Plants can add beauty to any room, but they can also attract unwanted attention from your pets. Cats and dogs will often sniff, chew and swat at plant leaves and flowers (sometimes despite your best preventative efforts) in attempts to investigate or play with your new greenery. Though there are many beautiful plant species available to liven your home, unfortunately some varieties can have tragic side-effects. Additionally, some plants are fussy and difficult to maintain. For those that don’t want to worry about whether a plant is toxic or requires frequent plant care, consider the following list of easy, low-maintenance, indoor plants safe for cats and dogs.
With purple hues, African violets (Saintpaulia spp.) add color to any tabletop or shelf and are surprisingly easy to maintain once you learn about their proper care. These flowering plants prefer indirect sunlight and moist soil. Making sure African violets are properly watered is key to ensuring they bloom. However, pairing your plant with a self-watering planter provides minimal maintenance for these beautiful flowers.
american rubber plant
Wide, shiny leaves that add happy greenery to your home are a defining feature of American rubber plants (Peperomia obtusifolia). An easy, low-maintenance plant, American rubber plants need soil that drains well coupled with bright indirect sunlight. During their growing time in the summer, keep the plant moist by misting them or using a damp cloth to wipe the leaves. When dormant, the plant only needs watered once or twice a month. Though they have the ability to grow into tall, indoor trees, you can limit their overall growth by keeping them in smaller planters.
blue echeveria succulents
Geometrically shaped flower spikes and stunning colors make blue echeveria succulents (Echeveria glauca) an appealing plant to add to your indoor garden. Infrequent watering and lots of sunlight are key to making these desert plants thrive. Water only after the soil has completely dried, then completely wet the soil and leave it to dry fully again. Create your own succulent container garden and review our quick care guide for more in-depth instructions.
Blushing bromeliads (Neoregelia carolinae) make great houseplants due to their colorful leaves and overall durability. Before flowering, the center of the plant “blushes” and turns red, lending it its name. Bright light, above average humidity and moist roots ensure this plant flourishes.
Their tolerance for low light conditions and periods of dryness make cape primroses (Streptocarpus spp.) a perfect low-maintenance house plant. With beautiful blooms that flower up to ten months out of the year, they provide color to any tabletop or shelf. Place in indirect sun, and allow the soil to slightly dry out before watering again.
Button ferns (Pellaea rotundifolia) are aptly named, as their leaves are “cute as a button.” Their rounded leaves add pleasant texture and greenery to wherever they’re placed. Once this plant settles in, it’s easy to maintain. Though it needs a decent amount of water and humidity to thrive, misting the leaves occasionally and letting the top portion of soil dry out between waterings should help this fern flourish.
Coreopis (Coreopsis spp.) are cheery and bright, low-maintenance flowers used to infrequent watering after they’re established. After they’re settled, water once a week. Though they bloom best with full sun, they can adapt to being in partial shade.
As striped members of the succulent family, haworthia (Haworthia fasciata) needs similar conditions to blue echeveria in order to thrive. Bright indirect light, letting the soil dry out between waterings, and fast-draining soil are key to growing these decorative plants.
Christmas cactus plants (Schlumbergera bridgesii) offer beautiful blooming flowers during the winter months when coaxed, but thrive on neglect for a majority of the year. Indirect light and letting the soil to dry somewhat between waterings makes it easy to grow these unique plants.
Thin, arching, striped leaves are hallmark characteristics of spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum). Perfect for new gardeners, they tolerate a lot of abuse and look beautiful as their leaves grow over the edges of a tabletop or hanging planter. Direct sunlight will burn their leaves, so place in indirect light. Water only when the topsoil is dry to the touch.
string of turtles
Long thin stems with round, small leaves make string of turtles (Peperomia prostrata) a great plant to place on mantels or window sills. Also known as trailing peperomia, string of turtles is sensitive to overwatering, so make sure the soil dries sufficiently before watering again. Place in partial shade with indirect sunlight, as too much sun will burn leaves.
Air plants (Tillandsia) are characterized by thin and wispy tendrils and don’t need to be planted in soil to thrive. Great for both experienced and inexperienced gardeners, air plants look great in a terrarium or unique planter. Simply soak every few weeks for 30 minutes or so to water, or place in your bathroom during showers for truly minimal care. Though the ASPCA doesn’t have an official entry for air plants, they are generally regarded as non-toxic indoor plants safe for dogs and cats.
Stunning patterns and wide leaves are a defining feature of calathea (Calathea spp.) plants. Though they are generally easy to care for, they typically prefer more humidity compared to other indoor plants. Beyond a humid environment, they simply need moderate watering, indirect lighting and occasional houseplant fertilizer to grow and flourish.
Just like your pet, plants soon become a welcome addition to your home. With a little bit of effort and care you can come home to the indifference of your cat, the wagging tail of your dog, and the calming presence of these easy houseplants safe for cats and dogs.
Most listed plants were sourced from the ASPCA Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants List. Please note that plant consumption of any kind may cause vomiting or an upset stomach for your pet. Verify scientific names to ensure indoor plants are safe before purchasing or putting any items in your home.