Five Pet Safe Houseplants for Spring

Pet Safe Houseplants

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.

Tillandsia : Pet Safe HouseplantsIt’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.

Maranta

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.

 

Haworthia

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.

Haworthia : Pet Safe Plants
My poor Haworthia. She’s still pretty, despite the teeth marks.

Spider Plant

Spider Plant : Pet Safe Plants
Harvey, snacking.

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.

http://www.veranda.com/outdoor-garden/g1647/benefits-of-houseplants/?slide=5
….how my spider plant should look…..

Peperomia

Peperomia : Pet Safe Houseplants
This baby’s got white, pink, and green leaves.

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.

Peperomia : Pet Safe Houseplants
Jelly Peperomia and Golden Gate

Air Plants

Air Plant : Pet Safe Houseplants
Air plant in its natural habitat.

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.

Air Plants : Pet Safe Houseplants
Tillandsia can actually be hot glued to things! I don’t recommend doing that to other plants….

Birds Nest Fern

Birds Nest Fern : Pet Safe Houseplants
So green!

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.

Fern : Pet Safe Houseplants
Jungle cat. Well, kinda.

More installments to come as I acquire more pet-friendly plant friends. Thanks for reading!

Creating an Urban Jungle

Possessing over 50 indoor plants kind of snuck up on me.  Somehow I became obsessed with creating an urban jungle. Of course, like any obsession, it began with just one.

Creating an Urban Jungle

Rudy, my largest rubber tree, introduced here, was purchased in 2015. I was working at a Garden Center at the time and was around plants of all sizes, mostly tropicals, like Rudy. Once settled in, Rudy was perfect. He looked so pretty in the window of my office and I soon brought home Sylvia, a giant snake plant that was over 4′ tall. My husband and I had been in our house a year at that point, and I was on the hunt for some interior inspiration. I became more and more interested in indoor tropicals, which fueled my plan to create my own urban jungle.

Creating an urban jungle

Long story short, after these two plants (and a few smaller ones), I noticed an emptiness in so many rooms. That well-lit corner in the kitchen could use some green, I thought. My bedroom’s white walls looked so asylum-y and needed some much needed color. Fast forward to 2018, when my husband no longer notices the gazillion plants, insisting “they were always there.” It was three years of me plant-purchasing-and-planning, but ok.

Monstera

Why do I like indoor plants so much? Why does anybody? Plants symbolize  nature and life, providing structure and character to our spaces. Sometimes, especially nowadays, they supply the only greenery (read: life) in small apartments and offices. Normally these spaces look “sterile,” but plants add a warmthness and homey touch. As I began to build my urban jungle I focused on adding plants that were healthy to my home. I also kept my cats in mind, who I very much wanted to enjoy my jungle with me without getting poisoned.

How do I create a lux yet simple Hanging Gardens of Babylon aesthetic that could also purify all the toxins from my house? Is that really asking too much?

Philodendron in my Urban Jungle :: L&P

I started with what I liked: large plants and vines, with large leaves and different textures. My next pet safe plant was a 5′ palm and a few funky succulents that I planted in minimal white pots. Once I understood how light and temperature functioned in my house, I added in picky plants like ferns and bromeliads. I list my favorite pet safe plants here and here….you’re welcome.

Fittonia :: L&P

I’m pretty happy with my progress so far. Having all of these leafy friends has not only unleashed a kind of zen in my house, but better air quality and cat-forests to hid in, and the lush Babylonian interior that I was after all along. I mention in my last post that I have been doing the KonMarie method of decluttering.  I’ve replaced buying tchotchkes and useless decor with large scale plants and cactuses for my side tables and bookshelves, not useless knickknacks. It’s a great perk that came along with my urban jungle project.

Urban Jungle :: L&P

I hope this offers some insight, although most of it is rambling, about how to begin to create an urban jungle for your personal space. Start by making a list of the look you want and go from there. Become familiar with plant shapes and varieties, look at Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration. Building my oasis has been my favorite project yet….so much I started blog about it. I just see it getting bigger from here. 🙂

Supporter of:Urban jungle bloggers

Planters from IKEA, table from IKEA, prints in background by Emily Martin.

Five Minimalist Pet Safe Houseplants

Last month I began this blog, finally, after wanting to begin one for a while. To keep in line with my mission of providing pet owners with info about indoor plants to buy I wrote this post about pet safe houseplants. I figured it was time for another installment; another five more plants to buy, woohoo!

I’m a millennial, so I like things to be categorized, honest, and to lend some kind of inspiration to improve my interior decor. Considering I am in the middle of KonMari (from the “Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” book by Marie Kondo, please read if you have not) I’m into minimal plants that offer a discreet elegance, simplicity, and do not crowd my house (of which all contents are being judged). I made my way to my garden center and captured a list of five minimalist pet safe houseplants that I think make the cut.

 1 :: Creeping Charlie

Creeping Charlie
Creeping Charlie :: 5 Minimalist Indoor Plants Safe for Pets

So, in the USA at least, Creeping Charlie is considered a weed. I consider it a two-face plant (sorry, Batman reference). Outdoors, left to its own devices, it strangles other plants, is a beast to get rid of, and inevitably, becomes wrapped around the ankles of innocent gardeners. Indoors, it sits suspended from the ceiling with vines hanging non-threateningly.  I promise it’s the same plant.

Creeping Charlie

2 :: Bromeliad

Bromeliad
Bromeliad :: 5 Minimalist Indoor Plants Safe for Pets

I am going to vouch for these even though I actually do not own any Bromeliads. I love them, really I do. Their simple plants with a bright flower, plus they are generally easy to care for and actually don’t mind lower light locations (read: tolerant). Why don’t I have any? I’ve tried. My cats eat them. They bite the leaves, so little toothy marks remain, they knock them out of the pretty little planters and kick them around the house. It’s just awful…but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be on this list because I have jerk-cats.

Bromeliad
Bromeliad :: 5 Minimalist Indoor Plants Safe for Pets

3 :: Succulents

Haworthia
Haworthia :: 5 Minimalist Indoor Plants Safe for Pets

I’m going to be slightly general here. Many the succulents seen in big-box stores (like Lowe’s, Whole Foods, etc) are actually pet safe, including the cutie twins seen in my photo below.  I actually really like compact succulents, which are self contained and slow growing. Check labels, but you are good to go with:

  • Burro’s Tail (Sedum morganianum), which is excellent in a hanging planter.
  • Hens-and-Chicks (Sempervivum tectorum), tightly knit succulents that do not resemble neither hens nor chicks.
  • All types of Echeveria, usually there are a few types available. My favorite is the tradition Blue Echeveria.
  • Zebra Haworthia fasciata, one of my favorites but kind of a cat magnet.
  • Lithops; these are freakish and look like pebbles. They’re 100% pet safe though.
Pet Safe Succulents
Succulents :: 5 Minimalist Indoor Plants Safe for Pets

4 :: Hoya

Hoya Plant
Hoya :: 5 Minimalist Indoor Plants Safe for Pets

I’m a big lover of Indian culture (well, curry and Pashminas to start) so when I discovered a plant called “Hindu Rope Plant” I was curious, and golly-gee it actually. looks. like. a. rope. Like, that’s so cool.

There are two types of Hoya I have seen. One is the Hindu rope (below)  and the other is a somewhat regular looking plant in comparison, called wax hoya, which is usually variegated (above). Both kinds are amazing, pet friendly and safe, and a real conversation starter.

Hoya Plant
Hoya :: 5 Minimalist Indoor Plants Safe for Pets

5 :: Zebra Plant

Zebra Plant
Zebra Plant :: 5 Minimalist Indoor Plants Safe for Pets

I had been trying to find a Zebra Plant for years. I was going to purchase one online, but with shipping and travel in February, I didn’t think it would make it and it would put me out $30. One day, a sad looking plant appeared on a discount cart at the hardware store, $2. A Zebra plant! I was so excited. These striped beauties bloom yellow flowers, which look stunning in just about any room, in a simple white pot. It’s like a little work of art. And totally pet friendly too!  

Hoya Plant
Dickman Farms, Auburn NY.

Hopefully this list is just as or more helpful as my first. More installments to come! 🙂