Gardeners who are also pet owners might find it a challenge to select pet-safe flowering plants for containers and flower beds. Dogs and cats are attracted to the smell and taste of many plants, and they may often chew flowers and foliage that are toxic (either to them, or toxic in general). Here are just a few flowering plants that are safe for pets to ingest.
African violets (Saintpaulia), also called cape marigolds, are perennial plants in the Gesneriaceae family. Non-toxic to both cats and dogs, this common houseplant blooms purple, pink, white or blue flowers that nestle down against the thick, dark green leaves. While hardy outdoors in USDA zones 11 and 12, gardeners in other regions can successfully grow African violets as indoor container plants.
Cornflowers, (Centaurea cyanus), sometimes called bachelors buttons or bluebottles, are flowering annuals in the daisy family (Asteraceae). Indigenous to Europe, this flower thrives from USDA zones 3 to 8. The violet-blue, pink or white flowers appear in the late spring and last through July. These flowers are not toxic to cats and dogs. These plants are commonly used in butterfly gardens, cottage gardens, and for cutting.
Barberton daisies (Gerbera jamesonii) are perennial plants in the Asteraceae family native to the southern areas of Africa. Also known as gerbera, African daisies and Transvaal daisies, these flowers blooms from summer until fall in USDA zones 8 to 10. Flowers feature yellow, orange or red petals with yellow to bronze center disks. Non-toxic to dogs and cats, the Barberton daisy is frequently planted in containers and borders.
Weather prophet plants (Dimorphotheca pluvialis), also called rain daisies, are tender annuals in the Asteraceae family. These pet-safe flowers thrive in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 10. The white petals have purple tints on the undersides and surround yellow to brown disks. The flowers earned their names by closing before it rains and on cloudy days. Weather prophets are typically planted in containers, flower beds and rock gardens.
Creeping zinnia plants (sanvitalia procumbens) are non-toxic annuals in the daisy family (Asteraceae). Native to Guatemala and Mexico, the creeping zinnia grows well in USDA zones 7 to 11. Blooming from the summer until the first fall frost, this plant features small, sunflower-like blooms of yellow to orange petals surrounding dark purple to brown central disks. Creeping zinnias are commonly used in hanging baskets and as ground covers. Creeping zinnias are not toxic to pets.
Common zinnias (Zinnia elegans) are popular garden flowers belonging to the Asteraceae family. This plant is hardy in USDA zones 3 to 12 and thrives in full-sun locations. These annuals continuously bloom from June until the first heavy frost in fall, adding shades of pink, purple, red, yellow, white, orange or green to the garden. This non-toxic, flowering plant works well in containers, cottage gardens and cutting gardens.