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Plants & Pets: Can you Have Them Both?

Having pets and plants in the same house can be a wonderful way to bring the beauty of nature into your home… not to mention the value of companionship! But we get asked all the time, “Which plants are safe for my pets?” While it’s true that most plants can co-exist peacefully with your pets, it’s still important to consider safety when introducing both green and furry friends to the same environment! 

Here’s what we usually tell people: with the exception of a few highly toxic plants, most houseplants contain only a mild amount of toxicity that acts as an irritant to “munchy” passers-by. These irritants are far more likely to cause an itchy mouth, or an upset tummy than severe illness, which will likely deter your pet from bothering the plant further (but please do read our disclaimer before you leave the page). If a pet was to consume a large amount of these tropical plants (we’re talking, like, a whole plant), they might actually be in some serious trouble – and it’s not unheard of! So keep the disposition of your pets in mind. If you have a dog that will savagely ingest any substance of interest, then yes. You probably have to take careful steps to prevent them from reaching your plant collection. But if you’ve got a pair of relatively indifferent cats who like to take a little nip here and there, don’t sweat it.

We also encourage our customers to consider accessibility when bringing a new plant home.If you have a pet that you know may be tempted to chew on or ingest leaves and flowers, do consider how you might be able to keep your plant out of reach. Consider placing it on a high shelf, using a plant stand, or hanging it from the ceiling with a hook (so long as your plant still gets adequate light). Heavy, pet-proof containers are a good idea too, which can help prevent a curious pet from knocking your plant over.

So with that context in place, here are some examples of both safe and unsafe plants for your pets. 

15 Plants that are Generally Considered Safe for Pets:

  1. Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
  2. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
  3. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema modestum)
  4. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
  5. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
  6. African Violet (Saintpaulia ionantha)
  7. Dracaena (Dracaena spp.)
  8. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum spp.)
  9. Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)
  10. Zebra Plant (Aphelandra squarrosa)
  11. Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens)
  12. Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa)
  13. Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera spp.)
  14. Maranta (Maranta leuconeura)
  15. Succulents (Echeveria, Sedum, and Sempervivum spp.)

6 Plants that Are Considered Dangerous to Pets

  1. Lilies (Lilium spp.) – Can cause kidney failure in cats.
  2. Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta) – Can cause liver failure in dogs.
  3. Dieffenbachia (Dieffenbachia spp.) – Can cause oral irritation and difficulty swallowing.
  4. Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) – Can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
  5. Oleander (Nerium oleander) – Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even death.
  6. Yew (Taxus spp.) – Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even death.

Important Disclaimer: We are plant experts, not pet experts. It’s important to be aware that some pets may be more sensitive than others, and that certain forms of the plants may be more toxic than others. It’s always best to consult with a veterinarian or a plant specialist if you have any doubts about the safety of a plant in your home.

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Andrea Heembrock
Andrea works as Anything Grows Head of Marketing and Team Builder, and like everyone else at the store, she loves plants! Though she has many years of experience with plants, she gains a great deal of knowledge from her husband, Ty, who has been in the gardening industry for over two decades.

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