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.
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:
Silverleaf Peperomia (Peperomia griseoargentea), photo by The Fox Den
Jayde Peperomia (Peperomia polybotrya)
Ripple Peperomia (Peperomia caperata)
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!
I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who has read my blog so far! I have gotten super duper feedback on how I’m helping people identify pet safe plants – that is my goal after all. This is my first comment ever and it came via Facebook, “I was just reading your blog, thank you for the info! I am that person who will stand in the store for half an hour googling plant names before I bring anything into my house! My kitties and I are grateful for this quick reference.” Thank you Cathleen from Canada, you seriously made my week!
Here is yet another installment of the plant safe houseplants. While my kitties and I are insanely excited for spring, we haven’t gone all out shopping yet for new plants. My plant family, most of who made the winter, except my Echeveria, RIP, are happy to see the sun and are just starting to come out of the dormant stage. Naturally, I’ve been whipping out my camera to give everyone their 15 minutes of fame.
It’s important to mention that not all of my plants are perfect. If you have a cat or dog, some of your plants have most likely taken a beating. Mine have fallen off shelves, been taste tested (by cats), knocked over (by sun bathing cats), and been personal scratching posts (unnecessary). I do like to keep my blog photos swanky and professional, but, I feel like post-winter and cat-cohabitation plants should be shown in their, ahem, natural state. After all, we don’t garden for the glamour.
The Prayer Plant has been one of my favorites for some time. My cats won’t eat them and they love low light areas, I have one in almost every room of my house. And those leaves! They are just really pretty, like Emma Watsons of the plant world. Easy to take care of, Marantas just like to be kept moist and out of direct sun. And no dry heat (like radiators), which will dry them out.
Ok, so my cats likes spiny things. Cactuses, snake plants, you name it and no matter how dangerous, their face is being rubbed on it. My Haworthia, although doing well, is a bit exhausted. One of my oldest plants, Harlequinn has chewed on the tiny spines, leaving ugly dry bits and stunted leaves. If I had a nickel for every time Harvey has pushed it over onto the floor, I’d be able to buy another one. I must be doing something right, though, since there are tiny Haworthia pups growing, and she is still going strong. How? I don’t know.
I actually just got this spider plant around Christmas. Since I love spider plants, I am determined to actually have mine grow this time. They tend to get eaten. Every single time. The plan is to move it to a hanging planter, avoiding cat mouths, and will one day look like the bottom photo. Spider plants are completely pet safe but they usually result in upset tummies later. I actually just read this article about why cats love these plants, and why they keep coming back for more. As far as care, these guys just need to be kept moist, in the sun, and away from felines.
Because of my love for rubber trees, thus began my collection of Peperomia. 100% pet safe and almost always variegated with some kind of colors, these are one of my favorites of 2017. Unlike rubber trees which are considered mildly toxic because of the funky sap, peperomias are non toxic. Peperomia stay petite and just require low indirect light and moist bottoms. They make great quiet office mates, actually, and don’t eat smelly lunches.
In the near future, I’m planning on creating this faux moss wall that I saw in my Rooted in Design book. They mix in a bunch of air plants, so in preparation, I’ve begun to acquire them. Despite being spiny and stringy, my cats won’t eat them, but if they did they are completely pet safe. The only care they need is a good soak in a lukewarm water bath for a couple hours once a week. However, spritzing will work too. I’ve had luck purchasing Tillandsia locally, as well as this threesome through Hirts on Etsy.
Birds Nest Fern
Ferns can be annoying to take care or, but not this one. My Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium antiquum) has been with me for a couple years now. It’s the curly variety, which is cooler I think, than the typical one with sword leaves. Ferny likes his plastic pot, no drafts, and damp soil to keep him happy. Both Harvey and Harlequinn like him purely for the jungle effect. Luckily, not for snacking.
More installments to come as I acquire more pet-friendly plant friends. Thanks for reading!