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.

 

Supporter of 

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

 

Why you should visit a Botanical Garden.

Although somewhat unrelated to my subject of pets + plants, this is something that needs to be said. If you love plants – collect them, tend to them, obsessed with them, you need to visit a botanical garden. Many of the plants in your house and garden center are smaller versions of giant plants from different places all over the world, many reaching multiple feet in height.

Monstera : Leaf & Paw
I was in awe of this GIANT Godzilla size Monstera.

There are also a billion varieties of houseplants, like certain orchids, that are unfit for homes, but thrive in conservatories. The only way you would be able to experience exotic and rare plants like these is in a botanical garden.

Insanely impressive orchid.* Note: not official genus.

While in Massachusetts, I specifically sought out the Smith College Conservatory in South Hampton. The air was humid and warm, and had a calming scent of earth and dew.

Botanic Garden : Leaf & Paw
Let’s go!

In all, it contained several rooms which housed plants of specific origin and habitat. Like a goofy tourist, I wandered room to room, camera in hand, more excited than a toddler on Christmas morning.

Succulents
The Succulent House, also known as Phi Delta.

Being in New York, I don’t see many cacti, actually none, in a backyard. I have a few in my house, but our winters can be brutal. Yeah, we have lush green plants here, but I love a good rustic cactus, or better, lots of little friends.

Cacti - Leaf and Paw
Cactus Army or Cactus Party?

They were all grouped like this, like a tiny cactus army. It became more landscapey in the middle, with these larger cacti like this weird fellow. He definitely makes the artsy-plant-of-the-year list.

He’s neat.

As an individual who loves orchids, despite their hatred for me, I was in paradise. Plus, I didn’t need to take care of them, only to watch them never bloom for me again out of spite.

These tiny orchids smelled amazing!

This one even smiled at me. Or is that a wink? I don’t know.

Orchid: Leaf and Paw
I see a closed-eye smile with two big ears on either side. A happy orchid, nonetheless.

Speaking of spite, I posted on Instagram a few weeks ago about THIS:

Sigh.

I know from the many comments I received that I am not the only one who struggles with ferns. Especially maidenhair ferns, these picky little devils will succumb to the darkness no matter how much love I give. Here is one in the conservatory, on a bloody door, just growing rampant, with no care or help.

Whatever.

Can I just say that visiting this botanical garden also prompted me to save all  my chore money up and buy my own greenhouse. This year. I must, I just must. Look at those wiinnnnddoowws.

Arched windows bring me weak at the knees.

The highlight? The monstera. It’s obvious how much I love my Monstera, Monty, and I lost it when I saw this mama version. I posed, too, like a huge dork.

Monstera: Leaf and Paw.
People were staring at me like I was some kind of weirdo. Doesn’t everyone pose with giant leaves? If not, they should.

The only thing that would have made this experience better? Cats. Can someone open a cat/plant garden? Never mind, I will.

This leaf was bigger than my head.

My favorite part? Well, the monstera, yes, but it was actually the guessing game. All of my houseplant knowledge was put to the test. I learned so much more too, especially about different varieties, and how owning a green house is now a must. Did I mention I want a greenhouse?

Staghorn Fern: Leaf and Paw
Massive Staghorn Fern, mounted.

Unless you have ample funds to travel to Africa and Asia frequently, a botanical garden is really eye-opening. Considering most of the houseplants you and I own are from either of those countries, it was really cool to see them actual size. The conditions were perfect in the greenhouses, obviously, but dear lord, it was a sauna. I don’t recommend keeping a house 95 degrees and at 110% humidity to make your Monstera happy, unless you’d be happy at that ungodly temperature, too.

Botanical Garden : Leaf and Paw
Dorky photo number onebillion.

I did make some changes, though. When I got home I moved everyone around, focusing on what plants need more light, or humidity. I noticed Monty pushed out more leaves after seeing more sun, and my peperomias looked extra variegated after moving them into a shadier area. This is why I encourage every plant lover to find their nearest, or farthest, botanical garden and just spend the day. It’s amazing how much I info I absorbed and how much I actually knew about the plants I have.

Botanical Garden : Leaf and Paw

Personally, I can’t wait to go to another….any recommendations?