The situation: You love plants but you also love your pets. Okay! But a curious cat or dog might take a nibble of a precious houseplant you’ve been nurturing, despite it being seemingly out of reach. Bad news. The wrong plant, just like chocolate, can cause your pet to have seizures, tremors, or worse, says New Jersey veterinarian Dr. Judy Morgan. While they’re harmless to humans, certain plants can be toxic to pets when ingested. Wondering if you’ve got some in your home right now? Check out ASPCA’s Toxis Plant List and put them out of reach (or better yet, gift them to a new neighbor).
This goes for seasonal plants, too. As the holidays approach, stay away from poinsettias. While their bright red leaves can look cheery on a mantel, your mischievous kitty can get some serious stomach issues from chewing on them. A Christmas cactus—yes, that’s just a cactus you bring into your home to celebrate the holidays—can bring all the joy without none of the headaches, says Dr. Morgan. And for the rest of the year, if you’re thinking about adding some new greenery to improve your mood (or just bring some texture into your space), here are a few pet-friendly options and for every room in your apartment.
For a low-light corner of the living room…
The colors and easy weekly watering schedule make this Calathea, also called a prayer plant, a great addition to your low-light living room. Can you imagine that funky purple on the undersides of the leaves against your mid-century chair? We can.
This plant’s eye-catching hue and soft, curling leaves add a pop to minimal decor and are safe for cats. It can live up high on a hanging basket and just requires bright, indirect light for part of the day.
For your desk slash cubicle…
A favorite among vets, this plant is easy to grow indoors and incredibly resilient (yes, even to your black thumb!). Spider plants are also great air-purifiers, so they can help get rid of your home’s toxins.
In the corner of the bedroom…
Stick one on a credenza or nightstand that’s not too close to a window, as this palm needs only a few hours of indirect light a day.
The leaf pattern on this particular Calathea is exquisite, if you ask us. This houseplant needs partial shade, which make it perfect for a plant stand or a shelf in a bedroom that doesn’t get much natural light.
On the kitchen windowsill…
Basil, chamomile, thyme, and mint are all great kitchen herbs that are totally safe for your pets to snack on. They love direct light, so leave them to hang out by a window all day long.
Add some pet-friendly succulents, like this Haworthia, Echeveria, or a group of air plants, to your countertop and you’re golden.
If you’ve got open shelving in your kitchen, these flowers would be a great, colorful addition. (Just make sure the plant isn’t near a drafty floor vent or window.) With indirect sunlight, they will bloom beautifully.
Beside the bathroom sink…
Bird’s Nest Fern
This squiggly green fern thrives on the low light and varying humidity conditions that characterize bathrooms. Your teeth-brushing routine just got so much prettier.