Filling your home with lush foliage should be a fun pastime. But if you have little fur babies running around your home, your splashes of greenery could very well prove an appealing lunch option to some cats and dogs. Here’s how to nip those lunchtime nibbles in the bud (excuse the pun).
Why do pets love eating plants?!
It’s thought those luscious leaves do a number of things for pets. Some people think it calms an upset stomach, some think it’s for nutrition, and some think they chow down on flavoursome fronds to eradicate any nasty parasites or hairballs. Of course, they could also just simply enjoy the taste of it.
Whatever the reason, if you’re a pet owner, it’s important to note that a LOT of indoor plants are toxic if eaten by your cat or dog. Not only can they cause gastrointestinal upset, there’s a risk of possible allergic reactions, too. Even the fertiliser can poison pets. This is why it's important to use a product like We the Wild, that has been tested by independent veterinary toxicologists and deemed safe for pets .
So what can I do to stop them?
Of course, you can place your plants out of paw’s reach — try placing them in sturdy pots in elevated spaces, hanging pots, or even suspending them from the ceiling — but, as many pet owners will know, it can be near enough impossible to keep a houseplant away from a cat or pooch who is determined to chew.
So, for your peace of mind, and to avoid any nasty stomach upsets/messy accidents, try pops of indoor foliage that you know are 100% safe for your pet. These plants have achieved official pet-friendly status, so they can roam free without you having to worry.
5 of the Best Pet-Friendly Houseplants
Boston Fern - Nephrolepis exaltata
Though many ferns can be dangerous to pets, the Boston fern, an enduring houseplant favourite, is one of the welcome exceptions. The leaves are non-toxic (just in case they decide they’re in the mood for a chew), but if you do want to keep them out of their reach, their whimsical, feathery ferns look even better from a height. So elevate them on top of bookshelves, cupboards, or as hanging plants.
Plant pointer: Boston ferns prefer humidity and lots of bright, indirect sunlight. Keep away from heaters, and keep soil evenly moist but not saturated (a self-watering pot could prove useful). Mist occasionally. You should feed a Boston Fern with Grow Concentrate to keep the foliage full.
Calatheas - Calathea spp.
For this plant, it is all about
the leaves. Exotic, brightly coloured and beautifully striped — think pin-stripes, rose painted hues and vibrant peacock patterns — this eye-catching shrub is known as the prayer plant, because its colourful leaves fold together at night. It’s non-toxic, so ideal for pet-prowled homes, and loves humidity. They’re super easy to look after, too. Pop one in your bathroom to make it feel right at home.
Plant pointer: Calathea have very expressive foliage, and will begin to curl inwards when it’s thirsty. Get into the routine of watering once a week and it will grow beautifully. If the leaves start to curl, feel the soil and water if it’s dry. Position this indoor beauty in a well-lit spot, but out of direct sunlight. Tip: make sure your Calathea is well hydrated and out of sunlight when using oil based sprays like Protect.
Golden cane palm - Dypsis lutescens
This Madagascan native is a popular clumping palm — the yellow-green fronds stem from numerous golden trunks, giving its striking, full, and tropical appearance. It’s hardy, low maintenance, and easy to care for, it can be grown in full sun, part shade or in a bright corner indoors. Not only is it 100% pet-friendly, it’s one of the best purifying plants, so it actually improves the air quality for your furry friends. We guarantee you’ll have a lot of fun with this exotic little number. Other variations that are pet-friendly include Parlour palms, Bamboo palms, and Ponytail palms.
Plant pointer: Use a pot large enough for the palms to expand, and heavy or high enough for your pet not to tip it over! To keep it healthy and happy, give it the occasional week-long outdoor holiday.
A standout centrepiece, the pilea is an easy-to-grow houseplant that sprouts the most fabulous foliage — their unique leaves are often multicoloured and highly textured. They’re really versatile too, most pilea varieties grow well on tabletops, counter tops, windowsills or other surfaces, but they’re also ideal for hanging baskets and other planters, and small enough for terrariums too.
Plant pointer: Place in bright, indirect light, but don’t expose to direct summer sun, as this can burn the leaves. Make sure to rotate the pot at least a couple times a week, as the plant will stretch toward the sun and begin to grow lopsided if you don’t. Water whenever the first inch of soil dries out. If the leaves start to droop, it needs watering! You can help reduce stress by using our Support Pellets.
Spider plant - Anthericum comosum
A perennial plant favourite, the spider plant, in its spiky, green and white striped glory, is one of the easiest plants to care for, making this a popular choice for green-thumbed beginners. It’s tough, so can tolerant neglect, and will thrive in almost any home, with minimal effort.
Pet owners will be pleased to know it’s entirely non-toxic, so great to have around cats and dogs, and also incredibly effective at removing toxins from the air. So you and your pet pooch or feline friend can breathe easily with this handy little purifier.
If you’re a houseplant newbie looking for your first pet-friendly plant, you’ve found it.
Plant pointer: Unlike your pet, this plant baby doesn't require a lot of attention! It thrives indoors or outside in most climates, but don't place it in direct sunlight, because the leaves can burn. Spider plant likes a moist soil or potting mix that drains well, but it can also tolerate periods of dryness. Don't over-water or the roots may rot.
Pet-proofing your plants
It’s also important to remember that a lot of plant fertilisers can harm pets, so it’s best to use one that’s independently tested. We the Wild’s fertilisers are tested by veterinary toxicologists at the Animal Poisons Centre, which means they are 100% safe for pets who are otherwise healthy. So you can position your plants with absolute peace of mind that it won’t upset your furball friend.