Plantshed Blog

Pet Friendly Plants

Pet Friendly Plants

Author: Brin A.

Living in New York, one could argue houseplants are a necessity. Not only do they contrast the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle - studies have shown that flowers and plants can have a positive effect on mental well-being, act as a barrier for excess noise, and even eliminate certain toxins from the air.

If you’re a pet owner, finding the balance of foliage + pet friendly plants can sometimes seem a little tricky. We’ve done our research to help you get educated on which houseplants are non-toxic to cats and dogs*, so you can add some greenery to your apartment and stay worry-free.

spider plant
Spider Plants are fast-growing, leafy houseplants non-toxic to both cats & dogs. 

Spider Plants

Spider plants are leafy plants that have been noted for their air purification abilities. Spider plants get their name for the way in which the plant propagates; "baby" spider plants grow from a long hanging tendril, much like a spider. Not only are they pet-friendly, but they’re also easy to care for – ideal for those juggling busy schedules. These popular houseplants will do well in most lighting conditions, though moderate to high lighting is recommended. Keep the soil moist, and check in between watering to make sure the soil doesn’t dry out completely. 

The leafy silhouette of the Spider Plant makes it a popular choice as a hanging plant, which doubles as a great solution if you find your cat likes nibbling on it too much. When your spider plant does propagate just snip the tendril, set the roots in a cup of water and place in a sunny, well lit area. Over the next few weeks, the roots will grow and once they are around an inch in length you can plant them in soil. Spider plants grow fast, and are a great option for those in looking for leafy, pet friendly foliage. Our Spider Plant arrives in a 10" hanging basket, available for hand-delivery (in NYC) for only $30.

Ponytail Palms

Ponytail Palm in Living Room. Photo Courtesy of Danae Horst for The Junagalow.

Ponytail palms are native to the semi-desert areas of southeastern Mexico and Central America, where they’re known to grow up to 30’ tall (no worries, the indoor variety will rarely grow over 2’). These small indoor trees are actually part of the succulent family, recognizable by their bulbous trunks and unique leaves, which sprout upward and outward in a ‘pontyail’ shape. They do best in conditions that mimic the dry, warm conditions of their natural environment. Ponytail palms store water in their thick trunks, so water them sparingly and place them in a window that gets moderate to high lighting. 

Our Ponytail Palms arrive planted in either clay or ceramic, ready to be displayed. These small indoor trees work great as accents on a coffee or side table, allowing you to add a bit of foliage to your home without putting your pet at risk.

[Above] Ponytail Palm in Living Room. Photo: Danae Horst for The Jungalow.

Mishima the Cat enjoying some Palms. Photo courtesy whitecateblagdog on Instagram.Bamboo Palms

Bamboo palms are versatile plants, ranging from desktop sized to tree-sized, and pet friendly. These grassy plants grow quickly without much effort. Native to Mexico and the Central Americas, Bamboo palms do best in bright, indirect light but will tolerate low light conditions with regular waterings. Like spider plants, Bamboo palms have natural air purification properties—benefiting both you and your furry family members. 

Shop our Areca Palm or Chamadorea Palm, both closely related to the Bamboo Palm and also non-toxic to cats and dogs.

[Above] Mishima's hobbies include nestling in palms and nibbling on spider plants. Photo: whitecatblackdog on Instagram.



African Violets

Potted African Violets are pet-friendly blooming plants, and happen to be a best-seller with our customers. Native to Tanzania, African violets are known for their low-growing vivid flowers and stout, furry leaves. African violets are most easily maintained in small pots and don’t take up much space. As with most plants, potted African violets thrive in conditions that mimic their natural environment: bright, indirect light, warm temperatures and humidity. Avoid placing it near a vent, radiator, air conditioner – anything that will evaporate the moisture they retain. Water often enough to keep the soil fairly most, always allowing for proper drainage in between waterings. African violets are a great way to blend flora & foliage into one compact plant, with a pop of color to brighten up any space. View our potted African Violet in clay here, only $15 with same day hand delivery available (for NYC delivery).


Hanging Fern. Photo courtesy of
Hanging Ferns are a great way to add some green to your living space. Photo: Apartment Therapy.

Boston Ferns

Ferns breathe life into any space with their lush, full foliage. If the earthy look of the fern is what you’re into, we’re happy to let you know that these plants are indeed pet-friendly. In nature, ferns are abundant in the Pacific Northwest in heavily wooded, cool, moist areas. Typically, ferns are low maintenance plants provided they're in an environment that can mimic these conditions. For indoor care, low light, high moisture (we recommend misting with a spray bottle) and regular watering is required. Ferns are popular choices for hanging plants, which will also allow their leaves to grow without taking up much space. Shop our selection of Potted Ferns here. 


 What to Avoid: 

Here's a brief list of plants that may not be an ideal choice if you're pet is notorious for devouring houseplants. At the very least, keep any of the following out of snacking reach from your cat or dog: 

  • Anthurium
    These popular blooming plants are actually toxic to animals and humans. The sap from the leaves and floral spathes can create an irritation on skin, and a similar reaction if ingested.

  • Chinese Evergreen, Elephant's Ear, Dieffenbachia, Philodendron, Schefflera & Calla Lilies 
    We're combining these different plants and flowers into one, as they all contain the same chemical compound that can hurt your cat or dog: calcium oxalate. If ingested, they can cause irritation, problems swallowing, and loss of appetite, but ultimately is not fatal (in small quantities). 

  • Most Lilies (Stargazer, Japanese, Spathiphyllum Lilies and more)
    On the topic of lilies, most other lilies (blooming plants & flowers) can be fatal to cats and dogs if ingested. 

  • Sago Palm
    Cycasin is the chemical culprit for what makes this plant toxic. While Sago's are popular for houseplants, take extra precaution with pets as ingestion can lead to liver damage and fatality. 


More Info: 

*For the full list on pet-safe plants, check out this helpful guide from the ASPCA.  Our list is non-comprehensive so please always make sure to do your own research on pet-safe plants if this is a concern for you. If you're still unsure, we recommend consulting your vet for advice on pet safe plants or what to do if you think your pet has ingested anything that may be harmful.

If you have a question about a particular plant you’re looking to order, our Customer Service department is available to assist you at