Believe it or not, I have interests besides just doting on my two dogs! One of them is gardening. But I’ve found keeping a garden to be quite challenging with my current living situation. We rent the house we live in. So I can’t exactly tear up the lawn to start a giant garden. I’ve tried growing small container gardens, and utilizing the small garden areas that were already established before we moved in. But we basically live in the woods. Critters keep coming into our yard and eating my plants! The deer eat my sunflowers long before they ever have a chance to flower. The chipmunks steal my ripe strawberries, if, that is, the groundhog doesn’t just eat the entire strawberry plant first. You get the idea. So what’s the next best thing if you love growing plants but can’t, for whatever reason, keep a garden? House plants!
House Plants and Dogs
While my dogs may not be my sole interest in life, of course I take their safety and wellness seriously. Fenrir, my Alaskan Klee Kai, has a habit of picking up random things that he finds on the floor. He’s the main reason I’m super careful about what types of houseplants I keep. I’m careful to keep my plants up and away from my dogs. But even people with the greenest of thumbs know that, every now and then, house plants drop flowers or leaves. I would hate for little Fenrir to find a leaf on the floor and get sick from playing with it.
While keeping only houseplants that are dog-safe means that I miss out on keeping some really amazing plant species, it gives me peace of mind to know that my plant
obsession hobby doesn’t pose any health risks to my fuzzy best buddies. Over the years I’ve amassed quite a collection of dog-safe house plants. These are 5 of my current favorites.
Despite not having a lot of them (yet!), orchids are my current plant obsession. I’ve always loved orchids, but up until recently was afraid to try keeping them myself. They can be on the more expensive side as far as houseplants go. I had also heard that they can be finicky and somewhat difficult to keep alive indoors. Despite all that, just over a year ago now I got my first orchid. My “trial” orchid, if you will. It was a discount plant for sale in the plant section of my local grocery store. I told myself that if I could keep it alive for at least a year, I’d allow myself to look into keeping more expensive orchids in the future.
Phalaenopsis, sometimes called moth or moon orchids, are known for their beautiful, usually large, long lasting flowers. These are typically the easiest type of orchids to find for sale, commonly being sold in places such as grocery and hardware stores. Moth orchids are nontoxic to dogs. Keep in mind though, that this does not apply to all types or orchids. Some types, notably the wild lady slipper orchid, can cause issues if ingested by dogs.
Spider Plants (Chlorophytum comosum)
I am a serial spider plant murderer. I love them to death. Strange to some, I seem to do better with higher maintenance species of plants. Spider plants are generally more of a “set it and forget it” type of plant. I’ve learned through more trial and error than I care to admit that spider plants don’t appreciate being over watered. With the spider plant I have now, which I’ve miraculously managed to keep alive for quite some time, I only water it when the leaves start to droop.
Spider plants are, you guessed it, nontoxic to dogs. They are a classic houseplant that looks especially awesome in hanging pots.
These plants go by many common names, including the Chinese money plant, the pass it on plant, missionary plant, pancake plant, or UFO plant. No matter which common name it goes by, Pilea Peperomioides is nontoxic to dogs. It’s important to pay attention to what type of plant you are actually buying, though. There are other species of plants that are commonly called money plants or money trees that are toxic to pets.
Pilea Peperomioides are native to China. They have large, circular leaves and are thought to bring good luck to those who grow them. This plant is known for being easy to grow. Mother plants commonly produce many offshoots making this plant easy to propagate. This accounts for the plant often being sold as “pass it on plants”, “friendship plants” or “pass-along plants”. Because once you have one, you’ll eventually have many!
African Violets (Saintpaulia spp.)
African violets are another common type of house plant that can often be found for sale in big box stores. They are nontoxic to pets. African violets are beautiful, easy to care for house plants. I have one that I’ve had for many, many years now. It’s been with me through two moves so far, and still flowers multiple times per year despite receiving pretty minimal care. As their name suggests, African violets most often produce groupings of beautiful purple flowers. Their flowers, however, can range in shades of purples, pinks, and white. I have two African violet plants currently. One has beautiful deep purple flowers, and the other is a very pretty light pink.
Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii)
Christmas cacti are high up there on my list of favorite house plants. I love the beautiful, uniquely shaped flowers. It’s fun to keep a plant that is supposed to bloom around the winter holiday season, although thus far my Christmas cactus seems confused and likes to bloom whenever she darn well pleases. Truly a plant after my own heart.
Christmas cacti are nontoxic. They come in a wide array of flower colors, so there’s likely to be one for you! I’ve found my holiday cactus to be very easy to care for. They are easy to propagate from cuttings if you care to share with a friend, or grow more for yourself!
Do You Keep Houseplants Too?
I love my house plants and especially look to keep species that are nontoxic to dogs. It means that I sometimes have to pass on keeping plants that I’d otherwise love to grow. But knowing that my plant hobby doesn’t pose any risks to Kit and Fen makes keeping my houseplants way less stressful. This way, if one of my plants drops a flower or a leaf and my mischievous pups mistake it for a fun new toy, I don’t have to sweat it.
Comment below! Do you have a favorite type of dog friendly, nontoxic house plant? There are more than these 5 that I keep and enjoy, but these are 5 of my current favorites. Let me know if you want to learn about more. For now, this post is getting kind of long so I think I’ll leave it at 5. I may come back and update some of my photos when my plants are actually flowering. Of course luck would have it that out of the three flowering plants I mentioned in this post, none of mine were actually flowering at the time of writing this.
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