There are endless benefits to having plants around the house. They improve air quality, promote relaxation, and generally make us feel happy. Pets do two of the three. The difficulty of having both in your home is that many plants are downright poisonous to our furry friends. While not all pets munch on house plants, it’s never a smart idea to leave pets alone with substances that could hurt them. We’ve collected a few examples of plants that are safe to have around your home and ones that are particularly dangerous.
Air Plants. If you're looking for a house plant that you can basically ignore, air plants are for you. If you live in a humid climate, air plants get their water needs from, get this, the air. If you're in a dryer climate, you just need to mist them every once in a while. They are pet friendly, but don't need soil and weigh next to nothing, so it's easy for Mittens to snatch them up and sneak them off.
Parlor Palm. These gorgeous plants are perfect to fill a corner spot. They're native to the rainforest, so they need plenty of water but not much sun. This makes them great plants to have indoors. They can reach 3 feet tall with proper care and pot size. Keep the soil moist, even in the winter, and don't forget to prune off any brow leaves you find.
Orchid. Some orchids aren't great for pets, but the ones you're likely to find in the local stores are just fine. These beautiful flowers aren't for beginners - they need a lot of care. But, if you're looking to add some color to your home without endangering your pets, orchids are a solid choice.
Calathea. Also known as the prayer plant, a calathea grows all year round. It needs a well-lit area, but without direct sunlight so avoid putting it on a windowsill. It should be watered occasionally, but should dry out between waterings. It'll be just fine if you forget to water it for a day or two.
Spider Plant. These fast-growing plants are best known for their ability to purify the air around them. They'll suck up air pollutants like a vacuum, so they work especially well in bedrooms or living areas. They grow quickly, too. Keep this plant away from direct sunlight because their leaves get sunburnt!
Boston Fern. This plant is almost as fluffy as your fur baby. Boston ferns need plenty of water (don't let the soil get dry) and indirect light. They work great in living areas or bedrooms as long as the curtains can be drawn for part of the day.
Gerbera Daisy. These are giant, brightly colored flowers that are the perfect centerpiece to your kitchen or dining table. It does need plenty of light, but you only need to water it when it feels dry. Just give the soil a quick check during dinner and water it if necessary.
Carnation. Carnations are very popular in flower arrangements. They last for days and are super bright. However, they are not at all pet friendly. If you get a bouquet of flowers which includes carnations, be sure to keep them out of the reach of your pets. These can cause upset stomach and skin irritation.
Chamomile. These aren't common flowers most people have growing around their home, but they are very popular dried and placed in tea bags. Whether you've got fresh chamomile flowers or dried ones, keep them away from your pets! Like carnations, these flowers cause an upset stomach and itchy skin.
Daffodil. In early spring, these beautiful flowers pop up in every garden. If your pets typically spend much of their time outside, it may be best to bring them indoors for a week or two until these tempting flowers disappear. The bulbs are particularly dangerous so keep nosy pets away while you're planting them. They cause stomach pain, irregular breathing, and an irregular heartbeat. Symptoms can worsen, so be sure to get your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Aloe. Having an aloe plant around the house is helpful for minor burns and scrapes. However, it's not so great for your pets. It causes an upset stomach, changes in urine color, and even depression. In extreme cases, it has been known to cause tremors. While symptoms are typically mild, be sure to contact your vet if your dog stops eating.
Holly. Deck the halls - or don't. Holly is a very common Christmas decoration, and is usually safe to hang high up in door frames where pets can't reach it. Be sure to check for leaves that turn brittle and remove them before they fall to the floor. If your pet does ingest the berries or the leaves, watch for excessive drooling, blood in the mouth, and head shaking.
It's important to note that your pets have been accustomed to a specialized formulated diet in the form of their pet food. Plants, any plants, are not a part of this diet. While the "safe" plants above are not toxic to animals, it is not abnormal for pets to experience some upset stomach after eating them. As a precaution, it's best to keep all plants, poisonous or not, in places your pets can't reach. Not only will this dissuade snacking, but it will also keep the plants safe from damage by curious pets.
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