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Plants x Pets: The Perfect Match

Updated: Feb 19, 2023

Did we just become best friends?!

On The Plant Penthouse's latest visit to the Jason Show, we took a stroll through a few of my favorite pet-safe plants. To recap, let’s chat about some pet-friendly plants & resources to help you thrive in the parenting department. I believe in you!


I am so glad you asked! Because I am not a veterinary professional (shocking, I know), we've sourced our knowledge straight from the experts! All houseplants I label as 'Pet-Friendly' are recognized by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) as being safe and non-toxic to cats and dogs.

The Plant Penthouse identifies 'Pet-friendly' houseplants as those recognized by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) as being safe and non-toxic to cats and dogs.

When it comes to plant shopping, I get it, there are already so many factors to consider - from personal aesthetic to care needs. Adding in the additional layer of thought for your fur babies can feel daunting, but we won't let that deter you from living your greenest life!

Read on for a little inspiration to motivate that next greenhouse shopping spree ( if we needed a reason).

*My face gearing up to give you a reason (...or 12) if you didn't have one*:


I love a category, so we're going with five. HERE WE GO!


Flowering Pet Safe Plants
From Back Left, Right & Center: Moth Orchid, Bromeliad, African Violet
  • Orchids make many plant parents feel defeated, but not you! Know that most Orchids only bloom once per year. However, the blooms last anywhere from 4 to 10 weeks, outlasting that fresh Trader Joes bouquet. Give these bright-indirect light (5 to 6 hours of daily sunshine), tailored soil (like a sphagnum moss or orchid mix), and patience (with yourself...& the Orchid) in it's dormant season, and see new blooms for years to come.

  • Bromeliads are another easy care flowering plant I love to incorporate for added color. Though Bromeliads only bloom once in their lifetime, it’s flower has a typical lifespan of 3-6 months!

  • African Violets are a cheery favorite for many. Despite their common name, these are actually not a true violet variety! The violet-hued flowers it produces give it the name we've come to know.



Grass-like Pet Safe Plants
From Back Left, Right, and Center: Ponytail Palm, Hurricane Bird's Nest Fern, Spider Plant
  • Spider Plants are less scary than real spiders, and harder to kill, too (I promise). Place your Spider Plant in medium to bright indirect light (5 to 6 hours of sunshine) and watch your plant really grow legs.

Hurricane Bird's Nest Fern
  • Hurricane Bird’s Nest Ferns because who needs a crispy Boston Fern? These coily cuties can tolerate low light, but thrive in medium to bright-indirect light. Watering weekly or even bi-weekly depending on how dry the soil is will keep these ferns cozy (I water when the soil is dry ~2 inches down). Showing this plant the low-maintenance care we love will lead to a perfect growth storm.

  • Ponytail Palms. That's the tip. They are fun. They are funky. And, like their other friends, love bright-indirect (but can stand direct light as well). Water your palm every 1-2 weeks, letting the soil dry out between waterings. Voilet!

The face you make when falling in love with a Ponytail Palm



Pet Safe Plants for Your Valentine
From Back Left, Right, and Center: Curly Lipstick Plant, Pilea Peperomioides, Hoya Kerrii Sweetheart
  • Curly Lipstick Plants got their common name because the flower buds are said to look like miniature tubes of lipstick! Expect summer blooms from these beauties. Did we find the perfect red lipstick? I'll let you be the judge:

Lipstick Plant
Image Credit: World of Flowering Plants
  • Pilea Peperomioides aka the Chinese Money Plant aka the Friendship Plant make a lovely gift, as they propagate with ease; turning into the gift that keeps on giving!

  • Hoya Kerrii Sweetheart are slow growers with the loveliest heart-shaped foliage. They can be purchased (and survive) as a single leaf that thrives in bright-direct sunlight.

Hoya Kerrii Sweetheart
Hoya Kerrii Sweetheart



Pet Safe Peperomia
From Back Left, Right, and Center: Peperomia Rosso, Silver Ripple Peperomia, Watermelon Peperomia
  • Peperomia Rosso add a subtle pop of color to any home decor and thrive in bright-indirect light (are you seeing a trend for our tropical pals?). As a fun fact, not only do these resemble a pepper plant, but they are relatives to actual black pepper!

  • Silver Ripple Peperomia grow with minimal fuss if you are looking for a plant that will tolerate low light and thrive in medium lighting conditions (away from a direct light source). I water my Silver Ripple when the soil is feeling dry ~2 inches down, letting water drain through the nursery pot drainage holes each watering to ensure the roots have had a goooood drink!

  • Watermelon Peperomia are a real treat! Named for their watermelon-esque appearance, give these (you guessed it) bright-indirect light (i.e. light that wouldn't cause you a sunburn) and you'll have juicy growth for many seasons. We love to see it.



Satisfy your fur babies green cravings (...or Producer Ted) with an edible garden of Cat Grass or calming Catnip. These seeds are fast growers and a fun introduction to gardening!

Are we feeling *inspired* yet?!

Before I let you go, let's equip ourselves with a few resources. It'll be as easy as 1-2-3!



1 : The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Toxic/Non-Toxic Plants List

The ASPCA Toxic/Non-Toxic Plants List (located here) provides free, printable, alphabetized lists of toxic and non-toxic plants for cats, dogs and horses! You'll be surprised to find that many popular houseplants do in fact have varying degrees of toxicity for your fur babies. The details within each plant verified as 'toxic' equips you with an understanding of symptoms you can expect, to determine if you are willing to take the risk.

While the ASPCA does not detail Monsteras as fatal, if you do not want to deal with the potential for swelling of the mouth, tongue and lips (and upset tummies), it may be one to pass on. However, only you can determine what is best for your home! Many plant parents have less rambunctious pets and the sky is the limit for their plant collections. I am on the scene to provide you with the knowledge to reach your best plant parenting decisions!

2: Contact A Veterinary Expert

Whether you contact your local Veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) 24-hour emergency poison hotline, help is only a phone call away.

The ASPCA hotline (at 1-888-426-4435) is staffed by veterinary toxicology experts, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, who are specialized in helping pet parents and their furry friends when emergency situations involving potentially toxic substances arise.

3: Lean on Local Greenhouses

  • Local greenhouse professionals are trained to find the ideal plant for your needs! Many shops (like Tonkadale) have sign designations for pet-friendly plants

  • Want help shopping for your next pet-friendly plant(s)? Save the date and come shop with me on February 23 at the Lyndale Bachman’s from 4-6PM for our ‘Smarty Plants’ event! I will be hosting the evening, and will be onhand to find you the perfect plant for your home oasis. Get registered here!

More About the Smarty Plants Event:

Calling all plant people! Join us at Bachman’s on Lyndale for this fun and educational event all about houseplants! Whether you are a seasoned “plant parent” or are just starting out, this event will help you take your plant collection to new heights. Enjoy a glass of prosecco with fun add-ons + light bites to snack on as you stroll through the greenhouse. Discover fresh ideas at Sol Soils inspiration station and a demonstration from Katie Meyer of @knottiekatie_ with a 'make and take' macramé leaf. Bachman’s own horticulturist, Heather Johnson, will lead a seminar on everything you ever wanted to know about indoor plants, so bring all your plant related questions! You’ll also enjoy 20% off green plants, containers, and plant stands, so don’t forget to leave without picking up a new plant friend!

Wowza, that was a lot of information, so I'll take a paws and wait to hear about your favorite pet-safe plants and any questions you may have. With that, thank you for spending time with me!




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