When it comes to plants and pets, both can bring a lot of love and light into your life. Unfortunately, the two don’t always mix so well. In fact, some plants can be downright deadly for pets. The good news is that many plants aren’t, and if you choose your plants wisely, the two can co-exist beautifully, says Justin Hancock of Costa Farms in Miami.
Here are expert picks on the best plants for pet owners.
This family of easy-growing houseplants has been popular for generations because it’s so forgiving, which is perfect for busy pet owners, Hancock says.
“Forget to water them now and again? No worries. Don’t want to fertilize? No problem. And they don’t contain natural compounds that are toxic to animals, so you don’t need to worry if Fido nibbles on a leaf or two.”
With their exotic spikes of brightly colored blooms, Guzmania bromeliads look festive. These nonpoisonous plants are easy to grow and stay relatively sturdy, so they’re unlikely to suffer a lot of damage if they get knocked down by playful pups.
This trendy succulent doesn’t need a lot of water. Nonpoisonous and spineless, they won’t harm the furry members of your household.
This “plant of steel” is practically indestructible, so it’s a great choice if you need an easy-care plant that’s compatible with your pets. Its thick trunk and grassy leaves give it a festive look that’s perfect for any room in the home.
Not only is catnip nontoxic, your cat is also going to love it. It can be planted inside or out and is known for its bright green leaves. The only downside is that your feline may love it too much, so you might need to replant it now and then.
Money tree, aka pachira aquaticaSadly enough, money does not actually grow on these plants. But here’s the good news: They’re safe for pets and recommended for people with allergies and asthma.
These nontoxic flowers look fancy, but they’re actually low-maintenance. They come in an amazing array of colors and can add an elegant touch to any space without putting Yolanda the Yorkie in any danger.
A note of caution
Hancock says it’s important to note that just because these plants are nontoxic for pets, it doesn’t mean your pet still can’t have a negative reaction to them.
“Pets can have allergies to plants, just like people can have food allergies, so a nonpoisonous plant could possibly (it’s rare, of course) make a pet sick,” Hancock says. “Likewise, it’s also possible for pets to have bad interactions with fertilizers or other products used on plants.”
So if your green thumb is itching, these nontoxic plants are good place to start. Just remember to watch your furry friends around any new plants, for the sake of your pets and your plants.