Our Guide to Low Maintenance Plants That Are Safe for Pets
We simply love pets here at The Little Botanical, so it’s important to make sure we choose pet-friendly plants. It seems you do too, given how often we get asked the question, “Which houseplants are safe for my pets?”. And rightly so. Certain plants can cause all kinds of trouble for pets, so it’s best to be prepared with the right knowledge so that you can keep your cute companions safe.
Every product description on our website features a handy information section letting you know which botanicals are safe for your furry friends to be around. We also have a category dedicated solely to pet-friendly plants so it’s easy for you to browse pet-friendly houseplants in one place. This is where you can find this information:
Hopefully, you’ll find this blog helpful when searching for your pet-friendly greenery. It’s also worth checking out our
Pet-friendly Plant Bundle and our Pet-Lovers Plant Bundle are both fab collections of pet-friendly houseplants which are non-toxic for pets and animals.
The Importance of Pet-Friendly Plants
Did you know we’re a nation of animal lovers? A whopping 50% of us own a pet. Just over a quarter (26%) of UK adults have a dog, and just under a quarter (24%) have a cat – and that’s before we think about smaller critters like mice, hamsters, guinea pigs and rabbits.
As a pet-loving nation, we are used to our four legged-friends having a little nibble on our slippers, shoes and on-trend greenery. Our guide is here to help you distinguish your toxic from your non-toxic plants and ensure you keep your furry friends safe.
What Plants Are Toxic to Animals?
When we talk about plants being toxic to animals, we mean that they can make your pet pretty sick. How sick they become depends on a few things – the plant, the animal and how much they nibble. If your pet manages to get hold of a toxic plant, it may experience:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Stomach pain
- Breathing difficulties
The symptoms vary depending on which plant they eat. There’s a pretty long list of plants that are toxic to pets, so we’ve added some helpful links at the bottom of this post to give you more details. We’d recommend you steer clear of Lilies, Aloe Vera, Asparagus Ferns, Hydrangeas and Bulbs, as all of these are sadly likely to make pets poorly.
There are certain ways to deter your pet from getting too close to your plants, such as putting some spices (like cayenne pepper) around them. You could also put orange and lemon peel into the plant pots. Animals don’t like the smell of citrus, so this will deter them.
However, if you have a curious dog or cat, it’s best not to take the risk. To ensure you keep your pet safe and well, avoid these plants completely or, at the very least, place them up high or in a room that your pets can’t reach. You can never be too careful.
What Low Maintenance Houseplants Are Pet Friendly?
While there are many botanicals your pets shouldn’t come into contact with, there are just as many that are perfectly safe to be around pets. We’ve pulled together a selection of pet-friendly plants that have the benefit of being low maintenance. That means they’re easy to look after AND come at no risk to your furry friends. Win-win!
Pet-Friendly Plant Gang
We mentioned the Pet-Friendly Plant Gang earlier, but let’s go into more detail. We’ve created this houseplant bundle because each botanical beauty is safe for pets to be around. Each green gang comes with a Spider Plant, Boston Fern and Jade Necklace. They’re all fab to look at, and they only need minimal care to be happy. Water them once a week to keep them fresh and healthy, and you’re good to go.
Pet Lovers Bundle
Our new Pet Lovers Bundle includes a selection of gorgeous worry-free houseplants and succulents. This selection is sure to add interest and colour to your indoor jungle while keeping your cats and dogs safe and happy. Each luscious bundle includes a Spider Plant, Calathea and Haworthia.
The Haworthia is a fabulous houseplant in so many ways. With its distinctive zebra-like leaves, it’s not just pretty – it’s non-toxic to cats, dogs and all other pets. The Haworthia’s a succulent, so it’s used to droughty conditions. You only need to water it once a month and place it in a bright spot. Although this plant is pet-friendly its leaves are a little pointy. You might want to pop your plant on a shelf or windowsill to protect it from nibblers.
The Mini Haworthia makes the cutest little gift and is a great choice for newbie plant owners!
This must-have houseplant’s more commonly known as the Chinese Money Plant. It’s thought to bring good luck, prosperity and money to its owner. Good vibes don’t just come in threes, as this low maintenance houseplant’s safe for dogs and cats. The plant’s easy and fun to care for and will remain a beautiful dark green colour if you water it once a week. It likes a bit of light, but not direct sunlight, as it’s easily sunburnt.
Popular since the Victorian era, the Chamaedorea, or ‘parlour palm’, is one of many pet-friendly plants that can make a real statement. The wealthiest people in society used to place the plant in their parlours – hence the name. You can still make a statement with this exotic plant in your home. It’s luckily one that your pets will be happy with, too. Our parlour palm comes with a nice sturdy pot included. An added benefit is that it is on the NASA list of air-purifying plants. Trust us when we say it’s a great all-rounder.
Our popular Boston Fern is another pet-friendly plant for cats and dogs. It’s pretty easy to look after – you can keep it in the pot it comes with or hang it up for a stylish look. Just keep an eye on the room’s humidity as Boston Ferns don’t like to dry out. It loves living in bathrooms and kitchens that produce plenty of moisture.
Oh, and another thing – Boston Ferns are one of the best low maintenance houseplants for clean air. According to NASA, they remove harmful toxins from the air, turning it into breathable oxygen.
The psychedelic Spider Plant gives us 70s vibes all day long! This leafy beauty has narrow, palm-like leaves, they won’t cause pets any harm – even if they do enjoy a naughty nibble from time to time. It’s also one of the easiest plants to care for. Pop it in a bright spot away from direct sunlight and watch it grow before your very eyes. It also benefits from weekly watering to keep the moisture levels nice and consistent.
The Calathea’s known by another more common name – the Prayer Plant. That’s because its leaves burst into life when the sun shines onto them and close up when darkness falls. It’s one of the most well-loved pet-friendly plants because of its fascinating leaves and its calming nature. It’s easy to look after, too. Get into the routine of watering your beautiful botanical once a week, and it will grow beautifully.
Orchids are beautifully colourful and unlike other flowering plants like lilies, orchids are perfectly safe to be around animals. Our British grown orchids are pet-friendly and look fabulous when in bloom. We can’t promise that your cat won’t take too much of a liking to our orchids, so just pop your botanical beauty in a safe place where cheeky felines can’t nudge the colourful flowers with their little paws.
If you’re not sure which plants are safe and you don’t want to take any risks, then take a look at our Orchids. The ASPCA and other animal protection organisations have agreed that members of the Orchidaceae family are non-toxic towards pets.
The Peperomia Watermelon is one of our favourite pet-friendly plants. One of the reasons why is because it’s one of the prettiest low maintenance houseplants safe for cats and dogs. It’s non-toxic for pets and humans, so you can pretty much place it anywhere you like (as long as there’s enough natural, indirect sunlight). If your pet likes to nibble on the leaves, pop it up on a tall shelf or sideboard to protect them.
We explain how to care for this fab botanical over on our blog.
Luckily, most succulents are safe for pets. There are many varieties in the succulent family, so they make the perfect non-toxic pet-friendly plants for dogs and cats. We also find that pets seem less interested when a new succulent turns up in their home. Perhaps it’s the fact they’re smaller and firmer and are therefore harder to bite!
Cast Iron Plant
With their gorgeous elongated leaves, Cast Iron Plants are show-stopping botanicals. Not only do they look great in any space, but they’re air-purifying heroes. They’re also safe around pets. The Cast Iron Plant is extremely resilient and will tell you exactly what it needs. For example, if the soil’s too dry, the stems will drop. But have no fear – the super hardy leaves can tolerate neglect. The botanical will even thrive in a shady spot. How’s that for low maintenance?
We really hope this guide has helped point you in the right direction to find plants that are safe for your pets. We would always advise that you keep your pets away from your plants for their own safety. Put them out of their reach to help keep your plants looking beautiful and your pets happy! If there really is a plant that you are set on but isn’t so pet-friendly, you could put it in a living wall where it’s at a height your pet can’t reach.
There are also some wonderful resources on the internet that we highly recommend reading if there are any plants you absolutely love and want to check if they are toxic or non-toxic to pets. We’d also recommend that if you don’t know, always check first!
Finally, we couldn’t leave you without showing you some photos of our favourite pet alongside our pet-friendly plants. We’d like to introduce you to Indi the Whippet, Mittens the Cat, Fleur the Pug.
Please drop us an email if we can help with anything else – just get in touch with us at [email protected] Until next time, plant people!
Lots of love, Team TLB and all our furry friends xx