House plants not only improve your home environment as far as bringing peace and tranquility, but they improve the quality of air you breathe. Certain ones can be harmful to animals, though. Here is a list of 15 pet-friendly house plants you can safely grow!
15 Attractive Pet-Friendly House Plants
- Spider plant
- African Violet
- Boston Fern
- Polka Dot plant
- Areca Palm (Butterfly Palm)
- Banana tree
- Friendship plant
- Ponytail Palm
- Purple Waffle plant
- Prayer plant
- Venus Fly Trap
- Baby Tears
We need house plants! Not only do they bring some life and nature into our homes, but they do purify the air.
And they are healthy for us to have around! Studies show that they reduce stress levels, boost your mood, and improve productivity and concentration by 15%!
They are also great for us garden fanatics who may miss our plants in the winter. We can still see plants grow, propagate them, and even see them flower.
So many popular plants like the Peace Lily and Golden Pothos are poisonous to our pets. At the very least, they may give them a belly ache. Now I have both of the plants just mentioned, but I keep them far from my cats and dogs.
If you want to have plants at lower levels that pets can’t get sick from, or if you have cats that climb, check out these 15 pet-friendly house plants!
1. Spider plant
The Spider plant is one of my favorite pet-friendly house plants because it’s so easy to care for!
It is also easy to get free plants from them because they are always giving babies! These babies can be made into new plants or given as gifts. So fun!
- Make a Spider plant happy by placing it in a normal to bright room (doesn’t need direct sunlight) with a comfortable temperature.
- Keep the soil slightly moist. This evens out to about once a week in spring or summer and probably a little less in fall and winter, allowing the soil to dry a bit between watering.
Starting new plants from babies is easy. Simply wait until the baby gets a little bigger and either plant it in lightweight potting soil while still attached to mom or snip it off before planting. *Make sure your container has drainage holes.
2. African Violet
I have fond memories of African Violets! My grandma up north used to have them growing all over her house. and they were beautiful!
I tried growing them once and failed, so I never tried again until now.
My problem was ignorance in the care of these pretty plants. But once you know how to properly take care of them, they will grace you with pretty purple, white, or blue flowers and, as a bonus, are pet-friendly house plants!
- Keep your African Violet happy by watering with lukewarm or tepid water, as they are picky about their aqua! Keep the soil slightly moist, and make sure you water from the bottom, as they hate wet leaves and will rot. (If they get dusty, brush the leaves off with a soft brush.)
- Regular potting soil is OK, as long as it’s loose and well-drained. Adding organic matter is beneficial. Keep them in a small pot and replant once a year to mix in fresh soil.
- African Violets are happy with a regular-lit room. If they appear leggy, they need more light. If the leaves look bleached, less. Keep away from cold windows in the winter and only fertilize when it seems like it needs a boost. (You can fertilize with high-phosphorous plant food every two weeks during the growing season.)
3. Boston Fern
Boston ferns can be beautiful, pet-friendly house plants when kept properly.
Originating from the humid, tropical regions of South and Central America, they grow best in a cool area with high humidity and indirect sunlight.
- To supply the Boston fern with the humidity it craves, simply mist it with water once or twice a week, especially in winter. (If the leaves start turning yellow, it’s not getting enough humidity!) You can also place the pot on a tray of pebbles with water in the bottom.
- Keep the soil damp by checking it once a day or so. Dry soil is what kills most Boston ferns! These plants benefit from a high level of peat moss in their soil. You can soak the pot of this plant about once a month to make sure the peat moss fully absorbs the water. This plant does not need much fertilizer, maybe just a couple-few times a year.
4. Polka Dot plant
I love the look of these pet-friendly house plants! The Polka Dot Plant is another one that I loved as a kid but could never keep alive!
Some people plant them outside for annuals, but they grow great indoors as well.
- Keep your plant happy and healthy by allowing it to grow in a bright room. The Polka Dot plant doesn’t like direct sunlight and would prefer an east or south-facing window. This plant likes humidity and will appreciate an occasional spray.
- They prefer organically rich soil, but some organic potting soil will suit them just fine. They do not like to dry out, nor do they like soggy soil, so keep the plant evenly moist. Water less often in the winter.
- These plants are heavy eaters, so plan on feeding them once a month during the growing season. Also, your coldest room is not the place to place the Polka Dot Plant!
5. Areca Palm (Butterfly Palm)
These beautiful pet-friendly house plants aren’t difficult to make happy, but the Areca Palm won’t tolerate neglect, either. And although these are usually sold as tabletop plants, they can reach a height of 6-7′ full grown!
- Areca palms like a tight container, so opt for replanting every 2-3 years. They prefer palm potting soil or regular potting soil with a handful of clean sand added. Water regularly, keeping the soil moist to the touch in the growing season. In the colder months, allow surface soil to dry out in between waterings.
- Keep this plant in a bright room with indirect sun. A south or west-facing window would be ideal. Too much sun will fade the leaves. As with most house plants, they would appreciate an occasional mist of water.
6. Banana tree
Although it’s called a Banana tree and sometimes looks like a tree, this herbaceous flowering plant is actually the world’s largest herb! It also brings a tropical look to any room you have it in. Since these plants can get so large and need to be on the floor, they are perfect pet-friendly house plants.
- You can make the Banana tree happy by giving it full sun. That sunny window is perfect! They also like rich, slightly acidic, humus-like soil that is well-drained.
- They originate in humid regions, so water spraying is a plus, as is a warmer room in your house. Keep this soil evenly moist for a well-growing plant. No overwatering, though, as soggy soil will cause root rot.
It’s fun to visit places like North Carolina and see them growing huge and beautiful outside! (this photo was taken at Biltmore Estates)
7. Friendship plant
The low-maintenance Friendship plant is rightly named for the fact that it easily produces offshoots from the base. These offshoots are easy to grow and can be given to friends. 🙂 We love pet-friendly house plants that keep on giving!
- Keep your Friendship plant healthy by placing it in a bright room with indirect sunlight. They don’t like to spend too much time under 65˚, so a warmer room is preferred.
- Keep the soil evenly moist, and spray your plant with water often for the added humidity it craves. Keep the Friendship plant happy enough, and it just may grace you with some pale pink flowers!
The Peperomia is one of those pet-friendly house plants that you can find in almost any store’s indoor garden section. They are popular, and rightly so. They are slow-growing and low maintenance.
- Peperomias prefer a bright, warm room with indirect sunlight. Regardless of the variety of plants you have (they have a nice variety of pretty foliage), they all will be happy in an east or west-facing window.
- Let the top inch of soil dry out between watering, which is typically 7-10 days apart, depending on the time of year. I let my finger be the guide but know that overwatering can cause rot or yellow leaves. They do like well-drained soil and fertilizer once a month during their growing season.
The Orchid is much-loved for its beautiful flowers, and the fact that it’s on the pet-friendly house plants list is a bonus!
- Keep these beauties happy by giving them ample water but allowing them to dry out between those waterings. You can use quality potting soil, but they benefit from added fir bark, coarse perlite, rocks, cork, or sphagnum moss. Some people even add some charcoal to the soil, depending on the orchid variety. They also like shallow planting.
- They do best in a bright room with indirect sunlight, preferably in an east or south window. Too little light can cause poor flowering, while direct light can cause leaf scorch.
They like warmer rooms and cooler nights to flower.
It’s fun to have flowering house plants, and of course, the bonus is if they are pet-friendly house plants. And even though Bromeliads may look like they require special care, they are easy growers.
- Bromeliads don’t need much fertilizer to be happy, perhaps half-strength once a month during growing season. Allow them to dry out between waterings, but water thoroughly when you do*.
- You can spray them or sit them on a saucer of pebbles and water for their humidity needs. They would prefer to be in a medium-to-bright room with indirect light. Well-drained soil is crucial, so it would be beneficial to mix 1/3 of the potting soil with cactus soil.
*Watering a Bromeliad is slightly different as you fill the Bromeliad cup/tank (the center). Fill the tank in the center and don’t allow it to get empty. If you see salt build-up, rinse it out. Let the excess water drain out and never allow it to get stagnant.
11. Ponytail Palm
The Ponytail Palm is actually a succulent and is another popular house plant for a good reason. They are not only attractive and easy to grow but are pet-friendly house plants!
- Being a succulent, the Ponytail palm grows best in semi-dry conditions. Make sure you let the plant totally dry out before watering again. Their fertilizer needs are low, only about two or three times a year.
- They prefer a bright room but will tolerate lower light in the winter. It’s also best to let them become root-bound before transplanting (this is due to their need for dry soil).
12. Purple Waffle plant
The pretty little Purple Waffle plant stays compact, so if you’re looking for pet-friendly house plants that can remain on a small table, this is a good pick.
- This plant prefers bright, indirect light to grow optimally. Too little light may cause the Purple Waffle plant to lose some of its purple color. Mist this plant daily (or at least a few times a week) to make it the happiest, especially in the winter.
- They like to be kept evenly moist with well-drained soil. Allow the water to drain out the bottom but don’t let that extra water sit for too long. The Purple Waffle plant doesn’t like soggy roots! They don’t mind cooler rooms, as long as the temperature is consistent.
13. Prayer plant
This is another of the pet-friendly house plants that are recognizable to most of us plant lovers. The leaves’ patterns and colors of the Prayer plant are beautiful, and the way it closes up at night as in prayer is endearing.
- Keep this plant happy by placing it in a room that receives bright, indirect light. Direct sun will fade the colors and possibly burn leaves. Prayer plants appreciate humidity, so misting it every few days is perfect.
- Keep the soil evenly moist during growing season, but reduce water in the fall and winter. The Prayer plant doesn’t like to be too wet, too dry, or be in drafts in the winter. Also, try to water with lukewarm water on the soil only; avoid pouring water over the leaves.
14. Venus Fly Trap
The carnivorous Venus Fly Trap makes me kinda smile that it’s on the pet-friendly house plants list, but it’s non-toxic, making this unique plant even more fun to own.
- Keep them happy by keeping their soil very moist, soaking the soil, and allowing them to moderately dry before the next watering. Distilled water is best for them, and they like an average-temperature room. It doesn’t enjoy the direct sun for too long and won’t mind an occasional misting.
- Doing best in bright, indirect light, they don’t need fertilizer due to insect consumption. If you find they aren’t eating enough or you don’t want to feed insects, a very mild fertilizer applied directly to the trap will work.
One of the biggest ways to kill this unique plant is to touch it too much, wanting the trap to close. Please keep your hands off of the traps! Avoid over-feeding as well, as that can lead to their demise. Only ONE trap needs to be fed on a plant once every other week.
15. Baby Tears
Baby Tears are another recognizable plant that can be perfect for a person who doesn’t have a lot of sunlight shining in their homes. These pet-friendly house plants are easy-growers and often used outside as annuals.
- Make Baby Tears happy by giving them moderate, indirect sunlight and plenty of air circulation.
- Keep their soil lightly moist and provide them with a fair amount of humidity to keep them healthy. This is often why you see them in terrariums, for the humidity level! No terrarium? Mist it daily (or almost), and you’re good to go!
There are plenty other pet-friendly house plants I could add to this list, but some are sort of difficult to grow, and others, well, I just didn’t want to make this too long! 🙂
Any others you’d like to know about? Please comment below, and I’ll be glad to look into it. Hope this was helpful to keep your pets and your family safe! Thank you!