Do you have kitty children in addition to your plant fam? This article highlights five house plants that are safe for cats.
Money trees (Pachira aquatica) offer the best of both worlds - easy to grow and pet friendly. Native to Central and South America, this unassuming house plant can grow up to 60 feet tall in its natural habitat (but don't worry, it won't get that big in your home!). It likes to grow in swamps, so a room with moderate to high humidity is ideal, like your bathroom. Avoid direct sunlight, as this will cause leaf-scorching (plant sunburn) and leaf loss. Learn more on how to care for a money tree here.
Plants of the hoya (Hoya sp.) species, collectively known as wax plants because of their thick, waxy leaves, are essentially indestructible. They live forever, can grow to be enormous, and if you're patient enough, put out some of the most beautiful flowers. Most hoya varieties prefer bright, indirect light in a warm spot away from drafts. This is a fun type of plant to collect, as there are many different cultivars. Learn more here.
It’s best to put Hoyas on a high shelf, away from kitty’s reach. Many species are trailing and the dangling stems and leaves can be very attractive as a play thing, especially for younger cats.
Harworthia (Harworthia sp.) hail from South Africa and like hoyas, are essentially indestructible. They like direct sunlight with very little water. They are small, low-growing plants (meaning they won't get very big) with fleshy leaves usually covered with white bands or dots. Because they are small, they are great plants to add to a terrarium with other succulents. They also look good lined up in a sunny window sill, in tiny pots, teacups or small dishes. There are about 80 species, so there are many to mix and match in your collection.
Also known as stonecrop plants, succulents belonging to the genus Echeveria are some of the most popular plants around. As with almost all succulents, they prefer very little water and lots of sunlight. Echeveria are also fun plants to propagate.
Don't worry if your echeveria loses some leaves in the winter, this is totally normal. The rules of good plant housekeeping apply here: make sure you remove the dead leaves as they may decay and become home for fungi and bacteria that could infect your plant and eventually kill it. Echeveria are also fun plants to propagate.
Palms are just great house plants all around. Since the majority of plants in this family (about 2600 speices) grow naturally in tropical or subtropical environments, they prefer warm places in your home with lots of indirect sunlight. One of our favorite house plants for beginners and seasoned plant parents alike is the parlour palm (Chamaedorea elegans). These guys can get quite big, so they make an excellent choice for finishing off a corner of a room or entryway.
Be warned that palms are a favorite among cats to chew on. If you don’t want your cat to chew on your palm, invest in a small ponytail palm specifically for kitty, or some other type of live plant, such as cat nip, cat mint or cat grass. This will distract them from the plant you don’t want them chewing on.
Be advised that some plants go by a common name that includes the world "palm" but are not actually palms and could be toxic to your pets. For example the sago palm (Cycas revoluta) is NOT pet safe. Always double check with a reliable source that a plant is non-toxic to pets before you buy.
What plants do you keep in your home because they are pet friendly?