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Posted on 11-29-2017

Non-Toxic Plant Options for Pet Owners

Are you a plant lover and a pet owner? Then you have probably discovered it can sometimes be tricky to find plants for your home that are also safe to have around pets. Well, don’t be discouraged! There are actually quite a few houseplants that are non-toxic to dogs and cats. For this week’s blog, we have pulled together a list that can help you decorate your home with live plants... or, perhaps even serve as a list of gift ideas for those pet owners on your shopping list this holiday season!

Be sure to keep these precautions in mind:

  • Even non-toxic plants can create gastrointestinal upset if ingested by your pet. If your pet is overly attracted to houseplants, even non-toxic ones, then plants are probably best kept out of reach.
  • Check the plant label carefully and reference the scientific name. You can double check any plant with the ASPCA’s list of non-toxic plants for cats and dogs.
  • Don’t make assumptions from the name of the plant. For example, a Boston Fern is non-toxic, but that does not mean all plants with the name “fern” are non-toxic.
  • Don’t assume that if one species can have the plant, that it is safe for any species.

Now, for the list.

Examples of Non-Toxic Plants
Common Name Scientific Name Photograph Example
Some Bromeliads Neoregalia spp.
Hens and chickens Echeveria elegans
Christmas Cactus Schlumbergera bridgesii
Spider Plant Chlorophytum comosum
Rose Rosa sp.
African Violet Saintpaulia spp.
Phalaenopsis orchids Phalaenopsis sp.
Prayer plant Calathea insignis
Polka dot plant Hypoestes phyllostachya
Friendship plant Pilea involucrata
Boston Fern Nephrolepis exalta bostoniensis
Pony Tail Beaucarnea recurvata
Burro’s tail  Sedum morganianum
Lipstick plant Aeschynanthus humilis
Japanese Aralia Fatsia japonica
Aluminum plant Pilea cadieri

Need more choices? Visit the ASPCA's website page about toxic and non-toxic plants.

Author: Dr. C. Noureddine, DVM, MS, MS