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 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

A Tropicool Cat Oasis 🌴🌞

While this will be a short post, it’s one I feel obligated to share because: cats. Everybody loves cats. My two favorite things happened: I took adorable photos of my mittens yesterday AND it’s #monsteramonday. Not to mention, Urban Jungle Bloggers’ feed is all about Tropicool Summer. What’s more tropical/cool then cats relaxing in the sun?

Urban Jungle Bloggers

Harvey and Harlequinn were all sssuuunndaazzee on Sunday, enjoying the warm sunshine. As some of you may know, I love the Urban Jungle Bloggers features that they put out every month. For Tropicool, I visualized a whole scene of  a styled shoot, with beach umbrellas and margaritas. Really, these photos are way more truthful to my Sunday mood in reality.

Urban Jungle Bloggers

See?

If you own a cat (or dog, I’m sure this doesn’t just apply to cats…), have you noticed they enjoy your houseplants as much as you do? Yes, they are jungle-y, and they can be fun to eat. But since acquiring more houseplants, my cats seek them out, nap beneath them, and enjoy their company. That’s also why, despite this being a pet-friendly blog, I suggest incorporating large leaf plants in your home. I know they can be dangerous if ingested, but I never have had a problem with either kitty eating my Monstera or Rubber Tree.

Monstera Pet Safe

The best cat-friendly plant placement.

I keep my medium-sized lush plants on petals a lot of the time, especially my palm, which cats love to eat. My Monstera and Rubber trees are in floor planters near windows.

Palm tree : Leaf and Paw

I typically move everyone to the porch in summer where the humidity is high and put comfy cat-friendly cushions on my wicker chairs. The plants love the moisture in the air and the kitties love the sun, heat, and general sauna atmosphere, despite being covered in fur.

Sometimes the rug is just fine, and Harvey lays there like a garden slug. Not the most flattering angle but cute nonetheless. She really needs to go on a diet…

Cats and Plants

I always look for ways to make my indoors even more outdoors (sans bugs). If you have been collecting pet-friendly plants, it’s a nice idea to create small garden-like areas for them to explore. During one of my first Leaf and Paw photoshoots in my house, I left my plants like this for a few days and the cats loved it:

Especially for indoor cats, the greenery, increased oxygen, and air cleaning effects plants have are all beneficial to keeping them healthy. A bunch of fresh catnip in a pretty pot helps, too. Speaking of which, I actually like this article from The Spruce.

Not a plant mom yet? Check out this blog for pet friendly plants to get you started, you’ll be happy you did! Soon, you can have you own tropicool oasis.

 

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Wicker chair: Vintage (found in FOUND), Cushion: Pier One Imports.