding in the dormant period.
General Care: Bromeliad can tolerate temperature fluctuations but during the hot weather, keep high humidity around them. Some of their variety may survive in temperatures below 20°F too.
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Baby tears have tiny myriad leaves and luscious green color giving a mat-like appearance. They are easy to care for but need regular attention to keep looking beautiful.
However, they thrive, are versatile, and once their cultural conditions are met, they can be effortless to grow and maintain. In addition, they are not at all toxic and can be kept anywhere indoors without harming your pets.
Sunlight: Baby tears can thrive in low to bright light, though for vigorous growth, they need enough bright indirect light. They can take some direct light, but too much can damage the leaves.
Watering: Baby tears like moist soil all the time, especially during summer. Water them when the topsoil is dry to touch and let the excess water come out. The leaves may wilt when they are thirsty, so water them as soon as you see such signs.
Fertilizer: It’s recommended to feed baby tears with liquid balanced houseplant food. Fertilize in the growing period as it will greatly encourage leaves to grow denser. Do not fertilize in the dormant months.
General Care: Baby tears need to be repotted regularly as they proliferate. They grow best in temperature levels between 50°F-75°F. They appreciate high humidity levels and can tolerate light frost.
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Friendship plants are beautiful plants with quilted, velvety leaves and are easy to care for. The root from cuttings rapidly grows new plants. If taken care of properly, they can gift you with pretty pink flowers.
The flowers are insignificant in front of the textured showy foliage. They are fast-growing plants, and their cuttings root very easily.
Sunlight: Friendship plants like to be in a spot where they can get medium to bright light. You should filter the light.
Direct sun can scorch their leaves. Rotate the plant every few weeks so the entire plant can get sunlight equally and avoid growing leggy.
Watering: Water your friendship plant more frequently in the growing season as compared to the dormant period. During summer, water them once a week, make sure the soil is completely dry before watering them.
Fertilizer: Fertilize with a balanced houseplant food to see your friendship plant growing and glowing. They should be fed only from spring through summer once every month.
General Care: Keep humidity in check around your friendship plants. It should be high. Average to warm temperature level will keep them happy. They make excellent terrarium plants.
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Areca palm plants are cute attractive houseplants that are sometimes considered as a variety of bamboo due to their smooth trunks resembling bamboo. The fronds are narrow and give an exotic look to space.
The plant can grow up to 6-8 feet in height. The fronds have more than 100 leaflets growing on them. They may demand some attention. They are non-toxic to pets and humans.
Sunlight: Areca palm wants indirect bright light for at least 6-8 hours in the entire day. Too much light or direct light can lead to yellow leaves of your areca palm plants.
Watering: Water your areca palm with clean or distilled water once a week in the summer. The soil should be dry before you water them and let the extra water come out after watering. The soil should be drenched and not sitting in water.
Fertilizer: Fertilize areca palm monthly with a balanced houseplant fertilizer to encourage their growth. Fertilizing should be done only during the growing period.
General Care: Areca palm thrives at a high-temperature level during the daytime and around 55°F at night. Also, high humidity will help them to stay healthy.
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Christmas cactus is an attractive plant with beautiful flowers blooming just when the holidays begin. They are red, pink, yellow, purple, and white, which bloom for several days.
They are not difficult to grow, but you need to match their cultural and other requirements to keep them healthy. They are non-toxic, so keep them on tabletops to brighten up space.
Light: Christmas cactus likes indirect sun and some direct sun to generate energy to bloom. East facing window would fulfill their light needs.
Watering: Keep watering your Christmas cactus when the soil is dry from the top. Misting will help to keep the soil moist all the time. Do not overwater and let the excess water drain out completely.
Fertilizer: Fertilize your Christmas cactus with high potassium food every two weeks once the buds form and once a month in other times.
General Care: Use a rich porous soil to plant them and keep them in good ventilation. Keep the humidity and temperature level around them high or at least average.
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Cape marigold is a cheerful plant with bright colored leaves that will brighten both your space and mood.
They produce masses of flowers of pink, orange, yellow, and white in the spring season. However, cape marigolds thrive in warmer months and can become invasive.
Light: Cape marigolds require bright indirect light to grow dense, and they can take some direct light too. They don’t like to stay in low light for too long as it can affect their growth.
Watering: Water Cape marigold every few days but do not over-water them as it can lead to leggy growth and weak flowers. Instead, water when the soil is dry and the excess water needs to be drained.
Fertilizer: Fertilize your cape marigold with houseplant food and add compost to the soil once a while to boost their growth. It would be best if you fed them in the growing season.
General Care: Cape marigold likes a high humid environment and high temperature level.
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Cast Iron Plant
Cast-iron plants are named so because of their indestructible nature. They cannot be killed easily, even in conditions other plants can die.
They have arched dark green shiny foliage. The plant can reach up to 2 feet long and 4 inches wide.
Cast-iron plants bloom but only outdoors, inside your home. They cannot get the right conditions to produce flowers. They grow slowly and are non-toxic to pets.
Light: Keep your cast iron plant near the window to get indirect bright light but not any direct light. Direct scorching sun can burn the leaves. Outdoors keep them under the shade to avoid direct exposure to the sun.
Watering: Water your cast iron plant once a week in warmer months. The soil should be dry from within before the next watering. Overwater can lead to yellow leaves and root rot.
Fertilizer: Fertilize your cast iron plant with an all-purpose houseplant food once a month in the growing period. Fertilize them after watering them to avoid the roots from burning.
General Care: cast iron plants like moderate to high-temperature levels and high humid environments around them. They can even die on low-temperature levels.
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