A while back I wrote an article about 5 easy to care for houseplants that also clean the air. If you missed it, you can check it out here. One of our readers posed a great question. She asked whether any of these were toxic to pets. Unfortunately all except the spider plant were.
So she got me thinking that since so many of us have pets, it might be good to find some plants that we could grow indoors and that wouldn't be toxic to our furry friends.
The list that follows are plants that are technically safe for dogs and cats. However, it is best to keep plants out of reach as much as possible. Some animals love to chew on the leaves which can give them a tummy ache or possible digestive problems. If your pet does ingest a plant, keep an eye on them for any signs of a negative reaction. All animals are different. Just because a plant is labelled as non-toxic doesn't mean ingesting it is good for them.
To care for your fern during the winter months when many home are dry from heating, place the fern on a shallow tray filled with pebbles and keep adding water to the tray as need. Keep the soil damp to the touch and mist the fern once or twice a week.
Light: Indirect - For maximum blooms 10-12 hours of bright indirect sunlight during the day with 8 hours of darkness
Temperature: Moderate - 70-80F during the day and around 65F at night
African Violets are a bit fussy when it comes to watering. Be sure to use tepid water and don't water from the top. If you splash water in the leaves, you will see white spots develop. Instead place your plants in a tray or saucer and add about an inch of water. Wait about an hour so that the plant has time to soak up the water and then discard the rest. Water only when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.
Feed only with African Violet food according the package directions. Be sure to remove spent blooms so that new ones will appear.
Light: Indirect - Avoid Direct Sunlight
Temperature: Average Room Temperature ( 65-80F) Avoid air conditioners, cold windows and heat sources
Humidity: Average room humidity. Mist once/week
Parlor palms are perfect if you are looking to add a taller plant to your indoor space. It's one of the few palms like low light so you can place it almost anywhere. Water occasionally when the soil is dry to the touch.
Light: Bright Indirect Sunlight
Temperature: Average Room Temperature ( 65-80F)
This plant gets it's name from the fact the leaves fold up in the evening resembling hands folded in prayer. Feed every two weeks with an all-purpose fertilizer from spring-fall. Keep soil moist but not soggy. In the winter, keep the soil drier but be sure the plant has enough humidity by placing it in a shallow dish with water. Set the plant on pebbles to keep it from sitting directly in the water.
Cast Iron Plant
Light: Low to Indirect
Humidity: Average Room Humidity
The beauty of this plant is that it can grow in conditions where other plants would give up. Allow 50% of the soil to dry out before watering. Be sure to keep it out of direct sunlight or the leaves will turn brown.
If you've been avoiding adding houseplants to your home because of pets, I hope this list helps you add a bit of green to this winter.
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