Pet Friendly Indoor Plants

Gardeners with pets can feel frustrated at the sheer volume of toxic plants that can injure or kill cats and dogs. With over 400 harmful plants--including many common houseplants--learning what you can and cannot plant takes time and research. Several easy-to-find houseplants, with different levels of light, moisture and care, can get your home started off on the pet-friendly indoor plant path.

African Violet

African violets are non-toxic to dogs, cats and horses and are commonly grown indoors. The plants sport fuzzy leaves in varying hues of green. The flowers, also slightly downy, come in shades of fuchsia, purple, blue, white or red. Native to South Africa, the plants need high exposure to indirect light--direct light can bleach the leaves--and a warm, draft-free room.

Areca Palm

For a large potted plant that won't harm your pets, consider the areca palm or cane palm. With long, fringed palm fronds and a preference for moderate light and watering, this plant is relatively low maintenance. Areca palms can grow up to 30 feet tall; however, they grow so slowly that homeowners can enjoy them for years before the palms get too large.

Boston Fern

With lightly scalloped, flat blades that grow on long fronds, the Boston fern is a tropical plant that performs well indoors. The plant prefers warm, humid conditions and likes shade. Boston ferns have red or brown stems and bright green leaves. According to the University of Florida, this is the most commonly grown indoor fern.

Burro's Tail

Burro's tail or donkey tail is a trailing member of the succulent family. This plant grows well in containers or hanging baskets; pets who nibble its long tendrils will be safe. Burro's tail features beady pale green leaves that have a slightly waxy look. The plant's long stems can reach up to 3 feet or can be kept shorter with regular pruning. Like all succulents, burro's tail needs infrequent watering and high light.

Keywords: pet safe plants, pet friendly plants, nontoxic plants

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.