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Houseplants Safe For Cats and Dogs

Last week I published a list of some of the great houseplants we have in our greenhouse. Susan commented, asking if these houseplants were pet-friendly. Were they OK for dogs and cats? Her cat is a “muncher” and so she needs indoor greeenery that isn’t toxic. Our greenhouse manager, Marsha, often points out that many of our common houseplants come from tropical areas. Plants that grow in these regions have needed to develop some levels of toxicity since there are so many insects and animals there that would otherwise eat them.

Susan’s question prompted me to do this week’s post about plants that are safe for dogs and cats. Many of these are pictured here. Note: if you have a cat that keeps nibbling on your plants, it’s likely that the cat would love its own dish of “cat grass.” This is a wheat grass that is easy to grow from seed. We commonly carry packages of the cat grass pictured below, and all you have to do is to sow it in a shallow pot filled with some organic potting soil.

Spider plants are one of the easiest plants to grow indoors.

Spider plants are one of the easiest plants to grow indoors.

Boston ferns are good in bright locations, and are pretty displayed on tall plant stands.

Boston ferns are good in bright locations, and are pretty displayed on tall plant stands.

Succulents are very popular right now and grow well in sunny windows. This blue Echeveria is safe for pets.

Succulents are very popular right now and grow well in sunny windows. This blue Echeveria is safe for pets.

African violets grow well in eastern windows and are pet friendly.

African violets grow well in eastern windows and are pet friendly.

Prayer plants are so named because the leaves close together like "praying hands" at night. They are colorful and pet friendly too.

Prayer plants are so named because the leaves close together like “praying hands” at night. They are colorful and pet friendly too.

Peperomias are another easy to grow plant that is dog and cat friendly.

Peperomias are another easy to grow plant that is dog and cat friendly.

Palms are safe for pets and provide tall greenery indoors.

Palms are safe for pets and provide tall greenery indoors.

Not only are Phalaenopsis orchids available most of the year, but they are long-flowering and pet friendly!

Not only are Phalaenopsis orchids available most of the year, but they are long-flowering and pet friendly!

Grow a low pot of cat grass so your cat is free to munch on greenery that provides the minerals etc the cat craves.

Grow a low pot of cat grass so your cat is free to munch on greenery that provides the minerals etc that your cat craves. Be sure to use fresh, organic potting soil – we have several types in the store.

Final note: The plants listed above are widely held to be safe for pets and are included in lists from the ASPCA and others. There could still be individual dogs, cats and other pets with special allergies and sensitivities to either a plant or a product used on a plant. So when introducing any new indoor greenery, watch your pet and see if he or she is likely to eat the plant or soil. An alert owner is a pet’s best protection.

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