The safest garden and houseplants for pets – Digital Magazine

Cat exploring the wilderness. Photo (c) Tim Sandel

House and garden plants are a great way to add color and bring natural elements into your space, not to mention their host of health benefits, including improved air quality and reduced stress.

However, if you are a pet owner, it is important to do your research before adding new houseplants to your home decor collection. Many houseplants contain calcium oxalate crystals, a compound that can cause swelling, vomiting, and severe throat pain if your pet swallows it.

Finding the right plants to suit your pets can be a minefield. Here, say the garden experts behind Hayter Digital magazine About some useful plants that can keep you happy whether in the garden or the house – perfect for moody weather conditions and safe for your furry friends.

Moth orchid

Orchid (also known as Phalaenopsis Orchids) are currently popular in the houseplant market thanks to their variety of colors, hardiness and availability in most flower shops and supermarkets. It’s beginner-friendly for all you novice growers out there, with good drought tolerance and moderate light needs (place it in a bright, indirect-sun location).

Its high viability combined with a preference for medium light, low nutrient levels and warm conditions make it an ideal houseplant to grow in the garden. Moth orchids prefer shade and a temperature of at least 20°C to grow happily.

advice: Orchids can also be watered using ice cubes, which is useful if you have a habit of overwatering.

Gizmo, an urban cat. Photo (c) Tim Sandel


Goldtrup, O Vaccinium crimson, known to most people as the mulberry bush. This very small shrub loves to be in the garden and on the windowsill equally.

Goldtraube makes a great addition to a garden shrub or kitchen windowsill for easy access to its fruit. This plant can tolerate shade, but definitely prefers sunlight and moist soil. Make sure to keep it out of direct wind to maintain its strength.

Blueberries are also safe for pets, so there’s no need to chase your furry friends around the house if they pinch one. Blueberries are a source of healthy minerals and antioxidants for both humans and pets.

advice: Expect more blueberries if the plant gets more sunlight.

Air plants

Air plants are a great alternative to your traditional garden or houseplants. The lowest maintenance plants on this list, epiphytes do not need soil to grow. It can grow in rooms, on garden furniture, trees and rocks, and in areas of high humidity where other plants (such as pigeons) might struggle. Instead of traditional watering, they require misting to maintain their health.

What makes air plants the perfect alternative for the garden and suitable houseplants for the home is the ability to present them in so many creative ways that they would otherwise be out of reach.

A clever way to display air plants is to use glass terrariums that can be placed in areas away from roaming pets—useful if your four-legged friends have a habit of ruining your home’s decor. You can keep air plants in areas such as desks and cabinets or use them as decoration for garden furniture.

advice: Some great air plants for beginners are Tillandsia caput-medusae and Tillandsia aeranthos.

cat bar. Photo (c) Tim Sandel

Kentia palm

A majestic plant suited to large rooms and the back lines of a garden, the Kentia Palm is a tall plant with sweeping foliage and a vibrant green color. It is called the “paradise palm plant” for good reason – it is reminiscent of tall tropical palm trees and has an excellent ability to purify the air.

These plants grow quickly and are easy to care for, adapting to a variety of soil mixtures and requiring weekly watering. Although this plant is suitable for indoor use, we recommend placing it in rooms with a large space due to its large size. The Kentia palm can be left outside in all but extreme conditions.

advice: A matching group of kentia palm trees next to the front door or garden steps creates a beautiful entrance to the home or garden.

Zebra cactus

The zebra cactus, also known as Haworthia, deserves a unique place on this list because it is one of the few non-toxic succulents that fits well into the interior aesthetics of most modern homes as well as the garden.

Cat walk. Photo (c) Tim Sandel

This succulent is not a true member of the cactus family. Instead of thorns, it has a wonderful collection of small cactus plants with white leaves. Ideal for pot growing, this plant is low maintenance – water when the topsoil is partly dry and allows for partial sunlight and warm temperatures.

advice: If you find your zebra cactus leaves turning yellow, move it to a shadier location. Zebra cactus should be moved indoors on particularly cool nights or during the non-summer months.

If anyone is unsure whether houseplants pose a risk to pets, it is important to check before purchasing.

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