Pet Friendly Houseplants

Adding greenery to our homes helps to clean the air and boost our mood, but houseplants aren’t always good for our furry friends. If eaten, some common indoor plants are toxic to cats and dogs and as a nation of animal lovers we want our pets to be safe and live in harmony with our plants. It isn’t always easy to tell if a houseplant is pet friendly, so if you are starting out your plant journey or looking to add some more greenery to your home, we asked our Horticultural Manager, Matt Peck to share his favourite pet-friendly houseplants. And, if your four-legged friend does have a habit of nibbling plants, he has recommended some varieties that are best to avoid.

What are the best pet-friendly houseplants to buy?

There are many pet-friendly house plants available. Here are six of the best indoor plants to make you and your pets happy.

1. Spider Plant

The Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum) is one of the easiest houseplants to grow for beginners. This low-maintenance plant loves bright, indirect light, although it can also do well in lower light. Not only are spider plants harmless to cats and other pets, but they also purify the air, removing bad toxins from your home so you and your fur baby can enjoy clean air. Allow the soil to almost dry out between waterings and your spider plant will grow to a height of about 50cm. When mature, it will produce beautiful, star-shaped white flowers.

Growing new spider plants from the ‘babies’ that the mother plant produces is a fun way to increase your plant collection.

2. Chinese Money Plant

The Chinese Money Plant (Pilea peperomioides) is a lovely, easy-to-care-for plant that will happily sit on your desk. Despite its elegant appearance, it is a robust choice and can handle a bump and a scrape. Even if the leaves fall off, they’ll grow back in no time.

This pet-friendly house plant prefers a shady position away from direct sunlight. Native to the Southern Chinese provinces of Yunnan and Sichuan, this elegant plant was thought to bring its owner luck and good fortune, thanks to its large, rounded leaves that were thought to represent coins stacking one on top of the other.

3. Prayer Plant

The Maranta Leuconeura, also known as the Prayer Plant, is a beautiful, pet-friendly plant with eye-catching leaves of bright green, crimson, and cream, that is bound to make your pet curious about its beauty. This plant is non-toxic for both cats and dogs and the striking colouring on the leaves make it the perfect feature for your bookshelves or side table. Prayer plants prefer medium-to-low light and don’t mind if their soil is allowed to dry out a little between waterings.

4. Boston Fern

The Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) is a low-maintenance houseplant that is safe for both cats and dogs. Not only is it easy to grow but it is air-purifying. Note that, as lovable as this houseplant is, ferns don’t like to be handled too much because human hands are oily. Place it in a humid location near the bathroom or kitchen and watch it flourish.

5. Succulents

Good news if you love succulents. Most succulent varieties are completely pet-safe, including Echeveria, Hardy & Tender Sedum, Haworthia and Sempervivum varieties.

These drought-tolerant houseplants are easy to grow provided you put it in a bright, sunny spot with low humidity.

Popular succulents like Echeverias aren’t harmful, but it’s essential to do your homework on each one. (For example, Jade plants look similar to other succulents, but they are harmful to dogs.) Most animals instinctively avoid eating succulents, as they just don’t smell or taste very appetizing.

6. Parlour Palm

Parlour Palms (Chamaedorea elegans) get their name from being a staple in the parlours of wealthy Victorians, as they were considered a status symbol at the time.

The Parlour Palm is a tropical, low-maintenance, pet-friendly houseplant. They love humidity and bright, indirect light. They’re not very demanding, so they’re a great option if you’re a beginner. Being an air purifying plant, it can also help absorb toxins in the air helping your pet and you breathe easier.

What plants are unsafe for pets?

Unfortunately, some plants are harmful and will make your pets sick if digested, causing symptoms from mild irritation to death. Although some are more dangerous than others, it pays to be informed and keep your home and garden free of toxic plants if you’re worried that your pet might have a little nibble. Some plant variants you should avoid are:

  • Cactus (Cactaceae)
  • Aloe Vera (Liliaceae)
  • Jade Plant (Crassula)
  • Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)
  • Mother-in-laws tongue (Dracaena trifasciata)
  • English Ivy (Hedera helix)
  • Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
  • Philodendron (Monstera Included)
  • Rubber plant (Ficus elastica)
  • ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas)
  • Mistletoe (Viscum album)
  • Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
  • Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)

How do you stop your pets from nibbling on plants?

Getting pet-friendly, non-toxic house plants is the safest option for your home. However, you should also ensure that your pets don’t nibble on your plants. Moving your greenery out of reach is the best way. You could elevate the plants using high shelves so that tiny paws cannot reach. Cats also dislike the smell of citrus, so you can also try repelling them by spraying diluted lemon juice on your plants. Animals sometimes mistake plants for toys, so providing them with plenty of pet-safe toys to play with may help to divert their attention.

If you’re ever unsure whether a plant you have is pet safe or not, make sure to keep it up on a high shelf so that your pets can’t chew it or come into contact with its pollen. That way, you can be sure they’ll be out of harm’s reach. It’s also worth noting that it’s not only houseplants that can be toxic to pets, but flowers like Lilies and Chrysanthemums are also highly toxic for cats.

We hope the above guide has helped you with selecting your next houseplant. If you would like more information and advice, our friendly Plant Specialists are always on hand to help. You can give us a call on 01664 454309 or email our Information Desk at

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