Tropical houseplants are an ideal choice for the natural climate of Florida. The humidity and moderate temperatures allow plants that are typically high maintenance an ease of growth not found elsewhere. Beautiful foliage aside, it is important to choose pet-friendly houseplants if you share your home with four-legged companions such as dogs or cats. Knowing which plants are pet-friendly allows you to avoid toxicity and poisoning issues. Although pet-friendly plants are non-toxic, stomach upset may still occur if a pet eats too much. If you suspect your pet is suffering from a plant-related illness, seek emergency veterinary medical care immediately.
African violets, also known as cape marigolds or Saintpaulia spp, are tropical houseplants that thrive in bright, indirect light. The flowers of these delicate plants are typically purple, but may also bloom white or pink. This small houseplant has fuzzy, heart shaped leaves. Though African Violets prefer a moist, humid environment, plant owners should note that leaves will shrivel or rot when exposed to too much water. African violets are considered non-toxic to both dogs and cats by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Poison Control Center.
The bamboo palm, parlor palm or Chamaedorea elegans is a non-flowering tropical plan that thrives in minimal sunlight. The perfect choice for greenery in low-light rooms, the bamboo palm prefers evenly and consistently moist soil. Bamboo palms grow to heights of 3 to 6 feet and may need to be re-potted several times over the course of their growing period. The ASPCA Poison Control Center lists the bamboo palm as non-toxic to dogs and cats.
Brazilian orchids, Sophronitis spp., are members of the plant family Orchidaceae. These tropical blooming plants are easy to grow and are renowned for their rich, red blossoms. They are native to mountainous regions in South America and flourish in Florida's climate. Brazilian orchids prefer partial sun and medium light. Unlike many other tropical houseplants, Brazilian orchids grow best when the soil is allowed to dry between waterings. Flowers bloom only in temperatures above 70 degrees and blossoms last up to three weeks at a time. The ASPCA Poison Control Center lists the Brazilian orchid as pet friendly for dogs and cats.
Lace Flower Vine
The lace flower vine, Episcia dianthiflora, is suited to bright, indirect light. Native to Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica, this tropical perennial prefers regular watering and slightly moist, rich soil. Producing white or off-white flowers with feathered, lace-like edges, the lace flower vine is ideal for indoor growth in Florida. The ASPCA Poison Control Center specifies that the lace flower vine is pet-friendly.