Peperomia Party: A Guide to Peperomias

Pet Safe Peperomia : Leaf&Paw

You are now officially invited to my peperomia party. What can be better than that? I know, add kitties and doggies into the mix too. Why? Because peperomias are one of the most non-toxic indoor plants.

Told you I could make it better.

Like I’ve mentioned in previous posts, finding interesting pet-safe plants can be tough. I personally like interesting leaves, and once I became more familiar with peperomias, I realized I had been missing out on the plant world’s understated models.

Pet Safe Peperomia : Leaf&Paw

Completely non-toxic, they win the prize for awesomest leaves and grow quickly. A bigger perk is their durability. It’s not a secret cats and dogs can act like a hot mess, so this is a quality pet-owners appreciate in plants.

Knocked over by cat? No problem.

Thrown to floor by dog? No biggie.

Elbowed accidently by human? These guys are troopers.

They don’t grow very big, so it’s easy to begin collecting a Peperomia Army (you know, for the apocalypse). Here are a few of the most common varieties that can be easily purchased in stores:

Baby Rubber Plants (peperomia obtusifolia)

Pet Safe Peperomia : Leaf&Paw

Watermelon Peperomia (Peperomia argyreia)

Red-edge / Rainbow Peperomia (Peperomia clusiifolia)

Pet Safe Peperomia : Leaf&Paw

Silverleaf Peperomia (Peperomia griseoargentea), photo by The Fox Den

The Fox Den // Peperomia

Jayde Peperomia (Peperomia polybotrya)

Pet Safe Peperomia : Leaf&Paw

Ripple Peperomia (Peperomia caperata)

Pet Safe Peperomia : Leaf&Paw

Keeping Them Happy

I have all of my peperomias in simple ceramic white pots. They really are sharp in mid century modern pots, or artisan painted pots. Begrudgingly, they will tolerate planters sans drainage holes but that is not ideal. Really, peperomias prefer a light about of moisture; water sitting in the bottom of a planter leads to root rot and dropping leaves. And there goes that plant army.

Peperomias are not technically succulents, despite the chubby leaves. A native of Brazil, they belong to the Piperaceae family. Bright locations with non-direct sunlight is best, like behind a sheer curtain. They hate hot, direct sun. This scorches leaves, leading to sad blotches then partially dried bits that looks rather unsightly.

Another snazzy tip: rotate every week so you Peperomia doesn’t end up lopsided. Like all indoor plants they grow towards the light, so keeping them rotating on a regular basis keeps everyone happy.

Stay tuned for more installments on specific families of pet safe plants, and more important go out and get some peperomias!

 

 

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The Pet Safe Kitchen

I’m really excited for winter for one reason – food.
Baking, cooking, gingerbread, soup, everything that is warm and yummy is welcome starting November 1st. I’m dreading snow touching the ground, but I am excited for baking marathons and bringing my herbs indoors. Yes, I have less space in my house now, but it’s nice to have thyme, lavender and basil handy in my kitchen.

The Pet Safe Kitchen: Leafandpaw.com

Amongst the holiday madness and constant cooking, I like to know that my array of herbs leftover from my summer garden won’t harm my cats.

I’ve saved myself (and you) the trouble of researching what herbs can be kept on the counter, and which ones in high places. Whether you have a dog or cat, hopefully this list helps during the hectic and chaotic holiday season.

The Pet Safe Kitchen: Leafandpaw.com

Herbs Safe for Dogs

These can be kept on the counter. If nibbled, your pet will be fine. Of course, anything eaten in large quantities, by human or animal, is usually bad news.
Basil
Parsley
Thyme
Mint
Cilantro
Tarragon
Oregano
Rosemary (in small amounts, only)
Lavender (in small amounts, only)

Herbs Toxic to Dogs

Keep these on top of the fridge, or in another high place. Obviously, cocoa is not tummy friendly, but generally dogs won’t seek out your hot chocolate mix, unless there are marshmallows of course.
Mace
Cocoa
Marjoram
Garlic (small quantities is ok)

Herbs Safe for Cats

Cats are serious snackers, especially on green stringy things (yarn, twist ties, houseplants).  These herbs are safe for kitties to eat, but too much of one will most likely lead to a tummy ache and throw up at 3am.

Basil
Sage
Lemon Verbena
Cilantro
Mint
Catnip
Dandelion
Parsley (in small amounts)
Thyme

Herbs Unsafe for Cats

I would keep these out of Fluffy’s line of vision, especially dill (read: stringy). I actually used lavender to calm Harvey down when she was an insane kitten (which worked amazing), but I never allowed her to eat the actual buds. If you overwinter your lavender in house, keep it high up in an area when it can’t be eaten.

Oregano
Marjoram
Lavender (in large quantities)
Dill
Bay Leaf

The Pet Safe Kitchen: Leafandpaw.com

I use the ASPCA site for reference to find the toxicity level of all of these herbs. If you need more info about which plants and herbs are pet safe, browse my other posts or visit the ASPCA database.

The Instagram Plant+Pet Fan Club

A life surrounded by my cats and my plants warrants that obsession to be taken elsewhere. For me – that’s Instagram. I love IG, aside from the endless drooling and longing at the number of gorgeous plants out there. Initially I never expected their to be such a vast interior plant fan club in all parts of the world. I’ve realized there’s not only a plant club, but a pets and plants fun club. Yes I just invented that club, and now I need to go make it a thing.

I invited some of the lovely P&P fan club members on Instagram to share their lovely pets and lovely plants with me us. Some also included their wisdom about cohabiting with furry friends – that’s a freebie. Follow them and you be will rewarded daily with pretty pictures and plant tips.

Anna // @Urbangreenplant

Anna, like myself, has various plants of different troxity levels, all of which her four cats can care less about. While Anna’s feed is primarily about indoor gardening, she also shares tips on outdoor plants and, of course, her fabulous cats. Her favorite plant picks:
Boston Fern and Parlor Palm Plant: Non-toxic and my cats don’t bother with these besides a sniff.
Spider Plant, Ponytail Plant, Money Tree: All are non-toxic but my cats can’t help but chew on these. I keep these plants high, hanging or out of reach areas.
Bird of Paradise, Peace Lily, Hawaiian Schefflera, Snake Plant: Though these have a low toxicity, they don’t bother these guys at all. Also, I think what helps is that these are usually big floor plants, to them it’s like trees.

Anna // @littleandlush 

I am one of 22K fans of Anna’s stark minimal plant photos on IG.
This is her cat Agnes, with a pet safe (hybrid) fern “Asplenium Austral Gem.”
A few months ago Anna introduced a plant I fell in love with, a PINK variegated Tradescantia, which made her insta-famous. One of my favorite plants, Wandering Jews come in several gorgeous variegated varieties, plus they’re 100% cat safe. Add in Agnes, and I can’t even deal.

Alina // @alina.fassakhova

Usha, Alina’s curious tuxedo cat is often seen in her gorgeous photos eyeing her houseplants. A painter, Alina photographs her NYC loft and artwork amongst her ever-growing urban jungle. Does Usha eat every plant in sight? Alina said she’s really a good cat, only eating spider plants and seems to have a natural sense of what is poisonous and what isn’t. But we all know cats aren’t perfect – Alina mentioned Usha shakes stems, branches and tears off leaves, when attention is needed now. How could anyone ignore her- look at that face!

Erin // @leighkiyoko

We did need a dog in this feed, and what better a pup than Luna, Erin’s salt and pepper fuzzball. Erin’s IG feed is full of her botanical adventures and drool-worthy outfits, but Luna is too cute for words. Erin shared some of her wisdom for the upcoming season and pet safe remedies: “When I brought some of my houseplants indoors for the cooler months, I immediately noticed pesky gnats flying around. To battle the flies, I always crumble up Mosquito Dunks, a natural pesticide (BTI) that won’t harm Luna if she decides to dig her nose in the soil, sniff around and potentially lick it up.”

Brittany // @ihavethisthingwithurbanjungles


Brittany’s feed shares the best of Instagram’s lux indoor jungles, lounging pets and superb sunlight. For instant-Instagram-inspriration, look no further than her hundreds of perfect photos from plant collectors like us.

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Thank you to everyone who submitted photos and advice. I’ll be doing another installment soon!

XOXO Anastasia  //  Leaf+Paw