Pets and Plants
It's probably pretty obvious to you by now that we love plants but we also have another love...our pets! Between us we have dogs, cats, hamsters and chickens!
With the ever increasing selection of plants available, it has become more important than ever to ensure that the plants you bring into your home are safe for everyone who lives there, including your pets. Ingesting plants can cause mouth and stomach irritation, vomiting, tremors, coma and even death. But fear not, with our guide to 'pet safe' plants your furry friends will be fine.
We're starting with one of the most varied of all the plant genera in terms of leaf pattern. There are so many to choose from such as Orbifolia, Beauty Star, White Fusion, Leopardina, Makoyana, Roseopicta, Network, Stromanthe Triostar...the list goes on! Calathea's do require a little more care in terms of humidity and environment but they are worth it. They don't like sitting in soggy soil and aren't fans of the cold but don't allow them to dry out. It's hard to find a more beautiful leaf in the plant world. They encompass two or more colours and often show the variegation in stripes and spots. And a little tip - check out the underside of the leaves for another burst of colour.
Also known as the Chinese Money Plant, these plants have sprawling, round, shiny green leaves which make enticing playthings for naughty kittens! Luckily they produce little pups (that's actually what they are called!) around the base which can be repotted and you'll have a whole new plant! They are very easy care, requiring only occasional watering and dappled light. The occasional feed will help them to produce more pups. The plant pictured is the standard colouring but they also come with white markings on the leaves to jazz them up a bit! You can spray and wipe the leaves to keep them looking glossy.
There are a number of pet safe palm plants. The one pictured here with Marley the cat is a Parlour Palm (Chamaedorea Elegans). They have long stems with multiple fronds. Variegated versions are also available with splashes of white running through the fronds. They like partial sunlight, don't like to dry out and will appreciate a misting to avoid crispy tips. The long, thin stems give a lovely structural look and give height to elevate a drab corner.
These versatile little beauties will bring a pop of colour to any space. Often used in terrariums, they prefer a humid environment but are equally happy on a windowsil or bundled together in a low and wide planter as a table centrepiece. They come in a variety of colours - grey, bright and dark green, white, pink, lime, red... Their common name is the Nerve Plant due to the amazing veins in their leaves. They are massive diva's if they are a left without water for too long but perk up within minutes once given a drink.
Spathiphyllum Chopin Peace Lily
The Chopin Peace Lily has lush, dark green leaves and produces wonderful white leaves (bracts) to surround the flower. They are happy in dark areas and are able to survive the majority of forgotten waterings! These hardy plants will grow to approximately 60cm with the leaves becoming larger as they grow. Another fantastic fact about these plants is that they are brilliant air purifiers, removing those nasty toxins from the air, which is great for you and your pets! The glossy leaves and fully grown size are a real eye catcher. It's no wonder the Peace Lily is such a popular plant.
Peperomia Greyhound (pun intended!)
The whole of the Peperomia family are safe for pets! They come in a wide range of greens, greys, reds and creams. We think the most stunning thing about them is their leaf structure. The leaves are thick and succulent like. They can be smooth or ridged and even bubbled! They are best watered from the base of the nursery pot to avoid leaf and root rot. Just pop them in water for an hour or so to absorb as much water as they need. Be careful with the leaves as they won't repair from damage but luckily they are prolific leaf producers so there will be more along to replace them in no time!
Having seen somewhat of a revival in recent years the Prayer Plant is a really special (and pet safe) plant. With leaves that rise and fall throughout the day and night and striking colour combinations it's hard to take your eyes away. They are ideal in a hanging planter or trained to climb a moss pole or frame. The stems grow longer and unfurl new leaves along the way. It is good to keep up the humidity and misting to avoid crispy leaves. They prefer to be in the light but make sure you avoid prolonged, direct sunlight as this will scorch the leaves. Whether our dogs and cats see in black and white or not these leaves are still beautiful.
Chlorophytum Comosum Ocean
The Spider Plant!!! We love this one. Perfect in hanging and upright planters they have got to be one of the easiest plants to look after. To get the most back from the Spider Plant it is important to keep it watered and fed regulalry which will encourage full leaf growth and baby spider plants (plantlets) which you can replant/pop in water or gift to friends and family. To avoid brown tips on the leaves don't let it dry out and mist occasionally. Healthy plants will grow quickly so keep an eye on the base of the nursery pot and when you see roots peeking out it is time to repot. There are lot of different types of Spider plant but the Ocean is our favourite due to its bushy stem and wide soft leaves.
Safe Plant Storage
It is still possible to keep other plants in your home but make sure they are out of reach of your pets and any dropped leaves won't drop on the floor to be gobbled up by an inquisitive dog. Terrariums and display cabinets are a good way of keeping other plants enclosed and actually suit the plants who prefer a higher humididty environment. It is also easy to control light levels in cabninets with fitted grow lights. And don't forget to keep plant feeds and treatments out of those little paws.
Overall, it is good to remember that, although it can initially seem a bit scary, having plants around not only benefits you but also your pets. It can create a calming environment and provides a variety of smells to keep those cute noses busy. Plus they just look beautiful!
Visit our website to see our plant guide (we are still working on this so bear with us!) and feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any plant (or pet!) related questions.