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Indoor Plants

Pet Friendly Plant Recommendations

Words by Sydney Gutierrez

dog sitting in an herb bed smiling at the camera

There’s a great standoff in my mother’s house. She, a plant-loving green thumb, is at odds with her cat. Called “Kitty”, this cat is a dog stuck in a cat’s body; She sneaks out the front door at every chance! Much to my mother’s dismay, she gnaws everything green!

Kitty was a shelter rescue, and by the time my mom learned about her tastes, she didn’t have the heart to take her back. These days, she’s endlessly grateful for the quick growers that Kitty can’t help but brush on, gnaw, and occasionally knock over.

Sound familiar?

I bet you brought home your own rescue plant or pet recently. You have unknowingly set up an intense battle of wills. You look at the cat, the cat looks at the plant, the cat eats the plant making eye contact with you the entire time in that unsettling way in which cats stare. These two loves are now in a standoff.

At any rate, let’s keep both the pets and the plants. I’ve got a few recommendations that are way cooler than Cat Grass and the sad plastic fakery found in your decorating store coming your way. But in the meantime, let’s talk about the old Reliable Standbys. They may not be the focal point of the room, but they’re worth consideration if it means a balance of all things green and fluffy.

Cat Grass is lame. You and I both know it. Made of wheaty grain mixtures, it’s just not pretty enough to set aside the potting space for me. Regrettably, it’s a one-note kind of plant, though tough to kill! Cats can eat these down to the nub though, and then you have to start over. As much as I wish Cat Grass was a Flowering-Annual-Show-Stopper-Extraordinaire, we can’t have it all.

Spider Plants. I know they aren’t fake. I know there’s depth in all varieties of plants out there. Spider plants are just not it. I kill ’em, because I have no idea how to read them. And despite my best efforts, they look incredibly fake. A nontoxic plant, it is unfortunately not giving me life.

Parlor PalmsParlor Palms. A lovely #3 on my list, Palms are a great option to hang onto for years and years to grow alongside your rescue pet. My thought is… it’s a little boring. This Palm can scorch fairly quickly if not monitored properly. If I see a palm in your living room, I can tell you’re trying to make pets and plant loving mesh together. But I think we can step up your game.

Ready to step up your game? Let’s grow up and out.

Catnip. I really appreciate how whimsical these varieties are and full of attitude as they grow. A fairly fast grower, Catnip is an excellent addition to multi-pet homes on the off chance it’s a popular new addition (trust me, it will be the prettiest girl at the party). Start from seed using our Curious Catnip grow kit. Pick from and tuck the bits into your cat’s least favorite toy. It’ll be well-loved from there, onwards!

Boston Ferns. I’m such a sucker for trailing plants. We used to have one in my childhood home until it outgrew the watering can it was planted into (Don’t ask). As the fern matures, rich layers fill the planting space and trail. Mid to direct sun is just right for this fern making it a pet-worthy snack. Funnily enough, most of our pets weren’t attracted to this one.

Cast Iron Plants Cast Iron Plant. I know this is a weird name, but hear me out. A member of the Lilly family, it’s practically the only Lilly-based plant my grandmother told me were okay around our pets growing up. This type leans to a more tropical temperament, so I advise either supplementing expected humidity with a humidifier in your home, or making this a bathroom addition complimented with one of our Smart Growbars.

These are the opinions of one plant lover. Home gardening is blissfully all about the homeowner (that’s you!).

Now just because a plant is non-toxic, that hardly means your dog should be subsisting on Spider Plant leaves alone. Too much of any of these varieties can result in your pet experiencing discomfort or sickness to varying degrees.

My best advice on picking pet-friendly plants? Find a non-toxic plant you love, repot it, and keep it out of reach.