A common question the crew over at Greener House is asked is which plants are safe for pets. As owners of feline and canine friends we care a lot about the health of animals which is why we have decided to list some of the common plants which are safe and not so safe for your furry pals.
WHY ARE SOME PLANTS TOXIC?
All plants, whether they are grown indoors or outdoors, have been evolving for millions of years; some of these plants possess a physical method of protecting themselves (such as thorns and prickles) from herbivorous animals. The most common protection plants have against animals is chemical. These chemicals are a way to deter animals from eating them; however, this survival tactic is not always foolproof and our pets might decide to have a nibble of that poisonous ivy for any number of reasons including boredom, or because its leaves sway attractively when the fan is blowing them.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN?
Just like people, there are a range of plants that don’t agree with our furry friends when they are ingested. These plants may cause skin irritation, vomiting, or may have more systemic effects that will affect the animal’s gastrointestinal tract. Effects range based on the amount ingested, the size of the animal, and the part of the plant eaten. Many of these plants taste terrible to pets making them disinclined from eating a large amount.
WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF PLANT-RELATED ILLNESS
If your pet is showing signs of having ingested a poisonous substance such as vomiting, lethargy, drooling, and seizures we recommend that you promptly contact your local veterinarian or call the 24 hour Victorian Poisons Information Centre. (If possible bring part of the plant to the vet for identification.)
HOW TO TRAIN PETS NOT TO EAT PLANTS
With a little training and thought, all indoor plants, and pets can easily coexist.
- Keep plants out of reach: place plants on high shelves or hang from the ceiling.
- Apply a repellent to plant leaves: use a non-toxic substance, that does not smell to humans but smells/tastes bad to pets, such as diluted vinegar or one of the many products available at pet stores and online.
- Startle your pet when it chews on leaves: clap your hands, stomp the floor or use a squirt gun.
- Carry your pet away from the plant, provide a distraction or give them a cuddle
- Prevent boredom, most of the time they will only eat plants because they are bored. Provide new toys, hide snacks around the house, make little cardboard box “hideouts.”
This is a list of common indoor plants. For a more comprehensive list of plants please refer to RSPCA and ASPCA websites. You or your pet may still have allergies to these plants. Always refer to a vet if you have any concerns.
|SAFE FOR PETS||TOXIC FOR PETS|
|Calathea spp.||Sansevieria trifasciata (Snake Plant)|
|Rhapis excelsa (Lady Palm)||Aglaonema spp.|
|Chlorophytum comosum (Spider Plant)||Ficus spp. (lyrata, elastica, benjamina, etc)|
|Stromanthe spp.||Begonia spp. (Begonia)|
|Howea forsteriana (Kentia Palm)||Aloe vera|
|Asplenium spp. (Bird’s Nest Fern)||Strelitzia nicolai (Bird of Paradise)|
|Rhipsalis spp. (Mistletoe Cactus)||Hedera helix (English Ivy)|
|Ctenanthe spp.||Spathiphyllum spp. (Peace Lily)|
|Hoya spp. (Wax Flower)||Anthurium spp.|
|Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail Palm)||Epipremnum aureum (Devil’s Ivy)|
|Chamaedorea spp.||Philodendron spp. (selloum, cordatum, congo, etc)|
|Nephrolepis exaltata (Boston Fern)||Zamioculcas zamiifolia (Zanzibar Gem)|
|Bromeliads & Guzmanias||Adenium obesum (Desert Rose)|
|Tillandsia spp.||Asparagus densiflorus (Asparagus Fern)|
|Peperomia spp.||Cyclamen spp.|
|Alpinia zerumbet (Ornamental Ginger)||Dracaena spp.|
|Ceropegia woodii (Chain of Hearts)||Alocasia spp. (Elephant’s Ear)|
|Dypsis lutescens (Areca Palm)||Monstera deliciosa (Swiss Cheese Plant)|
|Gasteria acinacifolia (Cow Tongue Cactus)||Senecio rowleyanus (String of Pearls)|
|Davallia fejeensis (Rabbit’s Foot Fern)||Schefflera spp. (amate, arboricola, jacqueline, etc)|
|Dichondra spp.||Colocasia spp.|
|Adiantum fragrans (Maidenhair Fern)||Dichondra spp.|
|Musa spp (Banana Tree)||Codiaeum variegatum (Croton)|
|Fatsia japonica||Aucuba japonica|
|Maranta spp.||Cycas revoluta|
|Pilea cadieri||Dieffenbachia spp.|
|Platycerium superbum (Staghorn Fern)||Euphorbia spp.|
|Aspidistra elatior (Cast Iron Plant)||Syngonium spp.|
|Dionaea muscipula (Venus Fly Trap)||Zantedeschia aethiopica (Arum Lily)|