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Gardening

6 Pet-Friendly House Plants

Grow an indoor garden that's safe for your furry friends. Here are the plant types to get.

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Photography: Curate & Display, Vhong Interior Design for Houzz

Hanging around the feline Squee and canine Skampy made me know this: it is true that pets chew on leaves, even when you’re around! One might find this habit funny, but what not everyone may realize is that this could be harmful to animals as not all houseplants are safe and edible.

Just because you have one, two, or more of these furry babies at home does not mean you cannot have the aesthetics and air-cleansing benefits of greenery as well. Here are six hand-picked potted varieties, each with a unique foliage that will satisfy one’s different decorating needs, and all are non-toxic to cats and dogs.

Prayer plant (Calathea insignis)


Its showy foliage—wavy-edged, lance-shaped leaves that are pale and dark green and purplish red on the underside—will fold together as if in prayer towards the end of the day, hence, the name “prayer plant.” Also known as “rattlesnake plant,” this evergreen perennial tolerates low light conditions, is soft to the touch, and pet-friendly.

Baby rubber plant (Peperomia obtusifolia)


Also known as “pepper face,” this plant is blessed with round waxy leaves that give it a special sheen and a shape that suits any pot of your choice. Peperomias have solid green, shiny leaves; while the variegated type have gold and white coloration. Compact in form, this plant occupies a small space wherever you choose to place it, like on a desk or a table.

Areca palm (Dypsis lutescens)


One of the easiest-to-care-for container plants that also cleans indoor air, an areca palm is a good option. Also known as the “butterfly palm,” it looks great in a big pots and can serve as a focal point for a room or outdoor space.

Ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)

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This plant’s sculptural trunk is hard to miss. It is easy to maintain, making it one of the more popular container plants. Also known as “elephant’s foot,” its clusters of thin green leaves cascading downwards make it very attractive.

Spider plant  (Chlorophytum comosum)


One of the easiest houseplants to grow, it reproduces vegetatively with its stolons producing “plantlets”—tiny plants that take root upon touching the ground.  With a rosette of long, slender leaves, this plant’s gracefully cascading foliage is intriguing, particularly to pets.

Nerve plant (Fittonia verschaffeltii)


This is a creeping herb with oval to round, heart-shaped leaves. The nerve plant looks lovely in a terrarium or as a kokedama (moss ball). Also known as ‘mosaic plant’ or simply as fittonia, this perennial is best bought well established and thrives in high humidity with dappled sunlight or fluorescent light.

Karla Rey is a writer and landscape architect based in Sydney. This article originally appeared on Houzz.com.

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