Skip to content

10 Most Beautiful Pet-Friendly Plants

They'll brighten up your space without you worrying about your cat or dog.

Plants can add the finishing touch to any room's decor—and, according to a few studies, they can reduce stress and improve your mood while they're at it. However, nothing busts those stress-lowering benefits more than having a beloved pet chomp on a toxic leaf. To prevent that from happening, we chatted with plant and veterinary experts to learn the pet-friendly plants that will look great in any room and keep your cats and dogs safe. There's a plant for any spot, whether it gets full sun or shade and whether you prefer greenery or flowers. Keep reading to find the best one for you.

RELATED: 12 Easy Houseplants That Don't Need Sunlight.

The Best Pet-Friendly Plants

1. African Violet

Violet Saintpaulias flowers commonly known as African violets Parma violets close up

This pet-friendly plant is beloved for its pretty purple petals.

"These plants bloom throughout the year," says Nathan Thorne, professional gardener and CEO of Handy Flowers. "To ensure they continue blooming, they need to be watered and should be placed in an area with indirect sunlight."

You can cut them for small bouquets that make a lovely (and pet-safe!) addition to bud vases throughout your home. Remove any dead blooms to ensure the plant gives you a repeat show.

2. Areca Palm

Beautiful indoor palm plants in white pots on floor in room in front of white curtains

For a pop of green, try an areca palm. "It is safe for pets and requires placement in an area with a high amount of light," says Thorne. "It is also very popular for its ability to purify the air."

The tropical plant can grow up to six feet tall, but it's slow going, so it won't pop up as tall as a tree overnight. It needs well-draining soil or soil that's specially formulated for palms. Water it when the soil gets dry for a happy houseplant.

RELATED: 9 Houseplants That Will Help You Breathe Better.

3. Polka Dot Plant

pink polka dot plant closeup
timsa / iStock

Consider the polka dot plant for something pretty and cheerful that'll add a jolt of pink to your space.

"It's a best seller because of its attractive leaves, and it's safe for pets and babies," says Dennis Sons, owner and CEO of TN Nursery. "This plant does not have a poisonous part, not even the root system."

The polka dot plant remains fairly compact, typically under two feet tall, and needs bright, indirect light to stay happy. Water it when the top of the soil gets dry, and it'll flourish.

4. Calathea

Calathea Vittata plant (Prayer plant) in a white pot on the balcony

If you need to fill a shadier spot, the calathea is a great option that's beloved for its vibrant, multi-tone leaves.

"These are also safe for pets," says Thorne. "They are low-light-loving plants and should not be placed in areas that receive direct sun."

You can water them every one to two weeks and keep them in a humid spot if possible. They're used to tropical environments, so anything you can do to replicate that, they'll appreciate.

RELATED: 11 Surprising Foods That Are Toxic to Dogs, According to Pet Experts.

5. Orchid

Orchid plant in window
Maximkostenko/ iStock

Orchids are popular houseplants because they're easy to care for and produce pretty, delicate flowers. "They range in a kaleidoscope of colors and are pet-safe," says Sons.

Ideally, you'll put this plant in a spot with bright, indirect sun, but it will fare just as well with less light, although it may not bloom as often. The biggest mistake people make is overwatering—these plants only need a refill right before the soil dries out!

6. Air Plants

air plant hanging in a round glass terrarium
luca85 / Shutterstock

It doesn't get much simpler than these: "Air plants, which come in a variety of shapes, cultivars, and sizes, are low-maintenance—only the leaves need spraying once a week, and they thrive in the shade," says Sons. "For picky homeowners who don't want to deal with soil, there are some excellent air plant species that are right for you."

Visit your local plant shop for help choosing the best one for your needs—and make sure to loop in the associate if you have a pet that's prone to batting things around; they'll help you pick a secure container.

RELATED: 5 Things in Your Garden That Are Poisonous to Your Dog.

7. Spider Plant

spider plant in a white pot on a wood table
Bozhena Melnyk / Shutterstock

Spider plants frequently land on lists of easy-to-care-for plants, and they're pet-safe, too.

"The bushy foliage plant features both long, variegated leaves and small white flowers," says Anastasia Borisevich, resident plant expert for the Plantum app. "The spider plant thrives in bright, filtered light at room temperature."

You should water it often from spring to fall and scale back in winter when you should then "let the soil dry out before watering it again," advises Borisevich.

8. Sweetheart Hoya

hoya carnosa krimson queen plant
Jus_Ol / Shutterstock

In particular, the sweetheart hoya is non-toxic for pets. "If you are fond of indoor jungles, direct your attention to this low-maintenance vine," suggests Borisevich. "Apart from waxy, multi-colored leaves, it features abundant, small, pink or white flowers."

The plant likes bright, diffused light and doesn't need to be watered very often. "The soil should be moist but not soggy—water the mature plant once every week," says Borisevich. From March until September, feed the plant with fertilizers formulated for cacti and succulents twice a month.

RELATED: 7 Popular Houseplants That Are Actually the Hardest to Keep Alive.

9. Mexican Snowball

Mexican Snowball succculent plants Three in a terra cotta pot.

This low-maintenance and pet-friendly plant, also known as the Echeveria elegans, is a member of the succulent family that can help purify the air. It thrives in a range of sunlight conditions, from full and diffused sun to partial shade, as long as you give it time to adapt to those conditions.

"Water echeveria regularly once the soil dries out completely, and make sure the water doesn't get inside the leaf rosette to avoid rot," says Borisevich. "During the period of active growth, feed your plant with a mineral fertilizer formulated for succulents and cacti once every 30 days."

10. Money Tree

Woman waters money tree in a white pot on a windowsill of a city building

This is a popular gift that symbolizes wealth and good luck. Whether you're giving or receiving it, you should know that it's a pet-friendly plant that won't unknowingly cause harm.

The money tree has a tropical vibe and prefers indirect bright light and average humidity levels. Indoors, they can grow up to around six feet tall, but you can also train them into a small shape if you'd like.

Juliana LaBianca
Juliana is an experienced features editor and writer. Read more
Filed Under
 •  •